January 2004 - X-Setup will become X-Setup Pro - Newly founded alliance between Xteq Systems and dotec.de (XQDC Ltd.) will be responsible for X-Setup Pro

Dear Customer,

Please let me first thank you for your continued support in Xteq Systems X-Setup. We do really appreciate this and hope you have as much fun using it as we had making it.

We (Xteq Systems) think that X-Setup is a real high-performance product, which offers many features not found in any other tweaking application. However, since X-Setup 6 was available, we always had to make a decision what we do with our time for X-Setup. Either we spent more time supporting Users and thus the next update of X-Setup took longer, or we concentrated on the development and couldnt support the users as we wished to.

From this viewpoint, we decided that properly the best solution would be to ask the X-Setup community to help other customers and we created the delphiforums.com X-Setup User-2-User forum. To be honest, this idea didnt work out quite well and we ended up exactly where we started: Either develop a new version of X-Setup or spent more time in supporting customers.

During this year, we made the decision that we should concentrate on what we are really good at: Developing new version for X-Setup. So we searched for somebody who could handle the support, website and administrative tasks. We have really waited a long time for a new member that could take care of this, but after the Dotcom Crises, nobody seems to be interested in Freeware anymore. Of course, everybody wants Freeware but literally nobody wants to do the, well, "doing".

At this time, we explained this situation Eric mc Windmeier from dotec.de that we know for five years and who is also a good friend. He was instantly impressed by X-Setup and also by the idea to split the work areas into two pieces. He has nearly ten years of business experience in web design and nearly the same time of experience in software support projects.

This alliance between Xteq Systems and dotec.de will allow us to combine know-how and experience of both companies: the development knowledge of Xteq Systems and the website and support knowledge of dotec.de. To communicate this alliance, we have founded the XQDC Ltd. (XteQ DoteC) which will be responsible for X-Setup from now on. Please note that this is an alliance between Xteq Systems and dotec.de, not a merger, nor did Xteq Systems sell X-Setup (Pro). Behind X-Setup Pro there are still the same people that created version 1.0 of it.

One of the reasons why we chose dotec.de was that Eric shares the same philosophy about software: First, either software should be free or it should be very cheap. Secondly, the people should get a real value for their money. This brings us to what many people already know when they have read X-Setup Pro: It will be Shareware.

However, it is important to know that only Version 7.0 of X-Setup Pro and up will cost money, all pre-7.0 release (6.5, 6.6, 6.7 etc.) will remain in the current freeware for home-users schema! We will use this pre-7.0 release to add new features to X-Setup Pro and proof that you will really get great value for your money, not a simply label-change, that costs you money. We have seen too many times, that a good freeware program turns into a shareware program without any benefit for the customers. We think this is a very important part of the entire X-Setup Pro Shareware story, because we will NOT simply take the current X-Setup, label it X-Setup Pro and charge money for it.

You will also see that the prices of X-Setup Pro will be very competitive: We will charge an individual user 8 USD / 7 EURO for one copy of X-Setup Pro 7.0 or higher version. Once again: This only applies to Version 7.0 and up. We will still provide many pre-7.0 releases as freeware.

Even if you say you wouldnt pay any money for the current release of X-Setup, give us a chance: You can simply use these pre-7.0 releases and see for yourself, if the newly introduced features arent worth the money. We will also keep the final 6.x version downloadable from our website, so you can basically stick with that version forever without paying any money. You can download X-Setup 6.6. from here.

We know that a lot of people will see this change as an end of an era but its also true that we need to acknowledge the change of the internet: Many services which were free for a long time meanwhile do cost money. This does also mean that our costs for making X-Setup are indeed high for a freeware product. We already tried to cover this using the PayPal donation page we have set up, but we usually received at about only two donations a month, resulting in about 6 USD (per Month!).

To give you an example: download.com was a free service, a list of applications entered by the authors of the software itself so download.com had nothing more to do than to list this descriptions. Since a few months they charge either 79 USD per listing or a monthly fee of 99 USD.

We know that some customers will be upset now and we can really understand. We havent liked it either when some freeware programs we love suddenly turned out to be shareware. Thats why we will provide all pre-7.0 versions still as freeware so you build your own opinion if the new features we provide arent worth the fee we will charge.

Please do also believe us that we really have though about this step nearly a whole year and wrote tremendous long emails to figure out how we could solve the issues we have seen. We really think that the solution we have found is a good one.

We already have created a public Beta of X-Setup Pro 6.5 which is the first release in the pre-7.0 releases. This release has a lot of changes under the hood to lay the foundation for the new features we plan to add to X-Setup Pro. To mention just a few: Full translation support for the program and later on the plug-ins, an "Apply to different User" feature, a roll-back feature etc. And even more to come!

To download X-Setup Pro and see for yourself, please go to http://www.x-setup.net/downloads/.

You will also notice that our new website for X-Setup Pro http://www.x-setup.net/ includes some features we never provided on xteq.com. We have a new forum (BBS) software which will replace our existing delphiforums.com page. This forum will be monitored very frequently by Eric mc Windmeier and of course the Xteq Systems members to assist mc. We also have the entire X-Setup SDK directly viewable on the webpage, a direct plug-in upload page, a RSS News feed and much more.

Thank you for your time and have a great day,

Michael 'TeX HeX',
texhex@xteq.com
CEO Xteq Systems and XQDC Ltd.

Eric 'mc' Windmeier,
eric@dotec.de
CEO dotec.de and XQDC Ltd.