Realbasic Attempts Suicide


I’m writing to let you know about some important changes we are making to REALbasic.

On April 14th, we will introduce REALbasic 2009 Release 2. At that time, we will be reducing the price of REALbasic Professional Edition to $300, a 40% reduction from its current price of $500. We will also be reducing the renewal price from $250 to $150. That means when you renew in the future you will be saving 40%!

Wow. Sounds pretty good. Maybe a smart move in a recession, and perhaps they’ll gain more customers (moving up from the $100 “standard” version to the $300 “pro” version).

We have been talking to a lot of Personal Edition users, as well as people evaluating REALbasic, and we have been researching software pricing.  We have determined that $300 is a more appropriate price for REALbasic Professional Edition. It will likely mean that more people will purchase the Professional Edition which helps to grow the REALbasic community.

Another reason we are doing this is to make it easier to provide REALbasic editions for each of the three major types of users: hobbyists, part-time developers and full-time developers. The Personal Edition is designed for hobbyists and students, and the Professional Edition is for part-time developers. For full-time developers, we will be introducing REAL Studio.

REAL Studio, which will be introduced with REALbasic 2009 Release 2 on April 14th, will provide features that full-time developers need:
-A license key that can be installed on any number of computers or operating systems to make development and testing easier
-The Profiler for optimizing code performance*
-IDE Scripting for build automation*
-Remote Debugging*
-A REAL Server unlimited connections license
-Priority technical support
-New licenses will come with 12 months of updates, rather than 6 months

Wait a second. The asterisks mark features I already get now, all of which are pretty useful. (note that there are four, not three, items)

Three of these features were previously in the Professional Edition. Along with the price drop for the Professional Edition, we are moving these features to the Studio Edition. REAL Studio will be priced at $1495 with renewals priced at $749. However, we are offering all Professional Edition users a free upgrade to REAL Studio. And you can renew your license for up to two years at the current renewal rate of $250. But you must do this BEFORE you upgrade your license to REAL Studio.

So, basically, I can get a “free” upgrade to Studio if I want to continue getting remote debugging and profiling (among other things) which I already paid for — but when my subscription comes up for renewal it will be tripled in cost, or I can watch my existing license be gutted and the worthwhile parts of it moved to “Studio”.

Well this seems like a strong incentive to abandon Realbasic as quickly as possible.

Post Script

Apparently there were howls of protest about Real removing remote debugging from Realbasic Professional, so it’s going back in. This leaves IDE automation and Profiling as features that existing Pro customers will lose if they do not take the “free” upgrade. (Why do I put “free” in quotation marks? Because you’ll end up being stuck paying 3x (or 5x) as much for future upgrades.)