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Cerulean News, Astra Monetization and Future Business Developments.

Just two good old boys, never meanin' no harm~

As we progress with the development of Trillian Astra, we wanted take a moment to explain the current state of affairs here at Cerulean Studios with regard to monetization, how Pro subscriptions will work with Trillian Astra, and where we’re headed in the coming months. There will be no new Astra build this week.

Historically, Trillian’s interaction with servers and systems owned by Cerulean Studios was minimal at best; this meant that offering a free version of Trillian was a no-brainer, as costs were minor and the benefits to the brand were obvious. We’ve never raised a huge round of venture capital (we took a small bit of cash in 2002 from a private investor) and have always focused on running a tight and money-conscious business from day one. Our primary focus is, and remains, building quality, useful software. Monetization came by selling an enhanced version of said software, meaning the burden was really on us to build something you’d be interested in buying! A very old-fashioned approach in this industry, but it’s kept us going.

As we move forward with Trillian Astra, we’ll be incurring substantially higher costs per-user than we have in the past. This means that we need a way to monetize our free audience to ensure we’re able to stay in business and continue offering you great software. “Raising a pile of cash and figuring it out later” has never been an option for us, which means we always need to clearly understand the business angle of Trillian before we make any major moves. We’ve made many business decisions here at Cerulean that have negatively impacted our ability to generate revenue – a lack of tacky advertising, strange partnership deals, weird distribution opportunities, etc. This all goes on behind-the-scenes almost monthly, and our greatest source of pride is being able to shield you, the customer, from this sort of nonsense and focus on delivering a quality product. We’ve clearly made some mistakes in the past, but we’re learning from them and we continue to work hard day and night to develop quality software that will earn your business, trust, and respect.

Moving forward, we’ve decided on the following courses of action, which we believe will fulfill our requirements of keeping cost/user lower than avg revenue/user while not compromising the user experience or product in any way:

  • All versions of Trillian will include a small number of partner bundle offerings during the installation process. These offerings will always be absolutely transparent and absolutely optional, but installing them gives Trillian Basic users an option to support our continued efforts without actually spending any money. Selected bundle partners will be industry-recognized corporations who deliver useful, relevant software offerings. We will never bundle something exclusively because it pays us well to do so; the bundle must show clear cohesion with Trillian in some way, or, at the very least, be an independently useful product.
  • We may occasionally display contextually relevant, commission-generating RSS feeds in Trillian Astra’s knowledgebar. For example, if you make a purchase at ThinkGeek because of us, we’d see a small percentage commission from the sale. The knowledgebar will be fully optional (you can turn the whole thing off) and customizable (you can reject any sponsored listings and prefer other feeds entirely) for both Basic and Pro users, so if you’re disinterested you can simply turn the feature off. Period.
  • Lastly, we will continue to sell an enhanced version of Trillian and work to earn your business the traditional way – by developing and selling something useful. We will almost assuredly (but the plans are not fully fleshed-out) be setting up a customer appreciation program here for past Pro customers, as we’ve done in the past, and will be shortly offering a Pro+Astra purchase guarantee for those of you sitting on the fence today, wondering if buying Pro will guarantee you a copy of Astra. Again, the latter two ideas are still under review and we will make the proper announcement when it’s warranted.

To kick-start the process, this week we’re launching a minor revision to the Trillian 3.x series, Trillian 3.1.5.0. This build fixes 4 recently-reported security vulnerabilities in IRC and our display engine (announcements and advisory texts coming next week), adds proper Windows Vista support, and brings our existing minor updates (to AIM, MSN, and Yahoo) up-to-date in a single package, avoiding the immediate need for an auto-update when you install it. This build also introduces our two new bundle partners, Weather.com and Ask.com. Please consider giving their respective software packages a try the next time you find yourself installing Trillian 3.1 somewhere! Weather.com will be powering our weather services (the Astra widget, plugins, etc.) and Ask.com has a wide selection of useful data at its fingertips (mapping information, search data, etc.) that will quite assuredly produce some pretty cool widgets moving forward. This is what we mean by a “cohesive” bundling partner.

Thanks again to everyone for supporting us over the years; we’re looking forward to delivering an amazing final release of Trillian Astra and will continue to update you with development builds, blog posts, and company news as it becomes available. We have some still unannounced and very exciting features in store for future builds, and we are currently working nonstop to expand our testing team to a much larger audience. We appreciate the ongoing patience and support from those of you who don’t have the build (‘officially’, at least ;) ) yet, and have not forgotten you. Please remember that the official sign-up form for alpha testing can be found here.

51 Responses to “Cerulean News, Astra Monetization and Future Business Developments.”
  1. Elessar Says:

    After reading through the blog post, i applaud your way of going about generating revenue. In a nutshell, there will be the basic and pro versions, and instead of this huge ad inside the contact list, the RSS feed (knowledgebar) will be a source of income, but its customizable and able to be turned off. Kudos on even considering this rather then forcing ads down our throats.

    My only concern is how you will handle signups for Astra once you go public. Users could create multiple accounts and that means wasted space on your servers…

  2. McBean Says:

    It’s nice to see that CS is at least communicating some of its plans to create revenue streams to keep the doors open. Not sure what this really means to me as the consumer at this point. If it’s the equivalent of getting “Google Toolbar” installed with Adobe Reader (and declining), I don’t see this as a bad thing. It’s the course of doing business.

    What irritates me up front is that I will have to opt to turn these options OFF, rather than opt to INCLUDE them at my desire. Again, just one person’s perspective. I’m also hoping to see any of these features relavent to RSS feeds and whatnot be implemented ONLY AFTER users can opt to turn them off. Otherwise, this is just spam, and puts the application at the back of the bus with all those other clients that advertise within the medium.

    Maybe I’m reaching too far into my own imagination, but this may be indicative that CS has its own financial hardships and is doing what it can just to keep the doors open. I’d hate to see CS close its doors because it lacks revenue/funding for the work they do. If that’s the case, I’m guessing that somewhere in the wings, one of a few dozen companies would be waiting to scoop up this application and make it their own.

    –McBean (The same on the CS forums)

  3. lenpal Says:

    Your decisions are very reasonable, and your ability to keep the software “professional” (by avoiding junk software partners and overbearing advertisements) has always been one of the main reasons I enjoy Trillian.

  4. Gordon Says:

    Everything your doing sounds perfectly reasonable. I, for one, am VERY much looking forward to getting my hands on a Pro copy of Trillian. I’m using Windows exclusively at work and home now and a shiny IM client is top on my list of things I want on my boxes.

  5. maunic Says:

    This figured to only be a matter of time before other revenue generating means were utilized. It is good that you are at least keeping it all optional, even if it is enabled by default.

    McBean, you are being too picky, it generates revenue, of course they have to default it on.

    I do care to say that no matter which of these “respectible parties” you pick as partners, the software by ask, google, yahoo, weather, … all of it is just garbage software that they use to turn your screen space into billboards. The fact purely remains that REAL USEFUL GOOD SOFTWARE, is exactly like Trillian PRO, and is not free.

    I intend on paying anyways, so I say, blow us away, I don’t care if it’s 100 dollars, as long as its worth every penny.

  6. steve Says:

    Thanks for sharing this information with the users. Good stuff and best of luck with it. :)

  7. Mr_Unlucky Says:

    Weather.com and Ask.com integration, along with the RSS toolbar really don’t seem like they would generate much revenue at all, but I have no problem with their inclusion if it means CS has the ability to develop and maintain more features in the future.

    Indeed my only real concern is that users don’t get the wrong idea regarding these “bundled applications”. I applaud CS’s blog post for being clear with their users – I only hope the Trillian install is as clear regarding CS’s commitment to user privacy and keeping Trillian from becoming bloat-ware as the blog post.

    Honestly, though, I think the first part of the blog made me more worried than I should be. A general statement like “we’re going to be including other software for revenue – but it won’t be bad software!” is far less convincing than a list of exactly what other stuff is now included, and how that stuff integrates directly to make Trillian a better product.

    That’s all people care about. Value. Do Windows people complain that WMP 11 and IE7 are bundled with windows? Of course not, as long as those programs are of high quality and they enhance the use of the original software without distracting, annoying, or hassling the user.

  8. smw Says:

    Mr_Unlucky: To date, we’ve listed all of the software we’ve included in Trillian. The generics were to assure you of our future intentions and moral standing on how bundled software should work. We will continue to be transparent if we should change the contents of the bundle in the future.

  9. ChrisNYC Says:

    That’s actually a decent plan. Much better than what AIM, Y!, etc. have done over the years with those giant banner ads and the bundled programs. As long as you don’t install stuff like Gator on my machine, I’ll be fully supportive. I actually use some of weather.com’s products now. The screensaver they offer is nice and not really intrusive. Thanks again for taking the time to write all this out and explain to us the details. Most companies just release a new version and sock you with a lot of unwanted or unknown stuff.

  10. graphixkidd228 Says:

    I dont mind paying for Trillian Astra, and I have been following this website for a long time (since last year).

    At first I was REALLY excited about astra, now I am starting not to care. I know that it takes alot of work to put together astra, and all that, so my thought is that it should have been a little more low key until there was actually going to be a release. I am almost not really wanting it now. Charge people for it, keep it free, whatever, I cant beta test it, so I come back here reading the blogs about how great these new builds are, and its just irritating.

    When will we see trillian astra?

    Thats the only question I really want to know

  11. politicslovr Says:

    Although I shudder every time I hear about “bundling” software, I understand that in order to deliver a product, a company has to find alternate ways to generate revenue. You’ve made the right decision in sharing your future plans with the community. I wish Cerulean Studios the best of luck with everything. I’m looking forward to receiving that Alpha invite/Beta release when it’s ready. Keep up the good work!

  12. sb Says:

    I have no problem with optionally bundled software. If you are going to release quality free software, great. Give us the option to disable… I’ll support this 100%.

    As far as the fence is concerned, I’d buy Trillian Pro today if I knew I could upgrade to Astra for free. Otherwise, I’ll wait for the release.

  13. eggy Says:

    I understand the your ideas here, and I understand as a company, you need a way to generate money.

    But.. I’ll be honest here, I pay for PRO here… I do not care what you wish to call it, these partners are adware and maleware. When I already pay for the PRO version of the product, these sorts of things SHOULD NOT be installed if I do not want them (on the side note, I’m glad it sounds like you are allowing this for now). Rather than the ability for me to turn them off myself AFTER they’ve already been installed. Adware/maleware is a pain in the rear to remove from a system, and to be honest, I do not think PRO users should have to deal with these, you are already making money from us as customers.

    The moment I see any kind of advertisements, or third party software that I do not authorize to be installed that comes from Trillian, or its “partners”, I will have to part my ways with Trillian.

  14. maunic Says:

    eggy, I think the reason they will be optional in the installer, is because Astra will probably only have one installer for basic and pro. That would be the expected way they would release it.

    Now if they went with a seperate Pro installer, that would be excellent, and they could have it not include those items.

    Or even better with one installer for both, perhaps those other programs that are optional in the installer could even be downloaded only when you check them and click next. So they really are just including the ability to download that software, not even actually including it.

  15. i4get75 Says:

    I sadly regret that if the CPU issue is not addressed I will no longer be a Trillian customer. I refuse to buy something that lags my computer so bad I have a hard time typing and switching windows. I can run YahooIM, MSNIM, AIM, Google Talk, ICQ and MySpaceIM all at the same time and my CPU is still under what it is when using Astra.

  16. maunic Says:

    i4get75 – how does this have anything to do with this blog entry?

  17. mattfast1 Says:

    @Mr_Unlucky: You consider IE7 and WMP11 “high-quality software”?

    and yes, people do complain about such things. That would be the reason for all those pesky anti-trust lawsuits against Microsoft.

    Personally, I don’t mind having bundled software, as long as it’s something I’m going to use (and isn’t going to slow my computer down much). It’s much better than going what we would call the “Kazaa route”. Or bundling Claria. That might make me stop using Trillian altogether, if I had to put up with that poorly programmed piece of spyware.

    *still waiting for that alpha code….*

  18. loganfive Says:

    Cerulean team – first time caller, long time subscriber. The fee I pay for Trillian has been well worth it. Looking forward to Astra Pro =)

  19. unloud Says:

    You all have improved your communication skills so much in the past years. Very awesome job guys; this is exactly what people have asked of you :-)

  20. bonekhan Says:

    Regarding the contextual ads:

    Would the knowledge bar work by contextual information given by IM conversations? If so, I trust that it’d be completely secure, anonymous information. It reminds me of a similar controversy with Google’s contextual ads on their Gmail service, which raised some concerns about how secure the email is. Just a heads up ;)

  21. xxdesmus Says:

    I will start this posting with: I am a Pro user. I am going to admit that Trillian is officially now dead to me. GAIM and/or Miranda are perfectly acceptable (and in some ways more advanced) 100% free and 100% clean of adware/spyware crap. I am sorry to say goodbye, this is a sad day. I bought my Pro subscription not too long ago, but honestly I won’t even use Astra if it actually makes it out within my subscription (which I completely doubt anyways). So, goodbye, good luck, and …well, I won’t see you around.

  22. i4get75 Says:

    maunic, it has everything to do with it. I really didn’t ask your opinion of my posts btw, but if you insist on stating them I guess I’ll respond to them. The post by Cerulean was about the future direction of the product. My post was in reference to if this future direction included a product that was un-usable by me then I and a few others that have the same problem, will not be able to continue to use it.

    Next time, when you feel the urge to put someone in their place after stating their opinions, please refrain. My post was not asking for a response, only stating my feelings on the product being developed.

  23. smw Says:

    Remember folks, nothing is being forced on you here. If you don’t want a bundled software package, you are free to skip past it and continue using Trillian regularly.

    i4get75: Bugs in the alpha are not representative of a final product. We will work to fix all known memory and CPU issues before gold.

  24. freedman Says:

    does any of this have anything to do with providing a product that doesn’t lag for YEARS?

    making revenue is all great, but to be honest, if you had been doing more incremental releases, then PRO revenue would have been pouring in steadily.

    why not trying to deliver what you’ve promissed in the past, rather than just making new promisses every few years?

  25. maunic Says:

    Some of you have turned this blog into a bitch-fest. Why not just keep it on topic to the entry? There are plenty of rant threads in the forums you could go whine into.

    And i4get75, I didn’t put you in your place, I asked the relivance of your post … that’s all … and if you don’t like the fact that your posts get replies maybe you should not make them, especially since you seem to dislike this program so much. The same to xxdesmusxx and freedman … you guys are a bunch of whiners.

  26. i4get75 Says:

    maunic, the post was for the developers, not you. And I absolutely love the program, that is the reason I’ve been a paying customer for almost 4 years now. I just don’t see how I can continue to pay $25/year for a program that is virtually unusable.

    As for this placing being a bitch fest, if you don’t like it stop reading it.

  27. xxdesmus Says:

    @maunic

    Do us a favor, get off of Cerulean’s c**k. Just because you prefer to bend over and blindly take what they decide to give you (which is a half assed product that is so far behind in development that it is not even funny) doesn’t mean we cannot express our displeasure.

    As @i4get75 mentioned so correctly, if you don’t like the bitching @maunic, then don’t bother reading this thread…it goes both ways my friend.

    I just wanted to throw that out there, I am done with this application. I gave Cerulean my once, and I definitely won’t make that mistake again.

  28. ChaOS Says:

    Well, Trillian has gone from an alternative to an adware laiden piece of bloatware to becoming one itself. I am an Astra tester as well as a pro member, and I have all but gotten over Trillian with AIM Adhack. The new AIM beta blows trillian away, and with adhack, is much less intensive than trillian (any version).

    R.I.P. Trillian… The idea anyway

  29. burgertime Says:

    Wake up, wake up, wake up. Forecasting business activity related to revenue & looking for feedback in this blog is silly. Take a look at this picture: http://blog.ceruleanstudios.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/04/dsc02786.JPG – these people will continually provide criticism & that’s about it. Run the numbers, come up with a plan, and execute.

  30. tty Says:

    I’m happy to see some developments with regard to the consideration of Astra availability being packaged with upcoming Pro version purchases. Also, thanks for keeping the day to day out of our face – until now. This is great news and it is appreciated you sharing with the community the steps forward, thank you for it.

  31. maunic Says:

    With that kind of posting, I think most people will be glad to see you leave.

  32. rj31337 Says:

    “Silly” might describe a man’s machinations to film and distribute his international urination exploits, burgertime. Keeping your customers informed of your progress *after* you make the decisions and execute seems reasonable enough to me, but if you have further wisdom for the team I imagine your direct contact would be more welcome than your anonymous blog tire-kicking.

    Sincerely,

    - E. Sandelli

  33. jim.carroll Says:

    I’m generally loathe to part with my money for commercial software when I can find something reasonable for free. That said, I bought Trillian Pro some time back, and have never looked back.

    However, the only Windows machine I’m using at the moment is the company laptop. At home we have an iMac (mainly used by my wife) and my ‘killer’ (K)ubuntu box. I’ve used Gaim, I’m presently using Kopete and… Trillian (and Trillian Pro) is still at the top of my list, easy peasy.

    I would gladly pay again for Trillian, so long as I can run it natively on Linux. And I don’t mean that it needs to be written in Java. (See my .NET post which I posted a few moments ago; search the blog for ‘Linux’ and you should find it.)

    Time for me to go off and sign up for the Alpha testers programme. Maybe they need someone to test on Linux. (If not, I’m not sure how much help I can be; I need a reliable client for my company laptop, and draw the line at installing alpha software there.)

  34. McBean Says:

    CS – Point of Clarification:

    Thinking back on the blog a little bit, I’d like to get some clarity on the bundled software as it pertains to widgets and core Astra functionality.

    1) Are the bundled applications directly tied to the functionality of Astra or any of its widgets?

    EX: If a user opts out of installined [weather.com] from Astra, will this prevent the weather widget from working?

    I just want to be clear so that I and other users seeing this post clearly understand that if we opt out of these bundled apps, we will in no way be shortchanged in Astra functionality.

    2) Will these bundled apps only be offered in the “Basic” version of Astra, or will it come loaded with Pro as well?

    Again, more for clarification than critique. Is there an advantage to getting Pro in that users won’t get the bundled applications?

    –McBean

  35. mrcookies Says:

    I vote for Astra Pro, and with your Pro account you have access to both the fat client and Astra. Astra non-pro can be ad supported.

    I was hoping to be invited to join the beta, but finally gave up and started using meebo.com. So far I’m very happy with it and it’s free. I’ll have more comments on it for comparison after I’ve been using it a while. I recently took a job where I can’t use IM, and without Astra it’s my only choice. :/

  36. smw Says:

    McBean:

    1) No, it won’t prevent the widgets from working. It will have no effect on anything whatsoever, other than our ability to monetize. :)

    2) Yes, bundles will be in both products, but again, you can bypass the bundle by clicking a checkbox. Noone is “getting” a bundled anything; users are being offered something and can decline with immediate and permanent results.

    Lastly, bundles aren’t even included in our executable download, meaning bandwidth isn’t wasted unless you actually choose to install a bundle. Your total loss here, if you choose to decline a bundle, is the energy you wasted unchecking a checkbox.

  37. maunic Says:

    Excellend smw. Now lets just hope its good enough software that people chose to install some of it so you guys get a lot of $$!

  38. xpankrat Says:

    I am just going to say that this is not going to work for two reasons.

    First is that you cannot expect your users to be willingly installing bundled stuff. Your users are not ignorant enough for that. That’s unless you trick them into installing, but I take you are not considering this at the moment.

    Second reason, and it’s far more important, is that you are actually going to instantly loose a part of your userbase. How large it is going to be, I don’t know, but it is going to happen. And here’s why -

    Optional or not, the mere fact of opening up your installation package to 3rd parties is a very drastic departure from what you have at the moment. I am currently trusting Cerulean to provide me with *ware-free binaries, but I have no idea if the new installer is positively NOT going to run bundled installers. Regardless of what you are going to tell me, the fact is that there is a runnable 3rd party stuff in your installation package. And I don’t want it anywhere near my machine; not if it runs for only 1 second to display a “Cancel” button or even if it does not run at all.

    You bundle stuff – you loose my trust – you loose me as a user.

    Besides, Astra being Flash-based is already bad enough reason not to use it. Pretty much for exactly the same reason as above – it introduces 3rd party dependency and requires me to extend the trust I have for Cerulean to Adobe .. and this is something that I don’t want to do.

    I hope you guys factored these risks into your business plan spreadsheet. Because if you did not, you are framing yourself for a royal screw up.

    Alex

  39. Cinderzilla Says:

    Sounds great to me. Long time Pro user and looking forward to Astra. Keep up the great work and thank you!

  40. charlesn Says:

    I’ve been a long time Pro purchasing Trillian user and am looking forward to Astra. Your plan sounds very thought out and, well….planned :)

  41. maunic Says:

    xpankrat – perhaps you didn’t read above where scott said that the 3rd party optional software is not included in the installer at all. So if you don’t check it, you won’t be downloading it and thus can’t really install it.

    So it was ok that 3.1 relied on quicktime, but flash is not? You trust apple but not adobe?

  42. sidjohn1 Says:

    WOW the whiners on blog are amazing and obviously can not read. Seriously, complaining over 3rd party optional software during the install. Dude I just completed it and if the whiners had even given the download a shot and if the whiners had read the instructions you would know it as simple as unchecking 2 check boxes. No fuss no muss. Now those complaining over using flash as a base for astra, can you seriously name me a fast, stable, cross platform, client side platform to program on? And don’t mention java… fast and stable it is not. Honestly though I’m sure the linux and apple users that will love astra will by far outweight the whiney windows users who want to complain over flash or having to use an adobe product. Ever catch a virus from a .PDF? Has Dreamweaver ever crashed your computer? I’ve used adobe products for almost a decade and they have always been totally stable unlike all the underlying Microsoft software.
    MAN find some real complaints and stop whining over BS or go write a better product…

  43. Good_Bytes Says:

    I’m interested in Trillian Astra, but not the web service…
    I beleive the web service is what cost more (correct me if I’m wrong), and I think that is why CS needs more revenue.

    Why should I be blasted with advertisement which I have to disable or prevent form installing, when I’ll PAY, and don’t care about the web service that you will offer. I personally don’t mind paying more (a bit more that is, like up to 5$ USD) for it.

    I never purchased Trillian because:
    1- I was to young to have a job and pay for it.
    2- File transfer issues that never ends.
    3- SUPER SLOW startup on my AMD Athlon 64 4400+ with 2GB of RAM. (yes for me Trillian 3.x is too slow on startup).

    I am extremely interested in Trillian Astra (4) Pro. And, if what is advertised is true (features, file transfer issue fixed, and fastER startup), I’ll be ready to buy it on day one! I do appreciate from the part of CS, of telling me that bundle software and advertising from RSS websites will be on my Pro version. Due to this, and that I used Trillian or many years, I will not care. BUT as a consumer that won’t be informed, I’ll get pretty mad, and ask fro a money back, immediately, and go with Miranda IM, or other IM programs, even if it has great disadvantages. And If I was warned on the page where you purchase the product about those ads, even with explanation onto why the ads, for me, I would just get the pro illegally (just to be evil, as you will seam to be) or will stay free (as either way, for one I don’t care about the plug-in offered, and extra features). I just use more Trillian because it’s ad-free IM, and nice slim, simple, user-friendly GUI.

    Now criticizing is one thing, that is why I offer some suggestions:
    – Trillian Basic, as said by CS
    – Trillian Pro, ad free (don’t mind to be a bit more expensive, and same price for already Pro users. I think that is fair to all, even if I’m not yet a pro user). This version will not include the web service.
    – Trillian Premium 2007 Human Edition Professional SE+ *Deluxe*, as CS said, with web service.

  44. smw Says:

    Good_Bytes: We’re definitely conscious of not making the paying customers suffer just because we need to make a living from the free customers; this is why everything that generates revenue will be optional, even for the basic users. If you pay us, you will benefit from increased functionality across the board but still be given the opportunity to disable any form of revenue-generation that you’re not interested in.

    We will continue to be forthcoming about our plans so as not to surprise anyone. :)

  45. tty Says:

    LMAO @ crying about whiners and then joining them! wtg sidjohn1 – typical arrogant linux user, and why I avoid linux like the plague it is. And don’t even try and convince me linux hasn’t gone through 20+ years of debuging itsself!

    No bridges here for you, TROLL. At least you could have _tried_ to stay on topic!

  46. xpankrat Says:

    maunic — I read what scott posted.

    My point is more broad than what you are countering. Cerulean caves in and lets other companies to piggy back on their code. This is not bad by itself, but it is bad compared to existing state of affairs. This is a change in a general attitude that is worrisome, not the actual change in the installer.

    And if you consider my other point – that average Trillian user will simply not be installing bundled stuff anyways – I don’t see how this is a viable business plan. Perhaps they are getting a lump sum payment from partnering companies as a part of a deal. But still … I don’t see how it is better than a traditional model of charging a recurring service fee for a premium service, a one-time license fee for a premium version of a product.

  47. maunic Says:

    Perhaps you don’t really know just how non-high-tech the average Trillian user has become?

    Either way, this is the progress of life, companies have to do things to make money. This one chose something that you can completely opt out of. Life could basically ONLY be worse. Nobody can practically say that it would have went on how it was forever. Software gets more expensive just like everything else in life. So they chose to find ways to make money without interfering with those that don’t want anything to change. You should be posting how glad you are that its optional rather than trying to analyze their business decision without the financial numbers to back your opinions.

    They are not piggy backing on their code. It is not like it will affect Trillian at all, so if your email client crashes all the time do you blame your dvd burning software? No, of course not. They are simply providing access to other software if the user wants to give it a try.

  48. jmaytum Says:

    Blah blah blah.. this application has turned into vapourware. If you really want to learn from your past mistakes, stop announcing products and updates that take *years* to release. In this day and age, announcing a product and taking years (and I mean you folks really are the worst example of this) is annoying to end users.

    Trilian has turned into bloatware and now apparently is going to come with horrible “addons” as a way to generate revenue. How original of you to come up with something that almost *everyone* else is doing.

    What happened to the company that released a decent application with timely updates that allowed us to use IM products without all the crap that the greedy bastards who made them try to foist on us!

    Get a grip folks; timely updates and come up with a better way to generate revenue if you want to stay alive. Sooner or later you are going to be beat out by someone who will be the trillian we used to know and love.

    In the meantime, I am off to try out GAIM (again).

  49. Good_Bytes Says:

    [quote]
    If you really want to learn from your past mistakes, stop announcing products and updates that take *years* to release. In this day and age, announcing a product and taking years (and I mean you folks really are the worst example of this) is annoying to end users.
    [/quote]

    WROOOONG!
    I hate application that has updates every day… All I want is them to do is, take their time, make it good and right. I can give several products which are excellent, massacre competition, and have 1 update per year or so, and to help, they have the most ugliest website. Examples: Blizzard Entertainment, Northcode, and I can name more…
    In contrast, you have companies like Multidmedia, where even their demo’s published on their website (demo shows what the program can do) doesn’t even WORK, how bad is that! Yet people buy their software because they probably spend 80% of their profit on commercials, and their forum is a place where people complain non stop. They also have updates daily or so.

    You see they spend money on working onto the software and not on marketing. Sure they can gain more revenue with ads, pop-ups and commercials in games to attack costumers. But they’ll lose them quickly, so they will be screwed for the next version.

    I can see that jmaytum, you are clearly Id driven. ;)

  50. burgertime Says:

    Hey rj & guys. Not really anonymous if you take a look at the email address. If you need ideas outside your current product line, you know where to reach me. Take care & good luck.

  51. SenseiC Says:

    Just a thought… along the lines of the pre-order thing… and that you’ve got scads of people (like me) lined up to test our little fingers off… have you considered people PAYING/SUBSCRIBING for Astra alpha/beta? For example let’s say that you anticipate Astra Pro to “retail” for $40. Given an opportunity to get my “mitts” on this stuff early, I’d be willing to pay more (say $50-$75) to get the product now (bugs and all) in return for a full one-year when the product goes “public”.