HRD Software, LLC has released version 5.11a of Ham Radio Deluxe, the first version since their acquisition of HRD from Simon Brown, HB9DRV. The release appears to be a minor update with the most notable changes being cosmetic updates to splash screens, showing the new ownership of the product.
As many predicted at the time of the acquisition, the next version of HRD, 6.0, will be a pay-only product. The 5.x version will continue to be free and will have bug fixes released for an unidentified amount of time. Version 6.0 will be released at the Dayton Hamvention, but customers can receive a $20 discount for the product by subscribing to HRD support for $59.95 prior to Dayton. At Dayton and afterwards the price for 6.0 will be $79.95. That is a one year subscription. Subsequent support subscription renewals are $39.95 for two years of support. The software doesn’t expire and can continue to be used after support expiration, however users must have a subscription in order to get software updates.
Personally I think Ham Radio Deluxe is worth this price. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I think it’s the best amateur radio logging software ever written (though in a sea of outdated and badly designed sophomoric applications, the bar is often set low). But considering how good version 5.x is, it may take quite awhile for people to actually want or need to upgrade. Unless the trial version of 6.0 really knocks my socks off, I’m going to wait until perhaps version 6.1 or 6.2 to consider upgrading.