Debra Dalgleish has a blog entry today called Free Upgrades For Life. She posted a link to an Excel workbook that compares free upgrades vs. non-free upgrades. Debra wrote:
I can't imagine why anyone would offer free software upgrades for life. Certainly, if there are minor upgrades or patches to the current version, or a major upgrade is released shortly after a purchase, then I would expect to get those at no charge. Otherwise, if I want to enjoy the new features that a developer has worked hard to create, I'd pay for the upgrade.
Well, I happen to offer free upgrades for PUP. That product was born back in 1994, and I knew it was full of bugs. I didn't like the idea of charging people for my mistakes, so I decided to provide free upgrades for life. Back then I never would have dreamed that PUP would still be around 14 years later, so I didn't give it much thought.
At one point, I added a $5 upgrade processing fee, fearful that it would lead to a massive uprising among PUP customers. In fact, only one person has ever complained about the $5 fee.
As it turns out, I think offering free upgrades was a good decision. I have no idea what the actual upgrade rate is, but it seems to be pretty high -- probably much higher than it would be without free upgrades.
Spreadsheet Page Blog
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