I remember when I first started in the publishing business well over 20 years ago how excited we in the industry got for a new software version release. We entered long beta periods and created our books and then waited for the final Release to Manufacturing (RTM) version that we could finalize all our content on. Then we timed for the general availability release date that the software companies set. I remember the long lines at CompUSA where people would stand to get their latest version of Windows, Office, or Photoshop. Then, we waited several years for the software companies to release a new version. Service packs were released every 6 months or so and we’d update our content on reprints if the changes were warranted. You knew not much was going to change until the next version.
Fast forward to today. Not only do most software companies work on a rapid release schedules to get new features out as fast as possible, but many have gone to subscription services for their software where there are no new versions and the changes and new features are automatically accessible to all current subscribers of the software. This is great for the software companies as they can always be competitive with new features and easy for the customers as they don’t have to worry about upgrades and keeping up with versions. Adobe was one the first major players to do this with their Adobe Creative Suite CC product, but Microsoft has also been successful with Office365 and the newly released Windows 10. Apple, Google and Facebook also offer applications that change very frequently. As great as it is for innovating companies and customers, it’s not ideal for customers seeking up-to-date content from publishers based on a constantly moving software target. The shelf life of print books is an obvious obstacle, but a landscape of recurring feature updates and version releases requires more agility in the publishing process.
With the release of Windows 10 on July 29th, Microsoft promises rapid updates to the operating system. We at Que decided this is the perfect time to also introduce a new service we are calling the Content Update Program. It will launch with our first Windows 10 books and also be included in Office and other software topics going forward. You’ll know if the book, eBook, or video is in the program by the designated Content Update Program Logo.
Products that are a part of the Content Update Program will include access to a digital version called a Web Edition. The Web Edition will automatically be added to registered users accounts and accessible through their account via a modern Web Browser such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, or Firefox. This means the content can be accessed on a laptop or mobile device like an iPad or other tablet device. When updates have been made to the Web Edition, we will send all registered users of the product an email alerting them that there are changes and what those changes are. Users can then instantly access these changes within the Web Edition. This allows us as publishers to react as quickly as possible to changes in technology and software.
Here’s a quick overview of how the Content Update Program works:
* Customers will go to www.quepublishing.com/register to register their product and ask a few questions to verify valid ownership of that product. It’s important to use a valid email address when registering as this will be how we alert customers of new or changed content.
* After registration, a Web Edition of the product will automatically be accessible in the customer’s account under the “Digital Purchases” tab. This Web Edition is where all of the updates, corrections and new content will be accessed. It’s instant and always up-to-date.
* eMail alerts will be sent to all registered users whenever a product has updates. Our editors and industry renowned authors will monitor the software for changes and update content where needed. Frequency will be determined by the software company’s release schedule.
We are very excited to be offering this service to our customers. For software or technology that is changing rapidly, learners can be confident they have quality content to master new skills for the home, office, and business today – and also into the future.