G'Day all,
I have been doing some deep thinking and investigation on this, trying to 
identify what I do not like and what my concerns are.  This is really hard 
work for me as I am not good at it. I am good at other stuff, not this, but 
I feel that this issue is sufficiently important for my business that I 
want to promote a careful reasoned discussion of the merits and 
otherwise.  Here is a smattering of my thoughts:

1) ATS for P99SE is USD$1995 for a $USD7995 product - 25%

2) ATS for PCAD is the same for a USD$9995 product - 20%.  And PCAD is 
significantly more powerful - as one example, I just noticed that it has a 
suggestion of mine from years ago - smart footprints that know wave 
direction, and vary according to layer.  I would pay something for 
that.  (Not claiming the idea, but it is something I suggested for Protel 
on this forum years ago.  Most likely though other packages had it ages ago 
and I just didn't know.)

3) Current upgrade cycle is about 2 years.  So two lots of ATS fees mean we 
are paying 50% of the capital cost for upgrades as it seems to me ATS 
offers nothing else that we do not already get.  Has anyone else identified 
anything new apart from upgrades?

4) Current upgrade cost from P98 to P99SE is just under USD$2000 - 25% 
again. Amortised over, lets say, 2 years making about 12.5% per annum.

5) Upgrade price for PCAD is the same as the upgrade price for P99SE.  This 
again, would suggest, a more balanced pricing structure between P99SE and 
PCAD is required.  At USD$2k more (capital cost) I could see many companies 
moving to PCAD as the annual costs are the same but the functionality is 
(reportedly) better.

6) It seems to me that depreciation vs full write off in the year of 
purchase does not recompense for the increased cost as you have had the use 
of half of the upgrade cost for a extra year and the savings due to writing 
off immediately are savings against the corporate/personal tax rate, not 
the full cost of the product.

I remain open to reasoned discussion on the merits or otherwise.

Ian Wilson

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