I disagree. Bitwig adds major new features in each point release. For example, 2.3 just added a new synth, new device views, time signature changes, Elastique time stretching, new devices, a new stacking modulator, as well as sound content updates.
Ableton only adds new feature in each major release.
Also, you currently pay €379 for a license including 12 months of free updates.
If you’ve bought a version of Bitwig previously, you can currently pay €159 to upgrade to the latest version including 12 months of free updates.
However, before your 12 months of free updates runs out, they’ll send you an offer to add another 12 months against a 20% discount; I paid only €129 to do so a little over a month ago.
It should also be pointed out that this is not a software-as-a-service subscription model; your application keeps running and you can always re-download and authorize the most recent version you paid for.
I actually really like this model.
First of all, you can let your 12 months run out when you’re not actively using the application for a longer period of time, and it will just keep working. You can always start paying again later when you want or need the features of the latest version.
More importantly however, I think this model allows the team to have a steady and reliable source of income from people who are actually actively using the application. This allows them to focus on ongoing maintenance and improvements and on regularly releasing useful new features, instead having to plan for multi-year development cycles with marketing-driven Big Features To Justify The Upgrade Price.
Finally, €129 or €159 is what you pay for a good plug-in synth. I probably would have paid that for Phase-4 alone.