Mike, I agree with your comments regarding M$. Much of the software
industry is adopting what I think of as the "Exploding Menu" school of
software design. I don't _want_ an animated desktop. Like you, I
have a service bureau. My machine is a tool, not a gameboy, and anything 
that distracts from the job at hand costs me money. I need bullet-proof file 
management and security tools, and I'm being asked to fund eye-candy.

I have the feeling that Protel is headed down the same road, and for
the same reasons. Once the basic OS or App is fairly well developed,
it becomes hard to entice users to upgrade. The only options they
have are to add inconsequential but visually exciting frills, or to create the
necessity to purchase upgrades to cure bugs.

99SE was a great tool at $3900 for small shops and service bureaus,
and was very cost effective. None of the new Protel features I've heard 
discussed seem to justify the doubling in price. 

Protel is just now getting around to dimensioning tools after 10 years. 
I already have to maintain Autocad to cover Protel's shortcomings in 
DXF/DWG. If I have to budget $1600/Yr for software, I'm opting for Eagleware, 
something much more useful for me than a new router....I doubt I'll live 
long enough to see RF tools even at the maintenance price they're asking.

Brian


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