Subscription Fees

Discussion in 'ProcessGuard' started by richrf, Aug 4, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. richrf

    richrf Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2003
    Posts:
    1,907
    Process Guard Subscription Fees?

    Hi,

    Jooske suggested that users of ProcessGuard (and WormGuard) discuss the notion of paying subscription fees. Briefly my views:

    I do believe that a non-recurring license fee model, was inherently flawed. There is no way to continue developing products based upon obtaining a sufficient number "new licensee fees" on an on-going basis. I have never heard of a successful product that was based upon such a licensing model. I believe DCS made a major business error when they embraced such a model. Eventually, it has to break, as it did with TDS-3.

    While I am more than happy to pay annual subscription fees for products like ProcessGuard and WormGuard, because I do want support and upgraded products, I am very reluctant to say at this point that I would pay DCS any further fees, until they at least acknowledge that they compounded their initial errors (in their business model) with the way they handled the termination of TDS-3. There has to be at least some indication from DCS that they understand that leaving users high-and-dry with no warning, is not a good way to do business. It would seem a bit risky to give further money to a company that does not acknowledge this basic business principle.

    I am still very happy with ProcessGuard and WormGuard, and see no reason to force the demise of these products by inflexibly sticking to a revenue model - i.e. , one-time license fee for perpetual updates. But I would like to see the company come forward with not only a good business revenue model, but also a good business customer service model - and that includes better treatment (an apology?) of customers who were relying on TDS-3 and had the rug pulled out from under them.

    I continue to wish the best of luck to my friends at DCS. The only way to learn is from mistakes. And the only way to go beyond mistakes is to acknowledge them and apologize for them.

    Cya around,
    Rich
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2005
  2. twig

    twig Guest

    There are products that do offer life time licenses . Spyblocker / spystopper /
    I have a life time license for mailwasher / benign/ adaware se ( given for supporting the product in its donation days . Upgrades are freely given by personal email notification > i have a license for process guard as tds 3 and process guard / worm gaurd and choose to use only process guard . Would I bother renewing it if it was a yearly subscription .... proberbly not. I feel I have donated enough .
     
  3. x32

    x32 Guest

    Examples of successful software that uses a non-recurring fee abound. Most software, in fact, is of this type. TDS-3 bombed because of all the time spent on signature updates, not because of the licensing scheme of the core product. This is per DCS admission, not conjecture.
     
  4. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Posts:
    2,969
    Location:
    Portland, OR (USA)
    I do agree with the sentiment, richrf, well put.

    There's plenty of products that have survived on this model (one time payment), and plenty that have switched but "grandfathered" old customers to keep old promises. Starting to charge for major revisions on new apps wouldn't be too unreasonable, but ultimately DCS will decide what's best for them and their customers, hopefully it will be something that everyone can be happy with if it does change.
     
  5. richrf

    richrf Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2003
    Posts:
    1,907
    Hi all,

    It is difficult for me to think of the products that you are talking about. Spybot is pretty out-of-date at this time. I no longer bother running it. Ditto for Ad-aware. Ditto SpywareBlaster. Updates are too few and far between. They just don't seem to find the "tough stuff" anymore. For this I rely on products like KAV and Ewido. (I use to rely on TDS-3). Ewido does have a free version, which is basically being supported by its licensed real-time version, however I question how long this model will last. Eventually, to be competitive, someone has to pay (developers donating their time?), and I don't know how long this will last. TDS-3's "life span", is about what I expect. For some, it may be enough.

    FireFox, is a good exception to this rule, but even here history shows that free products eventually either die out for lack of revenue or are bought out (Netscape).

    Rich
     
  6. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2004
    Posts:
    2,839
    Location:
    North West, United Kingdom
    I'd disagree with a subscription fee (with the implication that the product would stop working if it was not paid) for products like PG that do not require constant updates - the cost of maintaining such software comes down to bug fixes and feature add-ons which can be done "as time/resources permit", as opposed to signature updates which look to be an ever-increasing treadmill.

    An upgrade fee for major updates (which would be an optional payment for those happy to remain with their purchased version) would be another matter however.
     
  7. twig

    twig Guest

     
  8. richrf

    richrf Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2003
    Posts:
    1,907
    Hi P2000,

    I think there are always lots of things that a developer can do to a product to make it function better. I am sure DCS has a long list of requests from PG's customers just as Mike has, over at Tal Lemu. Things, for example, like tracking all sub-processes. But, of course, there is a whole lot more, as users who are beta testing Online Armor right now can see. The only way that PG can maintain a competitive position, as far as I can tell, is to have a reasonable revenue stream. Otherwise, the product becomes falls behind, becomes outmoded (a la TDS-3), and then ceases to exist because it doesn't pay to maintain the product with no revenue coming in.

    ZoneAlarm handles it in an interesting way. Users can keep using the product "as is", or can pay a fee to get the latest updates/upgrades. That seems to work for ZA.

    Rich
     
  9. twig

    twig Guest

    I think with this situation It may come down to whether enough would choose to continue to support them , looking at the comments in the forum I would wonder if people would do so. Theres a great song called "6 months in a leaky boat " and I cant help sadly wondering if this is the situation .
     
  10. steverio

    steverio Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2004
    Posts:
    161
    I don't think it will be very popular with many users having software such as PG and WG that times out or stops working unless they pay a subscription fee. I don't mind having a choice to pay for an upgrade depending upon improvements or features being offered. I think that at some point as technology advances and security defense gets tougher to control, a decision to migrate to an improved version might be beneficial.
     
  11. ---

    --- Guest

    Re: Process Guard Subscription Fees?

    Yes, It is fitting that DCS apologise to everyone for not only being foolish enough to offer life time licenses, but also for the mess they made once they wised up to the foolish promise.

    Without such a apology, I doubt if any of us will be willing to pay a cent more. If only they had wised up to what Richrf and the other were saying years ago, and charged us substantial sums yearly, they wouldn't be in this situation now.


    Yes, and to prevent such a thing from happening again, I further propose they engage someone who has a real grasp of sucessful business revenue models and business service models as well as years of experience in starting companies to guide the company to prevent this from happening again.

    Ideally this person should also be someone who is well known to the Wilders Community.

    I'm sure you know who I'm referring to.

    At the very least a business proposal plan covering their plans in the short term (3-5 years) and their long term goals. This should be prepared and submited to the Wilders Forum for approval before anyone of us will spend a dime on your products.

    Transparency after all is the life blood of the financial markets and it was this failure to communicate that led to the TDS fiasco.


    Indeed. You're telling them Rich! We demand an apology as well as a good accounting of the future plans of DCS. After all as customers we are one of the stakeholders (together with Employees, Shareholders and suppliers) of DCS's future too.

    By acting quickly you can hence safeguard the reputation of DCS.

    "Mistakes are a great educator when one is honest enough to admit them and willing to learn from them" - Annoymous

    Firefox? In fact, they started Mozilla Corp... A business for profit corporation to market firefox and Thunderbird. So no, they are not an exception to the rule.
     
  12. Vikorr

    Vikorr Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    Posts:
    662
    Hmmm...I'm half and half here.

    To my way of thinking, products with signatures, that require daily updates, need a yearly fee to be feasible. Still it's a tough market where AT's weren't as publicly well known or supported as AV's, and the vast majority of people likely don't like to pay yearly fees for 2+ different security products.

    But products like PG, WormGuard, and Port Explorer don't require a yearly fee. They don't require maintenance...so why should a user pay annual fees for something that the makers do not have to put any effort into ?

    However, I have nothing against a 'build licence' for such products, where you would pay for new builds (although I would hope, that for existing customers, the new build would be cheaper than the original price).

    I know not everyone agrees with such things. So that's something we have to leave to Wayne to figure out if it needs changing or not.
     
  13. Jooske

    Jooske Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2002
    Posts:
    9,713
    Location:
    Netherlands, EU near the sea
    Hm thanks for opinions so far.
    I wonder what could be reasonable? Kind of membership and free use of all the software there is with registration keys of course, the one product using more updates then the other but that would be covered by the membership? So the software keeps functioning at all time of course, but updates could be an issue.
    Often administration for memberships and reminding users costs more then what it gives, that's why it should be a low price, say some $10/year for all the software together. Of course i don't know about possible legal implications of such an idea. But lots of small fees together pay the engineers.

    I would not call TDS a disaster, let's call it a drama :)
    The time frame was rather long and all new answers to a changing internet evolution must be given to keep many steps ahead of that, which is not possible with the original TDS concept in the build, if i read Wayne's message well.
    Think it must be really hard to throw all aside what has been build on and we have been betatesting parts of and which technologies are partly included in ProcesGuard and have shown their value.

    OK, back to the original question what we think of renewal fees, even though it is all against the DiamondCS business concept. Mind you, i don't say it is going to happenat all, it is just a discussion what we think about the idea.
     
  14. SpikeyB

    SpikeyB Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Posts:
    478
    I agree with Paranoid2000 and steverio (i.e. no annual fee, happy to pay for upgrade).

    There is a difference between PG and TDS in terms of the amount of effort required to support the product.
     
  15. richrf

    richrf Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2003
    Posts:
    1,907
    Hi SpikeyB,

    It is true that the product works as is, though it is not clear whether it will continue to work, without maintenance, on future versions of Windows.

    But that aside, there is a tremendous amount of work that needs to be done to keep ProcessGuard competitive. Online Armor is building in lots of new features into its product to make it more "intelligent" in the decisions that it will be making. Mike Nash has already discussed this on the OA thread. Should OA be successful in this regard, new users will naturally purchase OA instead of PG (just like new users began purchasing products like Ewido instead of TDS-3), and without new users the revenue stream for PG will dry up.

    In time, PG would fall behind in technical capabilities since DCS would not have sufficient revenue to compete against other vendors. This would include firewall vendors like ZoneAlarm as well as AV/AT vendors who would also most probably enter into the HIPS market, since it is undoubtedly the technology of the future.

    The net result would be that DCS would not have sufficient resources (money and personnel) to compete and would slowly become less of a marketplace force - probably dying out. Call it slow starvation. Some users may be satisfied with products from other companies - as TDS-3 users who switched to Ewido, and other users may miss the technological creativity that DCS brought to the marketplace.

    As for myself, I don't believe in trying to squeeze the last ounce of juice from a turnip. I would like DCS to be a healthy vibrant company, so that it can compete on an equal footing.

    Just some thoughts,

    Rich
     
  16. worldcitizen

    worldcitizen Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Posts:
    530
    As far as I'm concerned it's give and take on both sides.

    Ok - DCS wants a way out of free upgrades then COMPROMISE a bit instead of acting like a stubborn mule wanting everything it's own way.

    Do it like this..... First CONSULT members how they would feel about getting the next upgrade to Womguard and Process Guard free but then PAY for major upgrades after that. So a 3.3, 3.2 does not incur any cost but a major upgrade to say PG version 4 will incur a fee.

    Don't do a TDS 4 to us where we are given no notice and then our software just stops working (updates). Allow us time and show us the courtesy of consulting us and taking us into their needs and plans and I will be willing to COMPROMISE.

    But if DCS just came out tomorrow and said 'right, PG and WG are no longer free upgrades' and you'll HAVE to pay' then I would really be p..ssed off something awful especially after this. But if they COMPROMISE and give us one free upgrade which many of us have never ever had yet then I'd be more than happy to continue supporting them because at least I got one free upgrade. Although a lifetime of free upgrades was promised I'd be happy to settle with only ONE but I must get at least that ONE to stop me from feeling lied to about the lifetime free upgrades because the promise should at least be honoured ONCE as a goodwill gesture as much as a confidence building measure that DCS 'sticks by their word'.

    Things CAN be worked out but as I said it's give and take. I will offer to forego permanent free upgrades for ONE free upgrade and then afterwards pay for every major version. This is as far as I'm willing to go but that's more than fair considering I was promised 'lifetime free upgrades' and I think if DCS are smart enough they would take up this offer if enough people support it because it will bring back a good relationship with many again as well as free them from the lifetime free upgrades model but they should be willing to give at least the next major upgrade free to both WG and PG to show that they are trying to honour their promise and not just try and wiggle out of it like with TDS 4 which was a disaster as far as I'm concerned.

    DCS WILL find many, many, many people here are extremely reasonable and understanding towards their problem with lifetime free upgrades but many do want to get at least that one upgrade to feel good about it all and I really hope Wayne reads this because I think DCS should be willing to do this as it will free them from a curse as well as make us feel a whole lot better.

    Dave
     
  17. richrf

    richrf Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2003
    Posts:
    1,907
    Hi Dave,

    I agree. Most people are reasonable, if they are dealt with in a reasonable fashion (though this is not always true, as I learned in my own business career).

    It is possible that there were extenuating circumstances, that forced DCS to act in the manner that they did with TDS-3. If they had no choice, then they will have to live with the fact that they lost a lot of good-will from both TDS-3 and ProcessGuard customers.

    However, if the whole affair was just a business decision that ran awry, they should step forward, provide a reasonable plan going forward, as you suggested, and continue to build competitive products for the marketplace.

    As it stands now, I still find PG (with RegDefend), best of class and I would not want to see it wither away as did TDS-3. The money is inconsequential, but I would like to deal with a company that is reasonable.

    Thanks for your thoughts,
    Rich
     
  18. Rui

    Rui Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Posts:
    141
    Location:
    Portugal
    Hi all

    I am a licensed user of PG, WG, PE and TDS-3.

    As richrf has very correctly stated, the revenue model adopted by DCS has turned out to be a disaster, and this question at this particular moment is only a symptom of the crisis DCS is currently facing.

    I understand that software development has considerable costs, and it is only natural that the user should pay the price of apllication upgrading, provided it is a significant one, and not a minor update (bug fixing, etc.).

    I cannot help thinking that this question of paying subscription fees concerning PG is - probably - the surface side of the problem. Perhaps the profound meaning of this question might be the following: Would you accept paying subscription fees/upgrades of DCS products, after the way TDS-3 was terminated?

    The main part of the problem for me is not a question of paying, but a question of trusting or not DCS, after THE WAY its flagship application was discontinued.

    As far as I am concerned, I have many, many doubts...

    Regards

    Rui
     
  19. worldcitizen

    worldcitizen Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Posts:
    530
    Wayne and Gavin,

    'Bring it on'!!

    Lets talk about getting rid of that terrible commercial model of free lifetime upgrades. I'm willing to forgo the free lifetime upgrades for ONE free upgrade of remaining software and then pay you guys for every major upgrade FOREVER. (not minor update)

    I'm flexible and understanding and willing to help you out. All I want to be sure about is that you were willing to honor the free lifetime upgrade promise by giving me ONE free major upgrade to WG, PG and PE. Let's ALL be flexible and help out. Let's all reach a COMPROMISE!

    This IS a way out of all this and I strongly suggest you read this and think about it.

    To those who consider it their RIGHT to have free lifetime upgrades because DCS promised them......

    I urge you all to reconsider and try and put yourself in the same situation. How could any economy run on such a model? A TV a car, a computer with a lifetime FREE guarantee?? The world economy would go broke in 5 minutes. If you say that's not your problem then it will be if DCS folds won't it??

    It's reasonable though to give DCS and ourselves a face-saving way out to offer to forgo the free upgrade promise on ALL DCS products for ONE free major upgrade on remaining products with no funny business such as changing the name of software etc and then after that to pay for major, not minor upgrades after that. That would make DCS competitive again and free us from our unreasonable expectations based on a flawed economical model which DCS advocated but are finding out fast doesn't work.

    It's a win/win compromise that benefits everyone and all will gain by improved and better software as well as more regular updates and upgrades (we hope).

    If DCS went under because of having to maintain their free lifetime upgrade offer it would be just as much our fault for insisting on it so much as you won't find such offers rampant. Almost all software now comes with 1 year of free updates or maybe if you're lucky a free upgrade if you bought it in the last 6 months, but IF we want to keep getting the BEST security software then we need to have DCS around and if the free lifetime model is killing them then let's offer on this site to do away with it but on the understanding that we do receive that ONE free upgrade so that at least the promise was kept. To expect more, I feel is unreasonable and too great a burden on DCS and I want them around for years to come.

    Dave
     
  20. se7engreen

    se7engreen Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2004
    Posts:
    369
    Location:
    USA
    I think DCS should adopt the same model that Agnitum has with Outpost. You are not required to pay a yearly fee to use the software, but a yearly fee is required to receive updates and upgrades during that year. This helps keep the cash flow moving as well as puts a bit of pressure on DCS to keep active in development.

    That's my one cent...
     
  21. worldcitizen

    worldcitizen Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Posts:
    530
    Mate. How many times has this happened? Never until now! They handled it like a person who has never faced a crises before - badly.

    The first time you used your PC or drove a car you never crashed your PC or got booked? DCS are not 'rip off merchants'. I know enough about human beings and human nature to know that their intention was NOT to harm their clients. If anything, we saw the human side of DCS making mistakes in public relations but they are not public relations experts - they are security software programmers and some of the best and most trusted on this planet.

    They could have handled it differently but they've never ever had to face a situation like this before so they deserve a break. If they do the same again and again then I'd be right up them but we can all forgive them this time for sure.

    Let's ALL help them get out of this ridiculous lifetime free upgrade policy because if we don't then we can well expect other products to fall just like TDS 3\4 did!!

    Let's all offer to give up our free lifetime upgrades on ALL DCS products in return for ONE free major upgrade of all DCS products we have and then pay for major upgrades after that.

    Dave
     
  22. Rui

    Rui Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Posts:
    141
    Location:
    Portugal
    It seems to me this is a fair business model.


    I think Dave's proposal is an adequate one and I am willing to subscribe it.

    I can imagine the crisis Gavin and Wayne are facing and wish them no harm, but exactly the utmost opposite. But I also would like Wayne assuming a more flexible and less self-centered (to say the least...) attitude.

    I love DCs products and I am sure we all need a strong, healthy and competitive DCS. It would be sad for me seeing DCS going down the drain.

    More opinions, please

    Rui
     
  23. tlu

    tlu Guest

    Wise words, Dave, indeed! I stand by them from the bottom of my heart. And I'm convinced if all those TDS users who are shocked, insulted or whatever right now think about this situation quietly they will eventually come to the same conclusion.
     
  24. steverio

    steverio Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2004
    Posts:
    161
    Everyone's opinions here are very important but I find it hard to think that DCS would not have already thought of some of these alternative options presented here and come forward to discuss their situation with all their product line, if they were in a predicament.
     
  25. worldcitizen

    worldcitizen Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Posts:
    530
    I personally think that we have to make a move because I don't think that DCS is feeling like another confrontation over free lifetime upgrades just yet. You know..once bitten twice shy?

    They may be really needing to make the move but because of all the hostility over TDS 3\4 they held off. Why don't we band together and make them an offer too good to refuse?

    I have already sent them an email offering to forgo my free lifetime upgrades in exchange for ONE free major upgrade for the DCS software I have and then to pay for upgrades after that and I encourage every fair-minded person who wants to have DCS secure their PC's for a long time to come to take this initiative.

    We haven't exactly created an environment for DCS to come forward with such a proposal with all our bitching so I think that WE should get the ball rolling now. We are the ones that stand to benefit by being the best protected people on the planet IF DCS is around long enough.

    Dave
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.