You know, if Altium was smart, they would . . .

Let me rephrase that.

If Altium even cares about what their customers think about them, and the
want those customers to remain customers, I would suggest that they consider
"tolling" (in the legal sense) the duration of the ATS "contract", for the
length of time that it takes to get DXP up and running in the real world (in
plain English that means don't start the 1 year time duration of ATS yet).

People in the DXP Forum realistically estimate that it will be a year before
DXP is really ready for use as a productive tool.

I would respectfully submit that if Altium were NOT to "start the clock" on
ATS until after the point that they really deliver a fully functional DXP
product (and they may surprise us and do it in much less than that year
projected in the DXP forum), and let the 1 year of ATS begin there, at that
point, irrespective of when you bought it, then I would think that much of
the discussion regarding ATS here in this forum (and the DXP forum as well)
could begin to see a more positive trend.

Many appear to have questioned the wisdom of releasing DXP at this point in
time, since it is certainly not ready for release. On this issue, I would
maintain that they had no choice - they promised too many people with the
lure of 1 year of free ATS, which included DXP, beginning on October 1st
2001, that ATS would in fact deliver. As I stated here in this forum back on
April 11 of this year, Altium would have to release it before October 1st of
this year just to keep their promise (and legal obligation) to the customers
who "bought into" ATS at that time, irrespective of whether it was ready for
release or not.

That post back on April 11, was in response to a post by Darren More the day
before, which I will copy here:

> This from the Australian stock exchange today....
> -------------------------------------------------------------
> This revised estimate is made following the cautious economic
> climate seen in Q3, which is expected to continue into Q4. A
> revised release date for Altium's new Protel DXP product,
> originally announced for a Q1 release but now scheduled for
> July 2002, has also contributed to the modified revenue estimate.
> -------------------------------------------------------------
> Sorry for the bad news,
> Darren Moore

I would venture to say that everything that Altium has done in the last year
respecting DXP has been driven by the stock market, and by "management"
decisions, looking for new money from old customers at any price, and not by
whether or not the product was ready, or what the product could do for the

What is it now, a one year delay in the original release date of DXP? Who
cares if it is ready or not, it had to be released!

That post was driven by a stock market announcement, and some of the other
responses to this particular thread here also seem to discuss "management
practices" and at least one mentions the "stock market".

Maybe it is about time that we track down some of the people who write the
"stock market" stories about Altium, and also some of people who do some of
the "rating" of stocks in the EDA Market such as Altium, and get their email
addresses and sign them up to this forum and the DXP forum (or at least
forward them a few choice posts that really discuss and admit the problems
with DXP), and then sit back and wait for the next "review" of Altium stock.

Talk about a way to get Altiums' attention . . .

OK Altium, now that we really do have your attention, please consider
extending the "time limit" on everyone's ATS "subscription" as discussed

Not only is it the right thing to do, it will make many of your customers
happier, and in fact, probably save a few customers too, and probably
actually even benefit you financially in the future simply by not losing as
many of your customers as it appears that you may do if you continue down
your current course of "customer dissatisfaction".

JaMi Smith

PS. I still want my SP7 too!

* * * * * * * * * *

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bruce Walter" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "Protel EDA Forum" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Friday, August 30, 2002 3:19 PM
Subject: [PEDA] Will ATS kill Altium?

Heck, I am still using P98, PCB only!

We have a P99SE license, but I have been unwilling to go through the
curve for PCB, much less use P99SE schematic vs. OrCAD 7.2!

That being the case, why would I want to spend ANY money on DXP, and get
trapped into annual maintenance?

Once again, support and maintenance included in the purchase price is what
made Protel what it was yesterday (as opposed what it is today).

Regardless of DXP, its features, and not being able to separate features and
pricing, ATS seems like the deathnell that has consumed so many other
companies.  Sure, penneyheads might think it is a terrific source of ongoing
revenue, but it will probably turn so many off, that their revenue may
actually go down, and kill the company!!

Hey Protel (Altium), it still may not be too late!!!  Until you actually
charge someone for just ATS, you can still regain your sanity, and flush
whole annual maintenance crap where it belongs!  Otherwise, I would just
start counting the days until Altium becomes just another carcass on the
smelly heap of business failures - not because of a poor products, but from
bad business decisions.

Maybe what has happened is what I have experienced before at other
New management (with a great resume) comes from a company we've heard of who
just went down the tubes (through no fault of their own, of course), gets
hired to take over, and quickly hires all his buddies (who also worked at
previous failed company), institutes significant changes in policy and
management style, and within a year or three, sends this company down the
tubes too, then moves on to the next victim with an additional VERY
impressive title from an even bigger company on his resume.  (and so on, and
so on...)

I wonder who the next victim will be?

* Tracking #: 06485DE01192B04997B35FF92E1C5958075623B7

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