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NI's move to subscription software


@MaSta wrote:

 

Adobe's the best example of how it shouldn't work.


Personally I'd prefer the Adobe model.  Where it is subscription only, but at a much cheaper price then what perpetual was.  At the moment we are seeing roughly a doubling of cost going to NI's subscription.

 

Also I do want to comment that if Adobe's goal is to give back to the investors, then that method worked quite well.  At the announcement to subscription, Adobe was around $60/share.  They are now at $330, and that is after coming down from a peak of over $680.  Adobe is the model that other subscription services are trying to follow.  I can't speak for NI but wouldn't be surprised if they saw what Adobe, and others in the industry were doing, and wanted to follow them.

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Message 61 of 73
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I agree, LabVIEW is dying. But, my opinion is that LabVIEW is still a good, technically viable product and the market share loss is mostly self inflicted through bad pricing and licensing. I've seen companies wreck good products many times through these exact same business tactics. ACIUS killed WebStar by overcharging and imposing weird licensing, for example. There is never collective learning from the business failures. Nobody in business school reviews the case histories and teaches not to do that.

 

There is nothing intrinsically superior about Python to make it a compelling product other than low cost. It's a dog of a language in several ways. LabVIEW has many advantages over Python, especially for developing software for hardware systems with many concurrent operations. Nothing comes close to LabVIEW for rapid development of software for that R&D scenario. LabVIEW doesn't need to be free to compete; It just needs to offer compelling cost-benefit tradeoffs vs. Python.

 

If I was in charge at NI, I'd...

1. Drop LabVIEW prices to regain market share vs. Python.

2. Review Erlang to see if some of the fault-recovery and high-reliability philosophies from that environment can be pushed into LabVIEW.

3. Advance development in a systems programming direction in competition with C++ and Rust.

4. Decouple from dependencies on Microsoft products (Silverlight, etc.)

5. Innovate to overcome some longstanding big-project problems, such as the tendency of the code editing environment to bog down when working on deep hierarchies of complex VIs.

6. Review failed efforts to update the codebase. The effort to update the codebase (NXG) wasn't wrong; It was just badly executed. NXG derailed when the project...

a.) Threw away good, well-proven elements of the LabVIEW project R&D environment to ape an environment appropriate for a text language.

b.) Assumed that developers would joyfully throw away their legacy code for a g-like language with trivial benefits of pastel colors and rounded rectangles. The effect was something akin to replacing C++ keywords with Esparanto and syntax with OCamel because someone on the team thinks it sounds cool.

c.) Succumbed to anti-skeuomorphic fanaticism. The primary LabVIEW application space is intrinsically skeuomorphic. Users operating the resulting software need to see something familiar that conveys information how to use the interface. They are not empowered by front-panel interfaces that are so flat, dull and abstract that their first impression is "WTF?"

 

Initiatives to move in a SAAS direction are mistakes. Some customers absolutely do not want operational LabVIEW systems connected to the internet in any way, for security. There are concerns about espionage, intrusion, cyber-terrorism and IP theft.

 

A subscription-only model is also mistake. In the present volatile economic and geopolitical context, some customers absolutely do not want dependency on a subscription server or perpetual outgoing cash flow for development, operation or data analysis. War or cyber-attacks could terminate access to the license or SAAS servers. Economic adversity could force end to available cash flow.

 

Anyway, my decision was to buy a 3-year block of the last permanent LabVIEW licenses. This will cover my operational needs for 5-15 years.

Message 62 of 73
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@Hooovahh wrote:

@MaSta wrote:

 

Adobe's the best example of how it shouldn't work.


Personally I'd prefer the Adobe model.  Where it is subscription only, but at a much cheaper price then what perpetual was.  At the moment we are seeing roughly a doubling of cost going to NI's subscription.

 

 


Yes, the key point is having access to the much cheaper monthly option.  That is why everyone is pissed. With NI now you pay more and get less, with no options. 

______________________________________________________________
Have a pleasant day and be sure to learn Python for success and prosperity.
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Message 63 of 73
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When, in the history of LabVIEW, has it *ever* been cheap?
I have been using LV since version 3.1 (IIRC, "undo" was introduced in ver 3.2). In all that time, it has been a constant struggle to justify the higher cost of LV. The Software as a Servic (SaaS) business model, regardless of price, leaves a bad taste in all consumers mouths. I can see how the SaaS model will be the final nail in the coffin for many people. I know it would push me over the edge.
At least we can always us the Community edition... oh wait, that license expires too.

---------------------------------------------
Certified LabVIEW Developer (CLD)
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Message 64 of 73
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@Frozen wrote:

When, in the history of LabVIEW, has it *ever* been cheap?
I have been using LV since version 3.1 (IIRC, "undo" was introduced in ver 3.2). In all that time, it has been a constant struggle to justify the higher cost of LV. The Software as a Servic (SaaS) business model, regardless of price, leaves a bad taste in all consumers mouths. I can see how the SaaS model will be the final nail in the coffin for many people. I know it would push me over the edge.
At least we can always us the Community edition... oh wait, that license expires too.


Yes, looking back on the progression of things, we should've seen that as a proving ground for their new subscription-based license.  Work out all the major kinks on the freebie to prepare for the real thing.

Bill
CLD
(Mid-Level minion.)
My support system ensures that I don't look totally incompetent.
Proud to say that I've progressed beyond knowing just enough to be dangerous. I now know enough to know that I have no clue about anything at all.
Humble author of the CLAD Nugget.
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Message 65 of 73
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I was a LabVIEW dev for almost 10 years until 2019.  Now I’ve had an opportunity to use it outside of hobby use again, potentially in a commercial product for small business.  

 

Was shocked to see that subscription licensing is now mandatory.  For a small business, that is not tenable, despite your claimed points.  Because of yearly mandatory fees, I will have to use something else.  

 

Understand NI has to make money, but seems the move alienates small company entrance to using NI products.  

 

Message 66 of 73
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@zellcc wrote:

I was a LabVIEW dev for almost 10 years until 2019.  Now I’ve had an opportunity to use it outside of hobby use again, potentially in a commercial product for small business.  

 

Was shocked to see that subscription licensing is now mandatory.  For a small business, that is not tenable, despite your claimed points.  Because of yearly mandatory fees, I will have to use something else.  

 

Understand NI has to make money, but seems the move alienates small company entrance to using NI products.  

 

 


And that's the weird thing.  It is like NI has a split personality.  On one hand, they are trying to court the hobbyist and hopefully future small customers with LabVIEW Community Edition, and on the other hand, they slap the small customer with a subscription license.

Bill
CLD
(Mid-Level minion.)
My support system ensures that I don't look totally incompetent.
Proud to say that I've progressed beyond knowing just enough to be dangerous. I now know enough to know that I have no clue about anything at all.
Humble author of the CLAD Nugget.
Message 67 of 73
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^I've mentioned this previously I think, but the high activation energy to use LabVIEW is a blunder that visual studio does not make.


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Please join the conversation to keep LabVIEW relevant for future engineers. Price hikes plus SaaS model has many current engineers seriously concerned...

Read the Conversation Here, LabVIEW-subscription-model-for-2022
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Message 68 of 73
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Very unconvincing.

 

“controllable ongoing expenses…”

“provide recurring value to customers…”

“ongoing dialog and relationship between a company and its users…”

 

…meaning what exactly? And at what price?

 

I’ve been using Labview for 23 years, both in in the engineering school in a large Irish University and for a tech client in Galway. This is massively worrying. Paying to be able to run the software seems to scare most users and certainly scares me. Many of the technical arguments have been expressed brilliantly here already so I won’t repeat them, but I’d offer a few comments on the psychology of this.

 

I went to the user interface on the website to ‘see pricing’, and 3 years is 3x times the price of 1 year. Also 3 seats is 3x times the price of 1 seat. In my local supermarket I don’t think there is a single product that is not cheaper if you buy a larger quantity of it. And I have never subscribed to an online product that didn’t charge a lower rate for a longer commitment. I’m no business man, but is this not bizarre? The attitude seems to be: like it or lump it.

 

It is now very difficult to contact NI. The website has no simple ‘contact us’ or ‘info@’ email address. When you phone, which I have done twice in recent months, you just immediately get bumped to your local representative, which in my case was a guy with his own company who doubled as the NI rep. It’s like banks closing local branches, you can’t get in and talk to anyone in NI anymore. Again the tone from NI is: deal with it. This disquiets me.

 

As a lot of people have pointed out, many (if not most) users of labview develop something over a few months and then use it over a longer period. It becomes passive, like the electrical wiring in your house…it’s there, it works, you assume it will continue to work until it needs to be upgraded. One of the mantra’s I often hear with measurement and control is: ‘if it aint broke, don’t fix it.’ To have to pay for every minute you are running labview doesn’t align with this. This isn’t Netflix; we are not getting new movies every month. It’s an unreasonable pricing model.

 

My instinct – very, very reluctantly – is to run for the hills. I can’t build something – for myself, for students, for clients – that they’re going to have to continue to pay for forever. It’s like a protection racket. Psychologically it’s a total turn off.

 

For God’s sake, NI, listen to the feedback and change this. You’ll sink the company if you don’t.


BB

Message 69 of 73
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In the end my decision was not to renew the SSP license, and no subscription at all.
I will mantain my perpetual 2017 licence I use to develop few applications a year.
2 years subscription is quite the price of a new license and since no real support is no more provided in Italy and i don't think i will update the version within 2 years, In case, I'll buy a new licence when needed.
Good job NI 😅


Message 70 of 73
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