Keep Your Customers Happy: Provide a Clear Upgrade Policy

Jonathan Snook's recent post about whether it is fair for people to have to pay for the latest version of the web stats software Mint, provoked an interesting discussion.

This is an area where software companies often manage customer expectations poorly, usually because the upgrade policy is not clearly laid out. Anyone not ever had problems upgrading Adobe or Macromedia products, for example?

The developer of FlashSpring Pro, a nifty PowerPoint-to-Flash converter, provide a great example of how to do this right on their Upgrade Terms web page.

They make it clear what constitutes a major, minor or maintenance upgrade and what you're entitled to.

They even have a nice graphic showing how the different releases are indicated in their software version numbering:

FlashSpring software version numbering example

Posted on: January 31, 2007 | 5 Comments

Recent Entries in "Web General"

5 Comments Posted

I was always convinced that software houses made up those number just to look impressive.
I'll be seeing the world in a different light from now on.
Thanks for the info :)

So I was not the only person who thought that?? lol

What about the fourth decimal number??? What does that mean?

Thanks for that mate

Fourth decimal means build number. It does not apply to upgrade policy, so we omitted it in this article.
Thanks for your interesto to our web site :)

I never knew what these numbers meant so it was enlightening to find out.

I'm always impressed by software companies who try to be as clear as possible upfront with their customers; too often there's a lot of 'smoke and mirrors' going on when it comes to upgrades and purchasing support.

Just to enlighten a little on build number, from having previously done a lot of visual basic programming, I assume build would mean each time the code is compiled into an executable... which often happens a number of times before all new errors can be ommited.

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