22 February 2006

The sunset policy

Just after writing about web 2.0 apps and trust - whether you own an ap, license it forever, two things happened. First, I purchase an expansion module to SPSS, a statistics software package only to find that my main license has expired. Unbeknownst to me, the academic license ran January 05 to January 06. Now, in order to use the much more expensive add on module, I have to purchase a new license. Not tickling my fancy here.

Then, I read in the Wall Street Journal today, Lee Gomes column where he describes discovering Intuit's "Sunset Policy" for quicken. Suddenly his software, no longer works. Admittedly a small amount of money, the $30, was extorted from him (my characterization, not Gomes) before he could gain the same functionality that he had had available for many years.

It has always annoyed me when an Adobe or other software giant charges an annual fee for a minimal upgrade. Those upgrades often include some level of file incompatibility. So suffer the inconvenience, loose the functionality you've come accustom to, or pay up. Maybe the difference between cpu resident aps and web 2.o aps won't make a bit of difference to the end user in the long run. I am annoyed by this trend.