temcat writes "Latest does not necessarily mean greatest, and the world of software is no exception to that. I am sure everybody on Slashdot can cite their favorite example of how the previous version of X was better than the new one. But why do vendors usually stop selling old versions of their software as soon as the latest version comes out? At least they could provide downgrade rights — in any case, they cannot lose on the total revenue. I can imagine three problems here:
- Some implied obligation to support the product. Does such a thing really exist in most places? Surely a vendor can refuse to support old versions in the EULA?
- Increased overhead due to having more SKUs. Is the cost increase that significant, especially for big corporations with wide product portfolios?
- New version release is implemented as a project; if this version does not sell, the project will not pay off, and management heads will roll. I see where the managerial interest lies, but what about shareholders? By not discouraging this tactic, they deprive themselves of vital market feedback about the quality of the new product.