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January 20, 2020

Discussion in 'Corel' started by Bobby H, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    The past couple days I've been greeted with new CorelDRAW "upgrades are ending" pop-up ads. Now they're giving a specific deadline date when perpetual license owners must upgrade in order to be able to continue getting discounted upgrade pricing, via their "upgrade protection" program. The deadline date is one week from now (as of this writing): January 20, 2020.

    I personally probably would have upgraded months ago when this "upgrades are ending" business first reared its ugly head. Unfortunately the 2019 release of CorelDRAW has been one of the worst releases in the company's history. I have to go back to CorelDRAW 12 to find a version that drew anywhere as many complaints over bugs. Many long time users of CorelDRAW have been angered by changes made to the program for no logical reason other than just to change $#1+ for the sake of changing something. The Mac version is drawing just as many complaints as the last time Corel attempted a Mac-port of DRAW back at Version 11.

    I've seen participants at the CorelDRAW user forums talk about having bought CorelDRAW 2019 only to uninstall it and revert back to earlier versions, be it 2018, X8, etc.

    That leaves a lot of longtime CorelDRAW users stuck in the position of "playing chicken" with Vector Capital (the owners of Corel). Who is going to flinch? Are we going to cave at the very last second? Will we buy a very flawed 2019 version only to have to turn around within a couple months and buy a new 2020 version? And who knows how good (or bad) that release will be? Or do we just stick with the copies of CorelDRAW we currently use, hoping Microsoft doesn't do anything stupid in new updates that breaks our software?

    Even with a clear deadline just a few days from now the "right" choice remains to be very unclear.
     
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  2. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Wow, that does suck that they gave a hard deadline that's right around the corner.

    Unfortunately, this is the new "standard" of doing this in this subscription, heightened bleeding edge release cadence that most software vendors (and Windows) are on. Doesn't matter if you are talking about Windows, Corel, or Adobe, the concern of the next release being worse (atleast initially) is always present. That's just too quick for software QC, much, much too quick. In the case of Windows, there is no QC team, that's all the insider's program and even when that program caught issues with an upcoming release, those issues still made it out into the wild.

    Given MS' history of breaking things with just about every release (I know, there are some that have never had an issue and that's great, I wish that was universal) I would be very concerned with being legacy and with DRAW and Adobe having new versions every year, DRAW 2020 goes legacy pretty much 2023 (using the old schema, it may be different), Adobe X - 2 is legacy and unsupported and Windows its every 18 months on the major releases.

    Just not good for a production environment. At least not in my mind, for whatever that is worth.

    I don't necessarily know how many people would throw a stink about it though. For a lot of people, this gets shrugged off as "cost of doing business". Especially if there is no clear alternative to take it's place. Only thing that one can do is try to mitigate one's cost and hope for the best. At some point, will have to update or there will come a time when that legacy software won't be workable.
     
  3. marunr

    marunr New Member

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    We upgraded to 2019 but just the minimum number of installs. We still use X7 to drive our lasers and printers and just save everything created in 2019 version to X7. It's a bit of a pain but hopefully by the time the next version comes out it will be better and we can make a bigger jump.
     
  4. Jim Hill

    Jim Hill Active Member

    I have decided that after all these years of using CorelDraw I am NOT going to upgrade and I simply will stay with X-8 and while I will no longer get upgrades but for me X-8 works just fine and their customer service stinks anyway.

    It's my understanding that since I own X-8 they will not leave me alone. I am hoping this is the case.

    Jim
     
  5. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    I don't expect Corel to turn off activation servers for version X6 and later anytime soon. But I don't expect them to be kept online indefinitely. Corel could start doing like Adobe did years ago with its first versions of Creative Suite. They started by disconnecting the activation servers for CS and CS2. But they provided an activation-free version of CS2 for registered users to download if they wanted to keep using that old software. I don't recall Adobe doing that for later versions; I didn't get any notice of availability for activation-free versions for CS3 or for my CS5.5 Master Collection license. I think CS6 is now the only legacy version of Creative Suite that can still be successfully installed and activated.

    CorelDRAW X6 was released in 2012. At some point Corel will probably take down activation server functions for that version. And then they'll follow with X7, X8 and so on. Older non-activation copies of CorelDRAW (X5 and earlier) may still run, if the operating system will allow it.

    I suppose if enough of the CorelDRAW user base just stays put with the versions they already use then the folks at Vector Capital might be forced to come up with a new game plan in regard to long time CorelDRAW users. But that's assuming they even care about the future of CorelDRAW and the software's user base.

    One thing I'm certain about: CorelDRAW isn't worth enough to pay $198 per year for a subscription. The yearly upgrades are just too minimal for that kind of cost. $99 per year would be more reasonable, but you have to pony up nearly $300 up front to be eligible for that annual rate.
     
  6. WhiskeyDreamer

    WhiskeyDreamer Professional Snow Ninja

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    So that begs a question. What is the cost of the 2019 and expected cost of the 2020 upgrade? Combined, are they more or less that what a full blown version will be in two or three years? I've never felt the need to upgrade Corel every year. Instead I wait a few years and then just grab the new version.
     
  7. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Adobe actually fubar'ed that and allowed anyone with an Adobe account to download and install those non activated products, even if they didn't have a legit license for the original versions.

    After that, I doubt that they would do that for the later versions. Of which, they are really under no obligation to do so.

    X5, for me, was already starting to have issues with 8.1. Nothing consistent, but it was already happening.

    Could also VM the legacy OS to run the legacy program if it's that important to the user. Properly spec'ed out, a VM will run with nearly native performance (certainly from a user perspective, benchmarks would need to be done to be more exacting about it).

    One thing to keep in mind with Corel, they may keep the servers going for quite a bit longer (although they are under no obligation to do so once a version gets beyond X - 3), but one may have installed the software one too many times. I think one can install DRAW up to 5 times with one license?


    I think that would depend on how they view their "investment" and if the C/B of it all makes it worth it to them to alter course.


    Subscriptions, in general, are all about the cash grab. Some have more value to the customer then the others, but over the long haul, it's all about the cash for the company. But pricing it fairly is a key thing as long with what is offered to the end customer since they don't have as much control.
     
  8. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    The current upgrade costs $199. To be able to upgrade that copy to the 2020 version you also have to add $99 for their "Upgrade Protection." The way it looks to me is that perpetual license owners would pay about $300 up front to be able to automatically upgrade each following year for $99.

    The option to buy a full price perpetual license version may not even be available in future releases of CorelDRAW.

    Compatibility issues with Win 8.1 are what forced me to upgrade from X5 to X6. I even remember Windows' own notification system specifically bringing up the availability of X6.

    I don't recall running into any install number limits with X5 or earlier. From X6 and later (the versions requiring activation), I can't remember if there was a limit of 1 or 2 machines on which a single license could run. Adobe Creative Cloud allows for 2 computers to be active on the account (such as a work desktop and a laptop at home).
     
  9. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    I'm sorry, I didn't specify. X5 and earlier didn't have limits. X6 on did.

    Now, my version of X6, and X8 were bundled in with a very expensive digitizing software (especially if you got the full version with all the modules). I think those may have been licensed differently then regular DRAW stand alone. The digitizing software directly interfaced with DRAW (and you couldn't have any other versions except the one that it was specifically "built" with or that would cause issues with both programs), so having a working copy of DRAW was very useful. Some file formats couldn't have otherwise been brought into the digitizing program unless you went through Corel or had a stand alone program to handle that format and export to one that the digitizing program took. So it would suck if shelling out that much scratch to have it not activate after 2 times when Corel (unlike Adobe) doesn't give "you" a method of deactivating to reclaim that used seat.
     
  10. ProColorGraphics

    ProColorGraphics Very Active Member

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    I got the 2019 Mac version and I am glad I did the subscription, especially now that I have heard 2020 is coming out soon. I just got it to be able to open random Corel files I get, as I use Illustration mostly. It has been very buggy and crashes a lot!
     
  11. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    I was really surprised the Mac version of CorelDRAW 2019 turned out as bad as it did. Corel put out all of this hype that the Mac version was built from the ground up as a true OSX application and that they worked closely with Apple on the product's development. One complaint I've seen is from Corel users who previously ran the application on Mac computers in a Windows shell and then bought the new, native Mac application. Apparently a lot of changes have been made to the CorelDRAW user interface and its keyboard shortcuts, throwing experienced CorelDRAW users for a loop.
     
  12. Jim Hill

    Jim Hill Active Member

    Well it's officially January 20th and I guess this the day that will change CorelDraw forever.

    Version X-8 has been working just fine for me so I will stay with this until I retire which should be soon.

    Jim
     
  13. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    Seems appropriate they picked MLK holiday as a day to make you upgrade your software. Sounds like your freedom is kind of taken away. Still have the chains attached to the company who you bought the software from.
     
  14. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    The only Windows "shell" (or what I would consider close to a shell) that I am aware of is Wine or it's derivatives (some of which are commercial, CrossOver I think is one), but I thought most people VM on Macs. I would.

    But does it really come as a surprise? It wasn't that great of a thing when Corel first tried to get involved and while it may not have been the 1st time that the ever tried to get a Mac version, given the space between them, it effectively is their 1st version all over again. Most people foobar the very 1st one. How quickly they adapt and get things back on what customers believe course should be is another thing.

    Freedom, in this regard, was always constrained. Had more of it, but it was still constrained. It's the way things are going though, really does take a ding out of that.
     
  15. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    The term "shell" or "virtual machine" is besides the point I was making. Anyone on a Mac using a previous version of CorelDRAW had to run the Windows version of it some way. The real point is those users were accustomed to the UI layout, keyboard shortcuts, etc of the Windows version. Apparently the Mac version has a lot of differences.

    The Windows version of CorelDRAW 2019 doesn't seem much different at all from the 2018 version. But (judging from the trial version) it definitely runs considerably slower, even with the third update (21.3.0.755 build).

    The Mac version of CorelDRAW 11 was essentially a crude port of the Windows version. It wasn't much of a surprise when that version was largely panned by Mac users.

    This new Mac version of CorelDRAW is effectively the first real Mac version the company has created. And while it might be expected that a first version of any application would have various technical issues, the people at Corel really couldn't afford to botch this release. They really needed to hit the ball out of the park with this release rather than foul it over into their own dugout.

    Adobe Illustrator is even more entrenched on the Mac platform than it is on Windows. And other alternatives have been around longer, such as Affinity Designer, which was originally a MacOS app (Serif's DrawPlus was the Windows counterpart, which was later replaced by the Windows version of Affinity Designer). Corel faced a very difficult proposition with trying to sell Mac users on CorelDRAW. With the program running slow and afflicted with bugs it's going to get few takers.
     
  16. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Actually it is on point of what you were making. It was all about how a user interacts with the software. How a user interacts with the software is significantly different between those two. One offers a complete OS that is sandboxed more then the other. As such there are performance differences, but also security implications as well. One is far more likely to have Windows viruses affect the Mac OS (at the system level) compared to the other. That would drastically affect the user's experience on several fronts.




    There should have been some expectation, especially if it was created from the ground up as a Mac build that there was going to be changes. The Apple ecosystem is not the Windows ecosystem. I would expect if Corel was to bring about a Linux version again (yes, that's again), those versions (Linux and Mac) would be closer related due to Mac's BSD heritage then between Mac and Windows.

    It's hard to tell sometimes. The outward theme could indeed by the same, but the underlying code base could have been significantly mucked with. May be not, just hard to tell.


    It doesn't matter if that's what they needed to do, odds are that it was going to have it's issues. Shoot even Adobe (in response to the less the stellar reviews of Ps on Ipad) said that if one waits until that 1st release is perfect, nothing would ever get released. There is no way to quash everything before a "stable" release happens. Sometimes it takes the dung to hit the fan in order to iron things out.

    I totally agree, that Corel needed to hit it out of the park, but that doesn't decrease the odds that something isn't going to be right with it, no matter how hard they try. It takes software to be released into the wild to know if it's really going to stand up or not. How well they bounce back is going to be the key thing, but may not. Here is the kicker, pretty soon they are going to have to deal with the next version, regardless if all the bugs are quashed if they continue with this accelerated release pace.

    It is quite possible that survival looks iffy, while it may suck that something along those lines does happen, it does happen.

    In all honesty, it would have been far better for them not to have done this and just concentrated on the Windows version. It was adding too much to their plate. New platform, heightened release schedule. Just too much.
     
  17. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    No, it's nerdy hair-splitting. I'm not writing a legal contract here. Shell, VM'ing, two cans hooked up to a string, I don't care about the semantics of it. It's besides the point. It's a totally off topic thread-drift side bar that has nothing to do with Mac users not liking the native Mac version of CorelDRAW.

    Nevertheless, Corel had to know it was facing an extremely uphill battle trying to attract users on the Mac platform. Releasing software not ready for prime time is not a good way to do that. It makes me wonder what happened in the beta testing cycle. The situation should not have been all that difficult. The Mac platform has a very limited variety of hardware compared to the far greater variety and seemingly endless combinations on the Windows platform. Any performance issues should have been easier to spot with the Mac version.

    That's probably so. If they had concentrated on just one platform the 2019 release might have turned out better. Going the subscription-only route, charging $198 per year to use CorelDRAW, is probably going to cost them a lot of customers. It's really going to hurt them considering each yearly update is very paltry at best in terms of new features. Speed and overall performance of the application has not improved either, it has only grown worse.
     
  18. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    By the way, it looks like Corel's online store has jumped the gun with the January 20 upgrade deadline. The online store is only showing the full $499 retail version and $198 per year annual subscription being available. Maybe they should have been saying January 19 in all these recent CorelDRAW pop-up ads.

    If someone wants to order the perpetual license upgrade with $99 per year upgrade protection I would suggest calling Corel's customer service line today at 1-877-582-6735.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
  19. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    No, it's related to how they (Mac users) were using Corel before. Not necessarily with the true Mac version of Corel. Although, if they were running CrossOver, that would be the closest compared to VMing, but most go with VMing, then with something like CrossOver.

    The thing with using a VM, one is actually just running a Windows machine. It might be on Mac hardware, but it is essentially a Windows machine. CrossOver/WINE, it's actually all directly through that Mac OS, not just on the hardware.


    At best, they could hope for co-exist. Either way, this doesn't help any scenario.

    Have to keep in mind as well, performance issues/bugs can also happen due to specific workflows. Although, as epidemic as this seems to be, I think it's something more.

    With the heightened, yearly release schedule, I highly doubt there is much of a testing phase anymore. Look at MS, somebody with far greater funds then Corel. No internal testing, all reliant on the insider group and even then a couple of the big releases have had bugs slip through, even ones that were documented before the release. So, in all honesty, I wouldn't expect much in the beta testing phase from any company that is on this yearly cadence.

    If I had to go back dealing with this, I would much prefer having it browser based at that point (and a lot of stuff can be done within the browser as well, not everything, but certainly with respect of Ai type work it can be).
     
  20. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    I am not a big fan at all of web browser-based applications. There's too much overhead for graphics app use. Nevertheless, that reminds me Corel also has a cloud based CorelDRAW app as yet another thing to throw on an already full plate for developers.

    Version 2019, even with the third maintenance build, appears to be pretty unstable. One of the big complaints going on currently is CDR 2019 is prone to crashes when opening or saving files. The application window just disappears. The running joke at the Corel user forums seems to be along the lines that CDR 2020 will be the maintenance fix for CDR 2019 but you gotta buy or subscribe to it. Then who knows what version 2020 will break?

    My advice to anyone upgrading is to save CorelDRAW layouts to earlier versions and keep an older version of CorelDRAW installed as a fallback just in case some documents refuse to load or save properly in the latest version.
     
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