Ulysses ** Breaking News **

I guess what’s frustrating, and eyebrow-raising, about the move is this line from the Medium post:

Now, to be fair, that sentence is immediately followed by this:

Do I find that to be a reasonable justification? Personally, I don’t. I might if this release had coincided with a big new feature, but it didn’t; spending $30 today nets me nothing more than nebulous promises. What’s worse, Ulysses is essentially feature-complete for me (all it’s missing is something like CriticMarkup); the only thing I really need from it is bug fixes each year to get it running on the latest macOS and iOS, but the only way to get those is to fork over $30/year, and at the moment I feel that work isn’t worth that much money.

Will I cave in the end? Maybe. At the moment, though, I’m experimenting with migrating my current project to Scrivener.

That’s me. If anything I use and now have installed on my PCs went to a subscription, I’d just continue using what I had until it wouldn’t work any more. I’m not paying what one poster called “a monthly tribute” to any software company. I do think Scrivener is underpriced and would have paid more for it, but if it changed to a monthly fee, it wouldn’t matter if it added up to a lot or a little, I’m just not doing it.

Unfortunately Ulysses breaks like clockwork with each major macOS/iOS version, so that resolution will work for only a year at most.

Why not calling this what it is? It is not subscribing, its renting. If I subscribe to a magazine - the old fashioned glossy paper ones - I get a pile of dead wood delivered regularly. Cancelling that subscription results in me not getting any further magazines, but I can keep the ones I already have. Renting a car, instead, means I never keep the car when the renting period is over.

Which is mostly what happens when ‘subscribing’ to Ulysses. I have absolutely no problem in subscribing to a service, like my internet connection at home or electricity. Renting products, however, was never anything I considered doing regularly - like renting a car, it is only proper when it is needed for a rather short period of time, like moving. Probably for people like me some marketing whizz kid rebranded renting to subscribing, to hell with those little things like legal differences.

Now, I happen to like Ulysses, its really brillant for shortish pamphlets. And the developers are solely dependent on the App Stores and its limitations. Still, I don’t like the renting model and deeply dislike those who mangle with the meaning of commonly used terms.

You underestimate the users’ severe dislike of changes. If everything works for their purposes and nothing gets broken, you will have to make a serious effort to get them to switch to another software. We had to literally drag employees by the hair back when we did a company-wide upgrade to MS Office 2013. And now people throw fits when we upgrade their corporate laptops to Windows 10 from Windows 7, even though it’s mandatory and they have no say in it.

By the way, that’s why the currently angry Ulysses users who can afford it are likely to grumble, but submit. People dislike changes. Switching to another software means spending time learning how to work it, instead of actually doing what you are supposed to do with it. Those who cannot afford it will be pressed to suck it up and learn new things, of course, but those who can are more likely to just pay. Like we say, a man is such an animal that will get used to anything. :slight_smile: Unless, of course, they don’t want to rent software on principle. But I predict that those people will get ironed out in the coming years.

So while I see how a software company would want to stay in business, I don’t see how switching to a rental model would suddenly motivate them to deliver a better product, when their income is pretty much guaranteed.

Exactly what I was talking about. You have to pay and trust them on their word. And I honestly see no motivation for them in this, especially since they put themselves first, and users only come third.

We’re going round in circles.

Ulysses is a tiny company with lots of competitors. If customers stick around, despite “unfair” pricing and a stagnating product, then customers get what they deserve.

As noted, a bit hyperbolic, but where it comes to one’s livelihood, it can get bad depending on the model you buy into. That’s something you have to examine very closely when considering subscription software. What happens if you have a bad year and can’t pay up? Do you lose the ability to continue working on the very projects that might keep food on the table? Do you lose access to everything you’ve ever done in the past with it?

Some models are very fair and ethical I would say. Tinderbox for example, well you can hardly even call it a subscription. You pay an upgrade fee and with that comes a year of staying up to date—but that’s it. After the year is up the software continues working with every feature intact, and will continue working forever. If at some point in the future you can afford to get back on the update train then you can pick up at the current point of development, even if it is several major version numbers later.

Ulysses looks like they’ve gone with the partial shut-down model. You can get at your work and export it, but that’s it. Using the software is a privilege you pay for continually. So in their case it wouldn’t be fair to say your data is held hostage from what I see. Your way of working on the other hand would depend upon continual payment.

I’m not a fan of that myself, and don’t have any software that works that way, but I do wish them the best in their transition. It’s every developer’s choice to make, and as JimRac says, it’s up to people to decide whether or not they can abide with rental tools.

I fully agree with you on this topic. In each case where software has moved to a subscription model only, I’ve stoped purchasing it with no exceptions. I’m fully Adobe free and refuse to use use Office despite having it available for free through my school. It’s not about the total cost at all, but rather instead supporting software developers who conduct business in a way which don’t make me feel like a hostage. Forced subscriptions also tend to come with forced updates and auto-updates have caused me enormous grief over the years and I’m just not going to compromise.

Small digression, but you do realize that Office is still available as a stand-alone suite that you can purchase non-subscription as well as the O365 subscription version, right? In this case, Microsoft is giving their customers the choice of which model is right for them. I would think that would be a good thing – they’re big enough to offer both options.

Embarrassingly, no I did not realize that fact. My wife has a copy which is a subscription, which work pays for and I have a free subscription from school which I did not download as I’m not much in need of it. But I’m glad that you pointed that out. Choice is good. :slight_smile:

It is entirely likely that only the 365 offering is provided for free to that student through their school.

Yes, because the school is paying for the O365 hosted license that includes the Office Pro Plus subscription item. As long as the student has an active account with that license option, they’ll have access.

Same with businesses.

Or you can pay $99/year for a family Office 365 for Home subscription, which allows you to install Office on up to 5 PC/Macs and 5 mobile devices. Or pay one of the other lesser subscription fees for single-user, student/teacher discount, etc.

Or you can pay to purchase the standalone version of Office and keep that running on your PC/Mac until it doesn’t run anymore.

I have nearly 600,000 words in Ulysses and its search is lightning fast on Mac and iOS. Well worth a couple bucks a month at this point for me.