Quark Marketing: File this under "we still dont get it"

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Quark Marketing: File this under "we still dont get it&

Postby stump » 19 Jun 2013, 12:50

Just got an email from the VP of marketing:

Dear Customer,Im personally writing to you in order to inform you about an important policy change and how this will impact you.From July 1, 2013, Quark Software will only support upgrading from one previous version of QuarkXPress to the current version.

Impact for QuarkXPress 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 usersBy now you will have seen many communications around the One Price Promotion, which enables you to upgrade to QuarkXPress 9 from ANY previous version. Currently you also get QuarkXPress 10 for free when you upgrade. It is almost unprecedented in the industry to provide an upgrade path from such legacy versions of a software product. We have provided this upgrade path for the last 2 upgrade cycles and this will be the last time. The promotion is coming to end on June 30, 2013. As per the above, from July 1, 2013, your licenses will no longer be eligible to be upgraded to QuarkXPress 9 or 10.


Dude -- Adobe is *ripe* for the picking yet you guys still cant resist the chance to shoot yourself in the foot? You guys should be dropping the hammer on Adobe right now. uhg. Just TODAY Adobe said its "rethinking" is subscription pricing. And what does Quark do? Further alienate its already dwindling user base.

Wheres the Adobe cross grade offer? Wheres the funny "subscriptions are for __________" ad campaigns?

Instead people say this:
"We are determined to blow this opportunity to offer a truly competitive alternative to disgruntled users of InDesign."
"We have determined that since Adobe hates you, we have to hate you too. You're all obviously stupid people with too much money. We want it."

Not sure whats going on over at the management, but some serious soul searching is in order. You guys have have been waiting *years* for the opportunity to somehow get back the giant market share you lost when ID CS2 came out. From this email it looks like you have already decided that its over and just are content to sit back and die a slow death.

I welcome anything to prove me different.
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Quark Marketing: File this under "we still dont get it"

Postby UtahLlama » 20 Jun 2013, 09:04

stump you are so right, I would have thought Quark would the grasp the opportunity, most of the alienated Adobe customers I would expect to have an old copy of quark lying around. I used all versions of quark between 3 and 8.5 upgraded every single time and even I would have to pay full price for v10, I'm not in a position to upgrade to 9 and the amount of unresolved crashing reported on the forums wouldn't persuade me to anyway. Are companies eligible for Darwin Awards?... or just VPs :)
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Quark Marketing: File this under "we still dont get it"

Postby gdrake » 20 Jun 2013, 09:48

Hi there

Thanks for taking the time to post to the forums. For many years weve had programs in place that help customers upgrade any previous version of QuarkXPress. The majority of our customers have taken advantage of the programs and today the percentage of users on old (or really old) versions is pretty low less than 5%. We want to make sure our customers are experiencing the very best of QuarkXPress and using appropriate versions that support the hardware and operating systems they are running. With the new version 10 coming out soon, its a sensible time to encourage customers to upgrade especially with such a great deal around getting QuarkXPress 10 for free. Its hard to imagine a better time to upgrade if you havent already. We try to roll out realistic version upgrades (about every two to three years) so our users are not rushed into upgrading prematurely and all the numerous updates within a version cycle are free. Its been five years since we introduced version 8 and there is a good chance that any customers who intend to upgrade to modern hardware or are already using it will want to upgrade to ensure theyre using a supported version thats tested and certified with their operating system.

I think a discussion around customers switching from InDesign to QuarkXPress is entirely separate to one about customers on legacy versions upgrading. Were completely open to having a special offer in this area and would love to hear from InDesign users that are interested in making the switch. If demand is sufficient Im sure we can put together a compelling offer. Our intention is not to aggressively attack our competition and customers have told us many times over the years that they appreciate our ethical behavior in that area. Weve stated that were going to continue to offer perpetual licensing, believe thats what our customers want, and are more than happy to welcome InDesign customers if they believe its the right business decision for them to switch.

Feel free to send me an email through the forum and I would be more than happy to have a phone conversation to understand your position. Youll find Quark to be completely open and accessible to our customers and more than willing to re-evaluate our approaches based on customer feedback.

Kind Regards

Gavin
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Quark Marketing: File this under "we still dont get it"

Postby omegaman » 20 Jun 2013, 12:11

Thanks Gavin. I had wondered about a missed opportunity too, but your explanation makes sense.
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Quark Marketing: File this under "we still dont get it"

Postby remote » 22 Jun 2013, 07:26

A little while back, Adobe announced a change of their upgrade policy. Like Quark just did, theytold us that anyone not on the latest version would be locked out from upgrades. While the move itself is not in the customers best interest, it can be accepted as a valid modus operandi. Another company that I consider myself a loyal customer of even enforces a yearly license renewal if you want to maintain eligibility for the reduced upgrade price and that is totally fine with me (more on that later).
Adobe however, forced us to upgrade the CS very much out of the blue and with a timing that could not have been worse. Everyone expected CS6 to ship in the coming spring (sure thing it did), yet we were forced to upgrade to CS5 until Dec 31st or loose the upgrade path. We swallowed the pill, but I can tell you that since then I have not had any love for the company. When they realised that many existing customers would not upgrade to CS6 if they had to pay the full price agai, they made a 180 and offered upgrades for legacy versions again - needless to say that we now felt really screwed by Adobe.
I know Quark is not Adobe and I know that you offer a free QXP 10 license to those that are now adopting QXP 9. Still, it feels very wrong that you force us to buy a product that is on the verge of being replaced (QXP 9) by a successor. It does not speak of your confidence in QXP 10 if you have to point a gun at your customers head to make them buy it without knowing [b]the least bit about the update (packet shots I could care less about).
Consider the effect of taking away upfrade eligibility for QXP 7 and QXP 8 users. If it is hard for you to make people upgrade as is, what are the odds of getting a foot in the door with a legacy user who would be required to pay tenfold come August? Rather slim, I would assume.
If you think the QXP userbase is strong enough to take it, ok. Personally, I have not met a single design student over the entire time I spent at university who used Quark. Not even one out of many hundred young designers.
I too am puzzled by this new announcement and as was mentioned, I feel you are shooting yourself in the foot here.
With Adobe making decisions that are bad for a lot of customers, including universities who can no longer buy perpetual licenses, I would have hoped for Quark to not go down the same path.
In the above I mentioned another company that gets away with enforcing yearly licence renewals. That company is JetBrains. They get away with it because they very much deal with their customers on eye-level. They have open bug and feature trackers. Every customer can see what they are working on and to some degree influence the direction. In their world, the users are not a target for sales, but clients they want to cater to and whos needs come first. That whole mentality is vastly different and thus they get away with their upgrade policy.

Quark however intends to force us into buying something and yet keeps us completely in the dark about what that something is going to be. In that regard, it feels little different to Adobes Creative Chain concept... the customer gets to pay merely for being able to retain future access to the current set of tools. Whatever sympathy bonus Quark has gained through Adobes disastrous actions, you risk loosing by going down the same path.
We have used every version of Quark Xpress from version 3.1 all the way up to version 8.
We had no need to upgrade to version 9, making it the first ever version we skipped.
We had started migration to InDesign which we put to question again in light of how we feel treated by Adobe with the shift in upgrade policy and the nightmare that is CC.
We were now again looking forward to evaluate Quark 10, but we dont like being treated with that kind of coercion. There is a good chance that instead of making us upgrade faster, you make us drop the ball and go home (e.g. stay with Q8 for as long as possible). If you have confidence in your own product, gice people a chance to evaluate it before forcing them into the deal. Change your upgrade policy in a fair manner and not in a way that very much feels like pointing the gun at your customers. Forcing people into an upgrade right before a major release stinks. Bad.
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Quark Marketing: File this under "we still dont get it"

Postby omegaman » 23 Jun 2013, 13:19

At some point in the life of any software or hardware there must be change to either, its an unfortunate circumstance that we all find ourselves in one time or another.
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Quark Marketing: File this under "we still dont get it"

Postby UtahLlama » 24 Jun 2013, 10:46

Hi Gavin
you have the Data, and if as you say less than 5% of Quark's customers are running v8 and below, then the new policy of allowing to only upgrade one version shouldn't cause any great loss of customers. I'm still not convinced you are missing an opportunity to attract people over from InDesign, but as you say you could offer some sort of deal.
Over the years I've always thought Quark was long term cheaper than Adobe, essentialy Adobe gave away InDesign free with CS (1) , as it only cost the same as individually upgrading Illustrator and Photoshop at the time, also combined with the fact it integrated so much better with PDF than quark and it took so long for quark to release an OSX compatible version it gained market dominance. Those of us who'd been regular updaters probably realised that Adobe would get the money back and more, they have always released chargeable updates almost every 18 months where sometimes quark would go many years. I first started on Quark 3 and Illustrator 5, we are now soon to be Quark 10 and Illustrator 17, so thats 5 more upgrades to Adobe (and that's not including the Adobe X.5 upgrades you've had to pay for, to be fair Quark made us pay to upgrade to PPC with no new features). The CC version subscription only model is really just another way of ensuring maximum returns by maximising numbers of upgraders no matter what the new feature count is. There is no doubt in my mind that this is only possible whilst Adobe have a monopoly on the market.
Maybe I'm wrong, and Quark no longer wants to position its product at the same market as InDesign, I'm focussed on print and I get the impression that print is now less important than Apps, eReaders and iPad, I havn't tried either product to produce such things but I know which product I trust to make Press ready PDFs.
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Quark Marketing: File this under "we still dont get it"

Postby gdrake » 26 Jun 2013, 06:54

UtahLlama wrote:Hi Gavin
you have the Data, and if as you say less than 5% of Quark's customers are running v8 and below, then the new policy of allowing to only upgrade one version shouldn't cause any great loss of customers. I'm still not convinced you are missing an opportunity to attract people over from InDesign, but as you say you could offer some sort of deal.
Over the years I've always thought Quark was long term cheaper than Adobe, essentialy Adobe gave away InDesign free with CS (1) , as it only cost the same as individually upgrading Illustrator and Photoshop at the time, also combined with the fact it integrated so much better with PDF than quark and it took so long for quark to release an OSX compatible version it gained market dominance. Those of us who'd been regular updaters probably realised that Adobe would get the money back and more, they have always released chargeable updates almost every 18 months where sometimes quark would go many years. I first started on Quark 3 and Illustrator 5, we are now soon to be Quark 10 and Illustrator 17, so thats 5 more upgrades to Adobe (and that's not including the Adobe X.5 upgrades you've had to pay for, to be fair Quark made us pay to upgrade to PPC with no new features). The CC version subscription only model is really just another way of ensuring maximum returns by maximising numbers of upgraders no matter what the new feature count is. There is no doubt in my mind that this is only possible whilst Adobe have a monopoly on the market.
Maybe I'm wrong, and Quark no longer wants to position its product at the same market as InDesign, I'm focussed on print and I get the impression that print is now less important than Apps, eReaders and iPad, I havn't tried either product to produce such things but I know which product I trust to make Press ready PDFs.


Print is absolutely important to QuarkXPress and in v10 you'll see most of the new features cover all media types, not just print and not just digital. So print will continue - perhaps more as a premium channel than in the past - and we continue to make investments in print related features in QuarkXPress.That said, how customers communicate has changed rapidly with a new generation of consumers that consume everything in digital. The speed that my seven year old navigates her way around an iPhone and iPad makes you dizzy.

In 2013 sales of tablets will overtake those of desktop computers and there are now more than 1 billion smartphone users in the world. While print readership of magazines, newspapers and books has declined substantially, readership overall has increased. Kindle owners for example read more books after they purchase a Kindle than they did when they just read printed books.

We believe our unique position is that we can speak to all channels of communication from professional print to interactive digital output on tablets and devices. In the enterprise software space we help our customers automate the process from structured content creation through to dynamic output in all channels. So the world's changing and Quark has changed with it, but we also know that having professional print in our toolbox is critical because as you know, only a couple of companies in the world can do that.
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Postby ttlcntrlprint » 27 Jun 2013, 05:48

Hi Gavin, thank you for letting us know that the five percent of QXP users still using v4-v7 arent regarded as a concern/worry to the future of Quark. I find this comment ungrateful and really hard to believe. In the UK I visit a lot of printing companies who all used to have QXP v3-v4 installed, but now all the print companies use InDesign CS3+. We longtime users (license holders) havent upgraded further because of the shocking mess Quark made things and the delay to bringing QXP to OS X.The personal email I received a couple of weeks ago was the straw that broke the camels back. Ive been waiting to further upgrade QXP v6 to a new version for sometime and it would've been great to see the new v10 icon in the dock again and use the myriad of QXP keyboard shortcuts stored in my brain still.P.S. Also, please remember when upgrading QXP we need to outlay a small fortune on your XTension Partners software too.Best wishes,Christian
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Quark Marketing: File this under "we still dont get it"

Postby gdrake » 27 Jun 2013, 06:23

Hi Christian, thanks for the post. I think we all understand the archeology of Quark well but the lack of OS X support was 12 years ago when QuarkXPress 5 released and it was unfortunately great timing for the competition to jump in with a new tool that didn't require the re-engineering of millions of lines of code to run on OS X.

Since then Quark has been first in many/most cases to support the latest versions of new OS releases and customers that have moved on from the history of the previous management/ownership of the company will attest to how the software and company has changed during this period. QuarkXPress 6 itself was released a decade ago. I think it's very rare that companies would allow a 10 year old (or in the case of QXP3 a 20 year old) piece of software qualify for a discounted upgrade to the current version. Even Adobe are only going back to CS3 (from 2007) and that's to entice you to the ongoing CC subscription model.

No one is saying that we wouldn't love to see some of the customers that last purchased software from us 10 years or more ago become current customers again. However this promotional offer has been running on and off for 4 years and now it is finally coming to an end. It's also disingenuous to customers that are upgrading regularly (every release or two) to continue to provide the same upgrade path for those who don't.

You'll still be able to purchase QuarkXPress 10 should you choose to but not as an upgrade from v6 after June 30. That's why we're pushing hard to communicate this to all customers (and have been since February) because if you have any thoughts of continuing with QuarkXPress in the future, an upgrade now (to get 9 and 10 for a single upgrade price) is going to mean you're set for the next 2-3 years plus you'll get all of the interim QuarkXPress 10 updates for free. I certainly hope you'll reconsider upgrading and get to see the rather attractive new v10 icon in your dock but either way I absolutely wish you all the best in your business for the future. Kind regards, Gavin
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