Greg Reinacker released a new version of NewsGator today. It’s a free update. Except it’s not. Not at all. It appears to be a forced transition to a subscription service. Unfortunately, the NewsGator marketing material is neither honest nor transparent about this:
“This is a free upgrade for all existing customers. More details are here. If you’re not yet a subscriber, create an account and enter your existing 2.0 license key - you’ll get a free business account. If you’re already a business plan subscriber, go to your My Account section and enter your existing license key for a free service extension.”
What’s not said is that the “free business account” requires you to provide a credit card which will be billed when your “free” service expires in a maxium of two years.
I’m not interested in a subscription service for RSS and that’s not what I bought when I purchased the product license. To rub salt in the wound, features found in the previous version of the product will be turned off on Halloween.
Goodbye NewsGator; hello Attensa.
Update—30 June 2005 08:15 CDT: NewsGator’s credit card requirement for updates is a bug and has been fixed (see Greg Reinacker’s comment below). The way Reinacker handled this—responding directly to user criticism quickly, honestly, and transparently—is to be commended in the attention economy where options are plentiful. Too bad more companies and their executives don’t take a similar approach; they’re going to have to in order to thrive. As for me, I intend to give NewsGator at least one more close look. I really prefer getting my RSS fix in my email environment.