1Password 8 dropping Standalone (local) vaults

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
lightandaprayer Veteran Member • Posts: 4,654
Re: 1Password 8 dropping Standalone (local) vaults
2

robgendreau wrote:

I've always found it interesting that those who bother to complain about subscriptions use hyperbole like "force everyone" and "rest of their life" and "bullied" and such. I don't quite get the drama; why not just "I prefer another product"?

I agree with this. . .  I had two complaints about the initial move to subscriptions. It was difficult to upgrade a license to 1Password 7. The option was essentially hidden but fortunately the company was compelled to make it somewhat easier  to purchase after receiving a lot of complaints from customers who wanted to upgrade a standalone license vs. switching to the subscription option.

The other problem I ran into was with customer support via the 1Password forum.  In my experience, obtaining individual customer assistance at 1Password has always been problematic.  It has always taken much longer to receive a response than at any other software company I have dealt with.

1Password is a very large commercial software company and yet its customer support took longer than most small and one-person shops where the developer handles everything. Dave Nanian at SuperDuper is the King of fast and helpful small-shop customer service, whether contact is done via the customer forum or via email. (Dave usually responds in minutes and he goes above and beyond the call of duty with his email support.) The only other software I use that takes as long as 1Password to obtain support is the sole-developer run GyazMail, which is based in Japan. (To be fair, GyazMail is a tiny fraction of the cost of 1Password and I have never had to pay for an upgrade.)

Upon the release of 1Password 7 it was worse due to the inevitable increase in support tickets. . . Apparently, instead of increasing the number of customer support reps, 1Password began to rely even more on its forum and encouraged customers to go that route.

When I tried to get assistance on the forum, most responses from 1Password employees were along the lines of "Well, if you go the subscription route you won't have this problem" which was never the case. I had to cajole them to address the actual issue and then I sometimes had 2 or 3 employees responding. In at least one instance they contradicted themselves, further confusing things until an employee who actually knew the answer straightened things out.

It was during this period that my feelings about 1Password began to sour. . . I had been happily using the program for many years because I appreciated the software's features and reliability. I recommended it to many people I knew and on various online forums. But there I was paying top-dollar compared to other lower-cost/free password managers at the time and yet I was made to feel like a second-class customer because I had opted to stick with a standalone license. It has been over 2 years since my last interaction on the 1Password forums (the 1Password subreddit was no better. . .) and that experience still affects how I feel about the company.

I had some doubts as to the value of the Agilebits subscription, and shopped an demo'd others, having used it since it started. But decided on getting the sub and have been very happy with it. I go either way on them just based on what fits, and don't see any bullying, forcing, coercing, or anything else. Geez, it's just a software program. And not unlike all the other subscriptions I have from software to media to services.

I am also going to look at my options. But I suspect that unless I discover in the process that I don't need some of the 1Password features, it's going to be difficult to find a comparable program at a lower cost without subscription licenses. Did you find anything that is worthy of consideration?

Actually, if you read about them from the developers' point of view it's the opposite. This is one of the better explanations, for Ulysses: https://blog.ulysses.app/why-were-switching-ulysses-to-subscription/

The gist is, in part, this:

The “pay upfront” fallacy

Interestingly enough, the way we pay for software hasn’t caught up to that rather drastic change in development yet. We still pay for the product at the time of its release, meaning we’re still paying for its past development cost. However, we now expect the product to magically evolve over time, via downloadable updates, without a need to constantly pay for new versions.

For some reason, this model has gained a popular label which can only be seen as a major fallacy: Paid upfront. No, it isn’t. It never was. We still only pay for the version at time of release; apps don’t spring into existence, after all. If anything, this model is “pay once”.

I appreciate that you posted the link to the Ulysses blog. . . I think that the reasoning is sound and I am sympathetic to the fact that software developers often find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to meeting customer expectations regarding features and cost.

Part of the problem may be the lingering belief by some that when it comes to certain computer-related products, they should be cheap or even free. I regularly see evidence of it on this forum: A desire for free/inexpensive software, sometimes with the expectation that it offer features comparable to highly-developed commercial programs. (The same goes for information.) Folks seem to have little problem spending beaucoup bucks on computers, cameras, etc. but when it comes to the stuff that makes them functional, they suddenly become tightwads.

1Password faces a dilemma detailed in the blog post: It is a mature product that is unlikely to see major updates with flashy new features that will attract new customers. So how does it finance continuing development and maintenance of its complicated infrastructure without alienating current customers?

Even though I can currently afford the subscription prices, this is what bothers me: I don't need the extra features that arguably add value to the product and the monthly cost seems high to me, especially when compared to what I have paid in the past. If they offered a less expensive tier, for example without Cloud-based vaults, the price could be closer to what I consider reasonable. There are other features that I can live without and still retain the functionality that I have come to rely on in a password manager.

I tend to believe in capitalism, and the market. And in the case of subscription payment for software vs perpetual licenses it seems that both buyer and seller have achieved gains, as one would expect if a model were successful. Predictions that Adobe would stop improving their photo apps proved to be far, far off the mark, and consumers and sellers even benefit from less uncertainty and friction in the sales themselves. Probably why, in part, Ps is so much cheaper than before.

I also favor capitalism, albeit with sufficient government oversight to mitigate predatory practices and protect people from the well-documented excesses of unregulated markets. As I write this there is no such thing as a "free market" and I hope there never will be. . . It's difficult to imagine just how much worse things would be for all of us if we lived with unfettered capitalism.

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