Their first response was that it's cheaper than before. Except it's not. Did they think I wouldn't actually go look at the prices?
Then they said it's better because you can jump in and out at will. Only need Product X for a month? Only pay for a month. Which is fine, except I've never heard of a developer who would do that.
This move wouldn't bug me so much if they were just honest about it. If you're doing it because you need the money or it makes your life easier or whatever, then fine. I don't like it even so, but I could deal with it. But when you try to convince me it's better for me, while treating me like a fool, I start to have a major problem with the whole thing.
Uh - their "everything" price is $20/month = $240/year (or $200 for the annual plan)
(All renewal at current license price)
PHPStorm - $129
PyCharm - $99
ReSharper Ultimate - $600 (no renewal price)
If I were to purchase that with their old license it would cost me $828, with the new plan I only pay $240. And those are just the tools I have an immediate need for (I do Python, PHP, and C# on an almost daily basis).
$20/month for their full suite of tools? Count me in.
When I first found their tools - I was like "ehhh I don't know - I'll stick with Eclipse/Netbeans etc". Eventually I tried IntelliJ, PHPStorm and PyCharm and they have been the best IDEs I've ever used. Trust me I'll advocate open source when I can - but after all the issues I've had with Eclipse and Netbeans I almost just totally switched to vi.
Linux users expect the GUI to be unusable so they split into the camps who (i) think Eclipse is the bee's knees or (ii) use vi.
The difference between IntelliJ and Eclipse is like night and day -- Eclipse fans think the plug-in feature is great but install one too many plugins and your Eclipse will get sick with pluginitis.
ps: people, take a look at Emacs, it really is nice, and only needs 8MB cough
I usually don't endorse a product or service (different tools for different tasks and different people etc) but at least try out IntelliJ. I'm pretty sure there is a reason why Google decided to dump Eclipse in favor of IntelliJ as their officially supported IDE.
You may be able to crank out code faster using vi and/or emacs - but an IDE will be more advanced to tell you mistakes that could mean a world of difference. You don't know how many times I've seen people make simple mistakes writing PHP with vi that could have easily been avoided using an IDE.
What kind of errors did they fail to catch ? vi/emacs rely on external checkers, I don't know what IntelliJ uses, if they have an in-house fully fledged AST analyzer or if they reuse community made ones.
As an Emacs fan, I feel obligated to, ahh, unpack this reference.
EMACS: Eight Megs And Constantly Swapping. A Humorous Expansion of the name from when eight megabytes of RAM was more than you had, bucko.
These days, I'm sure that, if you really worked at it, you could get an Emacs process to take up as much RAM as the Chrome tab you just opened to look something up on Stack Exchange.
Correct me if I am wrong but isn't it possible to create a Debian repository server at Jet Brains that I can add to my aptitude sources list and then install Intelli J and stuff from the conventional command line interface? Why does Jet Brains insist on doing things the Net beans way with opening a web browser and downloading a binary every time?
Example setup scripts: https://github.com/byrongibson/scripts/tree/master/install/h...
I dislike them as a company because they claimed to support Linux, took my money, and then blamed my choice of OS when things broke. If they don't want to support linux, fine, but they shouldn't say that they do on the sales page, then act to the contrary.
I don't think that is really an issue (anymore?) - I've installed deb packages manually and compiled stuff from scratch. The only problem you could run into is if package A from the Debain repos requires Version X.1 - but you installed some random deb which installed Version X.2 - you might get into dependency issues. I've found backports to fill this gap.
In fact the Jetbrains stuff is self contained so you need to bring your own JRE and run it from the folder that you extracted it to.
On Fedora, it just downloads a patch, applies it and restarts.
The pet peeve of mine is, that it downloads a patch, restart, then it finds out it has updates for plugins too, downloads them and restarts again.
It would be much nicer if Jetbrains had a yum repository for both IDE and plugins and would download delta rpms. Just like Google Chrome does.
Yes, it'd be nice if we had repositories for yum and apt-get.
Also, I understand that most of the time it just downloads a patch, and restarts but the first install is still a problem. It shouldn't be that way.
edit But looking at the pricing page ( https://www.jetbrains.com/toolbox/ ), a pure C# dev could just get "ReSharper Ultimate" for £79 Per year, or "ReSharper" for £71 per year, which I think is not much different from the current price?
But they shouldn't present it as better for everyone when it's clearly not.
Personally I don't upgrade - because I don't need to. But if given the subscription I probably would if the price was right. Take Office 365 - yeah you can pay $200+ for a full offline copy but you have to do that for every version (and the whole keeping track of your media). Or just pay $99/year and get a perpetual license + extras + online installer. I know there are a number of people who are like "open office does everything I need!" - and that's great but just wait until you need to work on a document with another person who is using office 20XX and open office doesn't support the subtle formatting in that version yet. I know of a large company that tried switching to open office - they couldn't do it because open office didn't format many documents correctly.
If you need that.
The individual products are more expensive with the subscription plan if you buy a license starting 1/1/2016
I want DRM-free IDEs!
The $20 is for all products, Resharper alone is $11.90 a month or $119 a year.
Can you still do that, or does the tool "die" for you altogether once you stop paying?
P.S. Assuming underlying OS compatibility, which would probably eventually break unless e.g. also frozen in a VM.
P.P.S. It was a couple of years ago, and during a promotion, but I got the "whole enchilada", plus a year of updates, for a bit under $100. It was a 50% off promotion, as I recall, so the non-sale price would have been under $200. [Or maybe it was just a bit over -- either way.]
I understand concerns about revenue stream; nonetheless, I have to agree with some others here in... more or less detesting such "subscription" pricing/licensing models.
Among other things, I have some old, old systems and programs that work just fine, as long as I keep them isolated e.g. from the big, bad Internet. I don't want stuff that dies unless I perpetually feed it, even just for historical purposes.
I've also been a Safari online book library subscriber, and I've started to regret not simply instead spending the money to buy ebook versions of the titles I'm most interested in.
In areas where I have a stronger personal interest in long-term and historical access, I am growing increasingly tired of and leery of the "subscription model."
It dies. Or at least, this is what they have announced, obviously we will only be able to test from December.
And now $119 buys him a single year.
Sounds like a downgrade to me?
Would you mind mentioning the question in the FAQ which states this? Everything I've read so far (notable this question: https://i.imgur.com/u7Y7otq.png) suggests the software cannot be used when a subscription is not being actively paid for each month.
Now, his software gets turned off.
Yes, that's what I mean by downgrade. This choice was taken away from him.
So, I stick with Vim for Ruby, but don't rule out IDEs entirely for other dynamic languages in a pinch.
It's a fundamentally different relationship.
My guess is that overall their spreadsheeting makes this even out based on how customers have been paying.
The fringe bits (loss of permanence, ability to install a home copy) will disproportionately hurt solo/small business folks and hobbyists. The very people that have been their champion getting their software into enterprise dev teams.
I don't understand why they don't go to the rental model with optional one-time permanent license add-on.
So like hypothetically 100$/year rental and a 100$ supplement for permanent license. Basically option into the current deal. They can even make the sum total greater then it used to be. Like 120$/year rental + 100$ permanent license supplement.
Starting from zero the prices are the same or higher. The worst offender, Webstorm, from 49€ first year and 29€ next years to 99€/year from the start
PyCharm is 40€/year more expensive from the second year
Edit: my ISP, for instance, will happily charge me $7 a month for an $80 router that I won't upgrade for 3-5 years. Who does that?
A company that knows that people will blindly say "Hey, if I only have to fork over $7 a month instead of finding $80 plus tax, plus gas, plus the inconvenience of going and finding a router myself, and configuring it so that my network works, seems like a good deal" and they purchase the rental - even though $420 for an $80 (plus tax and inconvenience) router is a terrible deal.
Then you get the types that have a box full of routers at home or know that if they purchase for $80, then in a year, it's paid for itself and everything else is gravy.
I imagine they're stumbling thru this viable business model notion, just like everyone else.
Cut them some slack.
I frankly don't care about the price. Developers need to get paid. I hope they figure out something fair (reasonable) with modest profitability, so they can enjoy vacations and have hope of someday retiring.
If I ever stop renewing (or subscribing), I can just use the community version.
It is cheaper if you are using a number of their products. It's the same price for the individual products I'm currently using. Net for me is that it's cheaper.
> Which is fine, except I've never heard of a developer who would do that.
I don't code in Python or Ruby every day, but when I do, it's usually for a specific project, and having PyCharm or RubyMine at a low price point and in an environment that I'm familiar with is nice to have. I wouldn't want to buy the IDE outright, but the lower price point is more attractive.
I liked their first model - I paid for it and just used it. The current model, with the yearly upgrade premium, I tolerated. I felt it was a scam (are they going to publish an update in the next year so I get my money's worth? Probably not) but I could deal with it.
This new model doesn't work for me at all. As someone who bought his own license, used it at work, and got 3 employers to switch to it -- this doesn't feel right. I am reminded of Altova. They turned their $120 XML editor into a $999 enterprise behemoth. I haven't recommended them in over 10 years.
If you struggle with Netbeans or Eclipse for an hour or two with something IntelliJ does easily, you've already paid for your license.
I don't understand arguing about peanuts; pay it the trivial increase and get on with the show of making real money. No wonder why so many startups fail.
In my case (small business) we have months of very low activity. Now if I let my subscription lapse then I lose access to the software and it becomes more expensive since I wouldn't have the existing customer discount anymore (presumably).
I would easily pay double what I'm paying now _but_ on the existing scheme where I can upgrade when I want to, not when I'm forced to.
Your profit margins prohibit you from purchasing new licenses at $120/yr (it's a business expense, so it's even cheaper).
Your business model seems more suspect than anything to do with Jetbrains.
> I would easily pay double what I'm paying now _but_ on the existing scheme where I can upgrade when I want to...
If he upgrades every other year, then JetBrains's revenue per year works out to be the exactly the same as in their subscription model. In the subscription model, if he has a down month around about the time when his JB subscription payment is due, he loses access to his tools. This could kill his business, which would -in turn- shut off the money faucet to JB.
> (it's a business expense, so it's even cheaper)
Does JetBrains have a business license that's cheaper than $120/year? If they don't, then $120/year is still $120/year, whether or not a business is spending the money.
> Your business model seems more suspect...
Do you run a business? Do you know anyone who does? There are good months and bad months; cash flow is almost never steady. Indeed, it is likely this very fact that is causing the JB people to switch to the subscription (AKA "Let's get a guaranteed revenue stream!") model of billing.
> I think (for me anyway) the problem isn't the price at all. It's the fact that if you let your subscription lapse you CANNOT use the product.
 Indeed, he appears to have failed to read and/or comprehend the first two sentences in pixard's comment.
I do care about the difference between license and have it to use indefinitely and continually having to pay to use the product.
Notice how your comparison isn't apples to apples, because the one price is in dollars and the other is in dollar years.
Surely under the current model you can just not pay for another year until they release an update you want access to?
Their policy was saying "We appreciate your loyalty, but only for the next year then you'll have to go back to paying full price." But the year didn't start on the renewal date, it was back-dated to the anniversary of the original purchase date. Which meant if you didn't renew on time, you weren't getting a full year .. maybe only 8 months. It was a money-grab, but one I could tolerate.
Anniversary date: March 1st
Upgrade announced: June 1st
You get around to purchasing the upgrade: September 1st
You get to use the new version for 5 more months (until March 1st) before your upgrade premium expires.
The problem is that for a mature product, yearly sales cycles create a toxic incentive to focus engineering time on flashy demo-friendly features, at the cost of spending cycles on performance, stability, workflow improvements that benefit power users but don't impress salespeople, and so on. It's a recipe for bloat - cutting out a flashy feature never helps sales, so they stick around even when they're not useful.
I don't know anything about JetBrains or their software, or whether the above is an issue for them, but FWIW I think most of the Adobe teams are making better tools since the change, and it's due to having the feature priorities in the right place.
I understand that argument, but what incentive does DRM with a killswitch create for the software company, if its customers must pay in order to keep the product running at all? Might it not create different perverse incentives, for example trying to close the ecosystem in order to make a switch a painful experience?
Or in other words: What incentive to improve the software (other than the threat from competitors) does subscription DRM provide, if you can just collect the rent, because the cost of switching is too high anyway and the customers are at your mercy?
Not to dismiss your point though - it's absolutely possible that the company gets complacent and stops innovating and collects rent. I just don't think anything really stops people from ditching Adobe if that happens. In this sense I think people overestimate the tools' intrinsic value and underestimate the value of the updates each year. That is, I like Photoshop better than its competitors today, and I felt the same way three years ago, but between a three year-old version of PS and its competitors today I'd switch in a second, and I think many others would too. In other words, the only reason PS maintains its monopoly-like dominance is that it's kept innovating, and if one side of that equation changes the other will too.
With that said, playing devil's advocate against myself, one big argument against what I'm saying here is lock-in from file formats like PSD - if people subscribe and make PSD files, the risk of losing work if they switched tools removes some of the pressure on Adobe to innovate. At the time of the CC switch Adobe said they would come out with some way to make sure people don't get locked out of their files, but I don't know if anything happened with that or not. A lot of tools support PSD these days so maybe it's not a hot issue but I think it's worth keeping in mind.
Sorry to go to such length but I hope that answers your question.
Why are people so resentful about paying money for their incredibly useful primarily development tool?
Often while I'm using PyCharm I'm awed by how powerful it is and amazed that JetBrains has the resources, time, brainpower and money to write it. And that's not worth a few bucks? Sheesh.
Seriously, it's a trivial amount of money and if you or your company can't afford it then you like this should go and use free alternatives.
Loving the tool enough to use it but hating on a company enough to declare it's lost all its customer loyalty makes my blood boil.
Also, how does this guy elevate himself to the all-knowing position to declare from his personal opinion how much customer loyalty JetBrains has actually lost?
I want the companies who make great software to make money and keep doing it.
This guy should just go use a different product that he doesn't have to pay for. It's not necessary to trash JetBrains on your way out the door.
What I, and most, are complaining about is the fact that they are turning their offerings into "rental only" software (a disturbing trend in the industry).
I have no problems paying JetBrains, and I do, every year, even for duplicate product offerings whose functionality is included in the main IntelliJ product because I love them so much.
I have a problem with rental only software that will stop working the second I stop paying you. I will no longer be a JetBrains customer if they do not bring back a perpetual license offering, and I have told them so.
See my other comment  for why customers are allowed to complain.
Unless you have a rock-solid contract with stiff penalties, software rental is a highly risky proposition.
I do not like the idea of paying a monthly fee BUT I do buy the license annually so its not a huge difference to me. If this keeps JetBrains in business its fine with me. This is such an insignificant cost for a tool that I use all day, every day.
From my own perspective, and I know this doesn't apply to all, but I cannot imagine I'm the only person with this viewpoint, I'm sick of other developers saying things like: "You know what? For the amount developers earn, $X is a small price to pay." You're right, $X for a single piece of software is a small price. But when you add the cost of your MSDN license here, your JetBrains license there, your Xamarin university/license, O'Reilly Safari License, PluralSight license, Apple Developer License, the Mac required to compile/publish for iOS and countless other licenses, software and hardware purchases to do our jobs - all of which are gradually moving towards month-by-month subscription models with excessively large combined annual overheads, it cuts more and more into your budget... and not to forget that the income you make doesn't just pay for an ever revolving cycle of tools to maintain your competitiveness as these arguments seem to forget [unless you're still living in Mom's basement and all your income is expendable or can feed the endless software-as-a-service lifestyle]. It's also used to ensure that your kids get a good education so they can make their own valuable contributions to society; that you're able to live comfortably and not worry about where your next meal is coming from; that your family is safe and secure and well prepared for the unexpected; medical plans; retirement plans; mortgage; vehicle payments; the list goes on... all of which costs money - every month!
I'm growing tired of companies feeling like they can reach into my pocket month after month and take every spare penny for "services rendered." At what point will people turn around and say "Enough's enough! My money is mine!" I'm happy to buy products when they move me forward, but I hate paying monthly subscriptions on the off chance that you're going to provide an update that may [but probably won't] benefit me in the longer term.
As a company providing software, I'm not purchasing you as a service. I'm purchasing your product. When I work for a company that pays me every month, I'm selling myself to them as a service - to do their bidding and write the code they want. If I'm to pay for you as a service, then the money I'm paying you had better be providing what I need to do my job more effectively, just like if I pay a cleaner to come clean the house, I'm not paying for them to develop makeup products that benefit their other clients while I don't wear makeup. I want the option of buying the product that does help me do my job more effectively and then I'll hold on to the rest of my money and allocate it where that is the case.
And by that I mean not even access to their public forums and for their devs to stop posting on Stack Overflow. Because that's the reality for most one-off purchase products. You'll get minimal over-the-phone customer support if you're lucky.
Not sure why you see it as a product that doesn't fit a subscription model. These devs have to constantly put in a ton of work to support this kind of product.
And like other comments have pointed out, if you don't see the value, there ARE free alternatives. It's your call. Ultimately if JetBrains have in fact got this offering wrong then customers will say no and JetBrains will lose out.
I'm not knocking Jetbrains here, so don't take this like a personal gripe at their company. I've been a faithful purchaser of Resharper for a number of years and will likely continue. I'm quite happy to pay for software, and I pay for thousands of dollars worth of software and licenses every year to do my job. Developers have families to feed. I know, I am one and I have one. But I don't expect to write a piece of software that makes your life easier and say - hey, by the way, you can have that software for $10 a month and when you stop paying me, it stops working.
I don't mind paying for a support contract if I feel I need one, but that should not be the default model for the software. I'd rather pay for the software outright and then if I feel I will need support, pay for a support contract too. But I don't want to be told "the only way to 'purchase' our software is via a perpetual rental agreement."... as someone said below somewhere - that's how poor people stay poor.
What is being sold here is effectively the same as a perpetual support contract that comes with some free software... which stops working if you stop paying for the support contract because you decide you no longer require support...
I'm fine if they want to introduce new licensing options, but pulling the old perpetual license model bothers me. Raise the perpetual price if you want to guide more people to monthly/annual, but let me keep a perpetual license that doesn't stop working when I quit paying.
The problem with JB not accommodating the sentiment isn't just "Jetbrains will lose out" - many current and future users will too.
That is the problem with these models. Perpetual licensing grants the user independence... subscription licensing holds your tools hostage unless you pay up. $25 for adobe here, $20 for jetbrains there, pretty soon $20 for windows, $20 for office, $20 here $20 there $20 everywhere... it adds up. Maybe all of these companies will stay in business... if the software was sufficiently popular. If not, then POOF
It didn't used to be that way. It doesn't have to be this way. Some of us prefer to pay once.
That said, JetBrain's previous model was pretty shitty too... if you wanted to sit out a couple months and wait for the next version before renewing your license, those fuckers would backdate your purchase so it began on the last day of your previous license. Jerks...
What a bullshit way to start your own complaint. There is absolutely nothing wrong with people complaining about this.
> Why are people so resentful about paying money for their incredibly useful primarily development tool?
It's not about the money, it's about the principle. Poor people rent things. That's how they stay poor. How would you feel if you woke up one morning and couldn't go buy some eggs from the supermarket until you joined their club for 100$ a month? You'd go to another supermarket. What if you couldn't buy a car, only lease one?
> Loving the tool enough to use it but hating on a company enough to declare it's lost all its customer loyalty makes my blood boil.
Have you ever heard the saying "You have to love someone before you hate them?" Does that saying also make your blood boil?
> Also, how does this guy elevate himself to the all-knowing position to declare from his personal opinion how much customer loyalty JetBrains has actually lost?
Because he's talking about himself and his own loyalty to the company?
> I want the companies who make great software to make money and keep doing it.
OK. But if people disagree with the pricing model and it drives away customers, that's not going to work either and no amount of your own whining is going to stop that.
> This guy should just go use a different product that he doesn't have to pay for.
Yeah it's a good solution. I think that's what he said he'd do in the last paragraph. Many of the comments here and on his blog echoed the same thing saying that they'd use Eclipse or NetBeans instead.
Wow, you've just explained so well why I feel uneasy about all this switching to subscription payments for locally install-able software.
I mean, there isn't that much change, and it's even cheaper upfront, but... there's something about it. Not being able to own the stuff you're using every day (and depend on) is that it. It just kinda feels that you're owned instead.
Sounds like the local co-op; turns out they sell better products and generally provide a better shopping experience...
>But if people disagree with the pricing model and it drives away customers
If you change a pricing model (and it's not cheaper) you'll get a ton of complaints no matter what you do. Their model will work fine.
If you're considering making a tool a critical part of how you do business, you need to be able to rely on it forever.
If you rent that tool -and don't have a rock-solid contract with stiff penalties- the lessor may chose to suddenly discontinue, or dramatically raise the price of that tool. Or their company may suddenly go under, taking access to all of your rented software with it. In any of those situations, you'll be left scrambling to find a replacement for something that once was a critical part of your business.
We need to pay more for software, not less. The Freemium model is killing products because you can't make any money from writing programs anymore unless you get a huge homerun. People only want to pay $0.99 for a program that took months of man-hours to write. $5.99? Fuck it, that's too expensive!
IntelliJ is magic to me. It's a wonderful piece of software, and I generally do not like Java. But it has transformed the entire experience.
Companies like JetBrains needs to be incentivized to write this kind of software, and innovate on it. They're not going to if they have leeches that use the free version in perpetuity. And if they change to a subscription model, then good for them.
If you use IntelliJ in a professional context, and you make a decent wage, a large part of it is because of IntelliJ, so you should pay up. $200/year is nothing compared to other things people spend money on like Starbucks, DirecTV, gas, etc.
Besides, this pales in comparison to a yearly MSDN license and that new fancy macbook every couple years, or even that morning starbucks fix.
Then don't stop paying for it.
Meanwhile, its not like they are holding your data hostage. Apart from your customized settings in their IDE you can always access your project files with another IDE or editor.
If a tool is good, I will happily pay a large one-time fee for it.
Unless there is literally no other choice, I -personally- will not rely on a tool that may cost me an unbounded amount of money in the future. In a subscription model, four things are pretty much always true:
1) When you stop paying your recurring fee, you lose access to your tools.
2) The rate you pay is subject to change at any time.
3) If the company decides to stop offering a given tool, you lose access to it, regardless of how much you relied on it and how unsuitable any replacement tooling is.
4) If the company folds, you've a 50/50 chance of losing legal access to the tools that you "paid for" forever.
I understand that a constant, guaranteed revenue stream makes a company's financial planning easier. Unless I have a contract that makes rock-solid guarantees and imposes penalties that far more than cover my losses for breaking them, neither paying in advance for software upgrades, nor renting tools that will become a vital part of my projects makes any sense at all.
This isn't Freemium. This is the equivalent of Buy-To-Play. You are paying for the product. Paying quote a lot, in fact.
And unlike an MMO, there's no servers to run, just possible bugfix updates.
And it's not just bugfix updates, it's new features and innovations.
With all the goods I want to pay you for your service/time/offering and then maybe pay again if I like what you provide and want more of it. I don't want a financial relationship with you when just because I bought something you made I need to keep paying for it even though you don't need to work on it anymore.
What's next? Laptop as a service where you get upgrades every year but if you don't pay up they take it away from you?
Do you even use IntelliJ? You don't lose anything except access to the IDE. You can always switch to Eclipse if you don't want to pay. You lose NOTHING except the convenience and power of IntellJ, which is why you pay for them.
I, and many others in this thread, are happy to pay for a perpetual license to a particular version of software. We are also happy to pay for future versions of that software, if future versions are even vaguely worth paying for. We are not happy with making rented software that contains a built-in killswitch a critical part of how we get our work done. 
 kileywm found some JetBrains FAQ answers that indicate that if your license cannot be verified for 30 days, or your license payment is 30 days overdue, JetBrains's software will refuse to function: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10171998
They do make software worth buying, and I have already stated that I believe it is priced properly NOW.
Wrong. You don't lose access to your files, your code, your data. You only lose access to the IDE. If they stop innovating, the great thing about this model is that you can leave immediately to another competitor that likely is copying all their feature.
With this new model, I wouldn't be happily moving to another competitor, I'd be forced into it immediately. I would paying nearly the same amount but instead I don't own anything.
Big company sees Jetbrains income / username; buys Jetbrains. Decides to cut costs, lets a few devs go. Income doesn't change but profit rises. Let a few more devs go. Switch to minimum viable development model. Customers are locked in to access their work, don't really care about updates because they already like the product. Gradually customers drift away. Not enough revenue for minimum viable product, close it down. All customers can't access files "too bad".
I think this is a tremendous deal for polyglot or multi platform developers and a mild price hike for specialist programmers. If you think the new price isn't worth the software, don't get it. I think it is.. in fact I think the kitchen sink license is worth a lot more than the $240 they are charging frankly.
I never quite understood what makes people that make 100's of thousands of dollars per year so cheap that they would balk at paying a few hundred $ for their main tool of choice.
Looking at a moderately tooled up wood or metalworking shop you'd be looking at a very large multiple for the main tools + accessories without a hope to make the kind of money we can make in software.
Jetbrains could have avoided all this negative backslash by keeping the current licencing scheme in place and adding the subscription service as an option.
Again, think of it like buying a DVD over renting it on Netflix, most likely Netflix would be the cheaper option as with the exception of children's movies most movies/shows are not watched more than twice/thrice.
However we want to feel the ownership of something.
We do not want to be told that we must pay $5 for this exquisite hammer this month or be forced to go back to a 3 year old hammer.
Not to mention, once purchased, a woodworker won't get upgrades to their tools, or have problems with them fixed as part of their ongoing cost.
Consider it a contribution to a team whose tools you obviously enjoy, to ensure both that updates keep coming and you're not stuck with a three year old tool because Jetbrains couldn't afford to stay in business.
I mean, if you're already paying £100 for an IDE despite the wealth of free alternatives, you do it for a reason: because it's worth it. There might be a price point where it stops being worth it, but it's likely not £120 or even £200. You're already competing with free, so price is likely not much of a differentiator already.
Instead, they try to achieve a relatively modest increase by shoving a forced and fairly unjustified SaaS model down their existing customers' throats. That leaves a bad taste, so to speak. Instead of driving sales with innovation, they now drive it with fear (your tool will stop working! pay now!).
Looking at their (current) pricing model for this, it seems like a drive for more predictable income, instead of additional profit. The ability to depend on getting X dollars per month makes it a lot easier to hire employees on, and justify working on the products.
And for many folks, Jetbrains will be getting less money out of them, since they're offering quite a deal for anyone who works with more than one of the products.
> fairly unjustified SaaS model
Except that they are providing constant, incremental upgrades to their tools as part of the model. That alone acts as fairly strong justification for a subscription model.
> Instead of driving sales with innovation, they now drive it with fear
Anybody who fears being unable to pay a $20 monthly bill is very unlikely to have paid $200 up front for the tool in the first place. Double that for any company who fears this new cost; they're already ponying up over ten grand per employee, another $20 isn't going bankrupt them.
To go back to the woodworker analogy - the woodworker who can't afford to replace the worn blade in their bandsaw has bigger problems than the monthly cost of consumables.
I avoid subscription software not because of the price, but because if I stop paying or the company goes out of business the software stops working. Say I completely change industries, then ten years later I want to go back and look at my old projects. If I was using a subscription (IDE|audio editor|DAW|video editor), I won't be able to preserve my historic work.
Of course, businesses are realizing danger and are publishing specs to their proprietary file formats as well, so even in 50 years someone can re-create a document which would have previously been lost. For example, https://www.adobe.com/devnet-apps/photoshop/fileformatashtml...
And this just for IDEs. Intellij also ship a lot of tools (youtrack etc) which may or may not be replaceable without significant data loss.
Pretty much everyone has their project set up to be able to build via an external tool for CI anyway. I'm really not seeing the lock-in argument here, except that moving back to Eclipse would be painful for a lot of people. But I don't see why you would go through that pain now if you're currently happy with what you get from JetBrains for the money that you're paying.
The world is changing, for better or ill. And we're at the forefront of what's driving those changes.
Thats what Visual Paradigm did with their Visual UML product.
You make an assumption that we developers make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. That may be true in some places and for some fortunate people but it's not true everywhere.
Besides, the main complaint I see here is that the subscription model makes all your code assets hostage to JetBrains' fortunes, since the moment they go out of existence all the software you depend on stops working. People are not balking at the thought of paying a few hundred dollars for a tool - they are, in fact, asking for the opportunity to do just that.
How about if cars could no longer be owned, just leased?
This is why people are upset, not because they begrudge tool vendors getting paid.
"We announced a new subscription licensing model and JetBrains Toolbox yesterday. We want you to rest assured that we are listening. Your comments, questions and concerns are not falling on deaf ears.
We will act on this feedback."
Note that I have been upgrading my license most every year, but chances are I'll just make do with what I have next time around.
If the current pricing model isn't viable for them, I'm sorry, but it is not my problem. It's already the most I pay for any tool I use, and I have found it worth it so far, but coercion into a subscription model just doesn't work for me.
Not a great move by JetBrains.
That's fair. But at the same time, that presents a problem they mentioned. In order to get those sales, they had to worry about big features that would get people to buy. Bug fixes and performance improvements are things people want, but it doesn't make people buy. So you are stuck: you want to make a solid product, but bug fixes don't make sales. So where do you put the effort?
> If the current pricing model isn't viable for them, I'm sorry, but it is not my problem.
You say that, and I know what you mean, but it is your problem in the sense that any software you pay for, you've invested time and workflow into. Moving off IntelliJ products isn't easy unless you haven't been fully utilizing their tools (at least, I can't imagine easily moving off). I'm generally wary of paying for products that I'll rely on because of reasons like this.
For myself, I'm fine with the change because the value they provide is substantially higher than what they charge, and frankly, the subscription model (which again, amounts to the same price I'm paying yearly now) hopefully means less hassle when actually renewing my license.
Has anybody ever tested that hypothesis?
Would be difficult to test this theory though. I've never seen software that doesn't include some level of new features in big releases. Could you convince people to pay for a normal upgrade that didn't include any new features? I seriously doubt it.
The blog post stated this as a reason. They want to focus on quality instead of features to sell upgrade licenses. I was a bit put off that statement though since I expect bug fixes as part of my original purchase price.
You should expect that. But when it comes time to purchase the upgrade, would you do it ONLY for future bugfixes? Or for new features?
Most people would upgrade only if there were new features, because otherwise they'll just use their older version with whatever bugs it has that might not even effect them. JetBrains is a business after all...
Even taxi drivers invest more money than software developers in the tools that they use every day, and software developers make quite a bit more money than taxi drivers.
A modest increase, with a discount for moving to a subscription model (like they're trying to do) would have appealed to all camps, imo. Professionals recognize these are good tools, and want to support them, but not necessarily in a 'one size fits all' SaaS model.
Instead of $199 intellij ultimate license, saying "Buy a perpetual license for $229, or a SaaS model for $149/year"... I would probably still opt for perpetual (at least some of their products), but having the option is important, imo.
I don't want to open the travel laptop I keep stored for when I'm away from home in an airplane or the middle of nowhere and be interrupted because I can't contact a licensing server or whatever such bullshit.
If they want to raise prices, that's fine. But renting tools that are not hosted on the web, for myself and lot of other people, is just a big no-no.
(Or... How many people pay for WinRAR?)
Having the tool ping a server every week doesn't make the tool any harder to crack, and cracked versions obviously don't ping the server, so there's no reason whatever to be draconian about what happens when the check doesn't go through.
At least that's the approach they took at Adobe. IIRC the tool worked normally for up to a month without pinging the server, and after that showed warnings but kept working for a while. The times may have changed but idea was to err as far as possible on the side of lenience, because anyone using a version that pings the server is by definition a paying customer and not a pirate.
But really, you can't blame software providers. In the old days they'd all do the one-off purchasing model, and then they would all starve to death because people don't want to pay for software. So it's no wonder they're going for a model which is actually proven to work, which is a subscription.
I want shit that works, unconditionally. If JetBrains can't give me that, I'll start looking elsewhere.
Just keep the option for a perpetual license thanks. Even if it means increasing the cost, I am fine with that. I just don't want to rent my tools as a professional.
With subscriptions, they don't have to improve the software; it's guaranteed revenue as long as one wants to use the tool. Eventually a competitor might step in and create something better, but until then you're stuck paying whether or not the software is improving.
Much like the OP talking of not being able to do development if your employer fails to approve the payment in time. Resharper is nice and all but you can actually write C# without it. (I know PyCharm etc might be harder but the article was about Resharper).
I'm getting a bit of an extremist regarding SaaS, I'm happy to admit it. It's just that, the more it gets shoved in all sorts of businesses it doesn't really belong, the more I realize is just a form of very modern rent-seeking.
When a product-making business moves to a forced SaaS model, it's basically admitting defeat: it says the market does not value their work enough to profit from innovation alone, so from now on it will extract rent from established customers. That is depressing and exploitative.
I'm happy to have the option to turn my product-buying into a recurring event; but at the end of the day, in most cases I want to buy products, not to subscribe to a book-buying club. This because products change, in some cases for the worse. PyCharm in a few years might drop support for Python 2 (or something equivalent); why should I not be able to run an old installer I paid for whenever I need to work with Python 2 ?
I fear sooner or later somebody will file a class-action suit, and a lot of people will be sorry.
The value of actual SaaS is that the expensive management of the software has been taken off you hands.
>taxi drivers invest more money than software developers
>software developers make quite a bit more money than taxi drivers.
You are assuming that everyone who develops software is employed as a software developer. There is fine work done by hobbyists and independents.
> Citation needed.
Pretty sure that for the price of a car, including maintenance, you could pay for a nice workstation and multiple monitors with lots of "expensive" software on a subscription model.
> You are assuming that everyone who develops software is employed as a software developer. There is fine work done by hobbyists and independents.
If you're developing open-source software, you can probably get a free license for many IDEs. If you're both a hobbyist, don't want to release your software as open-source, and expect to be given top-rate tools for a cheap price...
Most taxi drivers don't own their own car. The person that owns the car and own the medallion taxes the driver, typically but not always, a percentage of the drivers income.
For most of JetBrains actual corporate users, the upshot of this is that they'll never need to bug their managers to buy the new version, or suffer on years-old versions because of corporate inertia. That's a big win.
For a larger corporation where the act of managing pools of licenses is a significant expense and literally everything the business does is managed in terms of contracts that must be maintained via regular payments, this makes a whole lot of sense. Even if the licensing model costs a bit more on paper, it's probably still cheaper to them because of saving the cost of having someone spend time physically managing all those individual licenses every time someone switches projects or enters or leaves the company.
For a smaller company or indie shop I'm not sure it's the same story. The calculus above depends on economies of scale to work out.
Miracles of finance, eh.
Given how much I like IntelliJ (and liked JetBrains until they pulled this off), I'd be a bit sad if they would be that example.
I am still hoping for a quick follow-up announcement that they have listened to their customers and decided to keep the old licensing model as-is. If not, I cannot trust them anymore. How do I know that they won't change the rules of the game again with just two month's notice?
(Note: I am not principally against subscriptions, though I do think the model puts customers in a weaker position. Just offer people an alternative, or give them plenty of heads-up time.)
For something like this, it's not a half-bad business relationship; the incentives are well aligned for everybody.
For something as fundamental as build software, I'd be nervous about committing to anything where whether I can use the software I already have in two years is in somebody else's hands. I really want to be able to squirrel away complete build environments and know I can build the thing I sold two years ago again if I have to release a "my business may die if I don't" update. Remember, in two years, the "somebody else" may not exist to give me permission. Then what?
The incentives here aren't so good if access to the software is actively being removed for non-payment... the vendor is extracting small values from their customers by forcing their customers to take hidden, but actually quite staggeringly enormous, business risks.
If IntelliJ doesn't get money because developers think "old version is good enough for me", then there is no money for bug fixing and for keeping the product alive. It would end up as abandonware like most apps on the iPhone App Store.
I'd guess the IDE have now reached this "fully featured" milestone where most developers don't care to upgrade. So IntelliJ has to switch to a subscription model to survive.
So we users have the choice between paying a subscription or having the IDE end up as unmaintained software due to lack of funds.
IntelliJ can't put out a new paid "version 15" which has bug-fixes only. People would be unhappy about that too.
I feel that the core IDE has degraded in quality over the past years because the releases were feature-driven, and I'd be happy to see IntelliJ refocus on quality instead of quantity.
Sorry but this doesn't make any sense to me and I doubt IntelliJ's sales are putting the company in any danger.
Even if they couldn't come up with new features, the programming languages and frameworks keep evolving and the tooling needs to catch up with that. But I can come up with a hundred things to improve from the top of my head, so I'm sure they can too.
If you operate on perpetual licenses you have to support that software and find a way to get people to purchase again - via new features etc etc
This is a great model for Jetbrains but it's a poor model for consumers.
You pay for that when you buy the product - it comes with a year of updates.
1) New OS releases might require fixes to IDEA's embedded JVM.
2) There's still a lot of bugs left after the first year.
The ONLY reason that I have bought the past 2 updates is to get bugs fixed, but so far it has been for the worse.
A company can't live forever on one-time payments. It needs a continuing income, otherwise the most sensible business decision is to close shop.
Which is why they've been charging for updates outside the year. You yourself provided them two recurring payments with no need for a subscription model to prompt it.
I couldn't agree more. The latest versions have a ton of bugs that were not present before. Some of the IDEs are totally unusable for certain tasks like debugging. I don't think they will focus on fixing bugs and they haven't introduced any great features, IMO, in years.
And I do hope the next logical step is to offer an optional fully hosted service that has feature parity with something like WebStorm. There's cloud IDEs out there, but they're lacking when compared to JetBrain's tools.
Maybe the best thing to do would be an initial payment worth, say, 6 months, followed by monthly renewals; if the renewal does not go through, updates stop. This would be closer to the current model, but would still switch most revenue (renewals) to the SaaS model.
I'm happy enough to pay a subscription for intellij since the price seems about the same (oh actually they're putting it up by £20 or £30 per year after the first year). I'd rather get frequent updates, but since I've already bought it outright twice (upgrading when I feel I need to) it seems a bit lame to just pull the plug should you ever take a break.
If you're going to all this trouble just to skimp £100 per year on your main development tool you're probably the type of customer who will simply not buy into a SaaS model anyway, so there is no point in chasing your pennies.
You could unofficially make the "skimping" into the reduced price option, removing the current "personal" licenses and removing complexity. Cheap "Personals" will pay a 6-months fee once a year or less, losing updates, and "Companies" will happily pay full whack (because they value predictability and opex vs capex) for the full monty. Win-win, and nobody gets hurt in the feelings.
I get that. Perhaps they should or could have just sold the current latest version as is for a bit less and then whenever the next big release comes out offer a prorated upgrade amount to those that feel the new features are worth the additional upgrade amount. Their model, withholding features so they could package them into a huge update, was hurting themselves and their customers.
What's to say they don't start pulling IntelliJ with other/more products? That is, to stop or slow down development/improvements and now milk a cash cow?
Clarification: They could have sold a working perpetual license without the 1 year of upgrades. When they have an upgrade they have an prorated upgrade path/cost based on when you purchased your current license/product.
The file hosting is handy, but we already use Dropbox and Google Drive. The other features seem like they could have been incorporated into the desktop apps but were pulled into the cloud to make it appear more worthwhile.
I can see how moving shrink-wrap software to a subscription can be good for the company – reliable income streams, no longer having to worry about headline features to get people to buy the next version – but (especially in Adobe's case) it's hard to see it as anything but a cynical attempt to milk customers for every last drop before the whole thing crumbles.
Whereas the "cynical attempt to milk money out of customers" angle is, IMO, not nearly as relevant as people expect. I mean, everything a for-profit company does is an attempt to milk money out of customers in some sense, so when Adobe (or JetBrains) sold shrink-wrapped boxes I assume they set the prices at whatever their models showed was the maximum people would pay, and presumably they chose the subscription prices the same way. I expect it's much of a muchness.
As for the SaaS stuff (storage, etc), I just see that as little extras that become possible once each install is tied to a user account, so the company tries them out to see if they work. But it's not like they're supposed to be so amazing that they justify the switch. (views my own, not those of my former employer, etc.)
... they didn't have this wonderful option of bashing customers on their virtual heads and break their products if customers forgot to pay rent. It just wasn't an option, when it all started. Now it is, and here we are. The internet sometimes is just bad for people.
Are there any alternatives to adobe on the horizon? I'm asking because I'd like to know. All I know of is affinity designer and pixelmator.
For Photoshop alternatives there's Pixelmator, Acorn and Affinity Photo.
For Illustrator there's Sketch, iDraw and Affinity Designer.
All we need now is a good InDesign alternative.
With this change, I hope JetBrains takes the opportunity to switch from the big-bang yearly releases to just a continuous stream of improvements. In some ways they've already been moving in the this direction, they've added some pretty great improvements to point releases this year (React/JSX, TypeScript etc. comes to mind). This will eliminate release timing anxiety on both sides (customers optimizing when the best time to buy is, and JetBrains deciding if releasing major new functionality now vs in the next big-bang release), and lets the company ship improvements as fast as possible.
If a developer convinces a manager to buy a perpetual license of IntelliJ, mission accomplished: the developer will be able to use IntelliJ forever.
Persuading the manager to spend more on IntelliJ by making a convincing case that an upgrade is worth the money is an optional campaign, reserved for a favorable moment (e.g. when being able to use a new feature would be very valuable) in a vague future.
If a developer convinces a manager to buy a yearly subscription to IntelliJ, the developer should expect to start using Eclipse after one year due to a cost reduction effort.
Persuading the manager to spend more on IntelliJ is difficult (no expected updates), urgent (the software stops working rather than sliding into obsolescence) and a recurring unpleasantness.
Moreover, JetBrains makes the sort of luxury products that are bought when money is abundant and regretted (but still used and enjoyed) in times of poverty; forcing customers who cannot pay right now to eliminate JetBrains products from their daily workflow instead of keeping them as happy users and waiting for when they'll want to spend again is a gratuitous demolition of goodwill.
If you're working for a shop where a $200 annual expense for a dev tool is a deal-breaker, I shudder to think of how the rest of your work life is (free drinks, food, merit raises, etc).
(I acknowledge ahead of time that my comments are based on US employment.)
Add a minimum duration to the subscriptions. If you cancel the subscription after that minimum duration, you can keep using the products you have subscribed to, but you don't get any more updates (like it is now).
If you want to re-subscribe, you can, but the minimum duration starts to count from 0 again.
This would give me the safety net that if worse comes to worst, I'll still be able to use the IDE(s) in some fashion while it still guarantees Jetbrains the fixed income which gives them the freedom to finally work on bug fixes some more, instead of needing to add killer-features all the time.
I gladly entered JetBrain's "cattle pen", and pay yearly for the privilege of being "trapped" there. Whether I might want to leave doesn't cross my mind, because I like it there.
Now they're adding security at the gate. I still don't want to leave, but now it's obvious that I'm trapped. It just feels different, and I don't like it.
You will always find some (edge) case who can profit from these kind of schemes - an amateur photographer for example with Adobe CC or somebody who uses all the jetbrain tools - but there are a lot of cases that are a different and really don't have any benefits of using SAAS.
In Flanders we have a saying that goes a bit like this: "all small things makes on big thing". The personal problem that I have is that if I would add all those "inexpensive" subscriptions of services it will add up very fast to a point that it is becoming really expensive. I don't buy all software in a single month or can even wait for upgrading if an older version is good enough for me, with SAASS that is not the case.
But I have the same opinion that this race to convert all commercial software to SAAS will be beneficial for OSS alternatives. Personally I would even go as far as donating (or crowdfund) (for the same amount that I would give to jetbrains) to an OSS project, if that means that I would get an alternative that I don't need to "rent".
PS Alternatives: Acorn ($25), Pixelmator ($30), Affinity Photo ($50)
Illustrator alternatives: Sketch ($99), Affinity Designer ($50), iDraw ($25), Canvas Draw ($99)
And you know what? All of these options are far lighter than the Adobe behemoths while providing all the most relevant functionality and looking and feeling like real Mac apps instead of half-assed ports, all while taking advantage of the best part of the OS. Here in SV people I know in design are switching away from Adobe in spades.
If companies like Adobe can’t exist without subscriptions, maybe it means that large software companies that produce gargantuan beasts of applications are going out of style. Small indie teams producing lean, maintainable, focused apps are the way forward.
Yearly subscription pricing seems OK to me, with some allowance for giving companies adequate notice to re-subscribe.
Where they 'went wrong', if you could call it that, is that they forced developers down this new path without allowing us to 'dip our toes in'. It would have been better to open this up as a separate way of paying for their products alongside the current model, and then in a year or two simply switching over.
As a hobbyist developer (I use PyCharm with a personal license, but I don't actually sell anything), I'm basically in the "screwed" camp. I thought it was about time for me to upgrade, but now I'll just keep using my current copy forever. I'm sad, because the tool is great; but stopping it from working when the license expires, rather than just disabling updates, is really a low blow. It signals that they don't think their upgrades are worth paying for (which in some cases is absolutely true, a lot of recently introduced PyCharm features are of no use to me whatsoever), and that they've stopped innovating and are now just rent-seeking.
I don't like their proposal that I must forfeit my perpetual license to IntelliJ to take advantage of the lower price and that if my subscription lapses for any reason I'll be forced to pay an extra $100 a year!
At the end of the day, the announcement is just corporate speak for "we need more money more regularly, so from now on you're going to pay rent; to make it a bit sweeter, rent includes use of swimming pool and sauna, which you may or may not need". Most businesses switching to SaaS don't do it for the customer, they do it for themselves.