With the announcement from Native Instruments about their Maschine 2.0 software about to be released soon, as well as their brand new Maschine Studio hardware controller, there's been a hot debate all over the internet about whether or not to pay for software upgrades. Maschine I own Maschine MK1 and when I bought it, it never said that I would be receiving lifetime upgrades for any of their products. In fact, ever since I first got Maschine, Native Instruments has actually given a lot of free downloads to all of their clients, such as their Komplete software, featuring synthesizers, effects, and instruments. It was great news of course when I was given these freebies from NI, and even when it came to the latest versions of Maschine, those were free too, all the way up to the most current version, 1.8.2. Now with version 2.0 about to come out, everyone is upset that it's not going to be free. Well guess what? It shouldn't be, and here's why: Native Instruments is a company that makes hardware and software for hobbyists and professionals, and they're in the business of making money, just like all businesses. For them to constantly give freebies to their clients is a big mistake because they would not be able to move forward as a company. Maschine Studio If you really think about it, the new Maschine Studio is the result of Native Instruments busting their ass to deliver yet again another great product for everyone. If they hadn't of made money from all the sales of Maschine MK1, MK2, Mikro, and of course all of their Maschine packs, and other software, then we probably wouldn't be seeing Maschine Studio. I think the problem that a lot of people have with this new version is that they just don't want to pay for anything. With all the freebies that NI has been giving out, everyone that's complaining is just plain spoiled. They have to remember that Maschine 2.0 comes with not just the latest version of Maschine, but also with Massive, Scarbee, and 8GB of sounds! I know that some customers do feel left out in the dark though, as they should be. There's plenty of people that just recently purchased Maschine MK2, not knowing that Maschine Studio is right around the corner. Had they had known that, they probably wouldn't have bought the MK2, and just held out for Studio. It's understandable that NI didn't want to tell people months in advance about Studio because then nobody would buy the MK2, but still, that's not fair. They should have at least given people a hint of things to come, not just a month ahead of time. FL Studio Many people know that FL Studio provides free upgrades for life, if you purchased the boxed version. This is great if you use that, but you have to remember that it's a completely different model from Native Instruments. I don't know what the main reason is by Image Line for offering lifetime upgrades, but I think it's a bad move on their part. The reason why I'm saying this is because they don't know what lies ahead of them years from now, and if their finances were to take a nosedive all of a sudden, what would they do? Free upgrades for life is a great way to attract customers, but I would be weary of an offer like that. I've always believed that you get what you pay for (unless it's something stupid like a $800 pair of jeans), so that's why I'm okay with paying for the new version of Maschine. Hardware What about hardware? For example, Native Instruments first came out with Maschine MK1, then a while after they dropped the MK2, with some new features. I didn't freak out and demand that I get a free MK2 just because I'm a customer - of course not! So why is software any different? Since it costs money to develop hardware just as it does to develop software, then how come everyone is up in arms about paying for a software upgrade? Take a look at Akai and its lineup of MPC's and MPD's. At one point they had the MPC 2000 for years, then all of a sudden there was the 1000, 2500, 4000, and 5000. What a lot of people did that owned a 2000 and wanted something new, is they sold and bought new. They sold their 2000 and put that money towards the 2500, for example. They didn't scream about how come they're not getting the 2500 for free. If you apply the same logic about software, to hardware, then why didn't they scream about it? Conclusion I think that as long as you're happy with whatever product you use and are willing to continue to use that great product, then you should more than willing to pay money for it. So, what do you think about paying for software upgrades?