Logos released Logos 5 yesterday and their servers were hit with a ton of people downloading the update. It’s a great update and everyone should grab it as soon as they can. Right now they don’t offer a free crossgrade like they have in the past but it will come soon. Until they do, check out Joe Miller’s nice video showing off the new features.
Unfortunately, Logos chose to use the same bundle names for their packages. I’ll explain why I say “unfortunately” in a bit.
Logos 5 includes the following bundle names:
To upgrade to the Platinum edition will cost me nearly $485.
I owned the Platinum package under Logos 4 and to go from the same package to the new Logos 5 version costs almost $500? The answer is both yes and no.
First, yes it will cost me that much to get the Logos 5 Platinum bundle. However, the Logos 4 Platinum holds the same tools as the Logos 5 Silver package. In other words, Logos actually added more stuff to their packages and thus chose to demote our package names even though we still get the same books. The upgrade page tells me to upgrade from my current Logos package to the new Logos 5 with the same books will not cost me much at all if I pick a lower level package than I did under Logos 4. I will not lose any books I own, but will get some great new tools and features.
If people want to upgrade to Logos 5 without paying much or anything, wait till the crossgrade shows up in the future. Until then Logos will give the people willing to help them keep the lights on, the servers running and their employees paid, will get early access. The rest will have to wait a bit. Not an unfair trade-off.
Right now, many people are posting all kinds of vitriol in the Logos user forums over this method of upgrading using the same names. People feel duped and I understand the confusion. But it’s unfair. In hindsight the solution might have been for Logos to use different package names. Call the old Platinum package the new Logs 5 Black Package and the old Gold the new Red. Maybe numbers like Logos 5 X, Logos 5 XI or something. It would help defray the confusion that’s causing so much consternation.
For an explanation, Bog Pritchett posted in the above linked thread.
When a new movie comes out, I can only take a family of four to watch it at the theater. (3D movie, as much as $12.95 x 4, plus popcorn and snacks we’ll probably buy. Easily $50-60.)
If I wait six months (often less!) I can rent that movie from the DVD kiosk machine for $1, and all four of us can watch it with 25 cents of home-made popcorn.
When you go to the movie theater, are you angry that on opening night there isn’t a kiosk with $1 rental versions of the same film right next to the ticket line? Should it “have been available from the start to allow viewers who decide they can’t afford the theater experience not feel left out”?
- Is this wrong, or just frustrating?
- If the $1 rental was available the first day, do you think the revenue would be enough to cover the cost of making the movie?
That’s an apt analogy and makes perfect sense. I’m fortunate to once again get a free upgrade to the software alone as a reviewer and journalist. However, if I wasn’t I’d likely pay a bit to get the new features on day one. I want Logos and other great Bible software to remain available for years to come and helping Bob and company put food on the table makes that likely.
Bob Pritchett also explained the situation going forward for those who only want to get the new features of Logos. Essentially, in the linked post at the Logos Forum Bob wrote that Logos 5 will become available as a basic search engine only upgrade for free. All the new features will become available for a small fee at a future unspecified date.
Dan Pritchett, VP of Logos
Dan Pritchett, Vie President of Logos and Bob’s brother, told me that Logos has a challenging task. They must support past buyers while still keeping the lights on at Logos. They struggle to get qualified top-flight programmers who can often make a lot more at places like Microsoft, Google or Apple. So they must pay these people and find ways to fund development of future awesome features that draw users back to Logos, like the great Sermon Starter Guide and the many visual ways they show off Bible content.
I asked Dan about the problem people have with the new names and he explained that rebranding their many packages is a challenge. In the past they called them levels. Today they use package names like Gold, Silver and Platinum. Whatever they call them, there’s confusion so they kept the same names.
Finally, I asked Dan about the trouble balancing their role as a group that seeks to support the church by offering Bible software and working as a for-profit business that seeks to make money. He explained that a lot of Bible software makers went the non-profit route and couldn’t keep going or couldn’t make the incredible products that business like Logos can make. He said that they realize that Logos costs some money and not everyone will want to pay what they charge. That’s okay with them. People can get other programs that cost less. He believes that will not get as much value, but they recognize that “Logos isn’t for everyone.”
I appreciate the way both Dan and Bob interact with their customers. I’m impressed with the candor fo these two men and hope the best for them and Logos just as I do for all the great people who work in the Bible software industry.