At 04:50 PM 11/1/01 +1100, Thomas wrote:
>Here's the BS I received in reply to my little tantrum email effort:

[begin quote]
>ATS membership is now provided with all Protel full suite licenses
>(effective October 1st, 2001). Rest assured, if you have purchased your
>Protel 99 SE license prior to October 1st, 2001 you do not need to purchase
>ATS for your current license. You will continue to receive full ATS-level
>technical support, library updates, and any new service packs and add-ons
>for Protel 99 SE as part of your current license. When you upgrade from
>Protel 99 SE to the next version of Protel you will then receive 12 months
>free ATS as part of their upgrade.

Yes, this is what I expected.

>If you have any older Protel versions that you would like to upgrade to
>Protel 99 SE or if you would like to purchase an additional Protel 99 SE
>license then you will receive 12-months free ATS membership with any Protel
>full suite licenses purchased after October 1st, 2001 (valued at $2,195*).

Eek! That's 10% higher than what we saw elsewhere!

[marketing fluff deleted].

While ATS will not be a problem for existing users for a year beyond 
upgrade to the next version, it remains a problem to be addressed. This is 
an effective tripling of the maintenance cost ($700 at best opportunity vs. 
$2000 - $2100 US)

Or if that is in Australian dollars it might be about right, especially if 
real improvements are issued yearly at least. The asterisk was not 
explained in the text that Thomas quoted.

Really, if maintenance becomes $995 per year, it would remain an excellent 
price, especially if Protel does not penalize latepayers (i.e., they don't 
get upgrades but if they want to get them, they can pay a fair upgrade 
price which then would include ATS for a year; to keep practice within 
prior Protel norms, the upgrade price would initially equal the ATS price, 
gradually, over years, it would be cheaper to upgrade than to pay all back 
maintenance but not cheap enough that one would forgo use of the upgrades 
for the interim period. In other words, in rough terms, if you don't use 
your Protel software for three years, you would not have to pay three years 
of maintenance to upgrade and get back on ATS, it might be two years' worth 
or something like that. Since two years of use should easily be worth one 
year's maintenance cost, only those who really were not using the software 
or who were simply broke would rationally postpone upgrade for very long. 
This is how it has been with Protel for a long time, if we think of upgrade 
pricing as equivalent to maintenance cost.)

Abdulrahman Lomax
Easthampton, Massachusetts USA

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