Why buy support for the SDF?

For some time now we’ve offered “support and maintenance” as an option when purchasing our flagship Smart Device Framework product.  If I recall correctly, the price is something like $240 for a year.  In the entire time we’ve offered it I can probably count the number of sales of that option on one hand – it’s way less than 1% of the people who bought the extensions.

I had a call from a prospective customer asking about the feature and it clued me in to what most people’s thought process is.  He asked “why should I buy maintenance for $240 when I can just buy each new version for $50.  It’s less expensive to just re-buy.”

Ah, on the surface that may seem true, and like a good deal.  But here’s the value in buying maintenance:

Right now we’re in the process of moving the SDF to Studio 2008.  In the process we’re also moving to using Team Foundation Server as a back end and integrating unit testing and continuious integration.  In this process we’re shaking out quite a few bugs (take a look at our online bug database to see what we’re up to).  People with maintenance agreements can request the source for these fixes at any time.  They also get source drops for all service packs (no one else does).  Those without maintenance must wait until the next release or service pack to take advantage of these fixes.

There is one exception to this rule.  We feel that if you’ve gone through the task of finding it and reporting it, we owe you so if you are the first to find and report a bug, we’ll provide you the fix immediately upon fixing it. 

2 thoughts on “Why buy support for the SDF?”

  1. Yeah, I know I will have to "pony up" soon, you guys have done a huge amount of work… no way could I cover all the stuff in OpenNetCF!

    — Denny


  2. I seriously thought about it a year ago. The WM community is soo small, it’s really difficult to find answers and the OpenNETCF forums were almost the reason I would have signed up.

    But, too many of the questions I cared about were never answered or there is a single response and no follow-up. Like why do so many things not work on the emulator – e.g. the LIT (http://community.opennetcf.com/forums/p/10487/64542.aspx#64542) – frankly system notifications don’t seem to work on the emulator either, until it’s passed and you add another notification. Everyone seems to say either "it should work" or "it has to be at least 11 (or 15) seconds" or "run it on a real device" (obviously we can’t always do that). Then there was the incomplete/outdated examples which are included with SDF…

    Anyway, the upside is with you (Chris) added to the team, the speed and completeness of the forum answers seem to be going up, you’re giving additional relevant examples in your blogs and I’m seriously considering it again.

    Keep up the good work!

    — Joe.


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