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Re: Software maintenance (was Calculation Software)

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>I _KNOW_ that Micro$soft
>would LOVE to have people pay a yearly "maintance" fee for things like
>Windoze and M$ Office.

I bet they would. Until they were deluged with customers demanding a 
quality product and instant fixes for all the security holes, and then 
going to Mac and Linux (and pirated versions) because they couldn't 
deliver. Once money is exchanged for the promise of ongoing support the 
whole legal picture changes, too. Microsoft is doing very well shipping 
beta software and letting their users do the QA. No point letting 
themselves in for a class action suit by customers who paid for support 
or quality that wasn't delivered. Pick your virus and do a web search on 
what it cost to fix, and you'll get a handle on the scope of the 

>But, the point is that you are 100% correct in that all software companies
>are striving/struggling to "even out" and maintain their cash flow.
They ought to be looking back at the glory days when people lined up to 
get new versions because the bugs were being fixed and useful features 
that actually performed as advertized were being added. The model these 
days is exactly the MicroSoft model-- bloat up the program to the point 
where it really can't be de-bugged, deliver a beta version anyway and 
promise that the bugs will be fixed in the next update, then do it over 
and over. I think users are starting to realize this and aren't upgrading 
like they used to. A developer (like ANSYS used to be) could get their 
maintanance fees by delivering bug fixes as soon as they were found and 
by continuous attention to quality, but now that the marketeers have 
taken over, not one developer in twenty has the mind set to do that.

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant at
chrisw(--nospam--at)        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)

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