I recently sent an e-mail to Altium regarding the Phoenix release,
asking if it would support HDI designs. If you really want to laugh take a
look at the response they gave me in regards to why "ATS" was started.
"Protel has made this decision based on request from our current customers.
Our customers and their designs are more sophisticated and so they are
requesting strong support.
 
I hope this helps."
        No this does not help and it still did not answer my original
question, worst of all Altium is telling me that it is my fault that "ATS"
is here. I did not ask for it, did anyone else ask? Personally Altium should
be trying to get on our good side regarding support. Most users of Protel
who know about this group, go to the group first to get answers. "ATS" can
not offer better support than this list, unless Phoenix is that much of a
change.  If you ask me Altium is looking more like a car sales person than a
software company. No one is jumping on the "ATS" ride and I think Altium is
freaked, that's why the 20% discount. If no one buys into "ATS" this last Q
then come Q1 it will be 50% to 60% discount. 

<snip>

>Dear Ted,
 
>The Altium Total Support is maintenance/support package.  The ATS  includes
version releases, service packs, fixes.
>unlimited phone, email and fax support(no maximum) with dedicated Protel
product technicians as well as newly maintained and >always update
libraries.
 
>I realize that you are use to getting your support for free.  With the
purchase of a new license you would get 1 year of 
>free support.  Then if you wanted to continue you would be required to
purchase the support.  Protel has made this decision >based on request from
our current customers.  Our customers and their designs are more
sophisticated and so they are 
>requesting strong support.
 
>I hope this helps.
 
 
 
>  Altum has not given me any information on regards to what total support
is. I can not go to management and tell them "we 
>need to invest in Altum's Total Support to be more productive." They are
going to ask me what it is that I am investing in, >what am I going to tell
them "I don't know"? Awhile back some of the engineers here where pushing
upper management to change >software packages, they really did not like the
way Protel was working out for them. They where pushing for Cadence or 
>Mentor, which they feel is better than Protel. I was able to win the battle
by telling management that service packs and 
>support was free, however this has now changed and the engineers are
beating the war drum again. I have nothing to give 
>management in regards to buying into Total Support, I cant tell them that
it is going to be a good investment because no 
>knows. One only needs to read the independent Protel group to see I am not
the only one who feels this way, not everyone 
>shares the excitement that Altum is showing on the Phoenix release. With
past track records regarding bugs, fixes, and 
>support there is no justification to make an investment in a product that
has no weight. Most of Protel's existing 
>customers, like my self are sitting on the fence post regarding Total
Support, and most can not afford to make the Total 
>Support jump. Without knowing what it is that we are getting I can not
force management to make that investment.  
 

>Regards,
 

>Ted Tontis C.I.D. 
>Engage Networks 
>316 N. Milwaukee Street 
>Suite 214 
>Milwaukee WI, 53202 
>PH 414-273-7600 ext. 7607 
>FX 414-273-7601 


>Dear Ted,
 
>As of 12/10/01 the only thing that has been announced is the commitment to
a new version release in Q1.  I know the software >is still going through
bata and no details have been released.
 
>For the month of December Protel 99SE has a promotion of a 20% until
12/28/01.  This is not to get rid of product but 
>silmply a way to get the customer into the software and prepared for the
next release.  The first year that you own the 
>product all maintenance and technical support is free.
 
>Please let me know what you think.
 

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