I don't know about you guys, but my company just dropped 16 Grand on 99 SE. We can't possibly afford to upgrade to DXP. If Protel decides not to support SE, we're really hosed. Guess it's a good thing I found this user group (or is it more like a support group?).
(1) Yes, it's good you found this list. As users, we can provide better support than Altium could possibly afford to provide (occasionally an issue comes up here that user's don't completely answer, and in that case Altium people sometimes pop in with an answer; the rarity of that speaks for itself.)
(2) It is a certainty that you have already paid for DXP. Your company probably bought the "Migration Pack" which is another way of slicing the same pie. It's been a Protel tradition that if you buy the current product and you need an older version, they'll give it to you, no charge For example, if you needed to import Tango PCB, you needed Protel 2.8, which did the job. The Migration Pack is a marketing device that really amounts to the same thing, i.e., if you buy 99SE now, you can have DXP whenever you are ready. Since a DXP license is currently $7995 (unless you take advantage of various discounts, you should always ask Altium sales about such animals, it doesn't cost to ask! Sometimes, for example, they have had multiple license discounts, and I know of others that for various reasons I don't feel free to discuss), -- ahem, back to my sentence -- and you are in the U.S., you *must* have bought DXP or you were radically overcharged. I don't think Altium is selling 99SE as such any more.
(3) If what you wanted was 99SE, sellers of surplus licenses have been finding it difficult to find buyers lately. I had a 99SE license advertised for $4000 or so for a long time; I've just agreed to sell it for $3250. Given that a resold license, assuming it is legitimate in the first place, which is easy to check, is just as good as an older original license, it has the same upgrade rights, etc., and that the upgrade to DXP is currently $2495, your company could have saved a fair chunk of change by looking for surplus licenses. Since you can always start going with the full-function demo on as many seats as you like for at least 30 days, it's quite reasonable to spend some time looking for a surplus license and validating it before popping for full price. See the mailing list [EMAIL PROTECTED] to find sellers or to ask questions about resale issues.
(4) There aren't going to be any more service packs for 99SE unless we negotiate one with Altium, if that is even possible, and it would certainly involve some cost for us. DXP is as much a service pack for 99SE as was 99SE for Protel 99. At a certain point, Altium says "okay, enough free upgrades and fixes, next one you pay for." I think that's fair enough. 99SE was brought by SP6 to a reasonable point of relative stability and function, and we didn't pay anything for those first six service packs. Sure, it's not perfect, but Altium does have to draw the line somewhere.
Another brought up Microsoft practice. Microsoft may issue patches for some older versions, but these either involve critical security issues or, for the most part, I think those versions are still for sale, such as Windows 2000. Further, they have so many more users and capital than Altium that it's ridiculous to think of them in the same terms.
Anyway, I like to verify, sometimes, that I'm not just blowing smoke, so I went to Microsoft Support, specifically to the Windows 98 support section. Windows 98SE is roughly equivalent in age to Protel 99 and, according to the site, "If you are running Windows 98 Second Edition you do not need Customer Service Pack -- all of the updates in the Customer Service Pack are included on your system." Updates that are available beyond that are really system extensions where Microsoft wants you to be using, for example, their latest browser, or there are security fixes.
Microsoft does not appear to be issuing any more ordinary bug fixes for Windows 98.
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