September 26, 2009
On Fri, Sep 25, 2009 at 7:31 PM, Jeremie Pelletier <jeremiep@gmail.com> wrote:
> language_fan wrote:
>> A used 2.5 GHz Athlon XP with 1GB of RAM and 100GB of disk costs about $100. Anything below that is obsolete these days. Good luck selling anything to people who use older computers, they are probably broke anyways. Otherwise I just see it cheaper to build your apps slower and require hardware updates. Just imagine - a highly optimized $400 program is way too expensive for most users, a $50 program + $200 hw upgrade sounds just fine.
>
> But a $40 optimized program will flush the competition of either $400 optimized equivalents or $40 slow equivalents, making you the winner in the end. People are so crazy about money they care more about their profits than the satisfaction of their customers.
>

This.

I don't have a problem with making money off software, but don't know why so many companies make it so expensive. Take Alias Sketchbook Pro. It's a fine program. It's got an intuitive interface, makes clean lines, is fast and resource-conscious. At one time it was priced at $200 [1]. For what? It has something like 3 drawing tools and a simple layering scheme. No custom brushes, no effects, no special integration with other programs, nothing. Compare that to Paint Tool Sai, which does everything it does, as well as having vectorized inks, custom brushes, patterns, complex layering and layer blending, accurate digital painting etc. for all of $53. Guess which one I bought.

[1]It's now only $100, but Sai still beats it for half the price.
September 26, 2009
Fri, 25 Sep 2009 17:59:06 -0600, Rainer Deyke thusly wrote:

> Software is priced to optimize total income, which is net income per unit times number of units sold.  Production costs are not factored in at all.  So the real question is if your $50 software package sells enough additional units to make up for the increase in production costs.

Sure, that is the way it works. But still I think the main motivator for customers is the price. It does not really matter if the latest photoshop runs on a Pentium 233MMX or requires a dual-core with 4GB of RAM for e.g. scaling 5MPix images. The target audience upgrades their hardware anyways and the differences between user interfaces is so huge that competition is inexistant. The poorer customers first use a pirated version of photoshop, and only after gaining some popularity buy the licenses rather than use free software like gimp. Optimizing the software will not bring adobe more customers. You can see their optimizing policy in the famous flash plugin and pdf reader. Performance on both programs is just horrible and I could well imagine that a novice programmer built both of them.
September 26, 2009
language_fan wrote:

> Fri, 25 Sep 2009 17:59:06 -0600, Rainer Deyke thusly wrote:
> 
>> Software is priced to optimize total income, which is net income per unit times number of units sold.  Production costs are not factored in at all.  So the real question is if your $50 software package sells enough additional units to make up for the increase in production costs.
> 
> Sure, that is the way it works. But still I think the main motivator for customers is the price. It does not really matter if the latest photoshop runs on a Pentium 233MMX or requires a dual-core with 4GB of RAM for e.g. scaling 5MPix images. The target audience upgrades their hardware anyways and the differences between user interfaces is so huge that competition is inexistant. The poorer customers first use a pirated version of photoshop, and only after gaining some popularity buy the licenses rather than use free software like gimp. Optimizing the software will not bring adobe more customers. You can see their optimizing policy in the famous flash plugin and pdf reader. Performance on both programs is just horrible and I could well imagine that a novice programmer built both of them.

Yet this poor performance annoys people to no end. I don't know a single person who isn't irritated by their PDF bloatware, and all my 'tech-savvy' friends have switched to other PDF readers. Same with IE, I know lots of people switched to firefox just because of performance, and then some switched again to Opera or Chrome because even Firefox is too slow.
September 26, 2009
Lutger wrote:
> language_fan wrote:
> 
>> Fri, 25 Sep 2009 17:59:06 -0600, Rainer Deyke thusly wrote:
>>
>>> Software is priced to optimize total income, which is net income per
>>> unit times number of units sold.  Production costs are not factored in
>>> at all.  So the real question is if your $50 software package sells
>>> enough additional units to make up for the increase in production costs.
>> Sure, that is the way it works. But still I think the main motivator for
>> customers is the price. It does not really matter if the latest photoshop
>> runs on a Pentium 233MMX or requires a dual-core with 4GB of RAM for e.g.
>> scaling 5MPix images. The target audience upgrades their hardware anyways
>> and the differences between user interfaces is so huge that competition
>> is inexistant. The poorer customers first use a pirated version of
>> photoshop, and only after gaining some popularity buy the licenses rather
>> than use free software like gimp. Optimizing the software will not bring
>> adobe more customers. You can see their optimizing policy in the famous
>> flash plugin and pdf reader. Performance on both programs is just
>> horrible and I could well imagine that a novice programmer built both of
>> them.
> 
> Yet this poor performance annoys people to no end. I don't know a single person who isn't irritated by their PDF bloatware, and all my 'tech-savvy'  friends have switched to other PDF readers. Same with IE, I know lots of people switched to firefox just because of performance, and then some switched again to Opera or Chrome because even Firefox is too slow.

I agree with Lutger here, these companies just sit on their success and monopoly as excuses to not optimize their software. That and tight deadlines on new versions which prevents even the best of programmers to properly optimize code. Often when the programmer says "it works, but I can get it 10times faster given another week" to his manager, when that reaches the top of the corporate chain, the CEO only hears "it works".

These companies are just shooting themselves in the foot in the long run. IE is losing the market share it fought so hard to steal. Acrobat is used less and less, I myself use it only to print files, I can almost always find a text version of a pdf document within seconds. Loading the pdf reader is way slower than going back to google and clicking the next link.

While a lot of people targeted by these heavy softwares change hardware every now and then, they can do so because they make enough from their work. Any newcomer or novice just wanting to learn to someday get a job in the domain usually has no money to upgrade his old computer.

And yeah, most people will download these programs to learn, and buy licenses when they turn professional but not all of them, I see that all the time. They would sell way more copies of photoshop if it was actually easy to buy.
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