IntelliJ IDEA Personal Licensing Changes

With the release of IntelliJ IDEA 13 you may have noticed changes in the Personal License terms. Starting from October 30, 2013, we have switched from the traditional, per-major-version licenses to licenses empowered with 1-year upgrade subscription. This is how most of our other products (PhpStorm, PyCharm, RubyMine, WebStorm, and AppCode) are licensed: When you purchase a new license or upgrade an existing one, you get 1 year of free product upgrades to any new versions (including major releases).

It is important to note that your license does not expire after the 1-year period ends, i.e. you can continue using the product. But to continue receiving updates after that period ends, you should renew your subscription. Note that the subscription renewal starts from the moment it’s expired. In case you don’t renew your subscription for longer than a year after, it expires and the special “past-due renewal” cost applies.

Commercial licenses can be purchased either with or without 1-year upgrade subscription. Personal licenses, on the other hand, default to the subscription model, and do so without price increase.

As a personal customer, you will never again buy a license only to find out in a couple of months that you need to pay again to get the latest product update.

The other positive news is that the difference between major and minor releases will eventually go away. “Major release in December” will become irrelevant, as you’ll be receiving all regular updates within your subscription period.

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168 Responses to IntelliJ IDEA Personal Licensing Changes

  1. Pavel says:

    What if I want to skip one major release (until now I usually renewed my personal licence on every even version 8, 10, 12). So now my personal licence will expire (for instance if IDEA 14 doesn’t come in a few months) and I will have to pay more for renewal?

    • Andrey Cheptsov says:

      The new licensing model implies that you upgrade your subscription every year, otherwise “past-due renewal” cost applies.

      • Giulio Cesare Solaroli says:

        Where is the difference between “renewal” fee and “past-due renewal” explained?
        How much is the “past-due renewal” fee?
        Having an old-style license, am I eligible to renew when I prefer, or am I still supposed to renew my license before its expiration?

        • Andrey Cheptsov says:

          Renewal means buying one more year of subscription (starting from it’s expiration date). The cost for “renewal” is 50% of “a new license” price, just as regular upgrade (e.g. $99).

          Example: if you purchase a new license or upgrade on December 6, 2014 you’ll get one year of subscription. The subscription will expire on December 6, 2014. So if you renew it (you can do it whenever you want before it’s expired) you’ll get one more year (until December 6, 2015).

          Past-due renewal means “restarting: your subscription from a new date. The cost for “past-due renewal” is 75% of “a new license” price (e.g. $149 instead of $199).

          Example: if you purchased a new license or upgraded on December 6, 2014; then didn’t renew your subscription and it’s expired on December 6, 2014. In December, 2015 you decided to upgrade, that when “past-due renewal” applies, so you should pay $149 instead of $99.

          But once again, it is important to note that your license never expires, i.e. you can continue using the product.

          • Brzhk says:

            So what you mean is:
            If you pay every year before it expires, it only costs 50% of a license price.
            If you miss the deadline, you can have a 25% discount as a “returning customer”.

          • Tuno says:

            So past-due date is December 6, 2015? Upgrading on December 1, 2015 is still 50% off?

          • AnonCowherd says:

            Dude, when a thread full of people are asking about the “past-due renewal” thing, you _know_ something is wrong.

            Who are you to tell me when it’s been too long since I last gave you money?

            >>> Example: if you purchased a new license or upgraded on December 6, 2014; then didn’t renew your subscription and it’s expired on December 6, 2014.

            Huh? You mention the exact same date twice, but talk about upgrades and subscriptions in a confusing way. If someone bought something on the 6th of Dec, did he have a choice between buying an upgrade and buying a subscription?

            -Were they mutually exclusive? If not, would he have had to pay twice? If not, what was the difference and why didn’t he get a subscription too?

            That’s just really confusing.

            >>> In December, 2015 you decided to upgrade, that when “past-due renewal” applies, so you should pay $149 instead of $99.

            So basically you’re saying that if we don’t give you more money within a timeframe that you deem appropriate, we can no longer “upgrade”, but have to pay “the full license” instead?

            See, until now, I’ve had a Personal License for IDEA, and I’ve upgraded whenever the hell I felt like it. The upgrade price has been far lower than the full licence’s, and that’s been great. It’s a standard model that makes a lot of sense, you’re only upgrading, after all.

            I don’t want to be punished and “forced” to pay the (nearly) full price for a personal licence whenever you think I’m too slow in giving you more money. That’s just bullshit.

            Now, if I’m wrong about something, feel free to correct me. But instead, with your customers being mighty confused by your pricing changes, I’d recommend just getting rid of the problem: the “past-due renewal” nonsense.

            Try something like this:

            – A subscription gives you _all_ new versions that come out within one year.
            – You buy an upgrade subscription for the traditional upgrade price.
            – You buy an _initial_ subscription for the traditional full licence price.

            .. and you’ll find that everyone will be happy, and _no one_ will be confused.

            But for now, you’ve got a problem here.

          • Joe Swanson says:

            If your rent is late, you have to pay a penalty!

      • Nos Doughty says:

        Well, I’m not completely thrilled about it because it adds a bit of uncertainty around what I am paying for when I renew my subscription for the expectation of a future release I may or may not like, but it could end up being a great change if JB wants to use it to deliver more frequent releases.

        For myself, on average, I probably upgrade around every 15-18 months or so. It’s not deliberate, it’s just that I tend to be in the middle of projects when a new release rolls around and I’m a bit hesitant to take the risk of the upgrade when it comes out. So from that perspective, I suspect I will probably loose out a little financially.

        On the other hand, if I think of it as: ‘would I be happy to pay $99 per year subscription for Intellij’ as a stand-alone proposition, forgetting whether it’s more or less than I pay now, then the answer is unquestionably yes, and I consider it a very good deal for a great product.

        So I guess I’ll just try to think of it that way. :)

    • Aleksey says:

      You will have to pay more for – work.

  2. Rafael says:

    Can you please clarify what are those past due renewal costs?

  3. Joe says:

    How much is that past-due renewal cost? Couldn’t find any information on the website.
    It should be available in advance to make a decision whether I want to renew or not.

  4. sachin says:

    How much is ‘past due renewal’ cost?

    • Andrey Cheptsov says:

      Please see my comment above.

      • sachin says:

        So does it mean if I buy a license on January 1, 2014 then I will continue to receive updates till January 1, 2015. After that if I upgrade my subscription on any date between January 2, 2015 to January 1, 2016, I will pay normal upgrade charges and not the “past due renewal” cost?

        I currently have IntelliJ 12 license which I bought in April, 2013. What will be the date after which “past due renewal” charges will be applied on me?

        • sick of same questions that have been answered says:

          Are you guys a retards? Everything is explained. I’d be afraid to see not even use the programs you develop if you can’t understand simple if-else logic that Andrey puts on the table.
          Someone created a tool and he can define pricing he wants. Business is business. If you’re not happy with IntellliJ pricing use eclipse. It’s shitty and slow but free. This is how it works since invention of money – someone worked on brilliant IDE and can charge as much as he evaluates his effort.

  5. Dave says:

    I have an IDEA 12 license I purchased at the end of last year, before it became subscription based. If I want version 13, can I upgrade still? If yes, does my license become subscription based from the upgrade purchase date? From the original purchase date? Do I have the same “Purchase within 1 year” restriction coming from the per-major version based license?

    • Eugene Toporov says:

      Yes, once you upgrade your existing license you switch to the subscription model and it starts on the day of the upgrade to v13.
      Not sure I understand the last question though

      • Dave says:

        Take this example: I bought my per-major version license December 15, 2012. Am I still eligible to buy an upgrade license that makes it a renewal based license on December 20th, 2013? January 5th, 2014? I think you answered this earlier though.

        Thanks for taking the time to respond.

  6. Su-Au says:

    Since IDEA 12 didn’t include an upgrade subscription, there is nothing that could expire. From which date would the subscription renewal be count in this case ? The date of purchase ? This would mean if i upgrade to IDEA 13 in January/February i’d technically get IDEA 14 as well.

    • Andrey Cheptsov says:

      > From which date would the subscription renewal be count in this case? The date of purchase?
      > This would mean if i upgrade to IDEA 13 in January/February i’d technically get IDEA 14 as well.
      Yes if v14 is released within a year. But as I’ve said the difference between major and minor releases will eventually go away, so you’ll get any updates within a year.

    • Eugene Toporov says:

      It’s more correct to say from date of upgrade, not date of purchase

  7. Su-Au says:

    dang, just saw the “starting Oct 30 2013” tag on the upgrade page

  8. Sven says:

    I’m really upset with this scheme. I bought IntelliJ 12 on sept. 30 this year. With the release of IntelliJ 13 only a couple of months later, I need to buy an upgrade to get it. That’s pretty bad, guys.

    • Andrey Cheptsov says:

      Sven, it used to be so all the time. With the new scheme it is not likely to happen anymore as you’ll get all the updates within a year.

      • Ken says:

        I’m in the same position as Sven here, why not provide free retroactive upgrades for those who fit the exact situation your very subscription model is attempting to remedy?

      • Rob says:

        But only if you are on a personal license? So companies still have to pay the ridiculous subscription premium?

      • Thomas says:

        I am in the exact same boat as Sven (same purchase date and everything)

        I like the new subscription and I understand the date has to start somewhere etc. etc, but it would be nice if things like this are announced earlier

        • Andrey Cheptsov says:

          It’s not applied before you upgrade for the first time. When you do it the subscription will start from this date.

      • Ben says:

        I’m in the same boat as well. Bought August 9th, and considered not buying since 13 alpha was already out. It burns the good-will since we all could have easily pirated it but chose to pay out of pocket for a personal license. “It used to be this way all the time” is a moot point. There’s a new scheme that was enacted slightly after purchase. So we’ve paid… $199 for ~90 days use of a now out-of-date product, with a “great news, we won’t burn you again!” promise?

        Leaves a bad taste in my mouth for sure.

    • Namaste says:

      I bought my copy of IntelliJ on Sept 20 this year. I just sent an email to Jetbrains service department asking them to upgrade me in order to provide fair value. They gave me a complementary upgrade to IntelliJ 13 and I have my new subscription based license in under 30 minutes.

  9. Noé says:

    Good to know… but there is a coupon (like 50% on update) for licence bought on October 2013? Because I just pay $199 less than two months ago and now I have to pay $99 for the new version…

  10. Juan Manuel says:

    But that is kind of silly. I bought a license for 13 (yes, it is may fault to not having read the exact license terms because I assumed it would be the same as always) and if I have expired the 30 days period of free use, I0d would have gained one month of the license.

    Don’t know the reason for this change but I prefer to pay for a product not for a given amount of time.

    Juan manuel

    • Andrey Cheptsov says:

      You pay for the product. Your license does not expire after the 1-year period ends, i.e. you can continue using the product.

      • Juan Manuel says:

        But as fas as I understand, in a year I must continue paying not only for the upgrades but for the bug fixes even if I want to stay with the old version.

        Now I can get the bug fixes and decide if I want to pay again for an upgrade to a new version.

        You say in the future there will be no distingction between minor and major versions but, why change now when clearly there is a distinction between them? Why not wait to this future when this distinction will not exist?

  11. Charlie Hayes says:

    Let me get this right:
    If you are a new customer intending to buy only once, the cost will be the same.
    If you always upgrade every release, the cost will be the same.
    If you normally upgrade every other release this will end up being more expensive.

    In summary: The new model will cost the same as or more than the old model, but some people get access to upgrades they normally wouldn’t get (or maybe even care about).

    What about sales? Will there still be sales? Will people waiting for good sales because they don’t have the budget for full-priced licenses be forced to upgrade last minute at full price in fear of having their subscription lapse?

    • Andrey Cheptsov says:

      Unfortunately we usually don’t publish information about sales in advance. Stay tuned to our blog and twitter 😉

  12. Ex-Customer says:

    I didn’t mind buying every major upgrade since I switched to IntelliJ because every major upgrade has been worth it. I’m not paying you a subscription ahead of time if I don’t know what I’m paying for. The difference is, I could decide whether to pay based on what was already delivered, not what I thought might be delivered later. I will not give money to such a shady company. Back to Eclipse. Too bad, since it’s nowhere near as good as IntelliJ.

    • Intellij 12 Customer says:

      What’s shady about it? It doesn’t change your existing license, you can still use the product you bought, you can choose not to buy the new product if the license doesn’t suit you. And there is still free Community edition.

    • Raman Gupta says:

      Au contraire, if I understand it correctly, the new scheme seems to be better in almost every way — if you buy a license “subscription” you are buying a new version of IJ, which you can continue to use for as long as you want (as now). Within a year, if any new versions are released (minor or major), you get them for “free”. After a year, if you chose not to renew your subscription, and then IJ releases a new major version, you can buy this new version for 75% of the subscription fee. So you can essentially continue to do what you have been doing, except that each new major version is cheaper — it will either be free if it comes within a year or after a year it will cost only 75% of what it did before.

      In fact, the fact that it is such a good deal if you follow that approach is probably why they are getting rid of the major versions — it will incentivize people to buy the subscription yearly in order to get updates, rather than waiting until new major versions are released. :)

      I think the blog post could have been clearer about this change. Though for a user population of programmers, maybe they expect people can figure it out for themselves.

      • Charlie Hayes says:

        I don’t think you understand how it works, or maybe I don’t.

        For years, new versions come out in early December. If this user buys at the moment of the new release, they *may* not get the next version without paying for another year of the subscription. If they buy shortly after, they are almost garaenteed the next version for free. However, they won’t get the third version for free unless they extend.

        As far as I can tell, in the old model Ex-Customer was able to buy the new versions he or she agreed to buy at a 50% discount from the full price. This is now changing to 25% discount. This user will pay more, assuming they wouldn’t have upgraded to the first upgrade after their first subscription is over.

        • Raman Gupta says:

          @Charlie: Given your assumption of not upgrading the first time in the old model, if one assumes a December release every year, then in return for that small price increase for the second major release after your current release, you almost certainly get one major release update that you wouldn’t have gotten in the old model. So in reality you are still doing pretty good.

        • Raman Gupta says:

          Jetbrains could conceivably screw people over by doing a major release every 1.1 years, so that major releases were never covered by the $99 subscription. But they are getting rid of the major releases anyway, so this point is moot. It essentially becomes $99/yr for as long as you want updates, which is pretty reasonable and probably pretty comparable or cheaper than the old model in most cases.

    • Mark says:

      > Back to Eclipse.

      In my opinion, it’s the WORST decision you can make. Really. The InteliJ IDEA is the BEST IDE in the world. If you prefer to loose your productivity for the sake of few $, then I really feel sorry for you.

      In my opinion the 1-year subscription is much better model – in the old approach, if I bought IDEA12 in November, I would have to pay again for IDEA13 in December. Now I can get it for free.

      > I could decide whether to pay based on what was already delivered, not what I thought might be delivered later.

      I had an opportunity to see how IDEA evolves since IDEA8. I can assure you that every single major release becomes more and more awesome and powerful than the previous one.

      • Joe Swanson says:

        I don’t mind paying $99 every year when I want to upgrade. I don’t mind paying $299 every year when I want to upgrade. Charging me $49 because I don’t want to upgrade: “Back to Eclipse”

  13. John says:

    If I buy a subscription today (December 2013) it says that the sub starts from October 30th. I’ve missed a month!

    So if you release the next major version in November/December next year (as you did this year) then my subscription will miss it and I will have to upgrade next year.

    In other words – its exactly the same as it ever was unless you go to a more frequent release cycle. Are you going to a more frequent release cycle?

    I don’t count bug fix releases in this – they were and should be free.

    This looks like a cynical move to force an annual subscription on us. You say that the distinction between major and minor will go away – can you add more information to that please.

    Don’t get me wrong, 70 quid a year for a great tool is not a problem – but I’d like to see a bit more information on this.

    • Andrey Cheptsov says:

      > If I buy a subscription today (December 2013) it says that the sub starts from October 30th.
      Subscription starts from the date of upgrade (purchase).

      >So if you release the next major version in November/December next year (as you did this year) then my subscription will miss it and I will have to upgrade next year.
      As I’ve said, the difference between major and minor releases will eventually go away. “Major release in December” will become irrelevant, as you’ll be receiving all regular updates within your subscription period.

      >This looks like a cynical move to force an annual subscription on us.
      It is to make the release cycle and licensing terms more flexible and convenient for an average user and customer so he doesn’t overpay.

      • Brzhk says:

        His most important question stands. If one feature is developed and delivered with bugs before my subscription expires, i’m entitled to that feature. But if the bugfix comes later, i’m stuck with a nearly-finished feature.
        I’m not saying this happens a lot – IntelliJ is a good product and bugs are not so frequent. But it’s difficult to hear you can be stuck with an unfinished feature.

        • Andrey Cheptsov says:

          As I’ve said bugfixes will be available for the latest release, which you had the access to during your subscription.

      • David says:

        > It is to make the release cycle and licensing terms more flexible and convenient for an average user and customer so he doesn’t overpay.

        Flexible implies choice like business users have, personal users have no choice, they must use the subscription model.

        My company does not upgrade every year, If I follow the same as my company, now I will have to pay a 25% loading

  14. Frederic says:



    1) Imagine I buy a subscription for 1 year now (12/8/2013), didn’t renew it 12/8/2014, and need to reinstall all my computer in sometime in 2015. Will be able to download in 2015 the latest available version dated just before 12/8/2014?

    2) Second case: Now, I’m happy. I will receive all upgrade for 1 year… ok. But JetBrains don’t issue a new major change for 1 year. So, I’ll need to pay the subscription or I’ll pay more later if I missed the date, even if you don’t upgrade it so much!

    Personnaly I bought my license myself (personnal), because they use Eclipse at my office. Time to check what (free) concurrent do…

    • Andrey Cheptsov says:

      > Will be able to download in 2015 the latest available version dated just before 12/8/2014?
      You can always download a previous version.
      > But JetBrains don’t issue a new major change for 1 year.
      As I’ve said the difference between major and minor releases will eventually go away, so you’ll get any updates within a year.

    • Mark says:

      > Time to check what (free) concurrent do…

      Don’t do this unless you want to become less productive. Eclipse was a great IDE 5-10 years ago, since then it did not improve significantly. It’s a waste of time to use Eclipse.

  15. Oleg says:


    Just one question. I bought a personal license for IntelliJ 9 a long time ago. I used IntelliJ 9 approximately 2 years. After that I didn’t use IntelliJ for commercial projects, but I used a free license for my open source project. And I’m still using this free license when developing this open source project. Now I would like to use IntelliJ for commerical projects again. Can I upgrade my old license for IntelliJ 9 (to the version 13) or should I buy a new one?

    Thanks in advance for the clarification.

    • Eugene Toporov says:

      Hi Oleg,

      With the per-version licensing you could upgrade to the latest version from any older version. I think during the transition phase the same rule applies.
      I recommend you to contact our sales team and I’m sure they will have something to offer to you.


  16. Mike says:

    I see a lot of negativity in this thread so I am just adding a positive note. I, for one, like the new licensing model. I really don’t know what everyone is complaining about. You are paying the same, but getting more. What is the problem?

    I am sure someone can come up with a random, but improbable, scenario where you might come out behind during the transition year; however, I can’t imagine what that would be and going forward you will come out ahead.

    Stop being drama queens.

    • Juan Manuel says:

      Sorry Mike but as customers I think we have the right to express our doubts about the new license scheme.

      A Drama Queen.

      • Brandon Brooks says:

        I don’t have an issue with this new scheme either. I mostly agree with Mike.

        Old Model: If I buy IDEA 12, for $199, I get every version of IDEA 12.x ever released, and a $99 upgrade to every version of 13.

        New Model: Now, if I buy IDEA 13 for $199, I get every version of IDEA released in the next year, be it 13.1, 13.2, 14.0, 14.1, 15.0, etc.

        JetBrains could have easily released IDEA 12 in December 2012, then IDEA 13 in December 2013. How do you like that old model now, Juan?

        JetBrains seems to want to release more frequently, thus IDEA 14 will be out, like in June. The old model would be awful for consumers. The new model is better.

        • Brandon Brooks says:

          What I meant to write above:
          JetBrains could have easily released IDEA 12 in December 2012, then IDEA 13 in January 2013. How do you like that old model now, Juan?

          • irrummi says:

            There are some physical limitations on the frequency of new Idea releases. It is quite unrealistic to expect major releases in intervals less than one year. Of course Jetbrains could switch to Firefox versioning vith a new major version every 2 months but realistically, aside from the version number, what do you get? There is no promise here. With the old versioning scheme I could at least expect to buy a new version with a 50% discount whenever I felt like it, now I am penalized if I wait until after the subscription interval ends.

    • Leo says:

      We’re not being drama queens. It’s a matter of letting *us* decide when to upgrade. If I want to run the same version three years in a row and *then* upgrade, then I should have that option. I still do, but JetBrains effectively made it more expensive to do so, trying to push you into a yearly maintenance fee instead of upgrade whenever you want.

      • Sensible says:

        Spot on. The best summary I have seen.

      • Sensible says:

        btw: I think JetBrains have a right to do this. I think many of us have been taking advantage of the situation by waiting 2 or even 3 years to upgrade (perhaps accessing the EAPs in the meantime) to avoid paying for upgrades too often. Shame on you.

        I think its a great product at a very cheap price especially considering the consulting fees we get and the productivity it gives us.

        I think subscription is a much fairer model all around and am happy to pay.

        You scrooges and freetards are encouraged to defect to an inferior product. Your competition using IDEA will have an advantage over you in the marketplace. All the better for us who use IDEA.


  17. Gerard says:

    Compared to current model:

    – For the users buying each new version, there is basically no change
    – For the users buying only once, you get updates (and bug fixes) for only one year instead of unlimited => Customer looses
    – For a user skipping 2/3 versions , you lose many months of upgrades (and bug fixes) and the renew price increases to 75% of base price => Customer looses even more

    The only benefit for the user with the new model is, if you buy version 13 in mid 2014, you will probably be entitled to 14 later in the same year (yayy!). But this is a relative benefit since you will get updates (and bug fixes) for a few months remaining for the new version. If there is a more frequent upgrade cycle and the difference between major and minor updates disappears, then this negates any benefit for the customer compared with the current model.

  18. Richard Osbaldeston says:

    Does continuous updates instead of one big release mean the end of the EAP channel?
    Won’t the lack of a lengthy EAP process impact IDEA users day-to-day stability? It’s also more difficult keeping up with regular menu and feature changes than once a year UI changes.

    Will we have the ability to roll back updates if they prove too unstable or slow? Often find I need to leave EAP and return to earlier release for months while features mature.

    I also wonder how well plugin authors keep up with continuous updates? If a update breaks plugins I depend on I’ll also need to rollback.

    Why not announce this change say at least a month before the IntelliJ 13 release?

    • Richard "Virgo" Richter says:

      I was thinking something similar – what if the last month of my subscription I get just a bunch of unstable updates? Until now I knew I’d get more and more stable versions (typically), nothing extra new during the year, but proven. If I wanted to skip a major version, I’d code one year in previous one (typically good enough) and then tried myMajor+2 version.

      New scheme is better for those who buy later, as the year gets closer to the new version (but then, there was nice custom to include next version in the price too anyway).

      Some people may argue, that now you can get Idea 13, 14 and maybe 15 in a year… but then – it’s still just one year of work of IDEA team. :-) Major or not, it’s still the same like some x.5 versions we were used to before.

    • Maxim Mossienko says:

      We still will have EAP channel

  19. Bob Mc says:


    I’m with the majority of people on this one, your new licensing model is merely an attempt to lock people into yearly upgrades.
    Why can’t you just leave the model as it is and if you want to raise more revenue (which I’m guessing is the reason behind this) why not treat your Customers with respect and they will go out and spread the word.
    I for one won’t be renewing!

    • Maxim Mossienko says:

      We actually expect people to get more versions per one year of subscription license.

      • Leo says:

        Yeah, but this is only relevant for people that want to/would upgrade every year anyway. If you are not one of those, then this new scheme is not an improvement, rather a lock-in as someone else said.

  20. Dan Meyers says:

    Will those of us on existing licences less than a year old be in any way upgraded or given an initial discount for the first upgrade? I only bought my IDEA licence a few months back. I do want some of the features available in IDEA 13, including the ability to use Ruby Plugin v 6.0.0 and up, but i’m not loving the idea of paying the full upgrade cost so soon after my initial product purchase…

    • Dan Meyers says:

      What I would *like* to see would be that all existing licences are simply converted to the new 1 year upgrade model. So I am now eligible for several months of upgrades, including upgrading to IDEA 13, on my current licence. One of my work colleagues, who purchased IDEA in January 2012, would not be eligible for the upgrade but *would* count as having paid for an upgrade for the January 2012 to January 2013 period, and thus would not have to pay the “past-due-renewal” coststo get a subscription as long as he purchased before January 2014.

      • Mark Barnes says:

        I have to fully agree, I like the new license model and would like it more if it was applied retrospectively. It would also be particularly nice to see something that could be applied across all the products…

  21. Sean Bowman says:

    I’m not a fan of this new pricing scheme. It’s touted as a way for users to not have to worry about buying a license then having IntelliJ update a month later. Really, it’s a way to force users to continue paying a subscription fee every year, Adobe-fying IntelliJ. Instead of paying $99 every two years or so, you’re going to either pay $99/yr. or $150 when you want to upgrade to the latest release. My guess is there will be a group of users paying the $99/yr., but the rest of us will wait even longer between releases, maybe once every three or four years. Or we’ll switch to the Community edition and rely more heavily on external tools to fill in the gaps.

    I really don’t think if you’re going to release bug fixes to your software (point releases), that it should be limited to users who pay the bounty. It’s like making drivers pay for recall repairs their cars–it should have worked correctly in the first place. Bug fixes to the last release paid for by the user should always be included. People may have previously complained that they paid for release 12 and release 13 came out shortly thereafter. Now you’re going to get the complaint that my license expired right before you fixed a major bug in the current version of the software.

    This is going to wreck IntelliJ in the long run. The EAP process will go away because you’ll get the bright idea at some point that you can just release a broken product and update it whenever, since everyone has a subscription anyway. There’s more incentive to do that than EAP, since you’ll be getting paid for EAP now. You get each new “release” out quicker and make people feel like they’re getting their money’s worth, but in reality you’re releasing bugging software and forcing users to pay more money to make sure their version of IntelliJ works.

    Plus there’s no “goal” anymore inherent in a new “version”, nothing to work towards but a bug fix or an added feature. And there’s also going to be the sales problem: how to you sell the excitement of a new release when it’s just a subscription license plan? Subscribers are going to just get the new software anyway, and without a full release, it will be much harder to encourage new buyers to come on board or existing users to renew expired subscriptions.

  22. Frank says:

    “As a personal customer, you will never again buy a license only to find out in a couple of months that you need to pay again to get the latest product update.”

    Only that isn’t really true, is it? If you renew 11 months after your subscription expires, you will need to renew again one month later.


  23. Kesarr says:

    I think this is very neglectful and careless scheme to personal customers.

    Case 1.
    If a man bought 12.x license without subscription at $199 on December 2012, then he will be able to subscribe only $99 to use 15.x on December 2015 (for example).

    Case 2.
    If a woman bought license with subscription to use 13.x at $199 on December 2013, then she will have to pay $149 to use 15.x on December 2015 (for example), otherwise she should renew at $99 on December 2014 + $99 on December 2015 continuously.

    In other words, new license model force to renew subscription every year whether they want to upgrade right now or not, like as greedy cellular data plans.
    The price of upgrade/renew is $149 – 50% more expansive than old license model.
    ONLY in the case of keeping annual subscription continuously, the price of upgrade/renew is specially discounted to $99 as same price as on-demand upgrade fee in old license model.

    JetBrains says “It is to make the release cycle and licensing terms more flexible and convenient for an average user and customer so he doesn’t overpay”, but I can’t understand what and how they understand about their new license models.

    No more user has a choice whether they upgrade right now or not.
    The flexibility of new license will cost personal customers additional $50, or it demands them to waive the right of choice. It’s not flexible!

  24. Alexander Lee says:

    Firstly, let me say I think Intellij IDEA is a great product, fairly priced, and well worth the money, even with the new licencing model.

    That said, if I were cynical, I would say the new licencing model is about maintaining or increasing revenue, and at the same time potentially reducing the cost of having to constantly and significantly improve the product every year.

    In the previous licencing model, you had a choice about whether to upgrade to the next version based on whether you thought Intellij IDEA had gained new features or improvements you cared about. If you chose to skip a version (because it didn’t significantly improve or gain new features), you could still upgrade to a later version for the same standard upgrade cost, 50% of a full licence. As such, it was in JetBrains’ interest to produce a new “major” version every year (which they did) with great new features to tempt you to upgrade, in order to maintain revenue.

    With the new licencing model, if you don’t renew by your renewal date, you will be in the “past-due renewal” period and incur an additional 25% of a full licence. So now JetBrains are basically trying to incentivise you to upgrade every year bang on time (regardless of whether the product has improved or not) or risk paying the extra 25%, and if you want to miss an upgrade you will also have to pay 25% extra to upgrade to a later version regardless, though you do still have this choice. This potentially reduces the incentive for JetBrains to significantly improve the product every year and produce the equivalent of a “major” version with great new features which you would be tempted to upgrade to, though this doesn’t mean they won’t.

    Other than upgrade costs and incentive to improve the product, I would say the new licence model changes are probably neutral. The fact that “major” version upgrades were not included in the old licencing model and effectively are in the new is irrelevant and purely marketing. JetBrains in the past could have released new features and improvements in point releases (and have done sometimes), but in the past have generally held them off to major releases in order to make the upgrade more compelling. Equally, in the new licencing model, they could chose to release major new features every 1.5 years instead, effectively amounting to the same thing. Releasing major features and improvements incrementally however, rather than as a big bang “major” version is probably is beneficial to both JetBrains from a software development point of view, and also to the customer, as we get new features earlier and with less major bugs. What worries me a little is that in future JetBrains potentially won’t improve the product as frequently as they have done historically, and also that they might release a buggy version just before my subscription runs out forcing me to upgrade regardless, though I suppose I could then roll back to the previous stable release.

    Lastly, I would point out that the actual full licence cost of Intellij IDEA has gone down over the years (something like $100) rather than up, while the product has improved substantially, and for that I think JetBrains must be congratulated. So even if we are a little worse off cost wise with this new licencing model (and only if you didn’t upgrade every year), overall I think it is fair that costs go up sometimes.

  25. While not a fan of subscription models in general, because product needs can be bursty from a consumer point of view, I’d like to see the ability to purchase in advance for deeper discounts. Can I buy a 2, 3, 5, 10, or forever subscription?

  26. Java_dev says:

    It’ s a yearly subscription fee with a 25% penalty for letting it lapse. That’ s all. Going away- the ability to skip upgrades without a penalty. Otherwise, everything is as it was.

    • Meo says:

      True, but there will be no more unhappy customers who bought a licence few months before new major release. This model is good.

    • Gerard says:

      No, there is not just an economic penalty and everything else remains the same. You stop receiving bugfixes after your 12 month subscription and you continue receiving new features (so new bugs) during the subscription period.

      • Andrey Cheptsov says:

        You continue to receive bugfixes for the latest release you had access to during the subscription.

        • Gerard says:

          I think this must be clearly stated (difference between receiving “perpetual” bugfixes and receiving new feature updates within the subscription period) since it is the most important point for your new model to be accepted. Otherwise, how this will be handled when eventually there is no distinction between major releases and regular incremental updates?

        • Joe Swanson says:

          Do you actually commit to fixing ALL BUGS in the latest version available within a subscription period? Do you understand that this is impossible?

        • Richard "Virgo" Richter says:

          I concur, Andrey – this piece of information is very important for us – and was missing (or unclear) in the original announcement. I’m happy to see this, hopefully it’s official. :-)

  27. Java_dev says:

    You know what would be nice? If you could automatically just upgrade me using my credit card every year. That way, I’d never has it happen where I go on vacation or have to deal with an extended emergency (I have had this happen) or other all consuming event and I am totally out of touch with everything for some long period of time, perhaps with little advance notice.

    As it is, I now have to consider that I may miss my “window”. I never want to miss my window. Just sign me up and I’ll contact you if anything changes

  28. barmalini says:

    I see the per-year subscription as a speeding-up factor for the release cycle.
    There will be no need to withhold the new features for the new major version, hoping to attract more customers to buy yet another license when it’s released.
    JetBtrains will have the freedom to push the updates out, as soon as they are ready for use.
    So, eventually, we will see more new features in the year, though the version number may not change that often. As it was said – version numbers are supposed to become less relevant.
    Gentoo linux would be the closest analogy – you can install it from any CD you come across, be it from 2009 or 2005, but then you type in the command:
    emerge –update world
    and few hours later you’re back on to the bleeding edge.
    Please, correct me if I’m wrong in my thinking.

  29. Olaf says:

    Bad Idea.
    I have no intention to subscribe to any subscription to any software.
    I am replacing Adobe products as much as I can to avoid the CC trap.

    The subscription model so far (when you look at the Adobe CC mess) is faster release cycles at a cost that the users becomes the test team and get crappy untested code.

    You lose the clear distinction between major upgrade cycles. One day you use v13.1 the next you install v13.2 and suddenly you lose backwards compatibly for people that still use 13.1 or maybe 12.xx…. One expects to lose backwards compatibility between 13 and 12 but not between 2 minor versions.

    Fragmentation of the install base. I use 13.5, my colleague did not upgrade so he is still stuck at 13.4 and is going to wait 2 years for a next update. Or a company decided to have the team fixed in 13.4 and the next 2 years they will stay with that version.

    Once people paid for the subscription, then there is no more motivation left to deliver a good finalized product. They have the money, why would they do any effort to make it better?

    In software development there is no point in having the latest development tools all the time if you have many projects you develop. You start with a development and the next few years you will use that same tool to compile already tested code that you need to bug fix. An upgrade to the latest version means that you probably break the code changes. Maybe your build server was not upgraded with you yet….

    Constantly upgrading to the latest version is a means to show off to your friends that you are faster than them to upgrade. It is an ego thing. It does not make you a better developer.

    I am sorry, I really love jetBrains, but I do not love the subscription model. If the subscription ends I will try to stick with the latest one as long as possible unless I find alternatives by the competition.

    Basically: Subscription only model = Bad Karma.

  30. Daniel Asarnow says:

    Please correct me, but does this mean that from now on JetBrains will be charging a subscription fee, even for bug fixes?

    • Andrey Cheptsov says:

      No, bugfixes of course will be available for the latest release, which you had the access to during your subscription.

      • Richard Osbaldeston says:

        So you’ll only get one years worth of bug fixes & updates on that licence. I guess continuous updates model also means an end to back-porting bugfixes to older releases as there are no more major releases?

        So we’re effectively paying for IDEA 13, following 12m of IDEA 13 bugfixes and whatever IDEA 14 new features ship in same 12 months (without knowing what or ETA on when).

        Instead of paying for a known set of features once a year we’re paying for the continued privilege of access to bugfixes and ‘new stuff’.

      • Bob Mc says:

        Please moderate my previous post so that I can take part in this debate (I am a paid-up user!!)

      • Daniel Asarnow says:

        So to clarify, bugfixes will be provided for free for any purchased version regardless of subscription status?

        If you want to charge a subscription for feature updates, that is your prerogative, but I am concerned (especially as a recent licensee of IDEA 12) that bugfixes will no longer be available without a subscription.

  31. Meo says:

    The only bad thing I see on this model is that the subscription renewal starts from the moment it’s expired.
    So in the worst case scenario you can buy a licence with duration of 1 day. That’s not nice, maybe it would be worth to change this rule for the sake of customer’s happiness.

    • David Ichim says:

      I agree with this statement, I have purchased Pycharm for almost a year now and the license has been like this since I purchased it so I don’t understand all of this shock over this change.

      However this statement “So in the worst case scenario you can buy a licence with duration of 1 day” can indeed apply.
      Perhaps a 1 or 2 months grace period could be applied rather than the automatic subscription renewal from the moment it’s expired.

      Probably a better way to have added this automatic subscription renewal would have been to offer different upgrade prices according to the time of renewal.
      Something like:
      1. do it exactly after expiration — cheapest price
      2. do it after a month — 10% higher cost
      3. for every month after that — 10% higher
      Then people would have thought of upgrading immediately for the cheapest possible price as they would have something to gain from the early upgrade rather than later paying for something they might have not had the need to use.

  32. Gerard says:

    Please Jetbrains, if it is a matter of getting more money to cover the development costs, it seems a lot more respectful to your customer base to keep the current model (which works and we like as it is) and just increase the license prices as needed to. If you care so much about the borderline case of the customer that buys version X in november (when it is public knowledge that X+1 is released in december), then you can handle this case with a special discount or even a free license upgrade for the people involved if you wan. I really cannot believe that anyone that has really understood what this new model implies can prefer it over the old one.

  33. David says:

    The following are my views and not those of me employer:

    Dear JetBrains,

    I am saddened that you have switched to what is effectively the same model as Adobe with your new Pay As You Go Subscription model for personal users.

    As you have already worked out but do not state publicly, calling a spade a spade. Personal Users:
    1) Subscribing annually pay the same $99 a year
    2) Subscribe to every second major version will pay $150, instead of $99

    But you do not prescribe that businesses have to abide by the same model.

    As both a business user and a personal user our company does not upgrade every year, but I like to use the latest version at home, partly to evaluate what benefits an upgrade would make to our company (We currently have 100-150 licences). Now you are going to charge me more for this privilege.

    The main reason that I use the paid version over the for personal (and for business use) is because we have some grails apps.

    Please accept this strong protest at subscription pricing it is something that I detest.


    PS Can I use my licence from work at home?

  34. J. David Beutel says:

    Does the academic license also include a 1-year upgrade subscription?

  35. Mike II says:

    How will the user receive advance notification of the impending expiration of their subscription? Or will the user need to personally monitor the date of purchase/upgrade?

  36. Onno Scheffers says:

    I can’t say I like these changes very much.

    I’ve also purchased AppCode a while back. I only dable with Objective-C in my spare time but I wanted to support JetBrains for releasing an Objective-C IDE. I’m currently very busy with other things though and haven’t had time to do any serious Objective-C work, so I didn’t renew my license. I really didn’t like being reminded all the time that I had to pay up again for something I wasn’t using and I don’t like the fact that when I have time to get back into Objective-C development and I do decide to renew the subscription again, it will only be good for a couple of months until I have to renew yet again. To me, that’s the most upsetting thing, it feels like I have to pay now for a time I wasn’t even using your product. So I’m not renewing the AppCode subscription anymore.

    I always preferred the way licensing was handled with IntelliJ. And it fits with the personal approach. Sometimes I work on projects for customers that expect me to use a different IDE because it is company standard. Having to renew the license while not actually using the product just feels wrong to me.

    I purchased every major update for as long as I can remember. So even though in practice it won’t make much of a difference financially for me, I just don’t like the subscription-based approach. I think I’m going to stick with IntelliJ 12 for a while longer.

  37. Stefan says:

    I can’t believe how poorly this is explained.
    Two things I still don’t understand after reading the entire thread:
    1) Does past-due renewal (75% of price) add one year from the last expiration date, or does it add one year starting from the renewal date?
    2) If a license expires, can you upgrade at past-due price no matter how much time passes since expiration, or is there a fixed window before you need to pay full price again? Extreme example, if I purchase an initial license in 2013 and decide to renew in 2016, does it count as post-due renewal?

  38. Gerard says:

    I continue to think, if there is really a distinction between bugfix updates and feature updates, and just want to get more money from the “release skippers” then there is no need of convoluted and shady time-limited subscription plans, just keep the current model and apply the following:

    You upgrade to version N from version N – 1 : You pay 50% of the full price

    You upgrade to version N from N -2 or previous: You pay 75% of the full price

    Handle the case of guys that bought in the months previous to the next major release with special offers (pay 10% of full price for each month between the purchase date and the new release date, for example). Even if I cannot understand of people being “angry” of this, as new releases are publicly announced long time before.

    • Olaf says:

      Why are people angry?

      Because so fare every company that started the subscription model stopped caring for the customers and all they want is more money. Just read the very discussion forums of Adobe that went to the subscription model and see that the quality of software and support went downhill very fast.

      With the upgrade model the software is released when it is ready and completely tested.

      With the subscription model, the company has to release least one release before the end of the subscription year. So they need to release it before it is ready and will contain tons of unfixed bugs.

      But there is another big problem. The subscription model is sold as something magical that you will have new features much faster. So that means that they need multiple releases per year. Lets take 4 releases. Some subscribers will only get 3 others will have 4 depending when you started your subscription.

      Multiple releases also comes at a cost. It is wearing out your developers very fast. When you release once a year then your developers have this peek stress for the last few months. When you release 4 times a year then your best developers are in constant stress pushing them into a burn-out or run away to another company.

      Multiple releases also comes at a risk that your install base is fragmented. If you work in a team of consultants that have their own paid version, might have different versions. Some developers might not be able to open the projects because their version is older and is not compatible any-more. Maybe they stopped the subscription and can’t upgrade. Maybe the latest release fails to install on their machine. (My machine refuses to upgrade to Windows 8.1 and I have no idea why)

      If you have a upgrade product then you do not have these issues. v13 comes out and everybody upgrades to v13. Bug fixes for v13 won’t break the projects. And v14 might be 15 months later. But you know that during 15 months everybody has the same v13.

      Subscription model for developers tools and normal software is really really a very bad idea.

      And yes, I refuse to go to v13. I will stay with v12 as long as possible and when needed seek for competition developers tools that does not have a subscription policy. The stupid thing is that I really wanted to upgrade to v13, but now I do not trust any products of Jetbrain any-more. A subscription model for software is for me: NO-GO!

      • Maxim Mossienko says:

        So far we plan to release more often and expect people to get more versions per one year of subscription license.

        • Olaf says:

          More releases means less tested code, fragmentation of your installed base and more install risk. Just look at the Adobe Creative Cloud mess.

          More releases also means you push your developers into a burn-out. It is a ticking time bomb set to lose your best developers. And yes I do have many years of experience what a fast release cycle means. The constant stress for the next release destroys the group coherency of the development team and makes them hate each other over the course of 1-2 years.

          • Maxim Mossienko says:

            Actually because of minor IDE releases we already have stabilization phase 2-3 times a year, so the situation will not be different internally. For us long (e.g. 7 months) time between feature (e.g. new cloud support) and release (with its massive usage) doesn’t help the feature to be good enough.

      • Mike says:

        To be honest, I do not understand the problem with the new subscription model. Around $ 100 per year is not that much for a first-class IDE – it’s “only” $ 1,000 in 10 years – which is far less than I spend every year at McDonalds.

    • Leo says:

      This would be way better than the new licensing model.

      There’s a lot of people who does not upgrade to every new major version. Please *get* that for once. It seems JetBrains completely ignores this simple fact.

  39. Mike II says:

    Will the user be given some warning when the 1-year period is almost over?

  40. Jens says:

    In the past, I have been upgrading at very different time intervals, mainly when I felt that the new versions had a feature I really needed: I have paid for versions 5, 7, 11, and 12. If I continue to proceed like this, upgrading will cost me $149 instead of $99 per version – so obviously, I’m not a fan of the new pricing model at all.

    Also, even if I would upgrade to every major version, then there would be no benefit for me from the new model because during the last year, I have also received free upgrades to 12.x.

    So, for me this is a rather sad move.

  41. Jorge says:


  42. Leo says:

    Hello everyone,

    I just wanted to add my two cents to the discussion. In short, I think a lot of good points have been made as to why this “new” licensing model is something that a lot of people do not want.

    I can’t rephrase or reiterate the many great posts some people in this commentary has written already, so I’ll just leave it at that. Read through the comments if you haven’t already.

    A couple of weeks ago I was eagerly awaiting IDEA 13, intending to upgrade to it for various reasons (some due to issues with IDEA 12). However, at this point in time I am hereby cancelling my plans to upgrade.

    I will stick with IDEA 12, and revisit other IDEs to see if they are “good enough” for me.

    I am also cancelling my AppCode upgrades (haven’t used it anyway, I just paid JetBrains twice for it – honestly because I liked JetBrains and wanted to support their efforts in making an Obj-C IDE).

    I hope that everyone else who isn’t happy with the licensing model change does the same – Don’t upgrade if you are not happy with the change JetBrains introduced. Then mail them to let them know of this, and ask that they reconsider. Point them to this discussion as a reference.

    At this point JetBrains lost one customer, for two separate products, due to this. I told them that I am happy to return and start paying in case they change their mind so we have the same licensing style as before.

  43. Joe Swanson says:

    Hey guys! Don’t worry! You still have a choice! You can choose to pay $99 for something you don’t want or you can choose to pay just $49 to get NOTHING. What a deal! That’s right, if you don’t want something, you only have to pay a $49 ransom for the privilege of not getting it. Nice system you got here. Wish I could get a deal like that. Too bad for me, I have to work if I want to get paid.

  44. Joe Swanson says:

    You have here many customers who loves your product — look, you make the best IDE, there’s no question about it — who want to upgrade to 13 because there is so much good stuff in it — but won’t upgrade because the new license is bad for the software industry. Please don’t make me choose between my principles and using good tools.

  45. Joe Swanson says:

    You’ve seen comments here from so many customers who love your products — we wouldn’t be taking the time to leave comments otherwise — and look, you make the best IDEs, there’s no question about it — comments from customers who probably will gladly pay for every major version because you keep adding so much good stuff, even if you don’t force them to do it — that should convince you that we won’t upgrade simply because your new model is just plain BAD FOR THE SOFTWARE INDUSTRY and it sets a BAD EXAMPLE for everyone else. Look, the new model is a simple cash grab and you know it. Maybe you think you deserve to get paid when you make software that’s not good enough to get paid for, maybe you think it’s not fair that people skip versions when you haven’t given them enough to justify a purchase. That’s stupid. Get your head on straight. You have an opportunity here to do the right thing and admit that coerced subscription models are a mistake. You can still get us back. You can still sell us the best IDEs that ever have been made. I am waving my cash in your face. All you need to do is acknowledge that you need to give your customers the unencumbered right to decide whether they want to continue that relationship. It’s a matter of respect and principles. Just sell the software, don’t hold us hostage for it. Fix this and you get my money. Don’t fix it and you don’t.

    Please don’t make us choose between our principles and using good tools.

  46. Joe says:

    I call for great respect to JetBrains for approving negative comments here and yet there are no signs that they’ll back down on the monstrous and evil acts that they’re committing. I will waste my time and let my productivity suffer so long as they continue to harm our industry. I hope you will all join in my sacrifice to send a message. If your situation is such that you cannot afford to do likewise, I send my best wishes to you and yours.

  47. CV says:

    Let me start by saying that I’ve been a loyal Intellij customer for years. I respect the folks who create the product but now not so much the marketing/sales folks who came up with this scheme. I think you’re making a big mistake.
    To all those people who are rationalizing by saying ” c’mon, $100 per year is not a big deal”, you’re missing the point. I can easily pay – but the fact is that forcing people to pay $100 per year and penalizing them if they don’t , even though they are willing to stay with you for the long haul, is borderline blackmail at best and the sign of a company gone greedy.

    I too will seriously reconsider continuing to support the company and its products with this scheme in place.

    • Maxim Mossienko says:

      You are not forced to pay 100$ per year, there is just additional discount if you prolong the subscription and if you don’t: you still have 75% price as returning customer.

      • Leo says:

        Maxim; You are assuming that “returning customer” means “customer who renews every year”. That is not always the case, as has been seen many times in these comments.

  48. Alex says:

    I think you did a bad job selling this change to your customers, most other products don’t let you skip multiple versions and still get the upgrade price, so now jetbrains have an ‘existing customer’ price.

    I do have some concerns about the quality of the product as a result of the change to the pricing model. As has already been said the major versions will go away. I only once upgraded to the x.0 versions because they were too buggy, now I can’t avoid that because you could load me with a super awsome (half baked) feature at any time during my subscription. I could probably roll back to the last version but that’s hassle.

    I have no concerns about giving you money i think the price is very much in line with the quality of the product, but I do have concerns about that quality in the long run.

    I will never go back to eclipse but I think there is room for more than one jetbrains (sublime is great but its no intellij yet) in the world you’ve prooved we’ll pay for a good product just keep it that way.

  49. Leo says:

    Nothing new yet? I’m still hoping very much that JetBrains will go back to the previous licensing scheme or at least let customers choose for themselves if they want the old or new one.

    Like so many others have said, we DO want to pay for this great product. We truly do.

    But like so many others have said, being forced into a subscription is not something we accept.

    I don’t see much use in continous “versions” either, I think there’s been some comments on that part that are relevant and make sense. Hence not much use for a subscription from that perspective either.

    Still hoping for a change back to how it was. Until then that’s all I can do, will continue to be on IDEA 12. Just waiting for the day when I “can” start paying for an upgrade again.

    Kudos to JetBrains for letting all these negative comments go through BTW!

  50. Leo says:

    Another newsletter from JetBrains today!

    But not a single mentioning of the licensing issues (clearly an issue based on the amount of response in these comments).

    When will JetBrains start reconsidering the licensing change at hand, seeing how many feel so strongly about it?

  51. Dan P says:

    I got version 12 in July last year. Now, when I updated my Java to version 7 (sometime in Feb), the menu stopped appearing in some of the projects that I open.

    JetBrains is telling me that I need to update to version 13 (meaning, giving them $$$ even before my original licence completed one year) in order to get a fix. This bug was clearly in version 12, but wasn’t fixed there.

    It’s been mentioned several times in the discussion above that bug fixes will be done for the latest release you have, but my situation could still happen again. Suppose I get the latest version just before my licence expires — say, I get version 13.x. Then a new release comes along just after my licence expired (say, version 14.0) and a bug is found in 13.x. The version I have won’t receive bug fixes. The problem is that the bug could have been there all along — in my case, it was the updating of Java to a newer version that made me find it (but that newer version of Java isn’t even a brand new version anyway…).

    I think that JetBrains should have allowed everyone whose licence is still within a one-year period to move to 13 (if they wished) without having to pay anything extra, with the licence expiring when it completed one year.

    I’m really concerned that JB didn’t think this through properly or, even worse, are taking us for a ride.

  52. Andrey Cheptsov says:


    > 1. Now, when I updated my Java to version 7 (sometime in Feb), the menu stopped appearing in some of the projects that I open.

    Could you please send me the issue link in YouTrack with more details?

    > 2. I think that JetBrains should have allowed everyone whose licence is still within a one-year period to move to 13 (if they wished) without having to pay anything extra, with the licence expiring when it completed one year.

    Maybe I got your message wrong, but that sounds exactly how it’s supposed to work now. You get all updates within a one year subscription for free. Then you just prolongate your subscription. At the same time you get bugfix updates for the latest version you got access to.

  53. William says:

    As a very occasional user of IntelliJ, I licensed the Personal version 12 last April and was just debating whether to upgrade to version 13 when I became aware of the change in licensing terms. Since I have no compelling need to upgrade now, to maximize value I should wait as long as possible before upgrading, right? As I understand the above discussion, earlier licensors of IntelliJ are grandfathered so that in a couple years if I really need version 15, I’ll have one last ability to upgrade for $99. At that point, I’ll be stuck with a subscription model like all new users. Is that accurate?

  54. Nik says:

    Can you use the “upgrade to commercial Intellij 13” option if you have a personal Intellij 12 license, or do you need to buy a base commercial 13 license first?

    • Andrey Cheptsov says:

      I’m afraid you have to buy a commercial license first. But contact our sales at for more details.

  55. Thomas says:


    I paid in April 2013 the upgrade to version 12.
    As I see, I have not the right to upgrade to version 13 for free.

    If I decide to upgrade to version 13 now, I have to pay EUR 89 + VAT. That is 50% of a new license.
    If I decide to upgrade to version 13 in May, have I already to pay the “past-due renewal”?
    Or at anytime in the future before I buy an upgrade with the subscription rule?

  56. Mutombo says:

    This “past-due renewal” fee seems a bit rich to me. If I don’t upgrade immediately after 1 year, I’m only going to wait at least another 6 months or more so the extra 25% “past-due” renewal fee doesn’t slug me….. meh, I think you guys damage your brand for no appreciable revenue increase (or perhaps FOR an appreciable revenue increase, heheh), rather than “reward” a returning customer with normal discount renewal cost.

  57. Margaret Green says:

    So you have sapper’ed me after all my now decades as your paying customer. I am an engineer, I nee my tools in my belt not in an ephemeral subscription. You changed the terms. Two can play that game. I am not your source of income.

  58. Joe says:

    What is IntelliJ IDEA 14?

    IntelliJ IDEA 14 is major update of IntelliJ IDEA, to be released at Fall of 2014.

    Release Notes


    Notable changes in IntelliJ IDEA 14



    Lots of new features coming and much faster release cycle for sure! Good job guys!

  59. Bob says:

    Surely you have something to say about the number of customers that you’ve annoyed/lost? Or is it similar to the Adobe line i.e. yes, you helped us in the early days but hey – we don’t need you now!

    • Bob says:

      Guess not then

      • Hercules says:

        Jetbrains have been good enough to leave the “attack” for their updated licensing strategy on this page which is commendable I would say. However, as a potential new customer (not sure now in fact…) to IntelliJ, it does concern me considerably that even after all the negative comments received, JetBrains are only capable of the same mechanical (and very robotic) replies to the general question. Seems to me their long term loyal fan base have fallen out of love with them with this move and would really like a response to the simple question of “why continue down this path of self destruction?”.

        • Leo says:

          I couldn’t agree more. It is good that they haven’t censored comments, that is commendable.

          But it is clear that they basically don’t give a shit about existing/previous customers, and instead just carries on with their new licensing race. It’s rather clear from what you say, the robotic answers and lately that they haven’t bothered replying at all. But on the other hand, what news would they have, they seem adamant to continue this new licensing model.

          It’s such a pity because I was really happy to pay them for their software when I did so. But I refuse to be forced into a subscription model which I don’t need and for which there are other downsides. It’s not just a great new idea, as you can read about in the comments above.

          Too bad!

  60. Babara says:

    I don’t see this “past-due renewal” thingi in the following page? Did I miss something?

    Instead it says following, which seems to be even more aggressive.

    Licensor may charge Licensee interest for any payment that is more than thirty (30) days past due at the rate of one and one-half percent (1.5%) per month or the highest amount allowed by law, whichever is lower.

    • Maxim Mossienko says:

      Section 9.
      Each subsequent upgrade subscription term will start on the day following the expiration of a previous upgrade subscription term regardless of the actual upgrade subscription renewal date.

      • Kevin Roll says:

        This is unethical and borderline criminal. You are charging someone for time in the past when they were not able to use the upgraded version.

  61. Mutombo says:

    I see you guys still haven’t got rid of this “past-due renewal” fee?

    And when renewing, it should be an additional 12 months from the payment date, not from the expiry date of the last subscription. Why would someone pay for the X months when they don’t need/use updates.

    • Maxim Mossienko says:

      Past due renewal is not applicable after one year passed from the end of the subscription, one’d effectively buy just another subscription license

  62. Leo says:

    Revisiting this good ol’ thread again. I see nothing has changed on JetBrain’s part, they apparently consider the increased revenue from the new recurring fees being of greater value than what they loose in the existing/previous customers leaving them.

    I, for one, am no longer a customer of JetBrains. I hope as many others as possible do the same and stop paying JetBrains for this superb piece of software which nowadays comes with a disgusting licensing scheme.

  63. Andrejs says:

    So my PhpStorm license expired exactly 3 days before the new version of PhpStorm came out (version 9.0). I’ve been paying license renewal fees for four years already, but my main disappointment is that long ago reported bugs (
    WI-674 ;
    and the list goes on…..
    ) are still not being fixed. With each new renewal there is a multitude of new features, 80-100% of which I will not even be using. In general, I am very much dissapointed with such approach. So I am thinking that I should stop paying for license renewals, as they don’t bring any much value and I encourage everyone to express their opinions here in the hope that it would possibly lead to a better product support at JetBrains.


  64. brendan says:

    Possibly the most convoluted “business model” I have ever seen.

    Total nonsense and confusing.

    Why not:

    1. You buy a license for your IDE version @ call it $200
    2. You get free updates for that version regardless of the time frame. Updates in general are bug fixes and minor updates etc. which is expected.
    3. When a new major version is released, existing customers are offered a 50% discount IF they have the previous version. If not, they get a 25% discount.

    Easy to understand and since developers are using your product, they understand the cost and rational behind this. No big deal.

    But for goodness sake – confuse the crap out of your users and you will lose their loyalty.

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