Hi Charles,

Well, that’s certainly one way of looking at it. There is even a term
for it. It is called "perceived obsolescence." The basic idea of this
marketing strategy is to take a product you have, repackage it, change
the look or feel a little bit, and attempt to market it as a new
product even though it is the same old product in new packaging.  So,
yeah, they are trying to rip you off if they can, or at the very least
trying to make their product look newer and more attractive to their

For example, the biggest target market for this type of marketing is
children. Toy manufacturers know if they change a popular toy just a
little and sell it again kids will want it even if it is similar to
the toy they have. This month they might have Night Strike Batman with
some sort of night vision goggles or something, and next month they
will come out with Ninja Attack batman with a couple of swords.  The
figure in the box is the same action figure but the equipment included
is a little different and the packaging he is in is different, but
kids don’t know or particularly care about that. They see the new
Batman figure and want it, because his old toy is not as cool as the
new one etc. Believe me my son is bad about wanting the same figure
again and again just because the action figure inside is a tad
newer/different than the one he has.

The thing is every large company does this at some level, and I do
understand why they do it. If you are in the business of selling cars
you aren't going to completely invent a new car every year. Instead
you might come up with some newer paint schemes on the 2011 model, or
might change the look of the body a bit, throw in a feature from the
limited model in the standard model, etc but you aren't going to
redesign that entire car from scratch. That costs a lot of time and
money in research and development. So they get by for another year or
two on the same basic model, but make it a little more attractive
looking than last years model, and throw in a few extras like power
seats as a bonus.

Well, software developers aren't that much different. Some want to
make a few new sales, reach that bottom line, and if they can tinker
with the UI a little, fix a couple of bugs, and resell it as 2.0
they'll do it just to make a few bucks. That's why upgrading from say
Office 2007 to Office 2010 really isn't any big deal. I don't see a
single thing 2010 has I don't already have with 2007 in terms of my
personal needs so won't buy it on those grounds.


On 1/12/11, Charles Rivard <woofer...@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
> So they're ripping you off while making you think they're not.  In the case
> of trying to find moved settings, though, it seems to me like it's less
> functional or, at best, no better than the predecessor, more confusing, and
> more expensive.  I still agree with my subject line in this case.
> In the case of JAWS 12, I like the newer arrangement of settings changes in
> some ways, and I like the approach to Microsoft's ribbons in MS Word 7,
> although the price for those changes seems sort of steep from the viewpoint
> of an end user who doesn't know much about what went into the making and
> incorporation of these improvements.
> ---
> Laughter is the best medicine, so look around, find a dose and take it to
> heart.

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