> type systems - a great method of ensuring that a company does not need to
> perform.  If Protel 2001, or whatever, is no good we won't pay
> for it.  So
> Altium have an incentive to do a good job.  If we are on
> maintenance, where
> is their incentive to convince us to part with our money?


All,
I tend to disagree with your opinions regarding paying for maintenance. I
will speak as an independent service bureau only.  When I purchase software
or hardware over $500.00 US, my taxes are complicated by the fact that I
have to amortize my purchase over a period of time set by US tax laws.
Further, in the state of Maryland where I reside, I continue to pay
"property taxes" on the purchase of this software for the same period. So on
one hand I get a tax break and on the other hand I pay for owning it. Very
complicated paper work indeed.
By purchasing services ie maintenance agreements, I can write of the full
price in the year that I made the purchase. I am looking forward to ALTIUM
changing the policy.  I never understood the advantages of purchasing
maintenance agreements until I wore a  business manager's hat.

Bill me

Mike Reagan
EDSI

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