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New Blendables

March 6th, 2008

Just saw that Blendables have extended their portfolio of WPF controls. The stuff looks good, but unfortunately, their licensing scheme doesn’t:

A license is required for each machine utilizing the blendables controls. […] As we do not offer a deactivation method, if you must reactivate on a new developer machine you are allowed up to 3 activations. This is for the case of re-imaging or setting up a new developer machine. Once this limit is reached you must contact blendables support at […] to proceed with activation.

I must say, not purchasing their product is a no-brainer…

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  1. Jason
    March 18th, 2008 at 00:05 | #1

    Thanks for pointing this out! I agree 100% that you just can’t buy Blendables because of this ridiculous limitation. In my opiinon this makes IdentityMine look untrustworthy.

    I’m now going to listen to my favorite Frank Zappa songs: …dumb all over… uwaaay… and a little ugly on the side… :).

    You are offering some great content on this blog, thank you!

  2. March 18th, 2008 at 00:15 | #2

    Well, I wouldn’t say untrustworthy, but I think it’s just the wrong direction to hassle your customers just in order to maximize your profit. After all, there are a lot of other companies that manage without these limitations and I frankly prefer to give my money to them.
    If I had to activate *every* tool I own (and possibly negotiate with the publishers), re-installing my machine(s) would be a nightmare (it is anyway, actually). And I haven’t even thought about activation server downtimes or IM disappearing from the market…

  3. April 4th, 2008 at 23:12 | #3

    Hi guys….

    Thanks for your interest in the products. It’s good to hear from a WPF perspective we’re definately doing stuff you are all liking. Licensing…..yeah we’re battling this internally as well.

    The re-imgaing is a completely valid concern. Would you be OK with activation if there was no limit? The main concern is that if a product key gets out on the net there is no was to nuke it unless we do activation. If there is a good alternative we’re missing please let me know. Would you be ok if we activated just when you enter the product key?

    We’re new to the component space and are definately open to changes. We’re not at all trying to be untrustworthy so I’m glad Phillip jumped in there.

    Regarding downtime….we have redundant activation servers in two seperate physical locations. At the chance downtime does occur(because there is always a chance) it only drops you into trial mode IF it ever goes down for a period of time. No change in access to the components.

    If we go away? If we went away I’m sure there would be some type of agreement made to ensure existing customers weren’t stuck with dead components.

    Thanks guys and interested in your comments….feel free to email me directly at kurt.brockett@identitymine.com.


  4. April 5th, 2008 at 13:57 | #4

    Hi Kurt

    First of all thanks for the feedback – it’s nice to see that you guys care to discuss the subject 🙂

    Regarding licensing, there are two issues. First of all activation: I see your point, but on the other hand, I’m not too sure whether it’s really necessary. Ok, there is the possibility of keys getting out (and they *will* eventually, if the product is good), but on the other hand: Is it really that bad? I still assume that people who commercially use your tools will buy them anyway – because they appreciate your work (I do!), they want to have access to the latest releases, or simply because it’s just not worth the risk. As for the others – I think they wouldn’t buy the product in the first place, but once they are hooked up, they are potential customers who *will* purchase the product eventually because they want to upgrade or use Blendables on a commercial product. It’s not that long ago that I went to school where literally nobody paid for their software (beer ain’t cheap here in Switzerland and you couldn’t download that off the internet 😉 ). But here we are today and most of us still work with the same tools we used five years ago – that’s a lot of money earned, not lost.
    Regarding reactivation – if there was no limit, it sure would make a difference.

    Another point is the “license per machine” issue. I never understood this, really. Especially not for a development toolkit. I totally agree on “1 license per developer”, but machines? You don’t make money with regular companies (one employee means one machine) but it hurts privates and independent engineers who use different machines on a daily basis (there’s at least a workstation and a laptop, not to speak of VMs). So there’s probably not too much (additional) money in it, is it? On the other hand, it’s exactly these developers that get you new customers. I, for example, don’t have a product of my own, but participate in projects of other companies. And if possible, I am using my preferred tools – which are mostly adopted by developers on site. Literally *every* toolkit I own has been purchased by customers of mine for their employees. That’s a viral thing, but it won’t happen if I feel somewhat ripped off because I had to buy 4 licenses just to use the product without getting into trouble (or suspect that my customers felt uneasy with the license).

    Regarding other vendors: Pretty much every toolkit I own can be just installed on all my machines without getting into trouble. One exception is ReSharper, which runs (or used to run, haven’t seen it in a long time) a short broadcast in order to detect whether there’s several machines running the same license in parallel, which can happen if I set up my notebook for a workshop. In that case, the add-in just disables itself on one of the machines. I don’t really like the broadcasting (and let’s be honest, it could be blocked easily), but I can perfectly live with it. However – in the end, I personally think that trusting your customers is the right thing to do – and pays off anyway 🙂


  5. April 5th, 2008 at 20:48 | #5

    Philipp…really appreciate the email and the feedback above. I’m completely open to this change and it’s a matter of gathering this feedback from the community.

    I will take your feedback and add it in to other customer comments as this is up for discussion internally in the next few months.

    Again appreciate you engaging with IdentityMine and I’ll talk to you soon.


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