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[Article] Atlassian's free version is a money grab - no control over permissions

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Atlassian promoted their Free version of Jira Cloud recently as their way to help remote teams during the Corona crisis. Like many I thought this was great and I moved over from the normal trial version I had. Today all my projects was gone and I just realized that the free version is severely reduced in function. It is in my opinion nothing more than a money grab to lure people in and make them upgrade to the $10 version.

To trick people to sign up for a service without telling them that you are limiting the experience is a shady thing to do. To remove something as important as permissions for no apparent reason other than forcing people into buying another license is just greedy. The $10 version has always been something of a gift from Atlassian where they donated the money they made to charity. It feel so bad that now that they add a free version, which actually does not impact Atlassian's profit in any way, they water it down and remove features.

That is just bad.

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I don't really care if Atlassian offer a limited version, but make sure you clearly market it as such. On the free site they do not mention this at all. I may have missed this when I made the change, but I did not see this when making the change from the standard $10 I was using and I sure as hell did not get any warning that the custom permissions I have configured would not be usable in the free version.

I think it's unworthy for a company like Atlassian to abandon their previous practice of providing a $10 version that allow people to try out their products before they commit to a larger license model. To go out and promote the free version as some form of gift to help people to collaborate in an open and transparent way and they reduce the product by removing permissions is just not what I would expect from Atlassian.

I can see no other reason than that this is a shady way to introduce people to Jira and then force them to upgrade to a "full version". That is such a long way from the caring and giving Atlassian of old...


Atlassian donates 100% of Starter License payments to charity, absorbing all transactions costs incurred in payment processing. Rather than distribute small amounts of money to a number of organizations, the staff of Atlassian have chosen to support a single non-profit organization called Room to Read. Room to Read has established more than 13,000 libraries and constructed more than 1,500 schools in developing nations. The Atlassian Foundation will make a donation equivalent to your payment to www.roomtoread.org.

So if you have a license with custom permissions, if you want to manage permissions or if you like me educate people and need public access, then do not use the watered down and limited free version. If you are looking for a free tool to manage your tasks I am afraid I will not recommend Jira anymore...

I am very disappointed.

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