February 1st: Magento announces that Magento Professional edition will disappear (they’ll phase it out, they said). This means that people who have recently bought the professional edition have been left hanging.
In our case, we have 3 clients that have recently paid for a Magento PE license and now we have to explain to them that they won’t get any updates unless they upgrade to Magento Enterprise edition. For most of them that won’t be an option: more than 10.000€/year is too much money compared to the 3.000 – 4000€ that the Professional Edition would cost.
I think that that’s been a really bad decision. Some clients look for professional support and they don’t mind paying some money for it. The thing is that they don’t want something called «community», even if the differences with the professional edition are minimal.
So What happens now?
Now you have to decide whether not to pay and use the community edition or pay a huge amount of money for the enterprise edition (and there is an even much more expensive edition…). Small companies that can’t afford that amount of money are going to use the «community edition», but they’re going to use it without being sure if it’s the best option for their e-shops. The truth is that «free stuff» means «buggy or non reliable stuff», even though that’s not true at all. On the other hand, the Magento Professional edition had no real improvements compared to the Community one. Furthermore, the Enterprise Edition has a lot of interesting features, but I’m not sure it’s worth it given that it’s possible to implement all those features using some [paid] extensions.
In our particular case, we’ll probably lose one of those 3 clients as a consequence of this policy change. It’s a very «special» client and it’s not a serious thing, but now we have to ask the other clients whether they want to pay more than 10K€ or not pay anything and use the non reliable «community edition» (non reliable for them, of course).
In conclusion, Magento’s decision is going to affect our commercial way of selling Magento. Maybe this is going to help making the «community» edition a more trustworthy edition.