Thursday, 17 May 2007

The Joys of (missing) Upgrades

I’m the lucky owner of a Polar 625X running and exercise watch. A gadget that follows me on every exercise. And in short a gadget that keeps me going back to the gym again and again.
The reason is that all the data it collects, including how far I run (??) is stored in that watch and then transferred to my pc - so I can follow my progress and if I become better and get more miles to the gallon. :-)

The software is called Polar Precision Performance v. 4 (actually 4.03.046). Great software with updates from time to time (latest April 2007) but a bit of a Windows 3.11 (yes..) interface and a bit harsh on the eyes. But in general it works. And to update it – you NEED to have the software installed or have the old original CD available, so you can install the old version and then upgrade to the latest version. A bit annoying but “ok”…

Then I checked out Polar – and they have now made some new watches – like the RS800 and the RS400 – clearly with a couple of new features – and damn – a NEW software called Polar ProTrainer 5. And I thought – what is this ProTrainer 5 software. I got the Polar Precision Performance 4?

Well in short – the software is not new. It is just the old Polar Precision Performance in version 5 in a slightly new dress-up.

But to avoid giving out upgrades to the old owners – and thereby giving them the opportunity to “BUY” a new watch.. (read the sarcasm) to get the software – they (Polar) must really think the average user is stupid.

What a shame. ProTrainer 5 is not that big an upgrade to v4 – but now the graphs and other graphics are updated to an XP+ kind of look – and seems a bit more user friendly – and it even works out of the box with my 625X watch?

I am a capitalist and like supporting brands I use. But not even giving me the opportunity to throw in a few dollars for an upgrade to V5 – seems a bit stupid. Maintaining two products will in the end turn out more expensive than charging me $5 or $25 for an upgrade.

But trying to cheat your users calling the software a new name?.. Well do they think we are stupid sports-jocks all of us? Polar - get a grip and stop treating your user base as idiots. We just might stop buying your products.

And since it is illegal to tell people to be software pirates I’m not able to tell you the software might be available for download on some – what is it called? Torrent Sites?? As ISO files… bypassing the need for transporting your original V4 CD with you all the time.

But Polar – I would PAY for an upgrade if YOU provided one at a cost relative to upgrade value of the software (somewhere between $5 and $25 – anything else would be highway robbery)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There are other pieces of software that can interface with Polar watches, first one that comes to mind is MySportTraining and others from VidaOne at Since I have got that one I have never used Polar's software again.