> => =Should I have received the upgrade from my first
> => =car to my current one for free?
> => This is your most important point, I guess. When you
> => compare software to a physical product like cars, it
> => seems obvious that the new product needed additional
> => development time, but the similarities end there. Car
> => companies have to physically build every new model
> => that comes off the assembly lines, and there are raw
> => materials, labor, factory overhead, etc. The software
> => company can make copies of its new version -- or
> => patches -- for nothing but the cost of the media (which
> => is nothing, if distributed over the internet).
> => I agree that a software company should be able to
> => charge for upgrades, but software is unique when
> => compared to any physical product.
> =So stamping the CDs is free?
> I didn't say it was free, but compared to rolling a car off
> the assembly line, it may as well be free. What does it
> cost to stamp CDs -- pennies per unit?
> =Printing the boxes is free?
> Is the bulk of software still delivered in factory boxes?
> I get the impression that more and more is distributed
> over the internet. M$ depends on online upgrading a
I don't work for Microsoft. We sell a lot of boxed product.
People like the manuals you get in the box.
> =Delivery is free.
> =Licensing watermarking or compression software is free.
> =Perhaps you'd like to do without documentation too?
> =Or we could pay the writers nothing. Certainly you want
> =printed documentation right, which is printed for free too.
> =Localization costs nothing because translators are free.
> =Computers cost nothing, software engineers receive no
> =pay, it costs nothing to provide a huge pipe to the net
> =to download evals, and none of the other personnel
> =need to be paid or have health care coverage. Tech
> =Support? Of course they'll work for nothing. Nobody
> =needs to pay anyone to put stuff in a box, in shipping
> =containers, on a palette. In reality, creating software is
> =a factory operation like any other.
> Please. I never said there were *no* costs involved.
> A car company could make a large list of its costs, too.
> I admitted that it costs money & time to *develop* the
> product. The analogy with cars fails after the first car/
> program is completed, due to the ease/cost of copying
> software vs. assembling each car from the ground up.
> This is why software copying is a problem and copying
> cars isn't.
Wrong, I'm afraid. Have you heard of a chop shop? You steal
the car, use it's parts to create another and sell it. The
analogy to software cracking and resale is rather good.
Without trying to start a hare on another topic, you might
want to think of two other analogies. A drug company does
years of research and finally discovers a successful drug.
After that, it's just a question of squashing some powder
into pills - pretty cheap. Consider, however, the cost of
medicines. Or 3M develops Scotch Brand tape. Years of
development go into developing optimal adhesives, backside
release coatings, polymer film and coating technology. Once
that is done, they can run off miles of the stuff at a
trivial comparative cost. Copying of branded products is,
of course, a problem as well. It is not just restricted to
pseudo-Rolex watches. Counterfeit * abound - you are
just not in the right part of the world to see it.
All manufacturing - including software - involves amortizing
the development cost over the life of the product. If the
product is stolen in sufficient quantity then it is not
possible to achieve balance between what you spent and what
you earned and the company goes out of business.
> =It just requires more creative and harder working people
> =than the typical factory job.
> Harder-working? How so?
They have release deadlines, factory workers have standard
shifts. You haven't been here so you don't know how late
people work (and there is no overtime by the way). Have a
little think about my participation in this newsgroup and
how I hold down a separate real job at the same time. When
do you think I get it all done? How many hours a week do
I work? (And I have no claim to uniqueness here.)
> =The product is delivered in a concentrated form on CD.
> =This makes it look cheap and worthless, but of course
> =it isn't.
> I didn't say the *product* was cheap. I said the cost of
> mass-producing the product was dirt cheap, compared
> to cars.
And the software is dirt cheap compared to the cost of
a car too. The price might be comparable to the cost of
a toaster and you can bet a great deal less work went
into creating the toaster.
> => =After all, I paid the first time, right?
> => That's certainly a possibility.
> => =Shouldn't all the improvements be free after that?
> => With some companies they are. Some products --
> => Irfanview & Pegasus Mail come to mind -- are free,
> => period, and upgraded on a regular basis.
> ="I've always depended on the kindness of strangers"
> =quoth Blanche Dubois.
> Your point?
My point is this. When a hobbyist programmer decides to
give up his free software hobby, you are stuck. No more
file format support enhancements, no more new features.
The charity is over. Meanwhile, here - where you paid -
we are already working on new things for the future. And,
moreover, you expect it from us and foresee us staying
around to deliver it. If you wish to do everything with
free software I have no wish to stand in your way. What,
bye the bye, would be your choice of image editors?
Kris Zaklika Jasc Software, Inc. The