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Re: Staad 2007

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On Jul 31, 2008, at 9:20 AM, Scott Maxwell wrote:

Many software companies are going or have gone to a subscription based update based model rather than the traditional "pay for major upgrade" based models. And it is NOT just companies that do structural software (although, I see it on a much more regular basis for more "specialized" software, such as structural software and CADD software, that would be used in design offices). Even Microsoft has talked about doing it (they have not had the guts to pull the trigger on it yet) for programs like Office.

This kind of thing is characteristic of 'vertical market' software and it's the response to the disappearance of the LAGS-driven user who is obsessed with having the newest hardware and software. It's a big advantage to the developer because the customer is held captive. Every user pays for every change, even if the change is buggy or irrelevant to the customer's effort. ANSYS Inc has been using this model for years and they've been making scads of money on it, but the overall usability hasn't improved much and bugs keep showing up. COSMOS is doing the same thing, and I understand AutoCAD and several other CAD packages are doing it. It seems like part of the MicroSoft business model where nothing is backwards compatible and new versions of applications usually mean new hardware and (lucky for MS) a new OS.

So yeah. I'm a cynic. Hardware is getting better but software is getting worse and more expensive to boot. The 'subscription-based' model is just the latest gimmick for squeezing more money out of a product without actually making it better. Fortunately for me Apple has succumbed to a much smaller degree, so I can run pretty much any software written in the last 15 years on my networked mix of laptops, old OS 9 machinery and OS X computers. God help me if I were a Windows user--I'd be in Dennis Wish's shoes of reverting to manual calculations--not real easy when you're doing structural dynamics.

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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