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News, How-tos, and assorted Views on Accordance Bible Software.

Friday, February 03, 2006  

Worth the Upgrade?

In response to yesterday's post on the new Bible Atlas, someone identifying himself only as "poor" left a comment expressing frustration with the $39 upgrade price. After all, he had bought the old Atlas outright a few months ago for $49, and now we're asking him to pay almost that amount for the new Atlas. This, he argued, amounts to ripping off our faithful customers.

I can certainly sympathize with "poor's" perspective. I mean, I personally chafe at having to pay full price to upgrade to the latest versions of Apple's iLife and iWork applications, and I definitely don't want Accordance users to feel the same way about our upgrades. But as Helen explained in a followup comment, the $49 price this user paid was not the full retail price of the old Atlas. Precisely to avoid ripping off our faithful customers, we reduced the price of the Atlas from $69 to $49 roughly six months prior to releasing the new version. The price of the new Atlas is $89, so those who bought the old Atlas for $49 and who upgrade to the new one for $39 will end up paying $88 total. Believe me, we've made every effort to be fair to our faithful users with respect to this new Atlas release.

In fact, much of the work which we did for the new Atlas is actually available to users of the old Atlas for FREE.

You see, when we decided to upgrade the Atlas, we made two kinds of improvements:

  1. We added new features to the Accordance application
  2. We improved the Atlas data modules in the ways described in my previous post: increasing resolution, adding new backgrounds, and adding new sites, routes, and regions.

Enhancements to the Accordance application included support for the higher resolution data, OpenGL rendering of 3-D maps, Quartz rendering of map layers, new easier ways to display multiple layers of the same type, new ways to navigate the maps, and the display of UTM coordinates. These new features were added in a series of freely downloadable updates to Accordance, and immediately became available to users of the old Atlas. There is no need to upgrade to the new high-resolution Atlas data in order to take advantage of these features.

Thus, when you upgrade to the new version of the Atlas, you get really awesome high-resolution maps, new map backgrounds, and new site and region layers. But any user of version 6.x and the old Atlas can freely download a major upgrade—without paying one red cent!

I'll talk more about our upgrade philosophy in a future post, particularly with respect to how our free updates figure into the value of our paid upgrades. In the meantime, I hope this post gives you some insight into the thinking behind our Atlas upgrade.





Comments:
I hate paying for stuff as much as the next person, but I'm really impressed with the way you handled the whole deal. Even before the upgrade, Atlas was an excellent product -- certainly worth the $49 you were charging for it once you knew that the upgrade was on the way. I went ahead and ordered the upgrade as soon as I saw it announced, and although I've only kicked the tires a little bit, I'm really impressed with what I see.

So thanks again for the great software you guys make, and the prices you're charging (upgrade and full) certainly seem worth it to me.
 

I just paid full price as a first-time purchaser of the Atlas. I would not feel at all abused if an upgrade came out in 18 months' time at $39 ... because I am well aware of the level of complexity that goes into mapping products (especially with 3D capabilities).

When I think back to the best Bible atlas print books I've ever seen (mostly in my seminary library), they all lacked two features that Accordance Atlas offers:

--Interactivity
--Upgradability
--Availability on my Mac

(Okay, that was three things.)

Even in the few minutes I've had to explore Atlas since I installed it yesterday, I'm light-years ahead of a paper book. It's a bargain!
 

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