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The Sailfish X survey from Jolla

asked 2019-08-22 00:01:48 +0200

ron282 gravatar image

updated 2019-08-22 14:28:58 +0200

jiit gravatar image

Today I received an email from Jolla to participate to a survey monkey about Sailfish X.

Basically I understand that this surveymonkey is to check if Sailfish X users are ready to invest again in a new license, if they are ready to pay a regular fee and what is the acceptable amount.

I didn't have the opportunity to comment (this is a survey monkey).

I just want to reiterate that I'm ready to invest again.

But if I pay a regular fee I would like Jolla to have a bit more consideration for features requested by the community and to get a better communication about coming features.

May be sending also a survey monkey to licensed users to decide priorities about features to develop first is not a bad idea.

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is there a link you could share?

rozgwi ( 2019-08-22 00:29:45 +0200 )edit

Survey monkey to decide priorities is very nice idea.

Filip K. ( 2019-08-22 01:44:40 +0200 )edit

Already a jolla user from day 1, ea subscribed, and had several phones with SFOS, but I never got that mail of participation in a survey. This shows how good Jolla cares about their main and longtime users, bad coms and and not so userfriendly towards their fans who made them come this far.

Sinking ship?

aQUICK1 ( 2019-08-22 01:45:35 +0200 )edit

Got this mail too. I didn't know they planned some kind of subscription model. I'll be the laughing stock of my circle of friends: having a partly disfunctional mobile with issues and bugs, and even paying a regular fee to be allowed to keep such inconvenience. Never mind, it's a love affair, see?

Robomike ( 2019-08-22 01:58:10 +0200 )edit

also got it and i also pointed out that i will only invest if the product gives me much more bonus as you are saying more features requested, more stable system, etc. usually i'm not a friend of lets say continuous pay but i would in order to never have to use droid or half eaten apples

NuklearFart ( 2019-08-22 10:15:28 +0200 )edit

14 Answers

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answered 2019-08-22 13:23:11 +0200

ossi1967 gravatar image

I'm furious about this survey. The last question cannot be answered with "€ 0 - I will never pay a recurring fee", but cannot be skipped either. They are manipulating it - and us. Incredibly impertinent and unprofessional. Shame on them.

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I remember a question about that so for me it was possible to answer. Just checked again:

 8. Would you accept a recurring payment if the Sailfish X licence includes transferring to other supported devices?


9. Would you prefer a monthly or annually recurring fee for Sailfish X licence?
Filip K. ( 2019-08-22 13:40:13 +0200 )edit

well then instead of 0 put 10000000 in. Thats virtually the same since it is obviously not serious:)

inte ( 2019-08-22 13:45:07 +0200 )edit

@Filip sure and I answered those. But still the fact tensions that even those who answered "won't pay a monthly fee" will (or can) be counted as "will pay amount x". I'm 100% sure it'll be presented that way internally.

ossi1967 ( 2019-08-22 13:58:32 +0200 )edit

@inte That is not a smart move. Another interpretation for such an answer is that you're happy to pay any amount you will be charged. Mind the fact that if the final decision is made on some aggregate of the answers, such a silly answer will push the mean of the distribution towards the right end, making an impression that on average customers are fine with paying higher price.

Nautilus ( 2019-08-22 15:15:15 +0200 )edit

I think the yearly fee of about 50 euros is very reasonable and stated so.

juiceme ( 2019-08-23 18:31:03 +0200 )edit

answered 2019-08-22 18:25:38 +0200

mcencora gravatar image

I have not received such a survey, but here is my take on this.

If they want me to pay monthly/yearly subscription fee, they better provide actual support.

What I mean is, they promised support when I payed for Sailfish X on Xperia X, but for me they almost completely failed on this front. Severe bugs affecting hundreds (thousands?) of users, are still unfixed after almost 2 years (and some bugs existed even before Sailfish X, and are still not fixed). The OS is basically still in beta version.

I am aware that they cannot possible fix each and every bug affecting a single user, but if hundreds of users are affected they should really focus on this.

And that is bugs only, there are much more stuff I'd like to see done during the subscription (updated Android support, implement missing support for hardware features like NFC, and FM radio).

Unfortunately with the way they prioritize they work now, I don't see myself paying for such a in-blanco subscription (basically users have zero impact on what gets fixed/implemented in next version).

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Can only agree on every point! IT STILL IS BETA!!! and that is sad!

Raymaen ( 2019-08-23 18:23:44 +0200 )edit

answered 2019-08-24 13:17:15 +0200

The responses from many Jolla customers here kind of reflect the common opinion of society about how software engineering is valued. :-(

Most people simply can't conceive how much time and therefore money is required to do stuff in IT properly. Based on the perception that there is free this and free that for everything leads many people to the conclusion that everything must be free of charge. Open Source it already so that everything costs nothing, right? Wrong, even if every single part of the platform is Open Source, a lot of continuous work is required to put and keep all bits together, perform quality assurance, communicate with users, keep the supporting infrastructure up and running, keep up with all dependent software versions, fix CVEs on short notice and so on.

A regular sized software company in western Europe has to be able to bill about 1.000 EUR for every single engineer per day they employ in order be healthy. This may vary depending of the supporting staff and infrastructure requirements, but even half of it for a lean company setup would be a lot of money just to "keep the lights on" software wise. Research and development time can be spent in case employees have time left for that.

From a user perspective, the continuously provided patches for security related issues are the ultimate unique selling point for SailfishOS.

I want professionals to provide well engineered solutions with all aspects of the software quality spectrum in a well balanced focus, because a mobile phone is the ultimate personal device where each and every screw up can mean loss and/or leak of very personal information.

_With all that in mind_, I've happily selected the most expensive payment option possible in the survey with the requirement to have at least monthly security patches for the whole technology stack.

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Very well put, sir. I heartly agree with everything you say.

Thre is great misunderstanding about the costs related to software development in general and that freedom of expression granted by open source would equal to freedom from payment.

juiceme ( 2019-08-24 13:35:59 +0200 )edit

Generally agree, but the problem is that any form of subscription inverts the business model.

If developers/company offer a well designed and functional product, they can claim high prices and leave it to the free will of a customer to pay their price. If promises are true, they will earn much money!

But paying monthly fees without having any influence what outcome I'll get is absurdly wrong(tm). I won't get my money back if I don't like the outcome, and nobody dictates/controls what to do with that money.

Improving android support is nothing I'd agree to pay a single cent - make android support superfluous in the first place! Spending valuable resources for android compatibility and neglecting essential basic and severe feature and usability problems (for years!) of the actual platform is nothing I'm willing to support with my money. If you ask me to pay 10€ for Saiima->Hossa update, I'd clearly say NO. Maybe Sailfish 3 is the foundation for future features, but first catch up with all the missing basic feature, before asking for maintenance fee. There is nothing to maintain, _nothing_ is finished yet. Sailfish is 0.9-alpha. A subscription mustn't ever be abused for developing/construction/design funding!

Make Jolla store a platform where people can purchase apps and sell your own supplemental native apps! A shame that SailfishOS comes without any usable program out of the box, but that way you can get returns for funding the development of badly needed software which is missing for years in SailfishOS!

Nobody pays the baker for making bread tomorrow. Baker has to bake bread before asking for money! And if the baker bakes bread that nobody likes, he has to find and pay someone who is able to bake bread the customers like. But not by lending money from the customers, especially if there's no evidence that the new bread will taste like promised. Probably, such a baker should find a different job, maybe he could start a career as a software developer...

Scurvy Jack ( 2019-08-24 14:34:18 +0200 )edit

you're absolutely true, but on the other hand, what was the business justification in the new ui of phone, messages, clock or the new light ambiences which were introduced above the issues on tjc with a high number of votes? The latter would have given the community the feeling that they had indeed influence on some software decisions taken....

rgrnetalk ( 2019-08-24 14:37:50 +0200 )edit

Using software that has been developed by somebody else is simply a token gesture of trust. The good thing with a regular fee is, that you can revoke this trust at any time and stop using the software. An expensive one-time fee wouldn't give you that freedom.

The baker doesn't have to make sure that the bread doesn't start to mold for many years. ;-)

gnuheidix ( 2019-08-24 17:40:08 +0200 )edit

I agree every single word! The alternative is to pay with personal information, tracking and advertising. Only fools want that.

Ich sehe, Du bist vom Fach, aber erkläre dem Blinden mal die Farbe Blau ;)

4carlos ( 2019-08-25 07:44:53 +0200 )edit

answered 2019-08-22 08:49:31 +0200

ghling gravatar image

Thanks for pointing out the mail. It was automatically moved to my spam folder as is was suspected as scam due to all links being external tracking urls. Tells you a lot about current "privacy" attitude of Jolla :(

Also, since the question about the amount of subscription fee you are willing to pay is mandatory it seems that someone wants to get data to justify their decision to move into this direction, not asking if people are open for this way.

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All tracking options of the Survey Monkey app have been explicitly disabled so that the survey is 100% anonymous.

Martin ( 2019-08-28 12:29:55 +0200 )edit

answered 2019-08-22 16:17:04 +0200

misc11 gravatar image

i would pay a small monthly fee... IF sfos was 100% free and opensource and user input would actually make it into the os (include the damn patches!). then the fee would be more of a crowdsourced support for development.

also considering the 30/50€ for the promised 2 year support for sailfish x, this would translate to a ~2€/month price. and i dont think if they introduce it, it would be that little...

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see this is the only real reason id pay too. and perhaps apps could be sold the same way.

tortoisedoc ( 2019-08-23 18:25:56 +0200 )edit

That was also my thought initially, but on second thought I don't see it working well: if SFOS was 100% free and open source, this payment would be essentially a Patreon and no one would pay it anymore. :) Unfortunately, at this stage to survive they need to keep some proprietary bits. I am fine with it being the Android support and predictive text input, though.

Federico ( 2019-08-27 10:18:04 +0200 )edit

well, i joined the sailfish train originally in 2014 BECAUSE of the promise of FLOSS. what good does it do to give jolla money and when they go bankrupt in a couple of years and the whole software is lost because its not open source. i want the work jolla does to stay eve nafter jolla is gone and that only works with FLOSS.

misc11 ( 2019-08-29 12:46:39 +0200 )edit

answered 2019-08-22 11:57:41 +0200

inte gravatar image

SailfishOS on a per subscription base? Seriously?

To be honest: Software subscriptions are rather attractive to big companies which have to react flexible on situations (like new projects, new employees, more licenses needed for a short amount of time) and who need to calculate costs in advance. In the private sector, subscriptions are rather uncommon except for things like streaming services etc.. I personally see SailfishOS rather as a community project and licenses fees rather as a one time donation to support further development. I already supported the phone and tablet crowdfunding and I bought my Sailfish X license. As most of the Jolla users I'm a strong enthusiast of free and/or open software and most of the Sailfish software is based on GPL-projects as the entire OS. If Jolla was really considering a subscription model this can only be the result of some stupid external consultants advice who are absolutely not aware of the Jolla-users/FOSS community but advise the standard things which currently get more and more common in the global IT business - only that this doesn't work for a company which is so close to the Linux/FOSS community and already struggeling anyways. I personally don't own a single software subscription and I probably never will but rather pay a one time fee or use FOSS. I never saw this survey too, btw.

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Well, a company tries to survive... so it's not an illegitimate idea, imho. I once bought a license, bought also an Xperia X - and I'm stuck now. Any new interesting devices, officially supported? Nope. I came to terms with the annoying bugs and try not to brick the thing... but how can Jolla make money now?

So, Jolla, take notice of the bugs, support the manifold of community ports by adding android (for money, of course), promise me not to sell my data to anyone and protect me against ads and scam, and I'll be happy to pay yearly for the service. But having just disadvantages by using an exotic OS and additionally paying for the downsides is too hard. There must be an outstanding benefit worth to pay.

Robomike ( 2019-08-22 13:28:12 +0200 )edit

Jolla needs licensees but those should obviously not be the end users but rather hardware manufacturers.

inte ( 2019-08-22 13:46:53 +0200 )edit

I don't think some people here understand how much it costs to develop an OS. The 50€ license fee doesn't even cover salary for 1 hour for a developer in western Europe. There is no way Jolla can provide even close to all features android/iOS provide based on the small number of licenses bought.

decon ( 2019-08-22 15:19:42 +0200 )edit

@decon oh do you have data about how many licences were sold?

misc11 ( 2019-08-22 16:07:15 +0200 )edit

@decon Right, why then not to charge customers €100 monthly indeed. After all it's they who want an alternative OS, not us (Jolla) who want to disseminate it (this is sarcasm btw). You know, if the only solution to keep your business on the flow in a situation of a constantly decreasing customers base is to take more money from the core of few loyal customers, then your business model is just flawed. Or, perhaps, you simply have no development strategy because this is a way to nowhere.

Nautilus ( 2019-08-22 16:14:49 +0200 )edit

answered 2019-08-23 16:04:14 +0200

Tanghus gravatar image

updated 2019-08-23 16:07:32 +0200

I would gladly pay a recurring fee; AFAIRC that was talked about from the start for Sailfish X, and I don't (currently) care about transferring the license. I just want to have my current Xperia X updated including Android support as XA2. That was what I payed for.

I specifically bought an Xperia X, because we were told that they wouldn't guarantee that it would work on other models. The sales-person looked funnily at me when I said I wanted the older model.

Now I'm stuck with that older model (no, not her) and won't get any updates for Android support, and I can't afford buying a new phone.

(PS: Please don't get started with "why do you want a SailfishOS phone to run Android on?". It's getting tiring.)

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I would pay an one time fee for an upgrade of android version for Xperia X.

The vast majority of the sailfishos users need the android support. That is a fact and clearly aknowledged by Sami Pienimäki at the Sailfish 3 Day (video minute 18:20 -18:50): "run the apps we want on the platform we love" . So i do not see any time soon the Jolla Store filled with most popular native apps.

binutzu ( 2019-08-23 17:39:05 +0200 )edit

I had a similar concern when no reoccurring fee materialized after the initial payment for my Xperia X license, as without reocuring payment, Jolla really has no concrete incentive to support older devices (even if new kernels and drivers are available from Sony) as less people will be buying those over time & paying the one time payment. This is basically reverting to the Android way of device manufacturers also not having an incentive to support you once they have you money and I think we can do better.

With a reoccurring subscription payment, there is a concrete incentive to keep older devices up to date (including kernel updated, driver updates, android layer updates, fixing as many device specific bugs and regressions as possible) as long as enough people are still using them & paying you a subscription. I would certainly not mind such a subscription as long as Jolla does their part. :)

MartinK ( 2019-08-30 15:43:44 +0200 )edit

answered 2019-08-22 23:55:02 +0200

lupastro gravatar image

updated 2019-08-22 23:56:16 +0200

I click on the email link and I get a message that "We have reached the maximum amount of responses to this survey" REALLY GUYS?

What kind of a //self-censored// survey is this? Is this the way to make a survey from a serious company asking their customers, like me, that have been following you since the beginning?

You should really improve your PR/Marketing actions...

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I did not even got an email, so I cant really judge, only about the fact I am also here from day 1 with jolla and SFOS its simply said RUDE AND DISRESPECTFUL towards us fans , customers and supporters. NICE WAY to communicate, NOT!

aQUICK1 ( 2019-08-23 00:08:16 +0200 )edit

I can confirm it. What kind of statistics is it?

jolladiho ( 2019-08-23 15:19:09 +0200 )edit

surveymonkey free tier has some how many can get iirc

tortoisedoc ( 2019-08-23 18:26:31 +0200 )edit

answered 2019-08-22 15:28:30 +0200

flanker gravatar image

updated 2019-08-22 15:30:13 +0200

I am not for paying regular fees (monthly, per account, per updates ...) From users side, it's bad idea. Then, however I will hate it, I will be forced to switch system to PostmarketOS, Librem, Nemo mobile or some opensource android derivates like /e/ (Eelo) or LineageOS. Unfortunatelly all this news means, that Jolla has serious financial problems. Probably, they don't have enough profit of selling licences to Accione Jala and Russian Inoi. Without own devices or other new devices they hardly can play the role of third global mobile OS (besides Google Android and Apple's Ios)...

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"PostmarketOS, Librem, Nemo mobile"

non of those OSes is ready to be a daily driver OS.

makarch ( 2019-08-22 23:01:54 +0200 )edit

That's true, no one said these projects are more developed than SailfishOS. It is only alternative for me, that means, If Sailfish OS will in near future follow fate of BB OS 10, I hope, in near future, one of these projects will be ready for daily use ... (btw, I forgot NecunoOS, sorry)

flanker ( 2019-08-23 01:17:12 +0200 )edit

answered 2019-08-23 01:58:39 +0200

Kao gravatar image

I don't quite understand how a SFOS subscription model would even work. What happens when I stop paying? Will my SFOS...

... stop working? That's positively insane, and a case where I'd feel forced to look for an alternative mobile OS.

... get no more updates? More likely case, but almost as bad if no more security updates. And with security updates only, might turn out to be more expensive due to backporting costs than giving away the newest version.

... loose functionality, like Android support stops working? Kind of understandable from a business perspective, but hardly justifiable to customers.

All of these sort of force me to continue paying, taking away my choice in the matter. And what is SFOS if it isn't about choice anymore?

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The way how this works for example for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (which is actually fully open source BTW) is that you can no longer access the repositories (so no more updates) and contact support once you leave your subscription to lapse. And I can imagine the same model working for Sailfish OS as well & it is actually already in place for the trial (which AFAIK was not getting updates & was unsupported).

MartinK ( 2019-08-30 15:46:39 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2019-08-22 00:01:48 +0200

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Last updated: Aug 28 '19