Apparently Embarcadero has decided to piss off the remaining Delphi users in the whole world, just to line their pockets. One of the annoyances of Delphi after Delphi 7 has been the enforced online activation. First, there was a 4 weeks grace period until that activation was necessary, but even that grace period has been gone lately. Also, there is a (not documented) limited number of allowed activations. Once you hit that limit, you had to contact Embarcadero to get a “bump”. Apparently that’s a manual process.
Now they have gone a step further:
You won’t get that “bump” unless you have got an active update subscription (which costs several hundred Euros per year).
Let me repeat that: You can’t install your legally paid for perpetual license of Delphi any more, unless pay a yearly fee of several hundred Euros.
Embarcadero’s GM (General Manager?) Atanas Popov wrote this on the topic:
We have noticed compliance issues and increased Support efforts related to registration limit increases for customers on older product versions, who are no longer on Update Subscription. It is a standard industry practice to provide support to the most recent versions and to customers who have extended maintenance. We updated our processes and now route all issues raised from users who are not on Update Subscription to Sales and Renewals. We realize this is a change to previous operations and to reduce the impact to development projects, we issued a one-time registration limit increase for all customers who are close to hitting their registration count limit. This should address issues with re-installs of your licensed software on existing or new machines. Further, we will continue to look for options to make this more seamless through automation.
— Atanas Popov in his blog post From the GM: New Updates and Changes to the Registration “Bumps” Policy
I hope the part where he says “Further, we will continue to look for options to make this more seamless through automation.” he is not just trying to stall until the shit storm goes by, because, it won’t.
Just to make this clear:
It is a standard industry practice to provide support to the most recent versions and to customers who have extended maintenance.
It might be a standard industry practice, but in Germany, and I think in most other countries, this is illegal. You sold a perpetual license. So if you restrict your customers from using it, they are not getting the contractually guaranteed service. And you will probably find that some of them do employ lawyers.
At work, we have got 3 Delphi licenses: Two for Delphi 2007 and XE2 and another one (mine) on subscription. I have never used any of the support requests, I keep that subscription only be up to date on the features of the latest releases (and incidentally work on GExperts and other open source projects; with the consent of my employer of course). The other licenses used by two of my coworkers stay at the versions they are now because so far, I found nothing in later versions that would have made me want to update.
We currently are purely a Delphi shop, that is, all software development is done in Delphi. Most of these programs are for internal use only, with some very few exceptions. We do not sell software, we do road condition surveys all over Germany and Europe.
But if we cannot rely on Embarcadero delivering what they contractually agreed to deliver, we will not upgrade and pay for subscription, but probably look elsewhere. Not just because of the cost but also because it has become more difficult to find Delphi developers (Not just good ones. It has become nearly impossible to find any software developer who is willing to use Delphi at all.). I guess by pissing off Delphi developers world wide, Embarcadero will not increase their numbers, so this situation will not improve.