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Why is Sapien so stingy?

Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:27 pm
by yobyot
You know, for such an expensive product, limiting a user to two activations of PowerShell Studio can only be described as stingy.

I am not in the least suggesting that you shouldn't protect yourself against theft. I work in the software business and I understand this is how you feed yourselves and your employees.

But other products have much more generous policies. Given the annual recurring cost, it seems to me active subscribers should be allowed more activations.

And no, I am not assuaged by the "reset once a year" policy to reset activations to zero.

Re: Why is Sapien so stingy?

Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:36 pm
by Alexander Riedel
Stingy. Well, it basically is a number we picked. Most people have a computer at work and one at home. Or have a desktop and a laptop. It seems to suffice for most.
If someone has a reason to need more and asks nicely, we up the count. So no, we are not stingy in that sense. We do have an optional lab pack for those with a single license, one user and 100 computers.
What we do not want is the organization that buys one single user license and activates it 76 times. And no, we don't believe someone running PowerShell Studio on a VM that they reset every 5 minutes.
We also do not have a "reset once per year policy". I do not know where you get that from. Activations reset after 6 months automatically, since it seems a reasonable time frame. I have heard of no one who gets a new computer more frequently than every 6 month. So that is how we picked that number.
Additionally, if for whatever reason you need a reset out of band, we are always happy to do that for you.
Since you are going to ask, yes, we are working towards letting you reset and deactivate that yourself on your account page. It will take a little more time though.

So we are not stingy. We have reasons for doing what we are doing which do not stem from unadulterated greed. As you said there are other products that allow more. There is also an equal number of products that allow only one activation.

So, in order to make this an actual constructive conversation, what number did you have in mind? And why is that the number for you?

Re: Why is Sapien so stingy?

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:12 am
by yobyot
Five is the right number.

And I take additional exception to your statement that you distrust VM users. I run Windows _only_ on Macs and I am constantly re-creating VMs for that purpose. In that scenario, five still is a limitation.

Let's be honest here: your competition is heating up at the low end. With PowerShell 6 being cross-platform and increasingly supported by the combination of VS Code and the MSFT PowerShell plugin, the number of users who need PS Studio for basic development is bound to decrease. Sure, if you need Visual Studio Pro level PS development, the free tools don't come close. OTOH, they are more accessible, are evolving quickly and are free. FWIW, I keep trying to use VS Code and I believe it will soon get to the point where I can use if for all my PowerShell development. Clearly, MSFT is retiring the ISE (which was no competition for PS Studio) in favor of VS Code -- and they're doing it cross-platform and free.

So, you can continue to sniff at customers' requirements for flexibility and retain your outlandish pricing which will result in PS Studio becoming even more niche than it already is. Or, you could adapt to the changing marketplace for PowerShell tools and become more paying-customer friendly.

Re: Why is Sapien so stingy?

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:45 am
by Alexander Riedel
Thank you so much for your input. We do not distrust VM users per se, that is just an assumption on your part. We just may have a little bit more experience with that than you are willing to give us credit for.
We also do not ever sniff at our customers requirements. We are and always have been very open to reasonable requests. It is my understanding from your reply that you would need 5 activations rather than two, unfortunately you don't really give any reason for that. Please contact our sales department via email ( and state why you will need five activations. They will, as with every other customer, handle your request with the consideration and care it deserves.

VSCode is a great free tool and makes an excellent addition to anyone's tool set. We have always encouraged people to use multiple tools and use the best tool for any particular aspect of their job. There simply is no one tool that does it all.