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Short Notice: LogMeIn To Discontinue Free Access 408

Posted by timothy
from the how-much-friction-can-be-applied dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The remote desktop service LogMeIn sent an email to its users today notifying them that 'LogMeIn Free' will be discontinued — as of today. This is a major shock with minimal warning to the millions of users who have come to rely on their service, made all the more surprising by the fact that 'consensus revenue estimates for LogMeIn in 2014 are $190.3 million,' suggesting that their system of providing both free and paid accounts for what is ultimately a straightforward service that could be duplicated for well under $1 million was already doing quite well." Asks reader k280: "What alternative tools are available for free, and how do they compare to LogMeIn?"
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Short Notice: LogMeIn To Discontinue Free Access

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  • Re:Uh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jawtheshark (198669) * <slashdot@nospam.jawtheshark.com> on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @09:41AM (#46024457) Homepage Journal
    Of course. For me it works. If you read further on, I mentioned the non-IT option.
  • Re:Uh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jawtheshark (198669) * <slashdot@nospam.jawtheshark.com> on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @09:42AM (#46024475) Homepage Journal
    No, but we're on slashdot. Where a nerd is still allowed to be a nerd. You can bet your ass that I'm not the only one doing exactly this.
  • Translation... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hohlraum (135212) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @09:43AM (#46024493) Homepage

    Logmein loses 99% of their user base. :)

  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @09:47AM (#46024537) Homepage

    made all the more surprising by the fact that 'consensus revenue estimates for LogMeIn in 2014 are $190.3 million,' suggesting that their system of providing both free and paid accounts for what is ultimately a straightforward service that could be duplicated for well under $1 million was already doing quite well.

    Why is it surprising that a company might want to do better than "quite well" when it sees the opportunity?

    Also:

    what is ultimately a straightforward service that could be duplicated for well under $1 million

    Go on then. Or was that number just pulled out of someone's behind?

  • Re:Uh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jawtheshark (198669) * <slashdot@nospam.jawtheshark.com> on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @09:48AM (#46024569) Homepage Journal
    It's not for tech support? A cursory glance at their website told me that. Instead of calling me a fuckwit, what about just telling me why I'm wrong? That would actually be useful, for those like me who thought it's used for remote tech support.
  • Pity, was useful (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jratcliffe (208809) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @09:49AM (#46024591)

    Used it to control my HTPC from my iPad. I think their pricing is just a wee bit too high, though. If it were, say, $25 a year (rather than $50), I'd probably say that it was worth it to avoid having to find an alternative. As it is, I'll find something else.

  • by MrNemesis (587188) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @09:54AM (#46024655) Homepage Journal

    Perhaps this is just reinforcing my "you're an IT dinosaur, old man!" but for the benefit of us ignoramuses, might it be possible for the submitter or, god forbid, the editors to say what "log me in" actually does?

  • Re:Uh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Sarten-X (1102295) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @09:57AM (#46024685) Homepage

    Right, because I'm certainly going to set up port forwarding on my grandmother's machine, and my multiple non-server machines in my own home...

    Now, let's see... 3390 was the bedroom machine, right? or was that the kid's room?

  • Re:Translation... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by N1AK (864906) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @09:59AM (#46024721) Homepage
    And doesn't care because they weren't paying users ;)
  • Entitlement (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nicholasjay (921044) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:13AM (#46024913)

    It's so typical. Someone offers a service/product for free. People use it and like it. They keep using it. Then the service/product gets changed/removed/etc and everyone yells at the owner about how they feel shafted instead of *thanking* the owner for providing such a useful service for free for so long.

    Everyone feels entitled to get whatever they want for free.

  • Re:Translation... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gigaherz (2653757) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:17AM (#46024981)
    Assuming that number wasn't bullshit, that means even if just 1% of the free user base becomes paying customers, they would have doubled their paying user base.
  • by Nuroman (588959) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:22AM (#46025053)
    There is no automatic method of cancelling your account. You have to call the tech support line at https://secure.logmein.com/con... [logmein.com] for your locale. All you can do on the site is delete the computers on your account. As of this post, I cannot get through to the US & Canada line, just getting a busy signal. Apparently I'm not the only one following this route. As has been mentioned in other posts there are plenty of free options out there capable of the same features that a free LogMeIn account was capable of doing.
  • by Tx (96709) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:29AM (#46025149) Journal

    I use logmein for the same purpose, and I must say I might have considered signing up for pro, but the zero-notice cancellation of the free account has left a major bad taste in my mouth. It's a pretty blatant attempt to rush people into signing up for the paid program, because hey, give people a month's notice to evaluate alternatives and the might find something else they like. For that reason, there is zero chance I'll sign up for logmein pro.

  • Re:Uh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:37AM (#46025275)

    Go back to reddit

  • Re:Translation... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PraiseBob (1923958) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:38AM (#46025285)
    One distinction here- there are stopping the free version, and giving current users a 6 month trial period of the pro version.
  • Re:Uh? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:42AM (#46025343)

    WAH! I can't be bothered to pay for the solution I need, and I can't remember simple CLI commands! WAH! What the heck is Teamviewer and how do you expect me to learn another drop-dead easy FREE service that's even better and easier than LogMeIn!?!? WAH! I got years of easy awesomeness for free and now I feel entitled to whine and complain because everything's too hard for me! WAH!

    Why the hell are you on Slashdot if you're complaining about nerd powers? Suck it up and come up with a solution or don't. Just put your big girl panties on and stop whining. Jeez.

  • Re:Entitlement (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FireFury03 (653718) <slashdot@CHEETAHnexusuk.org minus cat> on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:55AM (#46025579) Homepage

    It's so typical. Someone offers a service/product for free. People use it and like it. They keep using it. Then the service/product gets changed/removed/etc and everyone yells at the owner about how they feel shafted instead of *thanking* the owner for providing such a useful service for free for so long.

    Everyone feels entitled to get whatever they want for free.

    No one is entitled to anything above and beyond what the contract says - no contract, no entitlement.

    *However*, in just the same way as a customer might be peeved when a supplier sticks rigidly to the contract terms instead of offering some good-will flexibility, a customer of a free service is going to be a bit peeved by this kind of no-notice change to the service... And peeved customers aren't the kind of people to continue to be customers, which is important where you're withdrawing the free service in the hope that many of your "free" customers will move to the paid service - if you pissed them off then they probably won't.

    I'll give you a real world example: I have a bunch of servers in datacentres run by Host-It [host-it.co.uk]. They are over-priced, but we've been happy with their customer service so haven't switched to a cheaper datacentre. We pay for 12 months of hosting up-front, and about a month after we paid for one of our servers, the server failed and we decided to retire it. Coincidentally, the contract was up for renewal for another of our servers at the same time, so we asked them to transfer the remaining 11 months on the contract for the failed server over to that server. Seemed pretty fair enough to us. They flatly refused - sure, the contract doesn't say they have to do that, but it would seem to be a reasonable thing to do from a good-will perspective. So we had to pay for 11 months of hosting for a server that died (so they haven't actually been hosting it) because they refused to be reasonable and instead stuck rigidly to the contract terms. Now I'm not saying they were in the wrong - far from it, legally speaking they were dead in the right, but their lack of good will has ensured all future servers we commission will be hosted elsewhere.

  • Re:Uh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @11:15AM (#46025851)
    You people seem to be trying pretty hard to make yourself not be able to do this, or you completely lack reading comprehension. Several posts contained both a nuts and bolts way of doing it for people with minimal but common tools, and a way to do it easier with more specific, less common tools. But if you are so determined to make yourself fail at doing something that could be written down on a single stick note or for which preexisting tools will automate and were even mentioned in the posts you're replying to, there is no helping you. For a site supposed to be for nerds that are self motivated to learn, especially when most people realize a single post won't mention every detail of a topic or every competing brand of tool , don't expect much sympathy for knocking away spoon fed information.
  • Re:Uh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sarten-X (1102295) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @11:51AM (#46026341) Homepage

    I think you're the one missing the reading comprehension.

    I've been an IT admin for a decade, and a software engineer for about a decade before that. I can build tunnels in my sleep. I learn a new programming language every year or so. I'm not making myself unable to do this.

    Sure, I can set up a tunnel by hand, but that's inconvenient at best. One of the benefits of LogMeIn was that it handled all of the routing for me, regardless of skill level. I don't need to have an SSH server on-site, or deal with port forwarding across disparate NAT devices, or figure out how to punch holes in a firewall that I haven't worked on in a year. I don't choose to spend my time that way.

  • Re:Uh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dreamchaser (49529) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @12:26PM (#46026811) Homepage Journal

    I'd mod you up as well if I had points today. Sadly, the days when this was a site full of resourceful DIY geeks are long gone. It's not quite as bad as reddit yet but it's getting there.

    I know a lot of people who do similar home-brew solutions. You shouldn't be getting any heat for your suggestions, especially since you even offered a suggestion that was NOT a DIY.

  • Re:Uh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sarten-X (1102295) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @12:35PM (#46026911) Homepage

    Funny thing is, as an admin, I've steered a few clients toward paid subscriptions to LogMeIn, specifically because their free service was so good. By using it personally, I was aware of their features and updates, without needing to spend even more time researching. That's not going to happen any more. Now when I need a remote-control system for Windows beyond basic RDP, they'll get the same examination as their competitors. By getting rid of the "leeches", they also lost a competitive advantage.

    actually learn how to do for yourself

    I've already learned how to shovel my driveway, but I still chose to buy a snowblower.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @12:44PM (#46027059) Homepage

    VNC has been around for quite a while I remember using the AT&T Labs version back in 1999.

    Log Me in was simply a repackaged VNC with aded wrapper software and service.

  • Re:Back to my mac? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @09:27AM (#46035025)
    ... Except for the two Apple computers.

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