September 2, 2016
Some users instinctively react negatively to the AxCrypt Premium subscription model. Not against the general principle of paying for Premium, but the yearly recurring fee as opposed to a ‘perpetual’ license.
I understand that, but I’d like to discuss why we’re doing it this way. In the end we’re of course always open to change, so comments are welcome. Do use our forums for that, and refer to this blog post so we know your starting point.
There are several reasons why we prefer an annual subscription over a ‘perpetual’ license, but here’s the summary:
- It’s more honest, fair and predictable for you as a user.
- It’s more relevant since much of the Premium service requires server and personnel resources continuously.
- It’s more predictable for us.
It’s more honest, fair and predictable because the typical software license is not at all perpetual. It’s usually valid for either the exact version you purchased, or for updates until an arbitrary point in time where a new ‘major’ release is published by the manufacturer. This is typically every 12-18 months. The old release will not get security updates, nor be made compatible with new operating systems, so in the end you’re anyway forced to accept the ‘upgrade offer’.
Many software companies also offer the worst of two worlds – a license, and a yearly support fee! With AxCrypt it’s simple and clean. A single yearly cost for it all.
We first offer a 30 day Premium Trial, and then you can choose if you’d like to use it for another 3, 6 or 12 months at a time and can stop at any time.
Our yearly subscription fee is currently EUR 24, while most simple encryption softwares license costs range between EUR 35 – 100. With the upgrades being added on top of that. It’s also fair and predictable because you know exactly what the cost is, and that there is a cost. With licensed software you might suddenly be forced to upgrade because your environment changed, perhaps your old computer broke.
If you purchased a software at EUR 79, you’re stuck with that cost even if you change your mind after 6 or 12 months. You won’t get a refund for half the price because you’d like to stop using the software license.
We’ve deliberately priced the yearly subscription at a level so 2-3 years is about at the same level as the typical corresponding software license. Yes, there are cheaper licensed software to be found. There are also plenty of more expensive options around.
Most software licenses are restricted to one or set number of installations. The AxCrypt subscription is personal but valid on any number of devices.
It’s more relevant, because AxCrypt is not just a piece of software, it’s a hybrid cloud application. It’s a shared encryption platform which provides a server infrastructure for this purpose, as well as a password manager which also uses server resources. With Premium you also get access to support, which require staffing and other resources. In other words, we do have running costs even after delivering the software to you. So we think it’s simply more relevant that you subscribe to our services, just like you do for other cloud services.
That it’s more predictable for us might not seem important to you as a user, but in fact it means that we can plan better for continued development of the platform.
There are advantages for the license model as well, but right now we really feel that it’s better for both you and us!
Finally, if you do stop subscribing, AxCrypt Free is still a very useful software and you’ll never get locked out of your data if you let your subscription expire so there is no negative locking in. Of course we’d like to think that we deliver so much value that you’ll want to stay because you think the cost is a bargain!
Svante, Developer and Co-Founder AxCrypt AB