Now Up-to-Date & Contact to get Tiger fix with 5.0

Now Software has announced plans to release a Tiger-compatible version of its calendar and contact management software for the Mac, Now Up-to-Date & Contact. That new version is trailing Tiger’s release, however, and it’ll cost you to upgrade, which has raised the ire of some existing customers.

Now Up-to-Date & Contact is a calendaring and contact management software application that works across Windows and Mac platforms, with an eye towards workgroup collaboration. You can also synchronize your content to Palm OS-based handhelds, update your calendar and contact information on the Internet, and more.

Pay to Play

A recent posting made to the Now Software Web site notes that Now Up-to-Date & Contact’s latest release, v4.5.3, is not Tiger-compatible. While some customers have gotten the latest release of Now Up-to-Date & Contact working with some pre-release builds of Tiger, Now Software confirms that support has been broken with Apple’s “final” 10.4 release that hits store shelves on Friday. The company anticipates releasing a 5.0 version that will be Tiger-compatible.

When Now Up-to-Date & Contact v5.0 is released, it will be a paid upgrade: Now Software indicates that going from 4.5 to 5.0 will cost US$49.95 (the full retail version costs $129.95 for a CD-ROM or $119.95 for the download version). Users who bought new copies on or after March 28, 2005 will receive version 5 for free.

That plan to charge for 5.0 has upset customers who either don’t want to wait until June before upgrading or don’t want to pay. But Tiger compatibility only scratches the surface of what 5.0 can do, said Randy Murray, Now Software’s Director of Marketing.

Only one small part of the upgrade

“Tiger is the smallest new feature in the product,” Murray told MacCentral. “We’ve been working on version 5 for about a year. It’s time for a new release with new features.”

Murray said that Now Up-to-Date & Contact v5.0 will sport team scheduling capabilities that will allow you to take any number of Now Up-to-Date & Contact, display their calendars simultaneously and do meeting scheduling all from one screen. Also new to this release is a new Now Server Manager application that simplifies the setup of servers to coordinate Now Up-to-Date & Contact group use.

“We’ve made a significant update to the user interface so it’s simplified,” Murray said. “The menu structure is much easier to use, and the software has an all-new look and feel. There have been literally hundreds of speed improvements, fixes and enhancements all throughout the product.”

More Tiger support coming later

After 5.0’s initial release, which Murray said will happen “no later than early June,” Now Software plans to add more Tiger-specific support, exposing features like Widgets designed to make use of Tiger’s new Dashboard technology, services designed to support Spotlight, Tiger’s new search capability, support for Tiger’s Sync services and more.

“We need to settle in with Tiger a little bit before these updates will come,” Murray said.

Murray explained that Now Software is aware of customer concerns, but encourages Now Up-to-Date & Contact users to be patient through this transition.

“We understand completely, and it’s just a matter of timing that worked against us here,” Murray said. “We can’t just toss out an update. Your Now Up-to-Date & Contact data is mission-critical.”

Murray described Now Up-to-Date & Contact v5.0’s development as “in the late stages of testing,” and said his company will release the new version when it’s “ready to go and fully reliable.”

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