<snip>
> Mr. Clark emphasized that the burden of providing support for ancient
> versions of Protel was diverting resources from program development, and
> that with the ATS program, Altium would no longer be obligated to provide
> support without receiving corresponding revenue.
<snip>
> Abdulrahman Lomax

This forum has surely effectively subsidised Altium, and to no small extent,
in the costs it incurs in providing support to Protel users (and regardless
of which version of Protel they are using). Even when an user obtains
support from Altium, rather than us, there is good reason to believe that
some of the knowledge of their product has been acquired from members of
this forum reporting their experiences in postings.

The concept of Altium acquiring revenue to cover the costs of providing
support is not necessarily devoid of merit, but there is still a question as
to whether they are regarding their customers as cash cows, or whether there
is a genuine case to protect their ongoing financial viability; in reality,
perhaps (or even probably) a mix of the two.

Certainly the levels of payments being sought are high by historic
standards. Perhaps these could be justified if there is a corresponding
increase in the level of service provided to users, such as annoying bugs
and shortcomings being rectified (and requested new features being provided)
in very short order.

But even if that is accomplished, the impact of these payments will still be
to push Protel upwards, price-wise, in the spectrum of CAD products. Even if
Altium still ends up better off, it is not rocket science to predict that
one outcome will be at least some shrinkage of the total customer count
and/or overall share of the CAD market...

Regards,
Geoff Harland.
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