> Geoff Harland wrote:
>
> > 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.
>
> That seems to be my big question also. It also seems tough to swallow
> that it is cost effective to maintain two PCB design packages. The
> required duplicate resources to maintain and upgrade both just doesn't
> make sense. ATS may be a precursor to a unified Design package.
>
> Jim McGrath

I can't remember where I saw it, but I seem to recall reading somewhere that
Altium had visions of providing a Client application, from which either
Protel servers or PCAD servers could be launched (presumably depending upon
what package the customer had purchased). Even though that does not in
itself equate to a total merger of Protel and PCAD, there are definitely
assorted developments which suggest that they are converging.

Protel is supposedly targeted for engineers who do a variety of tasks, while
PCAD is supposedly targeted for those who doing nothing else but CAD work.
However, the difference in price between these products has narrowed, and
the announcement of the ATS package increases yet further the similarities
between them (as PCAD 2001 users have previously had the option of a "PCAD
Total Support" package, which at ~ 20% of the cost of a new license per
annum, translates to ~ US$2k / year).

Adding certain new features to Protel, such as being able to define new
layers as required, would result in yet greater similarities between Protel
and PCAD. There are assorted aspects which are (currently) notably
different, but ...

Regards,
Geoff Harland.
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