Aug 12, 2009

The Upgrade that Isn't

Back in 2005, a Windows Bible software developer delivered on its promise to release a Mac version of its software. Wanting to know what kind of competition this program would present to Accordance, I bought a copy and tried it out. Since that initial evaluation, this program has sat unused for years.

Recently, for a writing project I've been working on, I needed to give a brief description of this software. So I launched it and tried to open one of its electronic books. Nothing happened. Somehow, in a few years time it had broken and was now unable even to open a book!

I called the company to find out what was going on, and was told that version 1.0 of the software did not work with Apple's Leopard operating system. What's more, I was told that the company "no longer supports" that version. I could, of course, pay to upgrade to version 2 of the software which would, I was told, open books on Leopard. I declined the offer and found someone with the latest version on a mailing list who could tell me what I needed to know.

That was a couple months ago. Last week, just as I was about to finish my manuscript and send it to the publisher, I received an email notice that this software was about to be upgraded to version 3.0. Wanting to give the most up-to-date information possible, I went to the website for a listing of the new features in this upgrade. I couldn't find any. The most I could find was that they had added some new books to each of their packages.

Frustrated but not particularly surprised by the lack of information, I called the company once again to ask where I could find a listing of new features. The helpful saleswoman told me that this whole number upgrade offers "no new features," but that "all the problems with searching had been fixed." A little taken aback, I asked, "So this is basically just a bug fix release?" She didn't answer that question directly, but hastened to point out that the upgrade price included the new books in each package.

I hung up the phone a little mystified. My first thought was that if we labeled our bug fix updates as whole number upgrades and charged money for them, we would be at Accordance version 58.0 by now! My second thought was to wonder how great these unnamed "problems with searching" really were if this company had taken two years since the last upgrade just to fix them! How long have users been living with these problems? Since version 1 was released four years ago?

Contrast this with Accordance development during the same period. In 2006 we released version 7, which added a ridiculous number of new features. Last year we released version 8, which added even more new features. In November we released a free update to 8.1, which included a number of other minor features. Earlier this year we released 8.2, and we have yet another update just around the corner. Basically, each of our free updates includes more new features than this other company's paid upgrade!

A few months ago, we made our case for why Mac switchers need to complete the switch by switching to Accordance. I hereby present this case-of-the-upgrade-that-isn't as additional evidence. If you don't like waiting months and years for problems to be fixed and you want active, ongoing development of your Mac Bible software, Accordance is still the only choice.

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Archived Comments

Lester Bagley

August 12, 2009 11:39 AM

Sadly this is a fairly common practice among software developers and has caused me to drop numerous programs over the years. I just won\'t support a developer that charges for an \"upgrade\" that fixes bugs!

That said, I\'m still updating my Accordance with each new \"paid\" upgrade. Perhaps that says something for the non-Accordance users out there.

Timmy V.

August 13, 2009 1:39 PM

I know you're not supposed to, but it's really OK.  You can mention their name (Logos). :)

I'm still quite happy with Accordance as my Bible software and not sure why people want Logos on the Mac unless they've already invested a lot of money in it on Windows.  It's sort of like buying a DSLR camera.  The body, while almost always the cheapest compononent, is often the most important choice, because it then dictates what lens's you get to use.  Once you're locked in.  You're locked in.

David Lang

August 13, 2009 1:52 PM

Timmy, I was afraid some might think I was referring to Logos in this post, but I'm not. This is another program that released a Mac version several years ago. My point here, and the reason I'm not naming the product, is not to slam the competition so much as to show that Accordance is the better choice. :-)

Brent Lawrence

August 13, 2009 3:48 PM


I think I know the company to which you are referring, but in the spirit of your efforts not to slam the competition, I will not "guess." That having been said, I believe they still make the Windows version of the software, which I used to use many years ago before the company changed hands a couple of times and before I "made the switch." There is no way their software is competitive on a Mac, and they ceased being a major competitor in Windows a long time ago. They actually took a great Windows product years ago and made it virtually un-useable.  

Enough about them. I made the switch to Accordance a number of years ago and it is the best Bible software on any platform. In fact, it was Accordance that kept me on a Mac when briefly I thought I might go back to Windows. Keep up the excellent work and may God bless your work.