Softimage killed by Autodesk.

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Draise
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Softimage killed by Autodesk.

Post by Draise »

Softimage Future :(

Sad day.... truespace all over again, but with a bigger, and a very capable software, used by Wiskeytree in Elysium, Lego Movie by Animal Logic and other major productions.... a very capable software.. killed, just like that.. and it's my work house.....

INFO

NEWS

Petition to Save Softimage, or to release it to the public or to another buyer

"Save Softimage Facebook"

Over the past week there have been many rumors about the future of Softimage posted on various forums and social media sites. Many of you have been looking for an official confirmation or denial from Autodesk. Unfortunately, we were not in a position to respond until today as we needed to finalize all the details of our plans. But yes Softimage 2015 will be the last release of the software. I wanted to share some of those details with you:
- Softimage 2015 will be the last release of the software
- We will continue to support the software and develop hot fixes and service packs for two more years
- If they wish to, customers on Subscription will be able to transition to Maya or 3ds Max at no cost while retaining the right to continue to use Softimage in production/
- Existing customers will be able to purchase additional seats and/or rental plans if they need to scale production
Below is a copy of the letter that was sent electronically to Softimage customers today. I have copied it here as our email distribution lists not allow us to send it to those who have opted out.

Because several of our partners have started posting the news early, we are responding now but please note our web sites have not had time to upload all the information yet.

As early as possible but by no later than 3pm EST, we will have loaded all the information including a detailed FAQ on http://www.autodesk.com/softimage" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. In the interim I have also copied and pasted it below

Within the next 15 minutes you can also visit http://area.autodesk.com/softimagetransition" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; to register for a live Q&A webinar on Marc 18th at 12pm EST. as well as see the full documentation of what is new in Softimage 2015.

Maurice Patel
Autodesk






Autodesk Softimage 2015 Last Release Announcement


To discuss your transition options Contact a Reseller

March 4, 2014

Dear Softimage Customer,

We are committed to providing our customers with the most technologically advanced products and highest quality customer service possible. After careful consideration, it has become necessary to make some changes to our software portfolio in order to continue to do so.

We therefore regret to inform you that the upcoming 2015 release will be the last one for Autodesk® Softimage®, which is expected to ship on April 14, 2014. Autodesk will continue to offer product support until Apr 30, 2016. We will also provide any necessary hot-fixes and service packs to all customers, at no cost, until Apr 30, 2016.

We understand that you will now need time to re-evaluate your production capabilities. To help you, we are offering Autodesk® Subscription customers special no cost options to migrate to either Autodesk® Maya® or Autodesk® 3ds Max® while continuing to use Softimage in production. These options will be available until Feb 1, 2016. Upgrade paths are also available for customers who are not on Subscription.

As of March 28, 2014, Softimage will no longer be available for sale to new customers. However, we will provide existing customers with the option to purchase either additional software licenses or new rental plans until Feb 1, 2016. Our goal is to give you the flexibility you need to continue to use, and scale, Softimage in production during the transition to either Maya or 3ds Max.

The Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite (ECS) Premium will no longer be available for sale as of March 28, 2014. ECS Premium customers on Subscription will receive Autodesk ECS Ultimate, at no additional cost. We will also be reducing the price of ECS Ultimate software and Subscription. Softimage 2015 will remain part of ECS Ultimate for a transition period of two-years, after which it will be removed.

Although this decision is a difficult one, we do believe that by focusing our efforts we can better serve the needs of the media and entertainment industry and provide customers with better products, faster. Autodesk wants to continue its relationship with you into the future. We regret any inconvenience that this may cause, however we believe you will find our new transition product offerings very attractive.

We understand that you may still have questions about this transition and invite you to join us on Monday, March 17, 2014 at 12PM EST for a live Q&A webinar. Please register and submit your questions here.

For more details please refer to the Questions and Answers section below.

Sincerely,

Marc Stevens
Vice President Film & TV Solutions
Autodesk
Diana Colella
Sr. Director M&E Industry Strategy & Marketing
Autodesk

Questions & Answers

•Autodesk® Softimage® 2015 will be the last release of the software

•Autodesk Softimage 2015 is expected to ship on April 14, 2014.

•Autodesk will provide Softimage customers on Autodesk® Subscription with support services until April 30, 2016.

•Autodesk will provide all Softimage customers with any Hot Fixes or Service Packs issued until April 30, 2016.

•Autodesk will provide Softimage Subscription customers with the option to migrate to a transition offering that includes either Autodesk® 3ds Max or Autodesk® Maya® software at no additional cost.

•Customers that migrate to a transition offering will still be able to continue to use their Softimage license for the length of the transition period.

•Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite (ECS) Premium will be discontinued and customers will receive Autodesk ECS Ultimate, free of charge.


1. What is happening to Softimage?
Autodesk Softimage 2015 will be the last version release of the software. As of March 28, 2014, customers will no longer be able to purchase new standalone licenses. For Softimage customers who are currently on Autodesk Subscription, there will be options to migrate to transition offerings that include either Autodesk Maya or Autodesk 3ds Max for no additional cost. (see question 5 for details).

2. How long will Autodesk provide support services for Softimage?
Autodesk plans to provide support and maintenance services to Softimage customers with active Autodesk Subscription contracts until April 30, 2016 or until the end of their contract in cases where an existing contract has a later expiry date. Customers renewing Subscription contracts will be able to continue to do so until April 30, 2016. Where necessary, contracts after March 28, 2014 will be prorated to end on April 30, 2016.

3. What about Service Packs?
Ongoing maintenance development (Hot Fixes and Service Packs) will continue for all customers (Subscription and non-Subscription) for a two-year support period (until April 30, 2016). All customers will be entitled to any Hot Fixes or Service Packs released for their version of software. However, an Autodesk Subscription contract will be required to access any additional customer support services.

4. Why is Autodesk discontinuing new releases of Softimage?
This decision is necessary for Autodesk to keep pace with the industry's rapid rate of change and to better serve our customers during this highly turbulent transitional period for both visual effects and games. We need to innovate faster while balancing our investment in the development of features and functionality needed to support new and existing customer workflows. We did not make this decision lightly. Many factors were taken into consideration during the decision making process, including the impact on the Softimage user base. Although the decision is a difficult one, we do believe that by doing this we can better serve the needs of the industry as a whole and provide customers with better product choices.

5. I am on Subscription. Is there a migration path for me?
Yes, if you have an active Softimage Subscription contract you will be able to migrate to the latest release of either Maya or 3ds Max, at no additional cost. In order for you to continue to use Softimage while you transition we have created two special offerings which will be available to you for a limited time only (the transition period*):

•Maya with Softimage: includes Autodesk Maya 2015 and Autodesk Softimage 2015

•3ds Max with Softimage: includes Autodesk 3ds Max 2015 and Autodesk Softimage 2015

This way, you can still use your license of Softimage for production work while learning either Maya or 3ds Max.

*The transition period is expected to last until February 1, 2016, approximately 2 years. (Autodesk reserves the right to change this date at any point in time and without notice)

Please note that the right to use the Softimage license will terminate at the end of the transition period if you are still on Subscription. You will be transitioned to the latest release of either 3ds Max or Maya depending on your initial choice. If you want to continue to use your Softimage license after Feb 1, 2016 you should not renew your Subscription contract for a period beyond that date. You will be able to continue to use Softimage but will forfeit any future updates to either 3ds Max or Maya.


6. Do I have to migrate?
There is no requirement to migrate. Softimage customers who are on Softimage 2015 or earlier versions (with or without Subscription) can choose to remain on their last version of Softimage. However, if you are on Subscription, you can transition to either Maya with Softimage or 3ds Max with Softimage and keep using Softimage 2015 and earlier versions while learning either Maya or 3ds Max respectively.

7. Can I purchase new seats of Softimage?
As of March 28, 2014 only existing Softimage customers will be able to purchase new or additional seats of Softimage by purchasing either the Maya with Softimage or 3ds Max with Softimage transition offerings. These transition offerings will be available for purchase at the cost of $3,675 US SRP* for the duration of the transition period (approximately two years (see question 5)). These transition offerings will also be available as rental plans for purchase at the cost of $575 US SRP quarterly, or $1,840 US SRP annually. After the two year transition period customers will no longer be able to purchase or rent new Softimage licenses from Autodesk.

8. Can customers who did not previously own Softimage purchase these bundles?
No. The Maya with Softimage and 3ds Max with Softimage licenses are not available to customers who do not currently own Softimage licenses.

9. I did not renew my Subscription. Can I transition to Maya or 3ds Max?
If you have purchased a new license or upgraded your Softimage within the last 365 days you can late-attach Subscription by paying the Late Renewal fee. Once you are current and on Subscription you will have access to the transition offerings previously described in question 5.

10. I am on an older version and wish to transition to Maya or 3ds Max. Can I?
To be eligible to transition to either 3ds Max with Softimage or Maya with Softimage you will need to upgrade your software to the latest version of Softimage using standard Autodesk upgrade paths. Versions older than 6 versions back are typically not eligible for upgrades and other limitations may apply. Once you have upgraded to the latest version, you must also purchase a Subscription contract to gain access to the transition offerings described in question 5.

Please note that after February 1, 2015, Autodesk will no longer offer software upgrades for purchase for all of its software products.

11. I recently purchased Softimage software/Subscription. Can I get a full refund?
Standard Autodesk refund policies apply. Contact your reseller or, if purchased on-line, refer to the following guidelines: Return and Cancellations

12. Who can I talk to if I have questions about this program?
If you have questions about this program please contact your Autodesk Reseller or local Autodesk Representative.

13. What changes are you making to the Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suites?
As of March 28, 2014, Autodesk will make the following changes to its FY15 Entertainment Creation Suites (ECS) portfolio:

•Autodesk Maya ECS Standard – NO CHANGE

•Autodesk 3ds Max ECS Standard – NO CHANGE

•Autodesk Softimage ECS Standard (available in Japan-only) – 2015 will be the last version release.

•Autodesk 3ds Max ECS Premium – will be replaced by Autodesk ECS Ultimate.

•Autodesk Maya ECS Premium – will be replaced by Autodesk ECS Ultimate.

•Autodesk ECS Ultimate will be reduced in price.

14. What is happening to Entertainment Creation Suite Premium customers?
Autodesk Maya Entertainment Creation Suite Premium 2014 and Autodesk 3ds Max Entertainment Creation Suite Premium 2014 will be the last releases of the Premium suites. All Premium suite customers on Subscription will be automatically fulfilled with Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite Ultimate 2015. If you are not on Subscription you may be able to upgrade.

15. Will customers have to pay more when they are automatically fulfilled with the Ultimate Suite?
We will be re-pricing the Ultimate Suite (for both new licenses and for Subscription) to be at similar prices to the previous Premium Suite. See the question below for details on new Ultimate Suite pricing.

16. What is happening with the Entertainment Creation Suite Ultimate offering?
Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite Ultimate will remain with the same product composition for two years: Softimage 2015 and whatever the latest versions of 3ds Max, Maya, MotionBuilder and Mudbox may be during that time period. The Ultimate Suite will also be re-priced to match the previous price of the Premium Suite at $6,825 US SRP*. Ultimate Suite Subscription prices will also be reduced to be close to the price of the previous Premium Suite Subscription with Advanced Support offering at $1,090 US SRP* (a $75 difference). After two years, Softimage will be removed from the suite.

17. What is happening with the Softimage Entertainment Creation Suite (Japan only) offering?
Autodesk Softimage Entertainment Creation Suite customers on Subscription will be offered a free transition to either the Autodesk 3ds Max Entertainment Creation Suite Standard or the Autodesk Maya Entertainment Creation Suite Standard. Support will provided for two years. There will be no new sales of Autodesk Softimage Entertainment Creation Suite after March 28, 2014.

To discuss your transition options Contact a Reseller

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Re: Softimage killed by Autodesk.

Post by Cellulo »

Damn sad new, i see that yesterday as rumor, but you confirm it's true, Softimage was a very capable software with clean UI :cry: .

Here XSI Case Study: Konami - METAL GEAR SOLID 4

Here XSI Case Study: Capcom - DEVIL MAY CRY 4

Here XSI Case Study: TECMO - NINJA GAIDEN 2

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Re: Softimage killed by Autodesk.

Post by BNG »

Truly sad indeed. Softimage was one of the easier to use advanced model making products in my humble opinion. I still have both XSI Mod tool 6 and 7.5 and plan to keep them indefinately. Real shame about the full version though. ;)

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Re: Softimage killed by Autodesk.

Post by spacekdet »

It didn't run on an iPhone so it had to die.

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Re: Softimage killed by Autodesk.

Post by Steinie »

or the CLOUD.

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Re: Softimage killed by Autodesk.

Post by nigec »

If I was a Softimage customer I would be quite happy with the Maya offer there's a lot more consideration for customers than say Fry render when it left customers hanging with bug fixes that never came and expected them to pay out more money for Arion

As someone mentioned before this is going to happen more often, specially the software that was bought by companies like Autodesk, its all cost and figures to them

I can see Sketchup going the same way, it just got the most understated update possible, everyone wanted 64 bit support we got a new arc tool ffs

Its definitely Déjà vu to Microsoft and TS, I guess the fact there is still die hard TS user here today shows Softimage doesn't need to die however I don't think they would release it for free which means no new blood to keep it alive if the users move on.. the licensing server would worry me.. I had the Maya students version and that dialled home :?

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Re: Softimage killed by Autodesk.

Post by Benji »

I think the idea that this purely comes down to profitability is a bit simplistic, SI was doomed from the moment AD bought Avid. Imo it really wanted SI's users, or as many of them as they could get, given that their evil plan would have to be revealed some day........perhaps some patents and talent as well.

I also think it's a sign that artistic applications are seen as yesterdays news, maybe AD's grown too big for them.

It would also be difficult to explain the features and benefits of technical apps like SI to the morons that own shares in big companies these days:

"I want to tell you about ICE".
"It's hard water right?"
"Errr, no, actually it's the core benefit of our best quality 3d app"
"Why would hollywood need ice, this isn't some liberal global warming thing, is it?"
"Uh, no, it's actually used by artists to make things like Yoda possible"
"What, I'm not investing in pagan hippy nonsense!"
"Uh, I meant the Jedi, not the exercises"
"What's a Jedi, are they Canadian?"
"Fuck....."

AD will eventually try and branch out somewhere else imo. I would suggest toilet hygiene. You can't really get that wrong, and even shareholders can see the logic behind it......

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Re: Softimage killed by Autodesk.

Post by Finis »

Every company or producer of software should keep, maintain, and continue development of every piece of software ever written! I miss Wordstar on my DOS 3.1 PC with it's turbo speed of 8 MHz. Companies are all run by the devil and have fiendish evil plans to wreak havoc and misery! Governments of course are run by angels who are also geniuses.

I thought it was strange that AD offered products with such an overlap in markets. Whatever their motivations AD is doing better than MS/TS by offering a migration path to Maya.

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Re: Softimage killed by Autodesk.

Post by Draise »

It has been a few days since the news, and yes. I use Softimage extensively. There is a high chance I land a large project - and I will do it in Softimage in the near future. It still had 2 years more of life. Gladly Autodesk extended the license system to be perpetual. Before they would be rendered invalid once you upgrade beyond the next two years.

I have been angry, in denial, false hope and the like.

There is a petition to release the sourcecode at least, or make it still available, even if they cease development.

My plans are to use it till I run out of juice or no longer works, like I would with trueSpace (which I do).

I would like to avoid Maya, but to open doors I will dabble in it and maybe master it for a production or two..

Out of principle, I cannot trust bigwigs to maintain a software and will fully support Blender.

Blender will eventually port something similar as ICE, and maybe the money I would invest in any software, I could invest in the Blender developers. I will invest in most of my work into creating a Blender project or pipeline, but for now I just can't afford the time and patience to relearn something, especially with my large project invested in Softimage. I will complete it in Softimage + Arnold and Redshit. I just hope with time Blender will have a very good render pipeline and animation mixer advancements.

I would rather have a software made of the people for the people.



Also.. trueSpace. =P



I wrote this to vent:


I started SI not 3 years ago as an intern. I had to work with two other generalists, one on Maya and the other in Si. In under 3 months, I learnt from zero SI to enough knowledge to produce double the quota of my Maya partner (year experience in Maya). The factors could depend on the artist, but then again SI is a great animation and render and compositing package, quick to learn and flexible right out of the box.



Learning more about Maya, I do believe Maya is a great product. Don't get me wrong, but reading more on this list is starting to make me doubt the pipeline workflow, with future issues that could set us back and keep us at similar costs and incapability with our competition in this growing market here in Colombia.



Due to our nature of being an aspiring VFX and animation industry for the Latin population (a huge market) here from Colombia, South America; the alternative software, for cost sake and functionality, is Blender.



This little rebel of an idea promotes innovation and flexibility. People are working on Ice like nodal flexibility and incorporation, it has sculpting like mudbox, compositing nodes as powerful as SI's and as capable as Nukes, video editing (in a 3D package?!), and tools that come standard to Maya, Max, and SI. Yes, it's not there yet, but it's future is by the users for the users. It's open, and developing fast. Each release has hundreds, yes hundreds, of bug fixes and cool new features. Not to mention it runs a gpu+cpu hybrid render engine already included from the get go. And it has the flexibility for developers to grow it, an open SDK.



This is very attractive here. And free, and hopefully always free.



Being in South America, our production budget is not capable of what Autodesk offers at most times, especially at startup; and I have to say that here, piracy is prevalent in this industry for nearly all of this continent. Not till the emerging studios and talent become successful can they afford to purchase legal seats from Autodesk. As a startup our product turnover and profits are small, every peso counts. Spending thousands of dollars that squashes our currency on what Autodesk or any other software package is offering sometimes is not viable if we wish to grow or re-invest in more staff and better products; as we can only, more often than not, only cover costs with Autodesk current marketing model and their most popular toolset and expensive pipeline.



This situation brings most of Colombia and universities here to start working with Blender. It is a reality that open source software is competition to anything Autodesk offers; and even if it wasn't, it would be pirated due to the economy of the industry here. Yes, Autodesk has the prestige here, yes those who are successful will buy what they offer.. But it's losing traction; even as corruption is challenged and more and more studios require legal software to be granted a sale. But being new studios in a growing industry, it simply can't afford Autodesk with the industries current low turnover in Latin America (for lack of cred), especially for a difficult 3D pipeline with costly maintenance, need for development, plugins, difficult non-destructive/render pipeline workflow, etc; that is not what is needed in a competitive pace within the industry, one that SI could offer.



I had plans to grow my studio here in Colombia and by now we have produced double the quantity with competing if not superior quality with teams the fraction the size of any other studio in this country (which run mostly Max or Maya). This could be thanks to SI. This year we are landing a television series, and we have done all our preproduction in an older version of SI. We hoped to upgrade to the newest and latest, as our pipeline depended on what SI could offer - workflow, functionality, trustworthiness. We were planning to invest a lot in Autodesk, but now our alternatives are to finish our production with our antiquated software, and we can only hope we can purchase SI in the upcoming months or later this year when the contract funds transfer, and carry on till we adopt a viable alternative - which would be Blender or anything else that will help us grow faster than our competition , either with costs or flexibility and future. If we had the opportunity to invest in Softimage later on this year without any previous subscription, we would, and be ahead of our competition many years to come.



I'm not saying blender is or ever will be competition, nor am I saying that South America is a lost market - no. I am saying the marketing strategy for Autodesk software and any other 3D software should change to accommodate these needs in growing industries, with thousands of potential new users and content for the world’s second largest mother tongue language, Spanish.



I hope Blender will not be bought up, I hope it stays open. I also hope there will be a contender that also is made by the people, for the people, but that will benefit Autodesk in some way. I also hope Autodesk, for the sake of their own industry, will have a contender for Houdini and Modo, Blender and Nuke all in one, which Softimage IS.



I hope Autodesk will have the backing of a developing VFX industry in Latin America, that will not be thwarted by costly and uncompetitive pipelines and replaced by open source packages - completely legal, developing and trustworthy.



Taking away a toolset that competes with Houdini, Nuke, Blender, Modo - the competition together - for a prized toolset still in development, yes, popular, yes, stable, yes, growing... but not appropriate for an industry who can't afford to spend the level of education and workflow bottlenecks Maya or Max has to offer - it's disabling.



Especially when the alternative to everything is free, legal and developing fast.



Softimage, why discontinue it? Where is the strategy in there? (To make the other software stronger? without having to expand staff and business/marketing costs?)



Why not transition the business model to something potentially competitive for the competition (yes, not to your own business model and packages, but complimentary) that could even compete with Blender and their mentality of a 3D software of the people, for the people by opening the SDK and still giving access to potential customers?



Why close a competing product that can ward off quickly growing competition for quite some time as is? Why not let the people maintain such a tool to your benefits? Why not keep the mentality of efficient and investment worthy mentality of an emerging industry here in Latin America - why not benefit from the ideology of growing studios, efficiency and innovation in itself? Why have people settle for yes, a tried and true, yet flawed, pipeline - instead of promoting tools that make everyday VFX work easier (as recent products in the industry have shown created within SI). Why take away options (for people to invest in Autodesk)???



Even if you don’t open the SDK, why not offer alternatives to studios and emerging industries looking for alternatives that are more efficient and cheaper in the long run than software still in development? Cheaper and more efficient than Hollywood VFX pipelines? Why take away an answer to the industries needs?



Why not give the option to emerging students, studios and industries in growing countries with markets potentially larger than the English speaking world a chance to optimize their budgets with an arsenal of stable and competing pipeline alternatives to optimize mainstream and costly methods : Maya and Max with Nuke/Houdini (competition)? Why only offer options that need much more costs in education for multiple software, taking away from any individual or Studio from potential seats they could rather invest in with Autodesk? Why add production waiting till another software is capable of such efficiency?



Why was this decision set back in only September, then when industries watch the Lego Movie and think how did they do it? Or even Metegol, yes, working in Maya, struggling with the render pipeline - when simple tools in SI could have avoided that and their movie would not have been the most expensive in Argentinian history - or even South American history.



The current pipeline model Autodesk offers, and the army of tools that are more than capable to stand against the competition on its own: Softimage, is an asset.



A business asset.



Not a liability.



Don't sell it, but open it. Don't cease and desist it, take advantage of it. Don't minimize your focus, you have a good strategy for dominating the market - don't limit your options, the ones your clients and future clients will want and need.



Don't give in to your competition.

We need products that are open and flexible and user friendly enough to expand on, ICE does this, Softimage does this, and it is much more future proof and more beneficial to invest in without having to hire TD's and programmers to get what we need out of any other software.



Softimage is an asset - especially in an emerging industry here in Latin America - one striving for pipeline friendly, ready out of box, cost worthy products that works more efficiently than any first-world industry using the most popular tools: Maya or Max, or many softwares for a single pipeline (and the closest thing to a unified workflow would be Blender, not Maya). It's an industry as a whole looking for alternatives - and now you are taking it away from them.



I have no idea who to talk to, and I am not sure this is worthy to share or send to superiors, board members or developers. But think. THINK. Be real business men, be entrepreneurs, adapt, use what you have, you have the toolset to dominate the market still - nothing can compete with the competition quite like Softimage can - and yes, Maya will eventually... in a few years - but right now these years will count against you. You are crippling your own market with the possibility of not being able to bounce back from a VFX industry unhappy with the current cost of the mainstream pipelines Maya or Max, or even the competition, have to offer..





We need alternatives.





And you have that alternative, a secret one, one that a needing industry wants and is looking for, but don't know much about due to the monopoly of Maya and Max and common demand. With the Lego movie, it will become more apparent that it CAN be a solution to current everyday pipeline issues with popular tools – a viable alternative (and under the banner of Autodesk, everyone wins!)



You have the solution; don't let the competition give it to the industry and market you are trying to survive in. Don't take away alternatives to a world looking for cost to efficiency ratio solutions.



Thank you for allowing some thought to your current market to "upgrade" cost free, and for extending the offer. But do more for those who are not yet your customers, and for those who are unhappy with your other tools looking for alternatives. Don't let them go to the competition or to piracy.



THINK.

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