> > Their wording is odd at best. " ATS membership CANNOT be purchased on
> > existing Protel 99 SE licenses."
> >
> I am concerned that it seems that it seems possible that in the future
> will be diminishing support for the existing users, but surely they would
> not want to loose their existing customer base (us). That would be plainly
> stupid from their point of view (I hope).
> I think that they are only trying to catch the new purchaser's, and they
> will probably have this as standard for any future releases.
> Wayne Bickers

I also suspect that anyone upgrading to (or purchasing) Protel 2001 (or
Protel 2002, by the time it comes out of beta testing?) will have no option
but to go onto an ATS program. I suspect that such an upgrade or purchase
would include membership of the ATS program for 12 months, after which users
would then have to pay for the next 12 months membership of the ATS program.

Protel 99 SE was released in early 2000, and it is probable that the next
version of Protel will be released early next year (based on Altium recently
requesting users to apply for membership of the Altium Beta Program). With
two years between major releases, long-term users would pay an upgrade fee
for each new release, and an ATS membership update fee halfway between the
issue of each new release. To that extent, it will be a change from the

I suspect that anyone who didn't front up with their cash midway between
releases would have to pay more next time they upgraded to the next new
release (compared with users who *had* thus paid), so that Altium would then
recover at least part of the funds that they would otherwise have acquired
from those users.

It is not as if Altium need the additional funds to keep their shareholders
from rioting. So the question is what their users will get in exchange for
these additional payments. (It has been a long time since SP6 was released
for Protel 99 SE. And since the time it was released, two SPs have been
released for use with P-CAD 2001.) But to pay almost $US2k a year, when a
seat currently costs almost $US8k, certainly seems steep.

Geoff Harland.
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