Waves has long been the plugin company who released high quality effects, virtual mixing console modeling emulators for your DAW and some sound design plugins. They were long considered the "Ferrari" of the software effect plugins sector. They were overpriced, wanted to protect their software with dongles and last but not leaset: let you pay loads of maintenance money and were very inaccessible up until 2009 when things started to change.
Waves is still the "Ferrari" of virtual effect plugins, and their package that contains all their stuff is still pricy but they have been seeing the light. They realised if they lower the price of individual plugins and made them accessible in smaller bundles or for individual purchase, they could sell more.
They even changed their WUP policy last year so that people shouldn't pay more than $200 in order to keep receiving important version upgrades, which often improved stability, fixed bugs or just ran faster.
The timing for their recent major change in user policy couldn't have come at a greater time. In fact it is part of their effort to make waves less elitist, bulky and stuffed up plugin vendor. While other smaller developers like reFX and xills make use of dongle protection because these developers wanted to put a stop to the rampant illegal useage of their software, , they actually now REMOVED their ilok protection and moved on a Native Instruments-like license center, so that people could easily move their licenses from bought software on the hard disk or even on an USB stick.
Also a big stride forward is that Waves have finally joined the 64bit era. That was only like 2 years too late actually, but this was a problem of many plugin vendors whom remained behind the host software migration movement.
Ii'd say the only archaic thing about waves is still their WUP. They should reduce the update plan to cost a bit less especially when you are paying like $100+ for behind the scene product updates which seem insignificant for the end user. You could say that if you had your wup active and you now get a "free" update to version 9 plugins which are 64bit, it's a welcome bonus. But still alot of people pay around $100 on their WUP and this might not really solve the problem of illegal downloads for them specificly.
I understand that WUP is somehow a cool way to keep your plugins "fresh", but I can't resist the feeling that I have only 7 waves plugins and I pay $160, that I am actually buying AND Renting my plugins. If only that price would be a bit lower. They have this cool way for you to redeem that WUP price for other plugins, but it's selective: you can't apply it to about every plugin that you would want especially new released ones, so it actually makes you feel
Again I'm not against them to ask a fee for updates, I'm a bit against the details on how they make it work. I recently payed up $160 to have my plan covered till october 2013 for all my plugins. Then I bought NLS last april, and now they asked me to pay $22 until april 2014... So that's LESS money to keep MORE plugins up to date for half a year longer. . I don't quite understand this. But you kinda do it because for some reason they are the best and when you play with their software you're feeling as if you are manipulating authentic gear on your software DAW PC.... Still they should make their WUP less