It is as frustrating for us as it is for you to sit on new features and content that would keep our product in a market leading position and our customers happy! Design is a fast moving business and we need a model that recognises that.
Additionally the old annual release cycle imposed a huge burden on developers, testers and support during the couple of months in which our key titles were upgraded, which could mean we provided a lower quality of service than we would wish during that time. By spreading the new feature releases across the year you benefit from a more consistent level of pre-release testing and post-release support, and we will sleep more easily. Win win!
In other words we are trying to bring you some of the benefits of the subscription model without actually offering a subscription.
A further practical consideration is that Xara Online Designer is progressing rapidly, future updates in Online Designer will frequently require matching updates to Web Designer to ensure file and feature compatibility, and we therefore need a model for our client side products that is more in tune with the release cycle of Online Designer. Find out more about Xara Online Designer