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Bucking Trend, JetBrains to Raise Price of IntelliJ IDEA

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If you're thinking of buying IntelliJ IDEA, then you may want to do it before February 15th. According to an email seen on the Java Posse's Google group (and subsequently confirmed by DZone), that is the day the price of IntelliJ will increase by $100 to $599.

"At JetBrains, we feel we provide a great value to the marketplace. In spite
of the industry trends, we have held the IntelliJ IDEA price unchanged for
the past 5 years. To maintain the same level of quality in our product and
services, we now find it necessary to increase the IntelliJ IDEA regular
price from $ 499 to $ 599.

The new IntelliJ IDEA license price of $ 599 will be effective from
February, 15th, 2008. Any IntelliJ IDEA license purchases made before
February, 15th, 2008 will be honored at the current price of $ 499."

It's a bold move in a market where industry giants like Sun, IBM and Oracle are all competing hard to gain an edge with developer tools that are completely free. On the other hand, IntelliJ IDEA is adding support for Flex, Groovy and Ruby - much broader than it's original Java focus.

I had a chance to speak with JetBrains' own Ann Oreshnikova (also a Zone Leader here at DZone) who offered this additional explanation for the price increase:

"Honestly, the drop in the value of the US dollar is a big factor. We have to pay our team in currencies that are more expensive in terms of US dollars than ever before. We haven't raised prices in over 5 years, but the economics of foreign exchange are really beyond our control.

Even though the price is increasing, we believe that IntelliJ IDEA continues to deliver value for every single cent you spend. It's especially important to note that this price increase will not affect individual developers, the cost of our personal license is not increasing."

It's a hard reality to argue, since the value of the dollar has plummeted amidst global economic concerns about recession and the US economy. I'm persuaded, how about you?


Matthew Schmidt replied on Thu, 2008/02/07 - 2:05pm

While it's tough to stomach a price increase any time with some of your favorite software, it's a fact of business in today's economy.  On the upside, IntelliJ comes with Spring, Hibernate, Ruby, and Groovy support out of the box.  Pretty impressive - not to mention the free TeamCity.  I can't say I blame them for raising the price a bit!

Rick Ross replied on Thu, 2008/02/07 - 2:10pm

On a personal note, I really don't envy the situation facing JetBrains and many other vendors. Nobody knows better than these folks that it is a tough, competitive marketplace, and a price increase is a hard way to grow market share.

I hope that the public response to this price increase will be tempered by the fact that development costs are not necessarily keyed to US currency. If you have to pay developers in euros or other currencies, then it simply costs more to pay them. Who doesn't feel this economic reality every day at the gas pump and elsewhere!

David Lee replied on Thu, 2008/02/07 - 4:57pm

This is great. I might be one of the few people that don't believe open source and free software always in the best interest of our profession.  I use their product daily and think it's head and shoulders above other offerings.  Before intellij I used JBuilder and thought it was the best IDE(JB 2006 is still pretty good).  I've worked at shops where developers have been fired due to constantly fiddling with Eclipse plugins and hosing their environment.  If raising the price is what it takes to keep JetBrains around, then raise the price.

As a developer, the one thing I'll I have no problem paying for is software.

Mike Cherichetti replied on Thu, 2008/02/07 - 3:11pm

Even at $599, it's still a tremendous value. I wouldn't have to think long or hard about dropping 3-4 times that much on it. Of course I'm not suggesting they raise it that high though!

JeffS replied on Thu, 2008/02/07 - 3:36pm

It will be interesting to see how this pans out for JetBrains.  I hope it does work out, because there is value in a "for pay" development tool, even though developers can be cheapskates (I'm guilty myself).

 But with the way ItelliJ users rave about how good it is, it's got to be well worth the price, espeically when compared to Eclipse (which, to me, is a huge productivity inhibitor).

 But when compared NetBeans (which, to me, is a huge productivity enabler) the value in a $599 IntelliJ is a bit less obvious.

 Being a huge user and advocate of free, open source, software, I really hope things work out for JetBrains.  Quite often, a "for pay" proprietary product can offer a great deal more polish, professionalism, completeness, and ease of use, over free or open source equivalents.


Dave Sims replied on Thu, 2008/02/07 - 9:49pm

On first blush, it makes you wonder if JetBrains shouldn't offer pricing in Euros as well as US Dollars. On second blush, that sounds like a bad idea. :)

Jeroen Wenting replied on Fri, 2008/02/08 - 2:27am

It would actually be a good idea for them to price in Euros rather than dollars.

It would allow them to keep the price the same and still get more dollars in (after this correction, or had they made the move a few years ago) with hardly anyone noticing until they get their creditcard statements (which most people hardly look at anyway beyond checking if there are line items from unknown creditors).

Ray Ave replied on Fri, 2008/02/08 - 7:01am in response to: Mike Cherichetti

Not so loud! ...

Ray Ave replied on Fri, 2008/02/08 - 7:04am

Annoying, but understandable.

Will I pay it?

Well the new price is still nowhere near how much I would lose in terms of productivity if I moved to one of the free alternatives.


Java Guy replied on Fri, 2008/02/08 - 10:52am



mike replied on Fri, 2008/02/08 - 2:43pm

As a professional software developer that gets paid for ... developing software, I am all in favor of someone getting their fair share for high quality work. I know I like to get paid. Idea makes me more more productive, more so than any other IDE I've used. Plus, the level of polish they add to it outstanding. They didn't just shoot for a list of features to implement, but chose to implement each of them extremely well. Plus, doesn't Idea now include free copies of Team City? We just started using Team City, and while it's a little rough around the edges, it's very good.

Dave Cherry replied on Sun, 2008/02/10 - 4:49pm

As Jetbrains said in the original email, its some time since the last price increase. It doesn't come as a shock to me that they need to increase, the dollar euro value has diminished significantly recently.

Lucky for me, I upgraded to 7 just after it came out. However, even if I had to pay the extra $100, I would pay it, its very little for what I get out of IntelliJ.

Paul Parrone Jr. replied on Tue, 2008/02/12 - 1:29pm

Even at $599 it's still a bargain. The boost in productivity I get by using IDEA definitely outweighs the cost.

Unfortunately, I think there are many who won't even try it because it isn't free (but I guess in these cases even $499 is still 'too much')



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