The Drawboard PDF subscription model isn’t fair, users agree

by Flavius Floare

Flavius Floare

Flavius is a writer and a media content producer with a particular interest in technology, gaming, media, film and storytelling. He enjoys spending time in nature and at… read more

  • Drawboard PDF is a very useful app to have when you’re dealing with a lot of documents.
  • The app can be used on every device and it is intuitive.
  • Its Pro version can let you edit and merge PDF files with ease, making it very attractive in the market.

drawboard pdf subscription

Drawboard PDF is a very useful piece of software that lets you save up and edit PDF files with ease, with a pen, and it’s incredibly intuitive to use on a mobile device, such as a tablet. The app was launched as a free version 10 years ago, in 2013, and it also has a Pro version, which is available on Microsoft Store.

The app used to be popular, and still is to a degree. One time, Microsoft even integrated the now-defunct Cortana into it, on Windows 10. However, it seems that the app is getting a lot of criticism from users these days, due to its subscription model.

The Pro version of this used to be a one-time purchase, and you could use all the features that would come with it. If you check its Microsoft Store page, the Pro version has a lot of useful features, such as merging PDF files or hyperlinking them.

However, when the company decided to change its commercial policies to a subscription model, the one-time purchase of the Pro version was heavenly affected. Users who purchased the Pro version of the Drawboard PDF were no longer able to access its Pro features unless they switched to a subscription model that would offer those features.

Understandably, this left a lot of users in disarray, and many of them gave up on paying for a monthly subscription when they already bought the Pro version.

Is the Drawboard PDF subscription right or not?

In an age where most apps have a subscription model implemented in their policies, it would seem normal for this particular app to follow the trend. drawboard pdf subscription

A subscription model provides a monthly revenue for an app that might not get its cash back on a free version with ads. However, those who have already bought the Pro version, before the app switched to a subscription model, believe that the company has wronged them.

In 2014 I purchased Drawboard PDF on the Microsoft Store. At that time, the app did not have any subscription model; the app’s website described paying for the app as having “purchased the app”; and my emailed receipt says, “Store Purchase – Drawboard PDF”. Two years later, the developers introduced a subscription model and have since moved original features into the subscription tier – despite promising on their website to never do so. Essentially, they retroactively turned my store purchase into a 30-day subscription and then moved original core functionality to a subscription in order to strong-arm me into paying more money.

On another Reddit thread, the same user believes that the app should be censored or removed from Microsoft Store.

Everyone who purchased the app before there were subscriptions should do two things – (1) report the app to the Microsoft store, and (2) leave negative reviews explaining what happened.

And a lot of users share the same sentiment.

I’m one of the ‘too many free users’ of Drawboard PDF. I need it several times a year, not even once a month. I might have bought the Pro version but there’s no way I’m going to pay a monthly subscription.

What do you think should happen? Should the company behind it, at least, give the Pro functionalities back to the ones who originally bought it as a one-time purchase app? Or should they pay the monthly subscription for it?

Let us know in the comments section below.

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