At 04:38 PM 2/8/2002 -0500, Watnoski, Michael wrote:
>         Was Accel so bad that they went out of business, or so good that
>Protel was so desperate for a useable package that they offered so much to
>buy them that they couldn't refuse?  I think the latter.

Neither of these is a good description of what happened. Accel was, I 
understand, losing money, but, obviously, they never went out of business. 
The price Protel offered was, again obviously, large enough that it was 
accepted, but I don't think it was over-generous. My impression was that 
Accel investors lost money, but not as much as they would have lost if 
trends had continued and they had not accepted the offer.

I nearly fell over when I first read about the acquisition. Accel got 
started as a sales rep for Protel Easytrax, marketed in the U.S. as Tango. 
Then they dropped Protel and came out with Tango Series II, a rewritten 
knock-off which competed with Protel Autotrax. It was better than Autotrax 
in some respects and worse in others. Obviously, Accel effectively stole 
the U.S. Protel market. I very much doubt that what they did was in accord 
with the spirit of the original sales agreement, but it probably did not 
technically violate it, else Protel would have had an easy time in court.

Tango, however, never recovered fully from the crash programming effort; 
within a couple of years, maintaining the spaghetti code that had been 
rushed out became impractical, and everything was rewritten.

And then Accel acquired PCAD, to the dismay of many PCAD users.

I was a Tango user. In fact, I wrote the book on Tango, so to speak. It 
remained on the Accel web site until quite recently. I did not move on to 
TangoPro as indications were, from other professional users, that it would 
not improve my productivity. And it was expensive, compared to Tango. 
Eventually, though, my client base shrank to the point that I had to move 
on, and I chose Protel 98. I have never regretted that choice; I was 
productive with design the first hours I was using Protel 98.

And then Accel users were likewise dismayed at the purchase by Protel; PADS 
attempted to lure these users away with a very generous cross-grade offer 
(i.e., no cross-grade cost, pay only one year's maintenance for PADS). As 
part of that effort, PADS made some statements about the likely future of 
PCAD and Protel sued them....

It's obvious that maintaining two separate packages with major overlap is 
not particularly efficient, so I'd expect to see more and more convergence, 
as another writer also noted. There *is* a market, I think, for two 
separate programs, which would become bundles, essentially. There might 
ultimately be two separate user interfaces with the same underlying 
servers. Or one of the interfaces will go into the trash bin, but that 
would be expensive for the users.

[EMAIL PROTECTED]
Abdulrahman Lomax
Easthampton, Massachusetts USA

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