Thanks for the response Kevin.
> >>Here's the response I got from Bentley regarding the possibilty of
> >>porting, or allowing an independant port of, Microstation to Linux.
> >>Apparently they don't share my enthusiasm for students using Linux to
> >>run their academic package -- an outstanding offering in every
> >>respect save the restricted operating system choice.
> >>If you would like to see (and pay for) a first-class CAD system on
> >>Linux, let Diane know how you feel. Maybe if they learn how many of
> >>us there are, they will rethink their shortsighted policy.
> >Mark: There are many, many things that go into the decision to port a
> >professional application like MicroStation to various hardware
> >platforms and/or operating environments. Technical feasibility makes
> >up a part of the overall reasoning
> ...and how much it makes up almost certainly depends on how
> technically feasible it is. If a port of the product to Linux is as
> simple as a recompile, then all of the other considerations are likely
> to weigh much more heavily.
> I do have to ask: *is* Microstation portable enough that you'd be able
> to get away with a simple recompile of it under Linux? Might be worth
> a try just to see how well it works...
> > - then there's production,
> Some vendors distribute their product via ftp. For Linux, this is
> likely to be perfectly acceptable. The printed documentation and
> appropriate license codes could be sent when the customer actually
> pays money for it...
> The nice thing about support is that, aside from getting some
> experience with Linux, your costs aren't going to be high unless the
> demand for support is high. But the demand for support will be
> proportional to the customer base, so overall support costs scale
> well. Therefore, I doubt that support is going to be much of an
> issue, aside from the necessity of gaining some experience with Linux.
> Since my job is customer support, I'm intimately familiar with these
> There's definitely going to be some of that, but I'd hope that you
> have some kind of automated test suite that you can use to qualify the
> product, at least to a degree...
> > documentation,
> This is likely to be the highest fixed expense. But if the product
> has already been ported to other Unix platforms, then this should be
> minimal. Indeed, it should be minimal enough that you could simply
> ship an addendum or, better yet, put the additional documentation or
> changenotes on disk. Unless, of course, the changes in operation are
> significant...which shouldn't be the case if it's a simple recompile.
> In other words, how much of an additional effort this will be will
> be related to how technically difficult it will be to do the port.
> This is probably the smallest expense. Just put a regular notice in
> comp.os.linux.announce, or any other similarly related newsgroup.
> Linux users tend to read those groups regularly.
> > sales,
> You have a sales force that deals with selling the other ports of your
> product, right? Why would you have to change it, unless you plan to
> market the product aggressively? How you do this is up to you. If
> you don't see the product as bringing in a lot of revenue, then you
> can reduce the sales expenditure to those required to field calls from
> potential customers...and the more of those you have, the more sales
> you're likely to have.
> >etc, etc. that all
> >need to be taken into consideration. This decision has little to do
> >with capabilities of operating environments - it is primarily a
> >business decision. Note that we saw a great need for a Windows NT port
> >and we were the first vendor to have a professional computer-aided
> >design product commercially available for Windows NT (back in 1993, no
> Out of curiosity, how well has the NT port been selling? Has it met
> or exceeded your expectations?
> >Given that we have heard very little desire for a Linux port of
> >MicroStation (actually, close to none) from the commercial community,
> >the decision to port to Linux is at this time, as Diane mentions, not
> >being considered. Should there be a call from the business community
> >for a Linux version of MicroStation, we will most certainly
> >re-evaluate. We invite any such commercial related requests to be sent
> >our way.
> Consider, too, that interest in your product may well be heightened
> dramatically by its availability. Additionally, there is the risk of
> losing the Linux market to a competitor.
> And there's one more thing to consider: Linux isn't going to go away
> unless people *want* it to. Unlike commercial operating systems,
> where the well-being of the OS depends on the marketing prowess of the
> company in question, the well-being of Linux is almost entirely in the
> hands of its users. Some people here have likened Linux with
> socialism. But as software development projects go, Linux is about as
> democratic as it gets. More than any other OS, Linux is of the
> people, by the people, and for the people (Linus Torvalds did an
> excellent job of starting the ball rolling and continues to do an
> excellent job of maintaining the quality of the "official" release).
> The only reason Linux will die is if its users stop using it, and the
> only reason that will happen is if Linux stops meeting their needs.
> The availability of the source is the best guarantee that Linux will
> continue to meet the needs of its users...because its users (or some
> skilled subset of them, at any rate) can *make* it meet their needs.
> This cannot be said about *any* commercial OS (with the possible
> exception of BSDI).
> Sometimes you just have to take risks in order to grow your business.
> I can't say whether this is one of those times or not, but I can say
> that it's something to consider, especially if your product is highly
> portable. As Unix platforms go, Linux is among the most popular and,
> in my opinion, among the most promising. Consider your decision
> carefully, and remember: Linux users are numerous enough that Diamond
> Multimedia changed their policy regarding releasing the programming
> specs for their video cards in order to accomodate those users (in
> enlightened self-interest, of course :-).
> In other words, don't underestimate the Linux user base...both in
> terms of where it is now, and where it seems to be heading...
> This is your .signature virus: < begin 644 .signature (9V]T8VAA(0K0z end >
> This is your .signature virus on *: <>
> Any questions?