Subscription based model

I’ve noticed there has been confusion and anger over the new subscription based model that the developers have emailed us about. Of course, I’m not going to lie I was pretty annoyed when I got the email. However, I do understand where they are coming from. All companies are heading to a subscription based model, essentially they make a lot more money this way but it also gives on going support for the developers. However, there are some expectations from the customers who will be paying for this software ongoing.

There’s a few questions that need to be cleared and a few statements to be mentioned.

S) Now that a subscription model has been implemented the customers who purchased the software will expect quality support, bugs to be fixed, feature requests to be taken Into consideration and regular updates if needed.

S) Going from a $99 one time license to a $149 and per year cost for updates is quite a hike. Just wondering why this approach was taken? Most subscription based models involves a single cost per month/year and you get access to the latest updates and all forums.

Q) As someone who purchased the software in 2018, I am pretty sure there was a guarantee that it includes all future updates. Is this now revoked? If so that’s pretty crap.

I’ve read a few opinions out there and looks like users are starting to look at other software such as Voyager and NINA (which is free and hearing really good things about).

Anyway, guys SGP is the best Astro software I have used and it has made my image capturing plus a range of other tasks to do much easier. I just hope the subscription and cost doesn’t hurt future development.


I’m rather amazed at the amount of misinformation out there about this. You’re not the only one who has been confused by this.

Starting with the not yet released version 4, the yearly subscription will be $59 and if you already own version 3 then the initial cost of $149 has been waived. If you already own version 3 you can continue to use it forever without any cost and will still receive updates for version 3. It is also my understanding that if you own version 3 then the initial cost to upgrade to version 4 (when released) has been waived, and you will just need to pay the subscription fee of $59.

Far from hindering any future development, this model will actually encourage future development. If the developers don’t make anything new that people are willing to subscribe to then they don’t get paid. So the pressure is on them to make a product that people want and are willing to subscribe to get.

This was already happening…

Not ALL future updates, but updates within the major version you purchased. This is still the case. You get updates to SGP3 at no cost and with no subscription.


Jared, Thanks for clearing up some of the confusion, but if it’s the case that getting updates to a current bought version, such as SGP3, do not require a subscription, how is the subscription model any different than simply announcing that new major releases will cost $59? And unless you plan on new major releases occurring more than once per year, what would be the benefit in ever “subscribing”? Is it your plan to release new features to an existing major release that would not be included in the purchase of the major release?

So there is no benefit to doing what I did (paid the $59 just a while ago) until V4 is released? If so, then it seems like either I should have waited until V4 is out to pay or SGP should have waited to implement the new charge system until V4 is ready. Otherwise, I have wasted however many months of the year’s payment that there are between now and V4.

Or is V4 going to be very soon (in which case it does not matter)?

Do I have this wrong? If I have this right, it would seem fair to not have the year’s subscription time period start until V4 is available.

Major releases are a huge pain from a management perspective (see why we really only did one of them in 10 years…SGP2 was the initial release so that doesn’t really count). With the SGP3 launch we had a significant amount of work that went into getting the release ready and separate from SGP2. With the new model we can just put in features when they’re ready and not have to “hold them back” for a major release … users get features faster and we remove the overhead of managing releases. It’s a win/win.


V4 will be “soonish”. Probably 1-3 months.

Yes, we have decided to do this as there was some misunderstanding about when the subscription was actually required for updates. Any active subscription will have the end date set to 1 year after the SGP4 release date.



That sounds great! Looking forward to V4…

Thanks for clearing that up.

It is confusing especially to those who have never used subscription based software before. I’m usually pretty good with this kind of thing but it even got me confused!

From my experience when I signed up for Adobe Photoshop I could either pay monthly or yearly. I chose a monthly plan at $xx a month and that’s it. Updates included, access to the support forum and cloud storage. Same thing with Office 365. For simplicity users pay a subscription and use the software not having to worry about if they will receive updates or get access to premium support.

Anyway I hope my questions helped if anyone else was confused.

I’ve been kind of out of it for awhile. I’ll probably wait until v4 as I haven’t been doing any Astro work. Sorry if mentioned in plain site but is there an expiration of when a previous user can upgrade? In other words, I don’t want to find out I’d need to drop $149 if I hold off a few months.

Also, what are the policies going to be for a lapse in license? If I don’t see value for my setup in upgrading but want to in 2 years, would I pay just the 59/year (or whatever the yearly rate is) to resume?

If you own SGP3 then the “upgrade fee” to SGP4 is just the yearly maintenance fee ($59). It is not a “time limited” deal…you can wait 3 years and then decide you want to go to SGP4 and it would still be just the maintenance fee.

You would not incur the the initial purchase price again. Just the yearly maintenance fee ($59). You’d then have updates for a full year.


Jared - like some others, I did not get the email with the announcement and found myself paying the subscription to allow me to use the latest version of 3.x. After the initial surprise, I didn’t personally have a problem with this but I can see how this is confusing for many others.

The answers may lie in several threads and responses but I think this needs a pinned banner in the forum - which lays this out clearly, for different use cases.

I followed the link to subscribe, as a version 3.2 owner, expecting to find “subscribe only” since the $149 was waived. I found no such option, just Buy AND subscribe. How do we get our waived “buy” and subscribe only???

@glabelle When you login and visit your subscription management page (follow the links from the notification box in the lower right corner). You will see a button there labelled “Activate Subscription”.

@buzz Responded in DM.

I am so disappointed. I am 8 days in evaluating the trial and I go to the website to purchase, and now find out it is subscription based and no longer $99. I really loved and connected with this software, but I guess I will move on to NINA. Very Sad. I would have paid more up front to not have to be subjected to a subscription based model.

There is not currently a maintenance plan. That will be for SGP4. We’re currently selling SGP3 and there is no maintenance plan associated with SGP3.

Even then you are never forced to have an active maintenance plan to use the software.


I’m currently using Ver: I don’t see a way to purchase. Is there a different web site than because everything that I see there says From: $149.00 now then $59.00 / year. There is not an activation option under Help, only a “Register this Machine”


It is $149 for SGP3 and that will include a 1 year maintenance plan. But you can use SGP3 for life and when SGP4 comes out you’ll have a license for that as well. Also when SGP4 is released your maintenance plan will be extended to 1 year from the SGP4 release date. It is $59 to for a new 1 year maintenance plan after the initial purchase but you do NOT have to purchase the maintenance plan and SGP4 will continue to work just fine.

You’ll need to use SGP 3.2 which has the option to activate with the new servers…unfortunately we weren’t able to keep the same licensing scheme intact for older versions.


Yes but when we purchased version 3 I believe that it said that we would have access to all future versions … I get it … that all companies are moving towards that model … but I think there is a bit of something about integrity …

I paid it … but it took SGP down a notch in my book