A message from our CEO,
With the release of mSecure version 6, we’ve made the decision to move to a subscription-based model. We know that some users won’t be happy with this decision and we wanted to take a moment to explain why we feel we must make this decision for the future success of our company. As we continue to build and enhance a product you love, we are also strengthening our business to provide a better service for safeguarding and managing your sensitive information.
It’s important to explain the pricing history of mSecure to help better understand our need to move to a subscription model.
mSecure was originally released as a traditional paid app in 2008. Over the next seven years, as we added more and more features, we never charged for upgrades. It became apparent this model of providing free updates wasn’t going to work. So, in 2017, we released mSecure 5 and made it a paid upgrade. However, we did not want to force our existing customers to have to pay for the upgrade, so it was released as a “new” product to prevent it from being automatically downloaded.
This is the only time we’ve charged for an update in our company’s history. If you purchased mSecure in 2008 (or anytime since), you are still able to use mSecure 4. In fact, there are still over 100k users actively running that version of the app. Though it should be noted support for v4 has recently ended and there are no guarantees new versions of iOS, Android, Windows and Mac won’t cause the app to stop working properly.
This succession of events has fueled our decision today. When we talk to our customers about our payment model, most agree a software company needs to charge a fee for updates instead of releasing new versions of their app free of charge. Most would also agree it’s reasonable for a company to create a paid update every year or so, and this is the business model we would prefer using.
Unfortunately, due to the way the app stores work, it’s not realistic to follow this model. First, releasing a new app version notifies the users an update is available, and they will often choose to update the app even if it’s obvious it’s a paid update. Once you install the update, you cannot revert to a previous version of the app, and for many people, updates are downloaded automatically. You might be able to remember a few times when you’ve been notified of an update for an app and then chose to “Update all” without reading through the release notes.
Therefore, in order to make a paid upgrade optional, we would need to create a completely new app for the store. A new identifier is required so the stores don’t trigger an update of the older version of the app. Doing this means the app will be downloaded separately which, as we know from our mSecure 5 release, causes a great deal of confusion for users. Because it’s a brand new app, they need to sign in to their account, transfer their information and then delete the old app afterwards. No matter how simple we make this process, there are always unforeseen issues that cause frustration for our users.
Doing this annually would become unmanageable since, after several years, we’d now have numerous versions of mSecure in use. And as device operating systems change, we’d need to make sure each version on each platform was updated properly, creating endless problems a company of our size cannot handle.
In addition, regular paid updates cause a lot of friction for users. If someone purchases an app fairly close to the release of a new update, they feel taken advantage of as they want to have the new version without having to pay a second time. Of course, we can (and would) make it our policy to give them the update if they bought the previous version within a certain timeframe, but regardless of how we navigate the situation, there will always be a select few who feel disappointed or even misled.
Finally, to charge for a paid update requires a company to queue up feature changes for the next big release. It puts us on a release cycle of every year (or so) and in order to warrant a paid update, we need to hold on to the features we add until they’re all completed. One thing we are very excited about with the new subscription model is it gives us the ability to release features as soon as they’re ready. We think this is as much a benefit to you as it is for us, and we have some great features already set for the next 12 months. Check it out!
Our commitment to you as a subscriber will be at least one quarterly release that will include bug fixes as well as quality of life improvements and/or new features. This will provide immediate advantages, as you won’t have to wait long periods of time for new features.
Hopefully this provides more context as to why we’re moving to a subscription model and why we believe it will be a benefit not only to us, but to you as well. If you still have concerns about the subscription model, please feel free to send us a note to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will read and respond to your feedback.
We also want to share what we’re doing for existing customers who’ve already paid for mSecure 5. If you’ve purchased an mSecure 5 Pro license, you’re going to be given access to an mSecure 6 Essentials account free of charge. This means you will not lose a single feature if you choose not to subscribe. On top of that, you’ll gain many new features to go along with a new user interface. We hope you’ll be drawn to the new Premium features (such as the ability to share your records with other users, tag your records, browser plugins, etc) which will make for an easy decision to sign up for a subscription. Frankly, even if none of the new features interest you, we would appreciate your support in making it possible for us to build mSecure into an even better product.
Thank you for being a valued customer and for your continued support.