Burned by DT3.0 Pricing?

I first got DT Personal back in 2012, but never managed to get properly into using it. Fast-forward to December 2018, I was implementing the GTD system and decided to use DevonThink as my master reference filing system. I quickly realised that I would need to switch to Pro Office to make the system work, and after much deliberation decided to take the plunge, since I knew that it would last me years.

Now version 3 is out, less than 6 months later, and I’ve got to pay another £100 for the upgrade.

I understand that DevonTech needs to get paid, and the line has to be drawn somewhere, but the whole thing leaves me feeling like a mug.

I got 8 years of free updates for DT2.
You have owed your personal situation to yourself.
It’s not the fault of DT and certainly not the fair price model.


Nobody forces you to update. You still can use DT2 for years. IMHO, I purchased PRO Office in 2017, and I’m very happy to pay (yesterday I paid the update) to version 3.

It has some glitches, but cannot stop using it due dramatically improvements in features and usability (and yes, I was one who didn’t took importance to an obsolete UI).

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So you got 8 years of free updates, I got 6 months, and by the sounds of it, I only have myself to blame, since the model is ‘fair’. Gotcha. Thanks for your thoughts.

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That’s always the case everywhere in the world. Whenever you buy something, something better and more mature comes to the market. Take a car as an example. Do you complain then also to the car manufacturer that you only 6 months before bought the “old” model and want the new modell for free or with a discount?

I would reach out to Devon tech. I am sure they are reasonable people and it would seem fair you should get a bit of a discount

As for me I purchased DT2 9 years ago. If you think of the fact I have had updates for 9 years it is incredibly good value.


That’s why I thought I’d leave a message on the forums. The support period for DT2 has been fantastic, and was a major factor in my purchase decision, hence feeling bitter about having to buy it twice in under 6 months.

And yes, I know I don’t “have” to upgrade, but in my mind DTPO has suddenly gone from a flagship product under active development to a legacy product with an upcoming, but unknown expiry date. I certainly don’t expect to be receiving 5+ years of upgrades for it now that DT3 is out. So whether I upgrade now, or in a year’s time, it will still have had far less longevity than I expected.

I suppose it’s just a matter of expectations. @GOODRIDDANCE is right that I wouldn’t bat an eyelid if a refresh for my car came out 6 months after buying it, but that’s because there’s no precedent implying otherwise. Rightly or wrongly, I looked at DevonTech’s track record and expected DTPO to receive years of support. Failing that, I imagined that a major release coming just a few short months after purchase would be a free upgrade.

I’m not saying that DevonTech did anything wrong, just that it’s left me feeling rather stupid and disappointed, for what that’s worth.

Take in consideration that not all people update immediately. Normally, just released versions should have bugs not detected in testing/beta phases because there ara a lot of people waits until RTM. For example, at home I immediately update Windows 10 to the last patch, but at work I use to wait some days because possible blocker bugs like the one converted a lot of PC in bricks some months ago…

You can wait 6 months or 1 year. Following DT path, they aren’t people of do “subscription covert as paid updates-once-a-year”.

Well, perhaps it will ease the frustration to remember that you got a discount to Pro Office because you purchased Personal 6 years earlier, and you will/did get a discount on version 3 because you had purchased Pro Office.

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[…] in my mind DTPO has suddenly gone from a flagship product under active development to a legacy product with an upcoming, but unknown expiry date.

You inadvertently pinpointed the source of your bitterness here: “in my mind”.

To get rid of the bitterness I strongly advice you to rethink the whole matter.

I’d suggest you start with some math: Add the price you payed for DTPO 2 to the upgrade price for DTP 3. Substract the full price for DTP 3.

The result of this little calculation is the price of the tons of new features and improvements in DT 3 you would have to pay.

Decide if this sum—in relationship to the value you get for it—is really worth lamenting about. Decide if the time invested in lamenting about this sum doesn’t stand diametrally opposed to Getting Things Done.

If No to both you’re free.

If Yes try one or all of these steps:

  • Write down a list with 10 computer programs presently under active development that have a grace period for more than six months (just a little reminder/bonus math: DT 3 is not out yet, it has just gone public beta). If you don’t know 10 programs of that kind try to find 5. If you don’t know 5 try to find at least one. Good luck.

  • Think about your usage of the term “suddenly”. Think about if it is surprising in general that after about a decade a new major version of a software gets released. Think about why it was surprising for you personally and why you had not checked the DEVONtechnology forum for informations about the possibility of a forthcoming major new version or contacted the developers directly before you purchased DTPO 2.

  • Write down in detail the difference between “support” and “free feature updates”.

  • Speculate about a popular alternative to buying a software with which you wouldn’t have been in the situation your are now: a subscription. Consider the possibility of the developer steeply rising the subscription fee and how you would react to that. Imagine you would have to cancel the subscription and keep in mind that there are different subscription models: One where you just won’t get no more updates after the subscription had expired. Or the Office 365 model where you wouldn’t even be able to use the software after the subscription had expired.
    Try to estimate at least roughly how much time it would take you to find a new software with similar functionality and to migrate your data to it. Try to estimate how much time it would take you only to ruminate which of both options you have—data migration or paying the raised subscription fee—is the lesser evil.
    Can you afterwards say in a loud and confident voice that you would prefer a subscription over a once payment for a software that is not a service of some kind but sits at the core of your workflow and holds your valuable data?

One might come up with even more steps. But now I have to get things done …

PS: I hope this doesn’t sound too harsh, that wasn’t my intention.


I understand how frustrating the situation you’re in can be, however in this case I think the upgrade is worth it. DT3.0 is an awesome development. It’s practically an entirely new software. IMO, the $100 upgrade price will pay for itself in minimizing your stress and increasing your workflow efficiency, rendering the period between DT2 and the DT3 upgrade a moot point. They obviously put a lot of thought into its improvements, and I believe it’s finally reached a usability level that will appeal to the common user. I’m very grateful for their hard work and commitment to the DT community. You will be, too, once you’ve surrendered to the fact that software development costs money and that you won’t find a better solution than this software, not anywhere, at any price.

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Nah I think it’s fair, you had a discount to upgrade to Pro and now you have to pay again for v3 discounted too. Remember you have this product for over 6 years now(whether you used it or not)

Yes life sometimes is unfair like some ppl above they didn’t have to pay for 8/9 years.

And here’s an example from the other side:
I bought my first DTPro at the end of 2008, switched to Pro Office in 2013 and bought an additional license for Pro in the same year. Now, six years later, I will upgrade both to DT3 Pro for about 249€ if I calculated that correctly. Which amounts to 42€/year. Considering the time I did not spent searching for files, bills, invoices, taxes, and other stuff that’s money well invested. One of the best buys ever.

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You think that’s bad. I only purchase pro last month.

@jamieadams it is not as bad as you think, see The Upgraders Guide:

If you purchased version 2 on or after February 1st, 2019, you’ll receive version 3 free of cost or discounted, depending on the purchased edition. You can check your eligibility in your customer account.


You’re right. Thanks for the clarification. I needed to read that page along with the new lineup info.

All I’ve heard so far is a bunch of people who got very good value telling me it’s ok that I didn’t.

I’ve yet to see anyone putting themselves in my shoes.

I spent £100 on DTPO upgrade in December, £15 on the mobile app in January, £8 on the app upgrade a week later, and now I’m staring down the barrel of another £100 for DT3, and DevonThink is starting to feel like a bit of a money pit. There’s a little voice in the back of my head reminding me that I said £100 was a stretch, but probably worth it, and another one wondering how long until the mobile app gets an upgrade and I have to drop another £25, turning my £100 bet into a £250 bet.

As I said, nothing untoward (although if DT had announced the upcoming refresh, I could have waited), but it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

I wasn’t looking for a maths lesson, an economics lesson, a software pricing lesson or a lecture on personal responsibility, just for some human empathy for my bad timing and the resulting conundrum.

Thank you for your thoughts, though.


It’s an issue. I do think DT could have avoided some of this, either by announcing a delivery date for DT3 earlier, or by allowing a longer period for free upgrades. I’ve seen both done elsewhere.

However, I also think that they will have thought long and hard about how to balance their commercial need to get some payback with their amply demonstrated desire to keep customers happy.

It’s a bummer that you’re caught this way, so no rational explanation’s going to help a fat lot.


Devontechnologies is one of the few companies that transparently have been making their choices explicitly and inspectable

They have been publishing their business principles (already for a long time), see:

Hence indeed, the decisions are well thought, and are fair from the perspective that the decisions are as transparent as possible.

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I think they are unlikely to have a paid update again for many many years. If you work out your sums it still is really good value.If you look at software pricing a lot of companies are going down the subscription route. You would pay much more that way.