On Wed, 12 Dec 2001 11:02:58 -0500, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:
>
>I'm getting a bad feeling about all this, I'm afraid.
>

Abd,

You are an eternal optimist re: Protel (Altium)... ;-)

I was wondering when you'd say this as it was my first reaction to the initial ATS 
announcement. I've been down this road at least a half dozen times with other EDA and 
software development tool companies. So far Altium is proceeding according to the 
"script" so many tool companies seem to follow.

I came to Protel from Orcad. At one time (especially back in the DOS SDT days) they 
had a huge number of design seats. There support was incredible -- call them up, talk 
to a "real" engineer, maybe even one of the programmers and get a bug fix in a day or 
two. Then they went public, hired "professional" managers and  alienated a lot of 
customers with similar tactics that Altium is now introducing via ATS/price increases. 
Of course, being bought by Cadence didn't help matters either. The number one gripe I 
heard from Orcad users was "What the heck am I paying maintenance for -- I didn't get 
any version updates and they didn't fix the bugs!". That's my biggest fear with ATS -- 
that we'll be paying for version updates and bug fixes and never get them -- after 
all, they will already have our money and can/will promise "the next release is just 
around the corner". So far I've not been impressed with the past performance 
concerning bug fixes and version updates.

I suspect a lot of Protel98 and Protel99(SE) sales came from Orcad converts who felt 
abused by Orcad (like I did). If Protel thinks it won't happen to them, well...

Back to work, keeping a low profile and waiting to see how this all shakes out.

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

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