About the pricing: at first Autopano Giga was supposed to only include a tool to convert panoramas into .SWF files (this is what was announced during the Autopano Meeting preceding the release of APG). Following many requests from the users, we constantly improved Autopano Tour and added more and more features to make virtual tour creation easy and avoid programming tasks. Thus it became a real piece of software on its own and we should have made the separation with Autopano Giga earlier. To clarify our product range and because many users wanted to buy only the virtual tour part of APG, we finally separated the software and applied a price that, from our point of view, reflects quite well the value of the software. Many users even find it cheap with regard to what it enables them to produce. The prices are also in accordance with the results of the questionnaire we proposed you to complete in late 2009. As Klaus pointed out, we also have to finance the development costs and all future developments that will benefit to all users. We also want to be fair with our existing and loyal users; this is why the update to version 2.5 of APP/APG and Panotour or Panotour Pro is free.
Do you know the expression 'like a red rag to a bull'...?
I agree that the separation should have been made earlier - Autopano Tour should never have been bundled with APG in my opinion (although until relatively recently APT perhaps didn't offer enough functionality to be considered a marketable standalone product). I suggested that it should be unbundled, or also made available as a separate product, back at that time because it seemed obvious that there would be many users of non-Kolor stitching programs who might wish to use a GUI front end VT authoring tool for krpano. I imagine that there are more potential customers for such a product among those who don't (and won't) use Kolor's stitching products than among those that do. People tend to acquire stitching software before acquiring VT authoring tools, and my observation is that it seems to be rare for people to switch to another stitcher.
You claim that "Many users even find it cheap with regard to what it enables them to produce" - I don't know quite how you can substantiate this claim when the software has only been available for sale (at these prices) since February 2 - just 48 hours.
Regardless of whether you consider the price reasonable the fact remains that the price of APG+Panotour Pro effectively went up by more than 200 Euros plus tax overnight (enough to pay for a Nodal Ninja 3 pano head). Prior to the release of APG 2.5, 279 Euros plus tax got you APG 2.x, PTP 1.5 and a krpano licence (199 Euros plus tax for APG 2.x and 80 Euros for the krpano licence which covered the krpano viewer and krpanotools). After the release of APG 2.5 the same capability will cost 569 Euros plus tax (479 Euros plus tax for the APG 2.5 and PTP 1.5 bundle plus 90 Euros for the krpano licence required if you to use krpanotools).
Klaus is professional photographer and these prices may well seem 'cheap' to this category of customer - but as a hobbyist I wouldn't consider Panotour Pro 'cheap' at 299 Euros plus tax. And I'm sure there are far more hobbyists in the market than there are professional photographers. Perhaps the hobbysists will all be satisfied with Panotour at 99 Euros plus tax despite its limited and ugly navigation templates.
You also claim that "The prices are also in accordance with the results of the questionnaire we proposed you to complete in late 2009." I guess we have to take your word for that since as far as I know you haven't published the results - but I know that my response was not in accord with these prices.
You say "we also have to finance the development costs and all future developments that will benefit to all users." That's true but you can't price software on a cost-plus basis with no regard for competitive products on the market (well I guess you can but it's asking for trouble! That's why the British ship building, aircraft manufacturing and car making industries all collapsed). And I find the idea that one should price a product on the basis of how much better it will then be in future somewhat unusual - that's like saying I should pay over the odds for a 2011 model of the Ford Mondeo because then the 201x model will be so much better. I'd not be buying capability today but the promise of superior capability at some unknown point in the future.
Panotour and Panotour Pro are good products, and easy to use, but I don't feel you have yet made a good case for their price points, particularly not for Panotour Pro with the huge 'gap' between the price of Panotour and Panotour Pro.
I think it's particularly disappointing that Panotour Pro doesn't include a licence for krpanotools . I preferred the Autopano Tour 'system' where one could enable additional functionality by registering krpano licences from within Autopano Tour, but I expect that approach might provide less income for Kolor. On the other hand a more completely realised plug-in style architecture could have permitted the incremental addition or enabling of capability with plug-ins, paid for and free, from Kolor, krpano and other third-party developers.
There's also little incentive (the discount on bundles is trivial) for new customers in the pano scene to choose APP/APG over rival stitching products when considering Panotour or Panotour Pro for VT authoring.
It appears that Panotour Pro has been positioned directly against EasyPano's Tourweaver Standard Edition. If indeed that's the case why not just say so and explain why?
I guess we should all be grateful that it wasn't positioned against the Tourweaver Professional Edition?