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Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust

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This one from Slysoft (annotations mine):

Dear valued customer,
     As of January 1st, 2009, Slysoft will change its update policy from free lifetime updates (I paid for it, how was it free?) to an annual subscription fee. All license purchases made before January 1st, 2009 will not be affected by this change; as promised, all licenses purchased before 2009 will still be honoured under Slysoft's free lifetime update policy.
     SlySoft announces this step in advance in order to provide its customers with the choice between the old and new licensing model. Buyers who act quickly can get an additional discount with the current ongoing special promotion. (This change is often made right before the company changes its name and cancels everyone's license!)
     Until Wednesday, December 31 2008 Slysoft offers a 20% discount on all software products -- except upgrades. If you are entertaining the thought of purchasing one of Slysoft's products, now is the right time to act!
     Happy Holidays!
     Gordon Reeves, Customer Care Center
--- End quote ---
There's still a few heroes left in the 'Lifetime' license club:
(01) XYplorer file manager
(02) xplorer² file manager
(03) Total Commander file manager
(04) UltraEdit
(05) WinRAR
(06) MediaMonkey Gold
(07) WinPatrol
(08) Where Is It? cataloging software

What others are there?

And you know why this is right? People can't live off of lifetime licenses. As much as the free software fanatics would love to think so, people have to earn a living. Doing stuff for free or for a one time fee just doesn't pay the mortgage anymore. I fully support any company which switches from this licensing method. I do ask that they honor those who purchased under that licensing scheme however, which most companies will do (collectorz did, slysoft did/is, ad muncher is).

One thing I do hope people realize is that this is for UPDATES not UPGRADES also. Upgrades, such as the HD addon for AnyDVD, have always been at a charge but up until the HD genre, there was never a need to have an "upgrade".

Lifetime licenses may provide more income than annual subscriptions. New users tend to need more support than old ones, so most cost is attached to new users. Old users are a good marketing tool and there are many people who will buy a lifetime license who would think twice or thrice about paying for upgrades let alone annual subscriptions. Lifetime licenses depend on a marketing model where there will always be a lot of new users buying the program; annual licenses rely on committed users who have decided they need that product and always up-to-date.

I have to say that there are very,very few programs (current number = nil) where I would consider paying an annual subscription.

Upgrades from time-to-time I will consider, but I don't expect the cycle to be more frequent than every 3 or 4 years and I do expect to see a clear benefit from the new version.

This is one of the times I agree with Josh.

As long as a license gives you a reasonable period of minor new-feature updates (and, preferably, that the company backports bugfixes for a while after update-period ends), I believe it's perfectly fair to charge for upgrades. I'm against software subscriptions though, and I believe charging for upgrades should be based on new major features, not an annual version-number bumping.

There is SUPERAntiSpyware Lifetime Subscription. I've got a licensed copy. Check it. It can't detect any spyware, though nor can it prevent the system being infected. Thrown it out and installed Spyware Doctor. Peace, now.


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