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    Xbench 3.0 Beta Released – Changing Gears

    We’re very happy to announce the release of the first public beta of Xbench 3.0. While we tried to keep the user interface as similar to Xbench 2.9 as possible, there has been a huge overhaul of the underlying code to make it fully Unicode and available in 32-bit and 64-bit editions. The main enhancements brought by Xbench 3.0 are:

    • Unicode support across the board
    • 32-bit and 64-bit editions
    • Integrated installation of Hunspell spell-checking dictionaries
    • Support for MemoQ 6 XLIFF files
    • Integration with MemSource Editor
    • Support for Wordfast Pro 3.1
    • Support for multilingual TMX files
    • Support for Qt Linguist files
    • Support for new Apple glossaries (Mountain Lion)
    • Support for DejaVu Satellite Projects
    • New built-in QA checks for CamelCase and ALLUPPERCASE mismatches
    • New search and QA filter for only 100% matches
    • And many other enhancements all over the place

    For many years, we’ve seen Xbench has been as a symbiotic product. External users provided very helpful feedback that allowed us to improve a tool that is essential for ApSIC own production processes as an LSP. At the same time, external users benefit from using a great tool.

    However, as the Xbench user base grew, tensions on the feature set appeared. There were many user suggestions that, although they were useful for users in general, we were reluctant to implement because they were for a CAT tool that ApSIC did not like anymore (or did not like enough yet), or they were for needs that we had already covered in some other way, or they were needs that we simply didn’t have. Indeed, the main feature of ApSIC Xbench 3.0, Unicode support, was probably something that we at ApSIC could get by without it because of the main language pairs we focus on.

    So with this release, we’ve made an important decision: we will no longer require that any change to ApSIC Xbench has to be fully symbiotic with ApSIC’s needs as an LSP. We believe that this decision will greatly contribute to enhance the support of some formats whose functionality was not at par to other formats more important to ApSIC’s daily production. With this decision — and therefore without this restriction — we can now fully focus on making Xbench a great tool for even more users.

    However, in order to maintain a proper motivation for its development, this decision means that Xbench 3.0 will become a paid product. With Xbench 3.0 we are introducing a flexible subscription model based on named users, where your email is the Xbench account you use for your license. This means that you can install Xbench on as many devices as you wish and simply sign in to use Xbench. No device activation, no license returns, no lost licenses in crashed disks.

    A subscription model also means that we will take care of existing users with the same priority as new users because the monetary reward for a renewal is exactly the same as for a new user. It also means that we will not pester you with exploding upgrade offers because, with a subscription model, you are always entitled to any upgrade.

    So, what’s the price going to be? During the beta period, Xbench 3.0 will be free of charge. Once the beta finishes, one entitlement (license to run one copy on any device) to Xbench 3.0 will be €99/year.

    The beta program is public. To join the beta program, simply go to the new home of Xbench at www.xbench.net, download Xbench 3.0 and after installing and starting it, click the Sign Up link in the Sign In dialog.

    For those early users who are sold on Xbench 3.0, we are running a great promotion during the beta period to purchase subscriptions at exceptionally reduced prices (and the sooner you are sold, the more exceptional the price). Pricing during beta will be as follows:

    • €19/year until December 27
    • €39/year until January 3
    • €59/year until January 10
    • €79/year until the beta period officially finishes

    Xbench 2.9 will continue to be freeware, and will also have its home at www.xbench.net. We sort of picture the role of Xbench 2.9 as the Lite version of Xbench 3.0, because a lot of the functionality is already there, although we believe that Xbench 2.9 is also a Pro version for its own merits. We did not want to create a crippled Lite version of Xbench 3.0 because it could mean losing focus on the Pro, and we believe that trying to make Xbench 3.0 a great product is difficult enough!

    We’re looking forward to your feedback on the beta, which you can report in the Contact Support page at www.xbench.net.