TextExpander, a macro-expansion and fill-in form utility, switched Tuesday from a version-based license fee to a recurring subscription model, which can be paid monthly or yearly. In making this move, Smile, its maker, put itself squarely into the ongoing discussion of how software companies can continue to develop and improve their products while consumers’ price expectations have been reset by mobile apps.
Those who upgrade to the new version will be dependent on Smile for synchronization from then on, and only as long as they pay the recurring subscription fee. Some of its users took to Twitter and Facebook to complain about the new approach. On Facebook, one user commented, “This is not, as your press release states, ‘freeing us’ from the upgrade treadmill, and it’s insulting to frame it that way. This is a massive price hike.”