Insight of a Dangerous Move…

You probably know IDM, which is the company who created the famous UltraEdit (just to name this one). Recently, they changed their licensing system, from a simple username/serial to an online activation with login/password. What are the benefits for the user? Virtually none. What are the bad news? Let’s see…

In fact, the login/password is bounded to the product you’ve licensed, the date you paid for the registration and the license’s duration (or, more precisely, the last product version that your license allows you to use, based on the free complimentary upgrade’s period you’ve paid for). Plus, something that is undocumented for now: you have only 2 activations available, that means no more than 2 computers at a same time. You can still unregister one of the computers to allow another one to be registered, but that’s all, you’re still limited to 2 computers.

What does that mean:

  • The work required to enter the license is the same as before: entering two little chunks of texts in two little textboxes. Even if it is shorter than the full name, license number and serial, you don’t have the “paste from email” option anymore. And if you have to deal with offline activation, you’ll need way more steps and time than before (which required no Internet connectivity at all).
  • You don’t have to ask for a license upgrade anymore, as your login/password tells you what you can have, so it’s automatically processed at IDM directly. That’s the only good thing about this new licensing system.
  • But you can’t have minor updates for free (for example 17.00 to 17.10 in my case) as you did before. Previously, a serial number could provide you an access to all minor versions for free, because it was bounded only to the major version number, but that’s not the case anymore. I would then not have to pay for an upgrade until UE 18.00 is released, but now I need it to go from 17.00 to 17.10…
  • Worse: You have to register again on each upgrades (thus requiring Internet access again ; you’ll tell me that you need Internet access anyway to download the upgrade, but that’s irrelevant because you can install it offline too). You know that only when you install the new program, so if like me you don’t have access to the updated version and you haven’t kept the previous version that worked for you (because you thought about the old behaviour of free minor upgrades), you’re screwed: either you buy the upgrade in the next 30-trial-days (dealing with the nag screen on each startup), either you download the old version from a cracking website that still have the original installation (risking downloading a virus), or, while you’re at it, you simply download a crack for the newest version anyway…
  • You can install the program on more than two computers if you buy one of the activation upgrades (not listed on their website, I got these from the support):
    • Activation Add-on (10 Count) – $49.90:
    • Activation Add-on (20 Count) – $79.80:
    • Activation Add-on (40 Count) – $99.60:

    Crazy. BTW I’d like to thank the support for giving me free additionnal activations for complaining about their new licensing system.

The reason I write this here is because it’s written nowhere else (not on the website, nor on the shop, nor on their EULA). So be careful! Don’t upgrade the software so easily, or you’ll be stuck with an unlicensed version.

As I told to the support, this will not prevent cracking their software (I already found a keygen for the latest version of UE 17.10, because the one for 17.00 still works). I don’t know why they changed their system, saying that it would be “simpler” but that’s not, it’s more of a pain for the users because of all the reasons explained above. The only ones that will not be bothered will be the crackers, who will still get unlimited upgrades on unlimited computers thanks to a few KB of EXE thingy. They don’t get support, that’s all. In fact, I think that it will let some registered people not to pay for the upgrades but use cracks instead (specially for the activation limits thing).

Please stop this license protection war that only makes you work for nothing (because crackers still cracks) and make us (legit customers) gets more pain and limitations but still pays the full price.


French version:
IDM forum:

Edit: According to Google, on June 18, 2011 18:53:06 GMT, the page “Activation FAQ” appeared on IDM’s website.

2 thoughts on “Insight of a Dangerous Move…”

  1. My relationship with IDM ended today, over this garbage. I have used Ultraedit for many years, maybe they think customers like me don’t pay often enough. I remember paying them twice for sure, maybe three or four times.
    But I refuse to pay for software that will not run.

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