I think there might be some terminology confusion here...
Neither Adobe or Microsoft offer a 1 year free upgrade period on software but they do, like us, offer an auto-updating.
An update (where the version number might move from 2.1 to 2.2) is generally to fix bugs or compatibility. An upgrade (or a new version where the number might move from 2.1 to 3.0) is not offered by auto-updating services and is generally paid for by the customer.
Adobe often have an 18 month product cycle so, if they were giving the upgrade away for free, they would only be making money from a third of their sales! Adobe's policy taken from their website is as follows...
You may be eligible for a complimentary upgrade if you bought your software product on or after the day the product was announced, during the specified time period for your geographic region. See Product announce dates. <dates given>
Once the new product has been announced you become eligible for a free upgrade if you purchase the current version. If you purchased before that point you are not eligible, simple as that. We purchased a full copy of CS4 Master Collection just a few weeks before CS5 was announced and had to pay the full upgrade fee - and we are an Adobe partner.
This is exactly the scheme we've put in place with PhotoKey 4, once it was announced (nearly 2 months before release) everyone who purchases gets a complimentary upgrade.
Looking to Microsoft, and Office 2010 here is what they said...
The upcoming Office 2010 software will be available as a free upgrade to all users who have purchased a copy of Office 2007 on or after March 5, 2010.
Microsoft Office 2010 was released June 2010, so while this is a slightly longer window than ourselves and Adobe its still only 3 months, not a full year. Furthermore, office is also a product with a 3 year shelf life, unlike the shorter development cycles of Adobe and ourselves.
Maybe you've been lucky enough to be offered a deal which isn't typical or strictly by policy. On the other hand we buy LOTS of Adobe and Microsoft products every year and we've never been given an a deal outside of what the policies on their websites state (which in both cases is similar to our policies).
Auto-updates are another matter entirely and are nothing to do with paid upgrades... Many software companies (even FXhome) do minor bug fixes to old software, Microsoft still push out updates to Office 2007 for instance. What they don't do is give you the next full version of the software in this process... So if you own Office 2007 you are still getting updates to it now, but you're not getting an auto-update to Office 2010, just bug fixes with 2007. We also provide this service and have released updates to PhotoKey 2 since PhotoKey 3 has been on sale.
Last edited Fri, 5th Nov 2010, 9:22am; edited 1 times in total.