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Ulysses, infected by a trendy virus, changes to all-Subscription model

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Posted by Paul Korm
Aug 10, 2017 at 04:59 PM


Ulysses announced today it was switching to an all-subscription model


For new customers the fee is $60/year —for existing (any licenses bought prior to today) it is $30/year.  A lower rate is available for “students”.

The blogs uses the common coffee-justification: “that’s pretty much a coffee to go” [each month].  Just to say it: I’m getting tired of everyone explaining their pricing in cups-of-coffee equivalents.

Ulysses is a great product.  Really really great.  But it’s not so great that $60 or $30/year is worth the admission, because they simply cannot introduce new features equal to the base product year after year.  So, here we go with yet another rent-seeking developer. 

There may be a loophole.  The blog says “You can subscribe for as long as you need, and you will always have the latest version, with the newest features and bugfixes.”—so I guess one could pay $4.99 for one month, grab a new version, then go away?  That’s a loophole they will soon fill, no doubt.



Posted by Franz Grieser
Aug 10, 2017 at 05:05 PM


In fact the yearly fee is $40 - meaning $20 for customers.


Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Aug 10, 2017 at 05:32 PM


I saw their announcement on Twitter and tried to link to the blog article, but it appears jammed up. Probably everyone trying to access it—and complain—at once.

Even at $20 a year, I won’t subscribe. I like Ulysses, but there are plenty of other options. This may be irrational on my part, but I don’t mind subscribing to a cloud-based service because, well what is there to buy? But paying a subscription for an app that lives on my computer and iPad, no. Don’t like it. Especially when I’ve already paid for it with the understanding it is mine forever. I don’t mind paying for upgrades. But I’m not renting an app and parking it on my devices. Well, not if I can help it, anyway.

Steve Z.


Posted by exatty95
Aug 10, 2017 at 06:36 PM


I think what you have on your Mac/iPad/iPhone is yours forever, subject to their compatibility with operating system upgrades.

I’m far from an expert, but I sense that we’re at the cusp of a broad move to subscription models generally, especially by smaller developers. I get the impression that the Apple App Store model doesn’t make it easy for developers to earn much from upgrades and new versions. My hunch is that we’ll eventually think of products like this as analogous to web-based apps but with enhanced offline capabilities.


Posted by Jeffery Smith
Aug 10, 2017 at 07:00 PM


Bye Bye Ulysses. Too many decent alternatives.


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