Sandboxie, one of the most popular security programs available for Windows, has been acquired by US based security company Invincea. It’s difficult to know exactly what this might mean for users of the free version but I doubt it will be good news.
A couple of months ago I noticed that the lifetime Sandboxie licenses were no longer available, leaving annual licenses as the only option for the registered version. Now that the acquisition has been finalized and made public, it has become apparent that Invincea was involved with Sandboxie during the period when that decision was made. The following excerpt is taken from Invincea’s announcement regarding the takeover:
Sandboxie fans have no need to be concerned by its new ownership. You’ve been running under the Invincea umbrella for some time now and we have been working with Sandboxie Founder, Ronen Tzur, to ensure a smooth transition to new ownership.
Invincea’s announcement also includes a message to Sandboxie users that the free version will remain available as per normal:
Sandboxie is a great product that individuals can download for free and get immediate protection on their own machines – it has been and will remain this way.
Despite Invincea’s assurances to the contrary, I have serious concerns over the future of Sandboxie’s free version. Companies are invariably profit driven, plus Sandboxie’s userbase numbers in the hundreds of thousands. Take that mix to its logical conclusion and you have the basis for some pretty serious doubts.
Have you noticed how many software vendors are moving to an annual subscription of late? It’s a worrying trend. I see no reason why established software which does not require any heavy investment in ongoing development should demand annual fees… except, of course, to further line a vendor’s pockets.
Anyway, as far as Sandboxie is concerned, I guess time will tell. I just hope the need to recoup moneys outlaid for the acquisition does not end up overriding decent intentions.