At 11:24 AM 6/6/2002 +0200, Rene Tschaggelar wrote:
>Complaining is one thing and acting another.
>While I tend to think the ATS period of 2k$ to be a bit short
>with one year, I also have to calculate what this investment
>brings.

Note that the Protel web site now gives US$1495 as the "value" of the one 
year maintenance included with a current purchase of P99SE.  So I don't 
expect ATS to be US$2000, in spite of earlier indications to that effect 
from Protel. 15% would be $1200, and 15% is fairly standard.

It will probably be worth it *if* tool productivity continues to improve 
and serious bugs become an endangered species.

Since I would not be surprised to see the full regular price of DXP move to 
$9995 within a year of release, $1495 would be right on the money.

I am concerned, however, about the loss of the low end market. Protel was 
not the cheapest CAD system around, but it was priced so that most any 
serious designer could afford it. Accel Tango lost its original customer 
base by "upgrading" itself out of reach of many of them. By the time of 
acquisition by Protel, Accel was losing money, I understand. Coincidence?

Definitely, as the tool improves, as it addresses more completely the needs 
of major users, the value increases; but an upgrade path should be 
maintained that would allow new startup or even hobby users to become 
familiar with the package at a price they can afford.

I've written in the past that software piracy may, under many or even most 
conditions, not actually harm the company whose product is illegally used, 
it may even help. Piracy of software is not like piracy of hard goods, 
where theft represents real and direct loss; instead, an illegal user of 
software is not depriving the company of revenue *unless* he or she would 
have otherwise paid for the program. What is the company which sells the 
most pirated software? What is the largest and most profitable software 
company? I think the two are the same, and that this, also, is not a 
coincidence.

My point is not that piracy should be allowed, but that piracy opens a path 
for a user who might otherwise not become familiar with the program; when 
he matures to the point where he will buy software, what software will he 
buy? A program with which he is familiar, or a program that requires him to 
relearn most everything?

There may not be a lot of money, short-term, in the low-end market, but the 
long term picture may be different.

For similar reasons, many software companies give huge academic discounts, 
to encourage students to use the software.....


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