[TenTec] Paying for updates... YES!

John Clifford johnclif@ix.netcom.com
Tue, 3 Sep 2002 19:11:28 -0700

I guess I started the 'pay for updates' idea on this list... and I still
stand by it.

I can understand why Ten-Tec gives away updates... it is a selling/marketing
feature.  Buy a radio and know that it won't be obsolete.  I'm sure that
some firmware development costs are associated with new radio sells as a
means of keeping TT competitive, e.g., AM transmit.  I would be willing to
bet that, if TT discovered that offering free updates had absolutely no
positive effect on sales, it would be discontinued.

I think that paying a very nominal annual fee (and $25 is very nominal)
would allow/inspire TT to offer even more features.  Things like waterfall
spectrum display (a great CW tuning aid, as well as generally useful for
finding weak signals), a much better looking UI, etc.,... features that
someone who is getting PAID specifically to think up features could come up
with, rather than someone who is told "Just do this amount of work since
that's all of the R&D budget we have allocated this quarter."

I can't understand hams (or anyone) who isn't willing to pay a little bit to
get a lot.  I know, FREE is a very powerful marketing word (perhaps the most
powerful).  But paying for something is not a bad thing!  You can't compare
this with taxes, payroll deductions, etc., because those are INVOLUNTARY and
besides, we should be THANKFUL that we don't get all of the government we
pay for!  If you were getting washes and waxes on your new car for free,
would you pay an additional $25 per year to get free oil changes, too?
Would you be upset if, having given you free washes and waxes for a couple
of years as an unexpected bonus the car manufacturer announced that it was
discontinuing this free service for cars older than one year, but
instituting a new service for $25 yearly that included washing, waxing, and
oil changes?

I say, vote with your dollars!  If you like a company and want it to stick
around, be willing to pay it for its goods and services.  That's why I
decided to bite the bullet and completely populate my Omni VI with filters
direct from Ten-Tec... plus the coffee mug.

Re the usual Msft bashing... products succeed in the marketplace because
they meet or exceed customers' needs and expectations.  Most customers who
purchased Msft products liked them enough to keep on doing so, and liked
them better than the competition.  That's why Lotus lost their #1 position
in the software business, and why Ashton-Tate, Novell, and Wordperfect also
were eclipsed.  As bad as some people dislike Msft, many more disliked the
competition even more and bought Msft products.

I hope that the Orion is as good to Ten-Tec as Windows was/is for Msft.
How's that for a wish?

 - jgc

John Clifford KD7KGX

Heathkit HW-9 WARC/HFT-9/HM-9
Elecraft K2 #1678 /KSB2/KIO2/KBT2/KAT2/KNB2/KAF2/KPA100
Ten-Tec Omni VI/Opt1

email: kd7kgx@arrl.net