There is enough improvement in 2004 that the term "Upgrade" is earned.
Earned from whom? A company can call something a service pack, an upgrade, a totally new version or a totally different product and none of it has anything to do with reality -- only with marketing.
Altium is not obligated to give us anything that was not included in the package when we purchased it.
What we purchased when we bought DXP was a software that supposedly worked for doing schematics and PCB at least at the same level as Protel 99SE, supposedly better (otherwise why would you want to change over?). Altium has not delivered that. So DXP-2004, if it actually works, is a belated delivery of what they had promised us a few years ago and were paid for back then. Adding new features is not a substitute for essential features that do not work.
Manuals are expensive to print.
So is making software actually work. That is all cost of doing business.
They aren't getting any additional revenue from the free upgrades....
Actually they are, in the long run. There are many customers that are ready to bail and Altium needs to do something to keep them. Nothing will kill a company as fast as a few hundred (maybe a few thousand) disgruntle customers in the market looking at the competition's product and openly saying that they are looking because DXP sucks. Altium absolutely has to get all copies of DXP off the market by replacing them with something that works. Failure to do so is certain and swift death.
It is true that there is a sucker born every day, but Altium, or any other company, can not stay in business counting on finding new suckers to sell to.
One of my tasks for this spring is to decide on a replacement for 99SE. I will give DXP-2004 a fair evaluation when I see my copy (supposedly shipping this week), but I am not optimistic. After the piece of junk I received in the guise of DXP, they would not be seeing a dollar out of my pocket to evaluate a new product. I am certain that I am not the only customer who feels that way. If they were not sending me a free copy of DXP-2004, Altium would not be in the running for my evaluation.
I am not ready to declare them beyond hope yet, but from my vantage point Altium is critically ill from self inflicted wounds. DXP2004 is the their last hope. If things do not improve with this release, I for one do not intend to hang around for the funeral. If I have to go through a huge learning curve to learn something new, it is unlikely to be an Altium product.
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