Software updates are usually pleasantly eventful. New button here, new feature there… At times something gets broken and you are in for one more update shortly.
One of the most rare and strange experiences of updating freeware is when it stops being freeware. Or at least stops being freeware that it used to be.
FeedDemon changes (again)
The new major version of FeedDemon was recently released. I didn’t follow beta closely and up until end of installation there was nothing unexpected… And than there was – the quick note that I am now using Lite version and half a dozen previously available features are now in Pro version.
FeedDemon has a history of course changes, going from shareware to freeware to adware to shareware. And the latest turn kinda sucks.
Going paid – evolving or surviving?
The one possibility is that software title gets so amazingly good that users basically beg to let them pay for it. More common one – software goes payware unless it wants to go graveyard.
For developer that is most likely hard decision at the end of long and exhausting process of trying to maintain growing application on a free diet.
For users that is either no-brainer or completely WTF experience.
Dynamics of paying for software
The decision to buy an application is probably so individual that there is no way to put it into universal formula. However I think it is safe to assume that trust and value are large in that cocktail:
- you do not pay for software you expect to be useless week later;
- you do not pay for something that is useless to begin with.
So to motivate to buy developer can attempt to boost trust in his product and its value – together or separately. I think my biggest problem with FeedDemon update is not the return of paid version. It’s that developer chose to sacrifice both trust and value for that change.
Confession of not being able to keep app free reduces my trust. It is completely understandable, but at the same time it feels less like contributing towards app marching to new heights and more like funding its death march into oblivion.
Moving features behind paywall leaves me with less value than I had, not more. Content filters are absolutely awesome. If they had appeared in Pro version I would totally consider paying just for them alone. Instead they had appeared for free and months later of using they had been taken hostage – pay up or you will never see your filters again.
I am still brooding over this. FeedDemon+Google Reader was a definitive combo for RSS. Now in my eyes FeedDemon toppled not only itself, but combo as well. Google Reader still has not made its API officially public and its development seems half-hearted. And now most of advanced features FeedDemon brought to the table are gone.
It may be surge of bad mood perception, but I think that years of people badmouthing RSS as niche geek toy are starting to take its toll. It is becoming afterthought because-everyone-has-it feature, rather than exciting and flexible tool it is.
How will landscape change with ripples from yet another FeedDemon status change? The worst case scenario is that no one will bother to care.