|DeScribe, Electronic Publishing and Administrivia||- editorial|
We are sorry to give up the struggle, however, we simply could not overcome the market forces against us without the aid of a strong sponsor. It is time to move on.Obviously, we are sorry to hear this, as are almost all OS/2 users. This can be witnessed by taking a moment to read through the usenet newsgroups. Even people who do not use DeScribe's word processor have spoken passionately about the decision and many are calling for some other ISV to step in and purchase DeScribe's products. This has sparked a fair amount of debate and Jim Lennane, CEO of DeScribe, has even responded personally and frequently.
However, at the time of this writing, no-one had announced intentions to purchase the DeScribe word processor code. In fact, Mr. Lennane clearly indicated in his original announcement that they had been searching for a similar arrangement for some time with no luck.
Many FUD slingers have gleefully pointed to this unhappy development as proof of OS/2's inability to maintain healthy ISVs. Thankfully, many users have cooler heads. One wrote me to say that although he was disappointed to see DeScribe go, this kind of thing happens all the time in the business world and the OS/2 industry is not immune to it.
I agree with him. It's obviously not a good thing for OS/2 that DeScribe is ceasing development but it is not the end of the world. I don't say this to be unsympathetic to DeScribe, Inc. or to its customers, but the fact is that in the world of business, companies change directions all the time. When the monolith of the word processing industry, WordPerfect, fell on hard times and was bought by Novell, people did not shout, "Windows is Dead!" And when Novell failed to turn WordPerfect around, and subsequently sold it to Corel, the Windows world suffered very little. As an interesting aside however, when WordPerfect announced it would not release WordPerfect 6.0 for OS/2, people did shout, "OS/2 is Dead!" Imagine that.
One thing pointed out by many usenet readers is that the DeScribe Voyager CD also contained a Windows 3.1, Windows NT and Windows 95 version of DeScribe. The development of those versions has also been ceased but the Windows market has not erupted. And most importantly, DeScribe has not ceased selling DeScribe or supporting it, just developing new versions.
In the end, Jim Lennane said it all:
Even if DeScribe had 98% of the features most users ask for, there is not enough market share available in the face of the IBM/Lotus corporate presence and the reluctance of users to give up their Win/OS2 Word Processors. This situation could be overcome by a vendor such as IBM, Adobe, CA or maybe even Stardock but not by a startup or DeScribe alone.Even though we will miss DeScribe, OS/2 will go on. With Lotus' renewed commitment to SmartSuite for OS/2 and its WordPro 96 for OS/2 (see the sneak peek in this issue!), and the already existing products from Lotus, DeScribe, Clearlook and Star Division, OS/2 is not left wanting for word processing applications.
In fact, in this issue, you'll find that we have a review of a product that won't even be available to the general public as of March first. Please believe me that we have no intention of publishing vaporous reviews; the application in question was tested thoroughly by our reviewer throughout its beta testing stages and as the code was being finished, we had first looks at it to make sure our evaluations were accurate. Where they weren't, we corrected them.
Most importantly, we had confirmation that this application would be available to end users either by the time you read this or shortly after.
In general, we try to stay away from testing applications in "beta". The problem is that the definition of "beta" software gets blurred when dealing with shareware. While we believe that shareware is often as good as traditional "commercial" applications, its distribution is often radically different than "commercial" software. Many shareware applications are released to the public with a "low" version number between v0.2 or v0.99 which would traditionally indicate that it was a "pre-release" version and not for sale. However, the authors of these shareware applications often actively solicit registrations for their software so they are technically for sale. Also, while they may release frequent updates during the period of time before the software reaches v1.0, they also often release frequent updates after the software reaches v1.0 status, further blurring the significant differences between v0.9 of an application and v1.0.
For the record, we will endeavour at all times not to do reviews of software that will not be available during the month of the review's publication. Also, we will generally review only applications nearing or above the v1.0 level, using the logic that the author knows what he or she is trying to achieve and is using v1.0 as a yardstick to measure the approach of that goal. Of course, we'll continue to bring you news of applications' beta tests and sneak peeks of hot new applications that will be appearing down the road (see the Object Desktop v1.5 and WordPro 96 for OS/2 first looks in this issue!).
I won't preach to you about registering their shareware or not pirating their commercial applications (I did that in my Rant this month), but I urge you all, if you need products which are developed by one of our sponsors, purchase from them and tell them you saw their ads here! Even if you aren't in the market for new software or hardware, take a moment to click on the links found throughout our pages. Doing just that little thing can help make sure e-Zine! will be here for you to enjoy for a long time to come.
letter to the editor.
Contents | Next Article
Copyright © 1996 - Falcon Networking