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academic holiday specials

My overall point is this. Symbolics academic market in the US is not
expanding, as best I can tell. In fact, it is becoming more difficult to keep
the current installed academic base. The biggest concern is the one I didn't
address directly. It's not that the academic market has lost the desire to use
genera or the other "academic holiday specials", but (a) we can't react that
quickly and (b) it gets increasingly difficult to round up "a couple of
thousand" for software on a non-standard platform. $2000 pays for Sun software
upgrades on 20 machines, and FREE access to an extensive software library,
including SunLisp and SPE. So if these specials are "ignored" its not through
lack of interest, necessarily, but other problems which I've already mouthed
off about.

A 96% discount on software is not much good if it still keeps those packages
out of my reach. Unlike business, our "product" is educated students from
which we derive no profit. Many other businesses offer hardware and software
to academic institutions *in quantity* for FREE!!! This is because they can
afford to AND because they think it is a great marketing win - the envrionment
people learn in is the one they'd like to see when they enter the business
world. Symbolics is small with strong economic pressures on it just to
survive. However, additional software being distributed on a CD-ROM doesn't
sound like its going to break Symbolics, and it means that the existing,
shrinking academic base has another reason to keep them plugged in and
maintained for a couple of years.

Certainly our ability to get good hardware prices is not at issue. My
suggestion was that the monitor and disk be included because we can't get
consortium pricing on those as we can the Mac. However, I *can* beat $5000 for
the pair, no problem, and it amazes me that Symbolics can't put a package
together for under $11K.

The British gentleman I think misunderstood that the $5K was just for a disk
and monitor - the Ivory board is an additional $7500, and that's the special
(rather than $8500 for the board).

Also, note the number of academic institutions responding in anyway to this