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Forced Upgrades

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Posted by Hugh
Jun 11, 2019 at 07:30 PM

 

satis wrote:

>
>Simon wrote:
> >>Apps are more expensive now than ever before.
> >Simply saying “apps are more expensive” is overbroad and incorrect.

One has only to remember back to just before the Millenium, in the late 1990s, when no app worth having cost less than £100. WordPerfect, I recall, was £120 or more and spreadsheet apps were at least as much. Of course, £100, and $100 were then worth a whole lot more then than they are today.

Even in 2007 when Scrivener launched, its price of £35 or so was remarked upon as being unusually low compared with the prices of software already on sale in the “writing app” market. £50, £60 or even £70 was closer to the norm for that type of software. Scrivener effectively - and I suspect, deliberately - set a new, lower price-point for Mac writing applications. It worked for Scrivener - but not necessarily in the long-term for all others.

The current macOS market environment, dominated by Apple’s app stores, (I’m less familiar with the Windows situation) is about as close as one can get in the real world to what my old economics lecturer called “perfect competition”, where prices are forced down competitively to the lowest just-sustainable level. Great for consumers in the short-term. Not so great for producers - and not so great for consumers in the long-term if good producers are not able to afford to invest for the future.

So it’s no surprise to me if prices are going up - either explicitly, or implicitly via subscription. It may perforce alter consumer habits, making us pickier, but it also may help guarantee longevity for good software.