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"Proprietary Software" Topic

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921 hits since 28 Mar 2018
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Personal logo Whirlwind Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2018 3:01 a.m. PST

Over the last few years, there have been a few instances where a digital product I bought was made unavailable in the relatively open format that I had been buying it in and was only given the option to continue buying through a proprietary app. These cases were:

Battlegames (from pdf to exact editions when taken over by Atlantic Publishing)

Miniature Wargames (from pdf to pocket editions, a few issues into John Treadaway's tenure – not attributing this change to him btw, just using that as a date marker)

The History of the Peninsular War audio book (on mp3 from Wargames Vault, 3rd volume onwards only available on Audible)

As a marginal fourth case, I have never bought Wargames Illustrated digital editions, because that is through its own app.

(OTOH, I do subscribe to WSS and buy pdfs from Wargames Vault, Too Fat Lardies, Two-Hour Wargames, DriveThru RPG, and so on.)

Can I ask those more knowledgeable about such matters – why is this happening? Why the preference for doing things this way?

David Manley29 Mar 2018 4:29 a.m. PST

"why is this happening? Why the preference for doing things this way?"


DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2018 5:25 a.m. PST

I don't purchase if I don't own

Otherwise I consider it a rental

Sadly I have seen content disappear when a company goes out of business or is sold where what you purchased turns out to be yours only as long as the company is.

Thomas O29 Mar 2018 5:42 a.m. PST

If you go with a Wargame's Illustrated Prime account you can download the issues as PDF's. plus you can download back issues as well.

daler240D Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member29 Mar 2018 6:26 a.m. PST

being short sighted and not actually understanding technology very well is what i would venture.

Vigilant29 Mar 2018 7:27 a.m. PST

I'd second money. Not just in the war games world either. Microsoft does the same with the full version of Office – annual subscription. Adobe also does the same with PhotoShop. Why charge you once when they can charge you several times?

bsrlee29 Mar 2018 9:20 a.m. PST

I find things like catalogs annoying when they are put up on using apps that require you to download the whole catalog EVERY TIME YOU WANT TO LOOK AT IT but not be able to down load it once and read it off line. I do note that one of my regular (non wargaming) suppliers has relented and now has the options of downloading a .pdf or browsing 'on line' – even businesses have to pay for data volume so eventually the message gets thru.

attilathepun47 Inactive Member29 Mar 2018 10:15 a.m. PST

An old adage comes to mind: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

Mark Plant29 Mar 2018 10:36 p.m. PST

OMG, people want money for their products!

I hope all the complainants give away their hard work for free.

What's wrong with renting content? It's a model that seems to be fine when Netflix or Spotify do it.

Personal logo Whirlwind Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2018 10:47 p.m. PST

OMG, people want money for their products!

My first post was intended to be very clear: this is stuff I do pay for, although in some cases now, I do not buy it because of the change that the vendor has made.

Tacitus29 Mar 2018 10:52 p.m. PST

There's nothing wrong with renting out anything. It just needs to be clear up front. The free market needs information for both parties in order to function as intended.

Vigilant30 Mar 2018 12:41 a.m. PST

It is also the change in business practice. Both MS Office and PhotoShop were one off payments until the last year or so, then they decided that people would buy a copy and keep it for several years, so they decided to "rent" it which had the same effect as buying a new full version each year. Alternatives are available for PhotoShop, but MS Office is pretty much the only game in town. No one is asking for goods to be free, but to get what they have paid for, i.e. a copy of the magazine they have paid for, just the same as if they had bought the hard copy.

Dynaman878930 Mar 2018 4:05 a.m. PST

MS Office is still available as a one time payment, for about the same as it was before.

David Manley30 Mar 2018 6:19 a.m. PST

An alternative to MS Office

Vigilant31 Mar 2018 1:44 p.m. PST

The 1 payment version of Office does not have all the features of the old one and is about 20% more expensive than it was when I bought my last copy (admittedly that was in 2012).

Walking Sailor01 Apr 2018 10:30 a.m. PST

A second (generation) alternative to MS Office

Apocryphal: Sun Microsystems went to Microsoft and said " We've got a lot of computers, we need an office suite, please sell us one." Microsoft said "Great, here's one copy of Microsoft Office and a bill for a lot of licenses, one license for each of your lot of computers." Sun went to Germany and bought Star Office (for less than the license fee).

Documented: Sun renamed Star Office: Open Office (OOo). Sun made OOo open-source (i.e. free). Sun was bought by Oracle Corporation. Oracle reduced support for OOo (no profit). The independent (i.e. unpaid volunteer) development community stood up Libre Office. Oracle stopped support for OOo. The independent (i.e. unpaid volunteer) development community pretty much all moved to supporting Libre Office. Oracle donated Open Office to The Apache Software Foundation. (Apache servers are likely (p=50/50) what you are using to read this website. They are a very 'Big Dog'.) I don't know what Apache is doing, but most of the development activity seems to be on Libre Office at this time.

Personal logo Fergal Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Apr 2018 11:51 a.m. PST

Microsoft office changed and dropped features as it was becoming EXTREMELY bloated and it needed to make changes to move forward with technology. Sometimes you have to pull the band-aid off and loose the backwards compatibility, hence the change from doc to docx files. If the world around you changes and you don't, it can be a problem. Problem with MS Office is that it's got (most likely) the least tech savvy population of users than any other program I can think of, so they are hit hardest and don't understand the need for change. The big expenses in tech are keeping updated so you match the the tech around you. Such is the challenge of modern life. If you create something now, you need to be prepared to support it or it will be replaced.

I haven't created a document in Word in years.

That all being said, I stopped buying magazines that don't sell PDF's. I don't want to rent them, so I read those that I can buy.

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