John W. wrote:
>a year or to ago someone else was paying $300
>(or the then equivalent) in order to develop the version
> you are using.
>To add one final point of my own, if it did become possible to 'opt out'
>the 'support', then I'm not even convinced that perpetual (for a given
>relesae), rather than annual, licensing would be totally out of the
>for SI. Significant new releases come out every year or two, and most of
>the 'big boys' would want to take advantage of them (and hence pay for
>almost immediately, whilst some of us smaller fry could perhaps content
>ourselves for a while longer with the older release, on the basis of a
>once-only, 'no support' (or, maybe, 'no support after first year') licence
wrt the first point, usually the purchaser of software pays for
the improvements he/she is receiving IN the pkg he is receiving.
Therefore, they can consider if the upgrade is worthwhile. This
is not what is happening at SAS. Our annually assessed R&D
is going into the NEXT version of SAS (which we probably will
purchase, but maybe not). Furthermore, I believe it often goes
"outside" our product base to items I never will use! That is
where I object most strongly!
wrt the second point, if we could pick and choose when to
purchase upgrades then the fairness/choice aspect of paying for
development costs would be good. But since SAS's paradigm
is we pay for future enhancements, picking and choosing when
to upgrade would allow users to skip paying their portion of R&D.
This might be unfairly burdening yearly purchasers with the
R&D cost. (see your first point.)This is partly why SAS
charges higher fees for the first year of licensing
I think. This is also why SAS has the Gov't Contract
option of purchasing a perpetual,non-expiring license
for the current version of SAS at a huge cost, and then charging
a much more modest annual fee for "remaining current"
( getting future upgrades). I think this is an attempt to turn
the R&D fee to the more traditional up-front cost. I would
prefer this approach, but the upfront,first year cost is
too much for most of my customers who can't predict
too many years in the future.