RE: Know the New Economy

Subject: RE: Know the New Economy
From: "Daniel Hall" <misterhall -at- prodigy -dot- net>
To: "Techwr-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2000 14:56:40 -0700

Interesting thoughts on this subject, all.

However, it seems that at least one other factor in the decision of users
and purchasers (who are not always the same people) is price. Certainly
Framemaker is superior for creating longish docs, but it costs (from what
I've seen) more than twice as much as Word. In addition, many computers
today are sold with MS Office pre-installed (which to the customer makes it
appear "free", although TNSTAAFL)- but I have yet to see Frame advertised as
pre-installed software on a mass-market computer.

Besides cost, Framemaker is at a disadvantage because it has a steeper
learning curve, since the interface is not the "standard" Win interface. For
example, font selection in Word is a drop-down list, which lists fonts IN
the font. Most Win compliant programs, including Corel's WP, the number two
in market share, use this interface. Framemaker has a rather odd (from the
Win perspective) interface for selecting fonts - and if you have many fonts
installed on your machine, the entire screen is covered with the lengthy
list of fonts - displayed as names only. This may not have mattered to Adobe
during the FM design phase, since they were pursuing the Mac market, but
surely it matters now. Both products have a long way to go.

Perhaps a better question than "Is it better to be first, or to do the job
well" is "Why do some poorly designed products soar, while some
well-designed products languish?" That would be a discussion for an
economics class, no? Certainly the market has some say in the matter? :)

Dan Hall
danhall -at- consultant -dot- com

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