Regardless of why the policy exists, or how people choose to take advantage of it or not, it is indeed the company’s choice to have it or to discontinue it. It’s a marketing feature, and imo, pretty generous. It is possible to, for example, buy an unused activation code cheaply from an earlier version on ebay or wherever, and when activating the code get a license for the current version. Even if it’s a 10-year-old code.
This time around they have used the grace period to mitigate customers’ possible displeasure by providing a cheaper update path, with more license instances, plus, for those updating, the ability to keep the license from which they updated. So now we can have up to four instances running simultaneously – one licensed by the dongle, and three by Steinberg-ID.
As far as the reaction of the 99% of posts in forums on the Internet, this is not proof of anything. Steinberg and others periodically have to do rewrites that are difficult for customers, and people complain loudly about it – think 1999-2000 from Cubase VST to Cubase SX 1. It took years to flesh out that software, yet here we are two decades later Cubendo is still alive and kicking, and it’s your favorite DAW software.
While you’re certainly entitled to your opinion, my opinion is that you are mistaken. But the internet is made for complaining, so do carry on.