Posted by: Bud Ingraham
“Gupta did produce a student/demo version called SOLO some time ago, but
it did not catch on. I suspect this was because they did not market it
Absolutely correct. There was no follow thru in the marketing. Gupta
never did ascertain who tried the copies of SOLO, and their reaction to
it. However, internally to Gupta at that time, there was as strong
feeling the SOLO was a failure – but it was only a feeling – not based
on any facts or figures.
“Solo was a VERY limited version….”
If I remember properly, the only “limited” part of it was the included
SQLBase was limited to 5 megs. I don’t remember any limitations on
SQLWindows – might have been, but I just don’t remember them.
“Chased more away than it caught.”
Yes, and IMHO, mostly because the manual concentrated almost exclusively
on QuickObjects. Learners would develop these QuickObjects as
recommended by the accompanied written guide, and then get TOTALLY
befuddled as how to modify them. Every time I interacted with such a
person, I recommended to them to ignore QuickObjects, do your own
database connections, use the native tablewindow handling, etc – result
was always a MUCH happier person – and almost inevitably - someone who
then liked SQLWindows.
“It might be a good time to repeat this exercise.”
MORE than definitely YES! Point of fact, over the years, many
corporations moved away from SQLWindows – NOT because they did not like
the product – they DID like it; however, they could NOT easily find
developers to support their projects using SQLWindows. I know several
SQLWindows programmers that were brought into the fold because of the
Gupta should have followed the Microsoft way – Microsoft had for the
longest time a VB training edition; and when it comes to marketing –
Microsoft KNOWS how to do it. If they had a VB training edition – there
MUST have been a good reason for it. You need a good solid developer
base to support a language – and the language becomes almost
IMHO, Gupta should reduce the price of its offering to about $500.00,
develop a training edition that could be downloadable from the Web, and
charge ahead in that manner. It is important to have a competitively
priced offering, and today, to encourage people to try out and learn
your product WITHOUT having to contact a sales representative.
Ps – People today can freely download a non-commercial license version
of Borland C# Builder. Of course, they can then “kick the tires” of
the product, and see if they like it. They can also learn C# with it.
And, as it is an easily available download; after a person tries it,
and if they like it, they will probably recommend others to try it – or
their company to BUY it. Thus, Borland gets a tremendous amount of free
advertising and marketing.
Oh yes, there will be folks that will abuse the privilege and not
properly pay for the license when developing commercial software. BUT,
the amount of “free” advertising and “free” marketing will drive more
sales than if they had not offered the free non-commercial download.
Remember, to catch the BIGGER fish ( bigger market ), you sacrifice the
smaller fish by tossing them into the water to attract the bigger fish.
Nota Bene: Microsoft learned that lesson well.
Time to take lessons from the leaders. I saw the Quarterly balance
sheet of Microsoft – something to emulate…