New method of selling Multi-Edit

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  • #1028
    DanHughes
    Participant

    We at MESI have been considering alternate methods of selling Multi-Edit and would like to get some feedback from our users on what they think of these ideas.

    The current method of getting copies of Multi-Edit is to purchase a new copy or upgrade every few years. Purchasing a copy/upgrade entitles one to all bug fixes and minor feature release updates until to the next major release. Major releases are usually planned for release every two years.

    A new method of getting copies of Multi-Edit we are considering is a yearly subscription. A yearly subscription would be offered at a lower price than a normal release and would entitle the user to a copy of everything we release for a full year from the time they purchase the subscription. This would include bug fixes, all feature updates, access to all beta releases and all new products that we develop. At the end of the year the subscription can be renewed for another year with the same benefits. If a subscription is not renewed, the copies of everything currently obtained will continue to work but no new releases or bug fixes can be obtained from us until a new yearly subscription is purchased.

    We feel this has many advantages for both our users and our developers. Some of these being:

    1. Lower cost of entry. New users could try out Multi-Edit without having to pay as much up front.

    2. Single line of development. Our developers would be able to spend more of their time fixing bugs and developing new features without needing to constantly switch between working on two different versions of Multi-Edit, the current release and the next major release.

    3. Quicker access to new features. With a single line of development, all new features would be available to subscription users when they are done instead of being held for a future major release.

    4. More focused development. Our users would have more input into what our developers spend their time working on and would get the new features they really want instead of the features we determine need to be developed for a future release.

    I am sure there are quite a few more advantages, but before we develop this further we would like to know if our users would be interested in such a plan.

    Please reply with your questions and suggestion to this post and we’ll do our best to answer your questions and consider your suggestions.

    #4153
    deleyd
    Participant

    Personally I think the most important thing sales-wise is the least important tech-wise. Every new major version should look different so users can plainly see they have a new version. A new version needs new icons to click on and a new splash-screen background image. You did that nicely switching from 9.0 to 9.10

    #4158
    ReidSweatman
    Participant

    Yes, there should be a quick visual way to tell which version you’re using. A different splash screen is one option; differen color schemes another. But it need be as little as putting the version number in the title bar, or even in the splash, as we do (personally, I prefer the title bar, because it’s always in front of me, and I disable any splash screen I can, but the splash is viable, since you can reach it from the menus).

    However, the kind of changes you suggest have two basic problems. First, changing that much art is very time-consuming, especially with icons (ever get stuck with the job of coming up with several hundred icons for a major program?). And second, major changes to the interface force people into an unwanted learning curve to familiarize themselves with things they already know, but can’t now recognize.

    This problem is, I would say, akin to that faced by rock bands, which have to give people something “new” with every new album, but not too new. On the one hand, they risk being boring and losing market share, while on the other, they risk alienating their existing fan base.

    Multi-Edit is very much a product that exists because of its fan base. We try to hit that balance of features and familiarity that will bring in new users while keeping our current users on terra firma. This forum is one of the main tools we have (support e-mail and calls being the other) for figuring out where the tightrope is, as it were. It’s why we ask questions like Dan’s.

    #4162
    deleyd
    Participant

    I should clarify what I meant by “new icons”. I just mean the desktop icon (which comes in two sizes).

    ME 9.0 has and

    ME 9.10 has and

    That and the spash screen (also Help|About screen). Those are the only icons I suggest changing. That’s enough to give the user the psychological feeling that it’s a new version.

    #4163
    ChadW
    Participant

    David, besides the icon you’ve noted for ME9.10, there is another user selectable icon available. Simply go into the properties of the Mew32.exe shortcut and select “change icon” and you’ll find an alternative icon that is available which is not selected by default. There are also alternative icons with each of the ME .exe files.

    #4350
    jfcoulon
    Participant

    It looks like a win-win proposal:

    It is better for you to control development and financial matters,
    It can be better for us because we can get added feature more regularly.

    I suggest that in case we do not renew our subscription, we can still get ALL the material that was possible to load up to the end of our subscription.
    That way we’re sure to be able to have all the things we pay for even if we’re late to download them.

    Another point that is missing in your proposal is an approximation of the amount for the annual fee

    #5080
    jhobbs
    Participant

    As a lowly 9.0E user, it looks like it would cost me $99 to upgrade to 9.1. That seems excessive to me, though several very desireable features are included.

    Anyway, if I could purchase the 9.1 full version or upgrade for the $99, with rights to whatever updates & versions are released for a one year period, I’d bite.

    One product (miclog.com InfoSelect) “times out” if you don’t renew your subscription. Their annual subscription is $49 for a $249 product, so there’s a huge financial incentive to subscribe, and it gives them a likely revenue stream of $49/year ad infinitum.

    Anybody here think a full version of MultiEdit 9.1 with rights to all new versions and upgrades for a year is a good deal at $49/year? What if it times out if you don’t resubscribe?
    Jack.

    #5082
    Leslie Satenstein
    Participant

    Lets look at the market. Multiedit is for programmers, many of which are students or some of us who are retired. While the majority of us make their living doing fulltime programming, most use multi-edit casually. We dont try to extend its use.

    Not too many can afford the current selling price. Face it, the market is not gigantic and I presume that is the reason why sales are not in the millions.

    Multiedit fills a niche market. If it become too expensive, the world will beat a path to an alternate product.

    It would be nice if ME could be enhanced to fill other uses then editing. I was thinking of a Windows application driver of sorts. Getting it used outside of editing will open up the product to a larger market and to a larger volume of sales. I was thinking of it being able to drive a database, or act as well as a telnet interface. These are only my thoughts on extending the market so as to keep the selling price reasonable.

    I am not a marketing economics expert, but I think that MES should run a survey to determine the volume of sales versus the selling price, naturally taking profit and support costs into account.

    My situation is different from others. I own my version, and thus, the upgrade cost is easier to assume then a full purchase cost. I would make the upgrade cost to be the selling price, and suggest you go with that.

    I might also be interested in a subscription as long as my existing subscribed version did not die at the subscription renewal date. I could spring for it. My concern is what it will cost me, and what can I do with ME that I could not do with an alternate.

    Another way to lower costs is to allow the user community to assume some responsibility. In that regard, allowing us to colaborate and to document its use, and to be able to have the documentation maintained on line. The sore point I have is not with the ME’s functionality, but with it’s documentation not being able to be a used by a casual developer for adding another language. I am still waiting for a good CMAC manual, one that would be good enough to allow me to work independently of MES staff, or of acquaintences that I met via this board. Skilled ME endusers who helped me to get started in doing what I needed to do to make ME a powerful tool.

    The editor should come with an optional source management software. I would like to see it front end a source management program such as rcs, or cvs, but more than just check-in/check-out.

    In so doing, I was thinking of it doing what a commercial source management product currently does, and that is to maintain revision comments in the source at source check-out time.

    Another idea is to try to have ME as a product that other companies use as part of their software offering. (A tailored version). Could you convince Microsoft to replace their editor with ME?

    Just my rabling thoughts on looking for other markets for ME and thus increased revenues, which hopefully results in lower end-user costs.

    Les

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