In replying to a comment on his blog post about the pricing of the mobile add-on pack (XE4 – no news on XE5 as yet that I am aware of), Larry Hengen appears to be one of those people still under the belief that there are any “new buyer” type customers for Delphi. Are there ? Really ?
It seems to me, even if the wider evidence were not enough (same old – increasingly old – faces at the annual product launch) that the product management and pricing direction of Delphi in the past 2-3 years is strongly indicative that Embarcadero are working to extract while they can the maximum $ from a user base that is, if not dwindling, then is certainly not expanding at a useful rate.
Not least this is writ large in their multi-platform strategy that emphasises the preservation of existing code (given a white-wash of “Native” marketing labels to make it more palatable).
Their pricing and release strategies appear geared toward leveraging maximum dollar from existing customers, but to any prospective new customer must convey an uncomfortable sense of insecurity, given that it includes but is not limited to:
- attempts to restrict usage permitted under current license terms with changes to those terms along with slapping on extra “Add-on” packs to permit such usage in the future (Pro EULA changes)
- bait-and-switch of features (now you have it, now you don’t and must pay more for it, iOS support)
- the tightening of upgrade eligibility criteria
It doesn’t seem to me that a prospective new user is going to feel warm and fuzzy about the prospect of being a customer of a company with such a track record.
The final exhibit is the lip service paid to the needs of new users.
There is no coherent set of Trial products.
Instead of being able to simply trial the actual product they are interested in (unless it is Architect SKU) a prospective customer has to download and install the behemoth that is the Architect SKU and then trawl through the feature matrix to find out what features in their “trial” will actually be in the product they will buy.
Then of course there is the so-called “Starter” edition, completely lacking the one, critical learning tool for any new user – the VCL source. The Starter Edition is such a begrudging token gesture that I am surprised that it has survived even this long. More lip service I suspect.
The point being that none of this speaks to a healthy influx of new users. All of it suggests a desperate need to squeeze, cajole and extort as much revenue from a locked in user base as possible before those users also finally dig their way out of the hole.
But then this could all just be a bafflingly poor strategy by Embarcadero. Perhaps there are new users, despite Embarcadero’s best efforts to put them off.
Are there ? Does anybody know of any genuine new users of Delphi ?
I don’t mean existing customers adding one or two licenses (or more). I mean genuine, first time, all new, never-done-it-before Delphi customers ?
Answers on a postcard please.
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