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Ron
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Cities and many businesses have gone to Linux based OP Systems, it's a wonder th;at microsux hasn't gone out of business. Look who microsux put out of the operating system business: IBM who was, at trhe time, charging 1000$ per computer--that would be about 5000$ in todays dollars. So if you use free software it REALLY IS important to support the programmers. It's CHEAP to support them.
A very reliable source told me the real reason behind the screwed up Office 2007 GUI change was to make it difficult for future users to use the once MS mandated GUI. I still hate the new GUI. I mostly use LibreOffice now but none of the CAD programs are intuitive enough for my simple needs so I just do what I need in Draw.

Ron
 

Richard Hed

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A very reliable source told me the real reason behind the screwed up Office 2007 GUI change was to make it difficult for future users to use the once MS mandated GUI. I still hate the new GUI. I mostly use LibreOffice now but none of the CAD programs are intuitive enough for my simple needs so I just do what I need in Draw.

Ron
I don't bother with office at all. I use exclusively Libre Office. microsux's GUI SUX terribly. They keep making unnecessary changes just so they can keep rolling in the $$. I thimk it backfired on them, however.
 

Richard Hed

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I don't understand why this is a bad thing? We all like to eat and have somewhere to live. I know I enjoy being paid for my work efforts.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with making some $$, however, when a company can make PLENTY of money by lowering their price but won't, this is blood sukking--this is vampirism. Do you thimk for a moment, that bill gates and his blood sukking company REALLY need all those hundreds of billions of $$? They don't. Bill even said it himself, that no one needs a billion!

There is an important adage to all that: small, under funded companies just cannot do certain things, however, those that are funded can do things like go to the mooon, or make fantastic machines, etc. The question, however, should be, ARE YOU indeed making something important? If not, then your company is just another vampire taking too much blood.
 

Cogsy

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There is absolutely nothing wrong with making some $$, however, when a company can make PLENTY of money by lowering their price but won't, this is blood sukking--this is vampirism. Do you thimk for a moment, that bill gates and his blood sukking company REALLY need all those hundreds of billions of $$? They don't. Bill even said it himself, that no one needs a billion!

There is an important adage to all that: small, under funded companies just cannot do certain things, however, those that are funded can do things like go to the mooon, or make fantastic machines, etc. The question, however, should be, ARE YOU indeed making something important? If not, then your company is just another vampire taking too much blood.
You have been saying how you're been harvesting recently (corn I think?) and making bank so you can buy yourself a new lathe. Now do you really need a new new lathe? Couldn't your harvesting job be done for less money by someone who is struggling to keep a roof over their head or to feed their family? Same situation.

What drives Microsoft to develop and support new product - spoiler alert - it's money. Yes, they make a lot of money, and they pay a decent amount of tax and employ a lot of people. Every one of those employees is also paying tax on their wages and supporting the economy by spending their high salaries on nice toys. Millions of companies make a lot more (in total) than Microsoft does, using their products. Money makes the world go round. This Covid thing shows just how much society depends on people spending their money and not sitting on it.

So again, where's the problem with companies charging what their product is worth? The market sets the price (at least in theory) and I haven't seen too many people complaining about the high cost of professional software like Solidworks (thousands per year) yet there is so much debate about Autodesk offering free access to a high-end product. These companies owe us nothing at all and this entire discussion seems very weird to me.
 

Richard Hed

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You have been saying how you're been harvesting recently (corn I think?) and making bank so you can buy yourself a new lathe. Now do you really need a new new lathe? Couldn't your harvesting job be done for less money by someone who is struggling to keep a roof over their head or to feed their family? Same situation.

What drives Microsoft to develop and support new product - spoiler alert - it's money. Yes, they make a lot of money, and they pay a decent amount of tax and employ a lot of people. Every one of those employees is also paying tax on their wages and supporting the economy by spending their high salaries on nice toys. Millions of companies make a lot more (in total) than Microsoft does, using their products. Money makes the world go round. This Covid thing shows just how much society depends on people spending their money and not sitting on it.

So again, where's the problem with companies charging what their product is worth? The market sets the price (at least in theory) and I haven't seen too many people complaining about the high cost of professional software like Solidworks (thousands per year) yet there is so much debate about Autodesk offering free access to a high-end product. These companies owe us nothing at all and this entire discussion seems very weird to me.
My situation is NOT anything like what we are talking about. ANd microsux is NOT worth the 100+$ they charge for it. Yes people pay that, when ever I buy a new computer I am FORCED to buy their sh*tty operating system. I don't want it, but I have to buy it. Linux doesn't charge at all and one can get about 10 different versions from different makers of it. ANd by the way, microsux is BLOATED with garbage and spyware. They could charge 10$ and STILL make a killing. So, you approve of vampires, I don't.

PS, Yes, I DO need a new lathe.
 

Richard Hed

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My situation is NOT anything like what we are talking about. ANd microsux is NOT worth the 100+$ they charge for it. Yes people pay that, when ever I buy a new computer I am FORCED to buy their sh*tty operating system. I don't want it, but I have to buy it. Linux doesn't charge at all and one can get about 10 different versions from different makers of it. ANd by the way, microsux is BLOATED with garbage and spyware. They could charge 10$ and STILL make a killing. So, you approve of vampires, I don't.

Yes, I need a place to live and something to eat but I don't need a palace and a rolls royce. No-one else does either.

PS, Yes, I DO need a new lathe.
 

ycroosh

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You have been saying how you're been harvesting recently (corn I think?) and making bank so you can buy yourself a new lathe. Now do you really need a new new lathe? Couldn't your harvesting job be done for less money by someone who is struggling to keep a roof over their head or to feed their family? Same situation.

What drives Microsoft to develop and support new product - spoiler alert - it's money. Yes, they make a lot of money, and they pay a decent amount of tax and employ a lot of people. Every one of those employees is also paying tax on their wages and supporting the economy by spending their high salaries on nice toys. Millions of companies make a lot more (in total) than Microsoft does, using their products. Money makes the world go round. This Covid thing shows just how much society depends on people spending their money and not sitting on it.

So again, where's the problem with companies charging what their product is worth? The market sets the price (at least in theory) and I haven't seen too many people complaining about the high cost of professional software like Solidworks (thousands per year) yet there is so much debate about Autodesk offering free access to a high-end product. These companies owe us nothing at all and this entire discussion seems very weird to me.
Al,
These are valid points, but it's "complicated". The software price debate is pretty old and it's somewhat of a religious war, so I don't tink you or I can change too many minds, but let me add some perspective:

For full disclosure, I currently work for the largest cloud platform providers. For the last 20 or so years I worked at various software companies, 7 of which were for a SaaS company (cloud-based software). I use (at work and at home) a mix of free, open-source, and paid software, and with software "you get what you paid for" is very true, with one caveat that it's often more of "you get what someone paid for". Many successful open source projects are very heavily financed and staffed by commercial companies. I know many people on Intel's Linux kernel development team; my employer has their own version of Linux and contributes heavily to Linux source and so does Microsoft with hundreds of people contributing code to Linux. The same goes for many other projects. On the other hand, many "hobby" projects stay in "Alpha" for decades (Inkscape is close to my heart right now). They work OK-ish, but not anywhere near what their commercial competitors do. There is nothin open-source that touches Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Visual Studio, Fusion 360, Altium, or you name it. Developing that software takes a LOT of VERY expensive software engineers.

For perspective; at this point, I sunk over 4,000 hours into TouchDRO (my "hobby project"), and that thing is a "minnow" compared to Fusion 360. In the USA a fully burdened [average] software engineer costs >$100 per hour, so do the math. The whole thing about off-shore development is again, "complicated". Low-end stuff like drivers, basic apps, etc. can be done off-shore; MS, Amazon, Adobe, Intel, IBM have tens of thousands of engineers in developed countries (take a wall on MS campus or look at Amazons HQ in Seattle; they are huge). Autodesk is local to me, so I know several people there too (including the guy who invented the Inventor), and they have many-many engineers in the states (in Oregon, Cali, etc.)

In this case, it makes sense that Autodesk wants to get an ROI on their investment. To be fair, before they made Fusion360 free for personal use, there was NOTHING on the market that could touch it and didn't cost an arm and a leg. Where it gets hairy is that making it free, they killed off any [potential] competition, so an argument can be made that this is anti-competitive behavior. Closer to my heart, I've been Eagle user for more than a decade. It used to cost $200 for my version to outright own it. Then Autodesk changed it to $100 per year subscription for basic version; this year they killed it. Fortunately for now I am grandfathered into that price, but if they change their mind, I will be paying over $400. Again, this is within their rights, but it really suck for me personally.

Now, as far as Cloud-based software: in principle, this is a really good idea, and there are examples where the model has huge advantages, especially for the enterprise. If you take into account the cost of local IT, servers, etc. it makes sense to move to a cloud-based system, where you get benefits of the scale (your instance can share hardware with others, so you are not paying for idle capacity.; if done right, you get elastic scalability, continuous updates, etc. For consumers this can work well too. I actually love Adobe's new pricing model. I used to dump over $1000 for Photoshop, Lightroom and Illustrator every 2-3 years. Now I pay $20 per month for the two apps that I use. Same with Office 365, but with the benefit of having access to all my Office Apps and files from anywhere in the world. At this point, I can throw my laptop out of the window, buy a new one and be back in business the same day.
The thing goes sideways when a company gets greedy once they lock in enough customers and jacks up the price. My former employer pulled that stunt a few years ago - they offered highest tier for under $100K/year, then got acuired by a private equity group and tripled the price for all renevals. Since data migration out was insanely expensive and lengthy (we handled hundreds of terbaytes of documents for some customers), they basically got screwed one way or the other.

Bottom line: this while situation has many ideas and it's a lot more nuanced. Needless to say, we live in a capitalist society (and most of us enjoy that fact), so this is basic economics at work.

Regards
Yuriy

P.S. Wow, I think this is my longest post every. Sorry about that; I threw away a few paragraphs, but still pretty long.
 

jwills8606

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Along these lines - - - - it is fascinating that the bulk of today's programming usually 'doesn't' happen in first world countries.
Check on the size of IBM (India) for one.
re: Lower price means more income. "Elasticity of demand." Good concept. May or may not be true for the software company; depends on what it costs them to produce the product and dS/dP (S=sales, P=price), which is hard to determine without at least a trial run.

re: MS sucks. God is that true. I went to Apple twenty years ago and never looked back. The Win operating system is still terrible; I am using Windows 7 on my old Elite flight sim, since it wouldn't work on anything other than MS. I have my son fix it when it - very reliably - dies.

re: Linux. MS had a near-monopoly on Internet servers and backbone software for a while; now everything is Linux (Unix), which is as stable as they come. Interestingly, Unix had been controlled by SCO (Santa Cruz Operation), which was charging ~$1k for every use of SCO Xenix (Unix), and when Apple began using FreeBSD (Unix), SCO sued them unsuccessfully. Then Linus Torvalds brought Linux to the fore, and as they say, the rest is history. SCO should have learned that lesson about elasticity of demand. I think they may be out of business; not sure.

re: programming in other countries. When I left school in the late 'seventies and was looking for a job, I read that 85% of GE's programming was done in India. I'm sure that number hasn't gone down any. Not to disparage Indian engineers, programmers, or mathematicians. They are awesome.
 

ycroosh

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re: Lower price means more income. "Elasticity of demand." Good concept. May or may not be true for the software company; depends on what it costs them to produce the product and dS/dP (S=sales, P=price), which is hard to determine without at least a trial run.

re: MS sucks. God is that true. I went to Apple twenty years ago and never looked back. The Win operating system is still terrible; I am using Windows 7 on my old Elite flight sim, since it wouldn't work on anything other than MS. I have my son fix it when it - very reliably - dies.

re: Linux. MS had a near-monopoly on Internet servers and backbone software for a while; now everything is Linux (Unix), which is as stable as they come. Interestingly, Unix had been controlled by SCO (Santa Cruz Operation), which was charging ~$1k for every use of SCO Xenix (Unix), and when Apple began using FreeBSD (Unix), SCO sued them unsuccessfully. Then Linus Torvalds brought Linux to the fore, and as they say, the rest is history. SCO should have learned that lesson about elasticity of demand. I think they may be out of business; not sure.

re: programming in other countries. When I left school in the late 'seventies and was looking for a job, I read that 85% of GE's programming was done in India. I'm sure that number hasn't gone down any. Not to disparage Indian engineers, programmers, or mathematicians. They are awesome.
Let's talk about your points:
1. Econ. 101 - lower price = more sales is very oversimplified. Each piece of software has a finite Total Addressable Market (TAM). Lowering the price will likely lead to a larger portion of the TAM becoming customers but that is a complicated formula. A simple example: Apple has insane margins on its iPhone. In theory, it can cut the price in half and still make profit on each device, but it will not double the sale (in fact it might actually lose sales, since iPhone is perceived as a status symbol, so lower price will over time erode that status). Similarly, with Fusion 360 - given that Fusion 360 is basically the market leader in it's niche, it already owns large portion of the TAM (we obviously don't know what the percentage is). Cutting the price in half will not significantly grow the TAM (it's not like for $200 all of a sudden my wide will start using it to design her bead jewelry), and there might not be enough TAM left to produce the same income. Moreover, there are costs associated with each sale, ranging from banal bandwidth usage to support, payment processing, fraud, etc.

2. Ms Sucks was kind of cute and funny in the 90's... All the evidence I can see points to MS being a very successful company that produces good product that is in high demand. Windows has a bit under 80% (OSX - 16%, do the math for Linux) of the desktop/laptop share; Office 365 has 40% market share (behind Google's free G-Suite); MS SQL Server overtook Oracle in 2018 as the most widely used RDBMS, and so on. Don't get me wrong, I love my Maccbook and use Linux when possible, but even for a power user (I write software that runs on Linux in the cloud for living) I can't completely switch to Linux. When it comes to day-to-day usability, OSX (for me) wins hands down. I get UNIX shell with very refined UI/UX, etc. Windows 7 and on have been rock solid (Vista was a flake; 2000 and XP were pretty good for their time, though). They do what they are told to do and run without hickups for months (although the forced updates on non-enterprise version is probably annoying).

3. This bring us to Linux. Linux on a laptop or desktop remains to "need serious improvement". Even on my "Linux certified" Dell precision from last year I spent a day troubleshooting stupid things like TouchPad double clicking and broken CPU deep sleep after upgrading to Ubuntu 20.04. I've been using Linux since the late 90's (started with RedHat 4.3, I think) and every year I see a bunch of posts how year XXXX will be Linux's year, yet it still gets los in the margin of error. The ecosystem is ridden with inefficiencies and dysfunction. Any project that doesn't have adult supervision (AKA majority financing from MS, Intel, Google, or Oracle in most cases) goes into the rabbit hole of "oh, we have three desktop managers that are mostly incompatible, I don't like how this button is styled... now we have four desktop managers" or every 3 years some moron decides to scrap the touch pad drivers and start over because "the way kinetic scroll wasn't elegant in Synaptics Touchpad", so now there is no kinetic scroll and the driver is back in "Beta".
Server market is a different story. Even MS now runs it's data centers (cloud etc.) on Linix, and is one of the major contributor to the project, including the "patent war chest". But that goes back to my "heavy adult supervision".

4. When it comes to programming, you get what you pay for. There are teams in India, Russia, Armenia, Cypres etc. that are bar-none excellent and there are bottom feeders. Curiously, in the USA there are teams that are top-nothc, and there are bottom feeders. Good engineers cost a LOT everywhere in the world. The big 3 (MS, Amazon and Google) pay close-ish to US rate in India now. I work with teams in Mumbai, Tokyo, Haifa, Dublin, Vancouver BC and Stockholm regularly and they are as good as our US teams in every regard because we apply the same hiring standards across the board. I have also had a displeasure to work with a team in India before that was horrible. They were dirt cheap to hire (thus they were hired by our corporate overlords) but in the end it would've been cheaper to just pay them to do nothing; they did more damage that it would've cost to write the thing from scratch in the USA. This is very similar to "China makes crap" argument. In reality China can make top-notch products or complete garbage, depending on who pays for it and how much.

Regards
Yuriy
 

fcheslop

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Well gentlemen having read through the the thread my poor singular brain cell is fully overloaded
The only thing I know about clouds are they are full of precipitate and sooner or later you are going to get peed on
Not a new idea just have a look for the Waste Makers book
Keep well n safe
frazer
 

goldstar31

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Being honest( well?), I haven't a clue about computers or clouds or Eye pads- apaart from after a bloody needle is suck in mine.
But it is 'Battle of Britain Day of 80 years ago. I guess that when it was my turn to out on a uniform and see my comrades literally burn to death, I got the use of a 1917 Underwood Tripewriter. It had probably been hanging about since the days of the Wright Brothers- or at least The Graham White Company at Hendon-
before the formation of the British Royal Air Force. Goldstar 31 dates back to when an airman had-- and I quote 'sleep with his horse' because we were a cavalry outfit once upon a time.
Now what is the fuss about all this? I confess to having made more money with my late wife's portable type writer than I have ever done with its successors!
I packed my traps when computers were in their infancy-- and retired from working for some daft buggers that carried on-- and I had the privilege to offer condolences to their widows at the 9 minute ceremony at the local crematorium. Oh the Joys of it all:D

Do you realise that people in the North Eats of England are clutching their mobiles whilst getting free food from the Food Banks?
Before all this - yet another plague, I audited some charity accounts for a donation to a virtually bankrupt model railway society. Yes, they got some of my hard earned cash as a donation.


Where are were really going??? Answers on the paree money in any Realm

Mutter, mutter, mutter

Norman
 

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