We've tried to make it clear to users that ExQuilla is intended in the long run to be a for-pay addon. This will begin with versions of ExQuilla that are compatible with Thunderbird 24 and later.
We really appreciate the early adopters of ExQuilla, who have played a valuable role in understanding which issues are most important to users, and finding bugs and problems. As a reward for that service, we are offering a free license to early adopters that is valid until March 1, 2014. Early adopters however have to claim that license by clicking on a dialog in Thunderbird.
If you are running ExQuilla version 23 and have successfully logged into an Exchange account, you will be presented with a dialog to get the free license. If you accept, a free license will be generated from our license server, and applied to your account. However, you must complete this prior to September 1, 2013, as the license server will no longer be generating early adopter licenses after that date.
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions concerning the transition to the pay model, and the early adopter license.
- Why are you transitioning to a pay model?
Simply put, because ExQuilla has from the start intended to be a business and not a hobby. ExQuilla represents years of effort, and to justify that effort and the continuing effort in support, maintenance, and improvements, it needs to generate income.
- Others seems to generate their income from donations and advertising, why not ExQuilla?
Other extensions earn some income from donations and advertising, but for the vast majority of extensions the amount is typically a couple of orders of magnitude below the amount required to pay the developers at prevailing wages. I am not willing to work for the income that donations and advertising would generate (which would typically be much less than $1 per hour), nor do I think it is reasonable to expect that of others.
- Why do early adopters need to click on a dialog, instead of just automatically generating the free license?
The free license needs to be time limited (which requires a server to implement reliably), and it needs the user's email address since licenses are tied to an email address. For privacy reasons, I did not want the extension to transmit an email address to a server without some warning and choice from the user.
- What are my choices if I do not want to get a license?
Existing versions of ExQuilla will continue to work with Thunderbird 17, so you are free to continue to use versions of ExQuilla prior to version 24 with Thunderbird 17. However, if you update to the newer version Thunderbird 24 when it releases in September 2013, you will not be able to continue to use ExQuilla, as only ExQuilla 24 and later will be compatible with Thunderbird 24.
- How can you expect people to pay for ExQuilla without fixing [insert your bug or feature of choice here]?
As much as I would like to have ExQuilla match all Outlook AND Thunderbird features, the current market for this extension does not seem to justify the team of 10 developers that would be required to do that. Same issue with bugs. Also, the payments for the extension contribute to the effort to improve the product by adding features and fixing bugs.
- What are the terms for the ExQuilla for-pay license?
The exact details of the for-pay ExQuilla licenses have not been determined yet. However, the rough expectation is that ExQuilla will be licensed on a one-year subscription model, with an annual subscription costing approximately $10. You will need to have at least one account configured using the email from the license.
The email address will be used within subsequent versions of the ExQuilla addon to verify license validity. We will not send emails to the addresses from the licenses, nor will we give or sell those email addresses to others.