Macromedia goes the subscription route

A leading software tool maker is turning to the Internet to sell its newest products, but says it’s a great opportunity for resellers.

Macromedia Inc. announced this week that in March it will begin DevNet Subscriptions, which for an annual fee lets software developers download applications,

tools, servers, extensions, and components.

While customers can subscribe themselves, the head of Macromedia Canada says Canadians will be better off buying through resellers and taking advantage of Canadian pricing.

“”It’s not going to eat through channel sales,”” says Stephane Lesieur.

“”It will allow our channel to have a closer relationship to clients. Because this is an annual program, it creates an annuity of revenue for our channel partners. The idea is not to create our own direct channel but another offering for our partners.””

Subscribing to DevNet costs more than buying the software, he added, so margins should be better.

“”I think it’s a great idea for developers,”” agrees Jim Estill of EMJ Data Systems Ltd. of Guelph, Ont., a national distributor of products which concentrates on the mid-market. “”Good developers need to be kept current, and that’s what it does.””

But he thinks it will be used by only hard-core software developers, which he estimates are at the most 20 per cent of the company’s users. Of those, he thinks 70 per cent will sign up.

DevNet comes in two levels:

–The Professional version costs $1,499 (all prices in US dollars) and $999 a year renewal. Studio MX users can upgrade for $599. includes single-user perpetual licences to the newly-released Macromedia Studio MX Plus, an updated version of Studio MX that includes Macromedia Contribute (Windows only) for updating content to Websites; FreeeHand MX for designing graphics; development-only licences for server products such as Cold Fusion; and a special edition of Macromedia developer resource kit and three-month advance access to the quarterly software developer kit releases.

–The Essentials version, which costs $299, is for existing Macromedia Studio MX users who only want the advance access to the developer kit releases.

Special pricing will also be available for government and volume customers.

Subscribers, who get three-month advance availability to software developer kits, can also get CD versions of the downloads mailed to them for backups. They also can use the DevNet portal to manage their resources.

Software licence management is one of the advantages Macromedia is touting for the subscriber service.

Macromedia Canada will be going to major distributors to explain how to sell the subscription service, Lesieur said. For resellers there will soon be an online training sales site available.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer. Former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, Howard has written for several of ITWC's sister publications, including Before arriving at ITWC he served as a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times.

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