Subject: Re: Open letter to those who believe in a right to free software
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 14:13:58 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "Brian" == Brian Bartholomew <> writes:

    Brian> What would you accept as quantitative evidence of planned
    Brian> obsolescence in the software industry?

Case studies, including internal documents of the planning process, of
a moderate sized random sample (say 30-50) from a reasonably
representative list of products, demonstrating a deliberate strategy
of withholding features from _all_ customers, then announcing and
selling additional copies to those customers who demand the features.

A similar sample of case studies without the internal documents,
simply demonstrating an empirical pattern of waiting to announce new
feature plans until after many customers who need those features
purchase the less capable version.  This is a little weak, but I'd
have to see the details before I could assess whether it matters.

    Brian> I count "preference for variety" as "planned obsolescence"
    Brian> when it and "customer ignorance" are cultivated by the
    Brian> vendor.  Don't you?

No.  You know that.  Please, don't try to bait me, Brian.

University of Tsukuba                Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences       Tel/fax: +81 (298) 53-5091
What are those two straight lines for?  "Free software rules."