Re: Ventura Users Speak

Subject: Re: Ventura Users Speak
From: Faith Weber <weber -at- EASI -dot- ENET -dot- DEC -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 1994 10:27:05 PDT

WARNING: Long rant by soon-to-be-ex Ventura user ahead!

>If Corel is listening, hope they're listening closely.

Me too, but the problem is, I don't think Corel gives a
(substitute your favorite vulgar thing) about existing Ventura
users. I think what they want is new CorelDRAW! users, period.
If some publishing capabilities attract some additional people
to CorelDRAW!, fine -- but Corel is not selling a publishing
package, they're selling a graphics package with some publishing
capabilities. There's a big difference, IMO.

If you look at the ads for CorelDRAW! 5, you may notice that there's
a teeny weeny little reference to Ventura in there somewhere, among
the whiz-bang neat graphics features, clip art, etc., etc. If
Ventura and its users were so important to Corel, I think you'd
see ads where Ventura is a major selling point -- if not sold
separately, for big bucks. I'd bet that if they felt they *could*
sell it separately for big bucks, they'd cheerfully do so, which
to me seems like another grim clue.

This plus Ventura's shortcomings and Frame's merits tilted the
scales pretty hard. Then when I called Corel in March or April for
literature on Ventura, it took them about 3 months to send it, and
because I'd called to say I hadn't received it after a month, they
ended up sending two copies. And when we recently looked for a contractor,
we had one heck of a time finding anyone who knew Ventura. In fact,
the agency we use asked me point blank: "I could get you 20 people
who know FrameMaker. Why do you use Ventura?"

When Seybold came along, I thought, great: let's go hassle Corel
and find out what the real story is. But, whoops, they weren't there.
(For those who don't work in software, failing to attend a major
trade show for your primary market is a fairly negative sign.)
All the other major publishing systems were there, including
Frame, which had a large booth with comfy chairs for their
demos every half-hour, displays showing off various custom applications
developed by third parties, and chocolate fortune cookies for anyone
willing to sit through a demo. More important, they were giving out
their 600+ page book, _Frame Connections_, containing all the
software and services specifically supporting Frame. Will we have
resources like that for Ventura anytime soon? I think not.

Maybe Corel is just laying low until they figure out what to do with
Ventura, but I doubt it. Sucking it into their graphics package
implies that they see Ventura as a set of features for CorelDRAW!,
not a product. Also, if they saw it as a product, they'd be trying to
compete with the likes of Frame, and they're not doing that judging
by any of the advertising, etc. I've seen.

Just some things to consider for anyone wondering whether Ventura
has a future. Thanks for putting up with my rantings . . .

Faith Weber
EA Systems Inc.
weber -at- easi -dot- enet -dot- dec -dot- com

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