You’ve probably heard us discuss this topic in the abstract at Warpstock events over the past year or so. As we count down the final days to ArcaOS 5.0 release, considering how the purchase of an ArcaOS 5.0 license may – entirely at the option of the licensee – either work alongside or replace an existing Drivers & Software subscription, we thought a brief discussion was in order.
What’s included with ArcaOS 5.0 in terms of support and maintenance
ArcaOS 5.0 licensing includes either 6 or 12 months of technical support and drivers & software updates, depending upon whether the personal or commercial edition is licensed. Technical support includes the ability to open support tickets in the Arca Noae Mantis bug tracker, as well as telephone support (as available). Much of the driver & software update content overlaps with the existing Drivers & Software subscription, but licensed exclusively for use with ArcaOS. Support, however, is extended to include the entire operating system, and not just the drivers and software components distributed as updates.
ArcaOS 5.0 personal edition licensing includes 6 months of support and maintenance. ArcaOS 5.0 commercial edition, on the other hand, includes a full 12 months of support and maintenance, with priority technical support (these tickets are handled first).
What to do with an existing Drivers & Software subscription
There are really two options:
- Keep it in force for one or more existing OS/2 or eComStation systems (as noted, drivers & software distributed as part of the ArcaOS support subscription are not licensed for use on non-ArcaOS systems), with an eye toward the changing licensing scheme for personal subscriptions (see below); or
- Convert the remaining period to a credit against the cost of ArcaOS licensing. This can be done by completing an online form and submitting it to Arca Noae. We will issue a rebate, coupon, or credit to your account for the value of any whole or fractional months remaining on your subscription.Example:
You just renewed your personal subscription April 1 for $44.10, and on May 10, you purchase an ArcaOS 5.0 Personal Edition license for the introductory price of $99. You complete the online form, answering a few non-personal questions, and submit it. Arca Noae credits your account $40.23 (the value of 11 months remaining on your previously renewed subscription).The trade-off is that while any non-ArcaOS systems may continue to use whatever subscription content had already been installed on them prior to the point of subscription conversion, no new subscription content is licensed for use on these systems.
How the existing Drivers & Software subscription licensing scheme is changing
To better align the terms of the Drivers & Software personal edition with those of ArcaOS 5.0 personal edition, any subscriptions purchased or renewed after the official launch of ArcaOS 5.0 will be limited to one installed system, and no longer metered to cover an entire household. Thus, one subscription will be required for every system benefiting from the updated software and related support.
In keeping with Arca Noae’s commitment to fair use, any driver and/or software updates obtained prior to this change in licensing scheme are fully licensed for use on all systems where they were previously licensed.
How to handle a mix of ArcaOS and OS/2 or eComStation installations
There will be valid reasons for not replacing all existing OS/2 or eComStation installations with ArcaOS. ArcaOS does not provide extensive support for ISA or MicroChannel hardware, for example. Other reasons also exist. Our recommendation for such systems is to maintain a Drivers & Software subscription for each one, alongside a support subscription for each ArcaOS installation. Only in this manner can you be assured that you are always using the latest, fully supported drivers and software on all of your OS/2 systems.
How the ArcaOS support subscription will be handled when ArcaOS 5.1 is released
ArcaOS 5.1 is already in the planning stages, as are incremental updates to ArcaOS 5.0 (incremental updates to 5.0 will be included as part of the 5.0 support and maintenance subscription content). An ArcaOS support subscription is version-less, meaning that a subscription purchased six months after the purchase of an ArcaOS 5.0 license and still in effect when upgrading to ArcaOS 5.1 will extend the included support in the 5.1 upgrade license. Also, should you choose to stay with ArcaOS 5.0 and not upgrade to 5.1, your investment in 5.0 is protected, because Arca Noae fully expects to support ArcaOS 5.0 for some time after 5.1 and later versions are released.