It’s been almost 3 years since Vitamin-R was first released into the public eye.
Those who experienced version 0.01 beta 1 (!) can testify to how much the product changed between then and the 1.0 release and of course Vitamin-R has never since stood still for more than a few weeks. In total, we have up to this point released no fewer than 109 updates and I think you would agree that it’s now nearly time for the big 2.0 release.
If you own any of our software, you will have noticed that we release features as soon as they’re ready. This helps us create better product as we get feedback earlier and it also gets new features into your hands quicker.
The price we pay for this practice is that we don’t get to do the “big reveal” when the time comes to ask you for an upgrade fee.. but rest assured that we are making an extra special effort to make 2.0 more than just another point update!
Many people hate upgrade fees and we accommodate these people by providing “forever upgrades” both with your initial purchase and at any point after.
While upgrade fees may be a little painful, they are instrumental in ensuring that a product meets the requirements of experienced users. Without them there is little economic incentive to develop a product beyond what is necessary for its immediate appeal. It is no coincidence that most iPhone apps get used only a couple of times before they are forgotten forever.
Without upgrade fees there’s no economic incentive for developers to look past the moment of the sale, leading to software that is optimized for immediate appeal but fails to live up to its promise shortly thereafter. We want none of that. With Vitamin-R we want to introduce you to a more productive and enjoyable way of working and support you at every stage of your journey. In order to do so we want to furnish you with the tools to evolve your own style. This means making Vitamin-R highly customizable and leveraging your usage information to provide you with insights into your own work patterns; neither of which does much to increase the immediate appeal of the product to prospective new clients.
Please note that none of this means that we are intend on making Vitamin-R more complicated. On the contrary, streamlined operation is even more important for experienced than for novice users.
In the past, we have always given customers very generous “grace periods”, meaning that if you bought the product shortly before a major upgrade, we would grant you a free upgrade.
Unfortunately in the changing world of Mac software development this is no longer so easily done.
As you may know the Mac App Store, through which many of copies of Vitamin-R are bought, does not offer any support for paid upgrades. Instead Apple is charging full price for major new versions of its software such as “Pages”, “Numbers”, “Keynote”, “Final Cut Pro”, “Aperture”, etc.
This makes a lot of sense for Apple who operate on the “big reveal” model more than perhaps any other company in history and who of course make money on the software sale, their 30% App Store processing fee and on hardware sales.
This puts software developers like us into an awkward position.
We are masters of our own web stores and can continue to offer discounted upgrade pricing, forever upgrades and “grace periods” and we will.
On the Mac App Store, however, it’s Apple’s rules all the way. There are no discounted upgrades, no grace periods and we do not even know the identities of the people who buy our software.
All third party software developers are facing the same problems. Some decide to go Mac App Store only. Some decide to stay off the Mac App Store altogether. Most, like us are trying to mitigate the problem as much as we can.
We realize that not everybody will be happy with our solution, but what we have decided to do is the following.
To Get A Discounted Upgrade to Vitamin-R From Our Web Site / To Take Advantage of the “Grace Period”
1. Direct and Mac App Store customers alike will be able to buy a discounted upgrade from our web store via http://www.publicspace.net/Vitamin-R/upgrade.html
2. Direct customers who have purchased Vitamin-R after the 1st of January 2013 will be able to obtain a free upgrade code to version 2 from http://www.publicspace.net/unlockCodeDB/index.html
3. Mac App Store customers who have bought Vitamin-R after the 1st of January 2013 will be able to obtain a free upgrade by mailing their iTunes Store receipt to email@example.com
This is much the same retrofitted solution that OmniGroup are going to apply to OmniFocus 2 upgrades.