If you are using any version of Delphi that is more than 3 versions older than the current version (i.e. Delphi 2005 or older, as of today), the days of upgrading to the latest version will soon be over.
I am seriously disheartened by this change in policy.
Whether you agree with the sentiment or not, there is a fairly good case to be made that many versions of Delphi since 7 have been unacceptable in quality or irrelevant/problematic in features for a large part of the Delphi community. (But please note that I’m not saying that I think this represents “most of” or “the majority of” Delphi users).
The evidence being quite simply that those people (however many of them there are or we think there may be) didn’t upgrade – the new versions were, by definition, either not good enough or did not offer the right improvements to attract those users to upgrade.
Now, although not technically Embarcadero’s fault as those versions did not come out “on their watch”, they cannot shrug off their obligations that easily imho. A great part of the “Delphi Team” have remained constant through the .NET Borland/DTG/CodeGear era, so some share of the “blame” has to be shouldered on their behalf, as it were.
There is of course the argument that someone who bought Delphi 1.0 some fifteen years ago should not get the same great price on Delphi 2010 that is offered to someone who has bought ALL Delphi versions since. But equally, if that person had no need and no desire to upgrade until now, why should they be penalised for the failure of the tool to improve in ways that suited them? And of course, they haven’t had the benefit of the use of those intervening versions either, so why make them pay for that?
Surely better to keep them as a customer than put disincentives in their way to encourage them to drop the product entirely?
But we aren’t of course talking – in the main – about Delphi 1 users. Not even 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 users. However as I say, I for one do get the impression that there may still be a large number of Delphi 7 users out there.
As of January 1 2010, those guys (and anyone still stuck on Delphi 2005 for that matter) will be cut off by Embarcadero – “Upgrading” to the latest Delphi 2010 will cost them a new user license.
I have to wonder how many of those will simply decide that the time has finally come to ditch Delphi and make the switch to Visual Studio that they’ve been fending off.
This perhaps wouldn’t be so bad if the Unicode implementation had not been handled in the way that it had. Anyone using Delphi 2007 will need to upgrade to Delphi 2011 if they want to be eligible for an upgrade to Delphi 2012, even if they have no plans to use Delphi 2011 itself (or perhaps even 2012) because they are not in a position even at that time in their projects to tackle the Unicode “hump” that CodeGear threw into their path.
And yes, for some people that hump is significant.
Take A Community Edition And Call Me In The Morning
I can only hope that attendant with this change in policy will be the creation of a free personal/non-commercial edition of RAD Studio that will be eligible as an upgrade basis for a full license of the same version of the product.
i.e. “RAD Studio 2010 – Community Edition” from which you could obtain upgrade pricing for a full RAD Studio Pro or Enterprise edition of 2010, albeit perhaps not as generous as an upgrade from a previous Pro/Enterprise edition.
This would help alleviate a great deal of the sting of this policy change, imho.