Two years ago, when a Windows Bible software developer released a version of their software for Macintosh, I naturally purchased a copy in order to see what we had to fear from the new competition. While this program did a few things reasonably well, had a nice brushed-metal look, and offered some modern Bibles and reference works, it was otherwise everything I expected a Windows port to be: limited, clunky, and awkward to use. The unexpected side effect of buying this program was that I began receiving weekly e-mail offers, usually for their PC products!
Anyway, a few days ago I got an e-mail notice that was actually of interest: apparently their Mac product has now been upgraded. I dutifully went to their web-site to see what was added in an upgrade which has presumably been in development for the past two years. All I saw was a list of six items which struck me as reasonable improvements, but which absolutely paled in comparison to all the new features added in the last major upgrade to Accordance (not to mention the various free updates which followed it!).
Now, this competing Mac program (along with its corresponding Windows version) has always been billed as low-cost Bible study software, so perhaps it's unreasonable to expect its upgrades to be equivalent to those of Accordance. The cost for this upgrade? $29.95 to upgrade the base package, and $49.95 to upgrade the mid-level and top-level packages. Presumably, the additional twenty dollars to upgrade the upper-level packages is due to new material which has been added to these packages. I could see nothing which indicated which modules were new, but by comparing the modules I have with the modules listed in the new package, I found a half-dozen new modules in the mid-level package.
Now, we've never made the claim that Accordance is the low-cost leader in Bible software. We do try to keep our prices competitive, but we also believe that it's not unreasonable to charge for the features and modules we develop. How much do we charge to upgrade the Accordance program without adding any new modules? Twenty-nine dollars even. That's a much more substantial upgrade than you get with the other guys for nearly a dollar less! Even better, you can download the upgrade for the Accordance application without being forced to order a new CD-ROM and pay for new modules you may not want.
I realize that most of the readers of this blog have no objections to our upgrade prices, and price comparisons are not nearly as exciting as tips for how to use Accordance more effectively. Still, I think it helps to reinforce the fact that so-called "low-cost" Bible programs don't necessarily offer better value than you get with Accordance. Heck, sometimes they don't even offer lower prices!