CubePDF exceeded 20 million downloads in December 2022 (20,035,427 as of December 31, 2022). In addition, the number of subscriptions to our paid plans, which are offered mainly to businesses, has been steadily increasing. We are very pleased to have reached this milestone as a result of the large number of users.
Growth supported by numerous media referrals
CubePDF was released as Open Source Software (OSS) on July 7, 2010 as the first product of CubeSoft, Inc.
Although software called virtual printers were not unique as of 2010, many of the prior software available at that time were developed in non-Japanese speaking countries, and there were some minor problems such as garbled Japanese file names. CubePDF was developed for Japanese-speaking users with the goal of solving these problems that Japanese users could not ignore.
Since the launch of CubePDF, it has been featured in numerous media. The product has been frequently mentioned in the Japanese web media since its early days, and in recent years, it has been increasingly featured on new user-submitted review sites such as Capterra. These numerous media mentions were also essential in bringing the CubePDF name to a large number of users.
Development supported by numerous users
Now, when we think about what we can be proud of about CubePDF, it is that we have been continuously developing it for more than 10 years.
As we mentioned earlier, virtual printers were not unique even in 2010, when CubePDF was first released, and were merely rehashes of similar software that already existed in large numbers. Looking back a little on those days, the project we started with the goal of developing PDF conversion software from scratch had been on hold for a long time. One day, I told my manager, "If it is a virtual printer type software, it will be completed soon. ......" This became the starting point of CubePDF. In other words, even at that time, the implementation method of virtual printers on Windows was already well established, and there was nothing new or difficult about it.
However, in the decade or so since CubePDF was launched, various conditions have changed. For example, Windows XP, which was used by the majority of users when the initial version was released, has since undergone a number of major updates to Vista, 7, 8 (8.1), 10, and 11, and new problems have emerged along with these updates. In addition, our company's path to financial stability has not been easy, and at one point we were on the verge of bankruptcy. As the leader of CubePDF, I am proud of the fact that we have not stopped our development for more than 10 years in the face of such internal and external difficulties and challenges.
However, we feel that the existence of users was indispensable for this continuous development. To be honest, when Windows 10 came to include virtual printers as a standard feature under the name "Microsoft Print to PDF", we doubted the reason for CubePDF's existence and development was temporarily halted. When we almost decided to stop development many times, the number of users, which has not decreased even after the spread of Windows 10, gave us pause. The number of downloads has not slowed down since the software was launched. These facts are proof that CubePDF is still needed by many people, and are a great motivation for us to continue development.
Growth of other products supported by CubePDF's name recognition
CubePDF was the first product we offered, and we are very fortunate that it turned out to be a resounding success. And the brand recognition gained from this success has contributed greatly to the growth of other software.
For example, CubePDF Utility, software for merging existing PDF files and reordering pages, is now downloaded in numbers comparable to CubePDF, but the name CubePDF was necessary for its growth. We have also seen and heard of many cases of people starting to use other software simply because it is a product of the company that provides CubePDF.
About the Future
We will continue to develop CubePDF and the Cube series. We are currently offering a paid plan, and we have a high priority support system for users of the paid version, and thankfully, they continue to use the software without major problems. In addition, there have been many cases where software functions have been improved based on the suggestions and requests of users of the paid version. We hope that the software itself will evolve in this way and that both paid and free users will be able to enjoy the benefits of the software in the future.
We believe that the best way to establish a sustainable support for both paid and free version users is to keep improving the quality of our products and we will continue to work hard to achieve this. We look forward to your continued support of CubePDF and the rest of the Cube series.