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Re: DRAFT Agenda for SLUG/SMBX Meeting of 15 December

    Date: Mon, 18 Dec 89 14:19 EST
    From: miller@CS.ROCHESTER.EDU (Brad Miller)

	of the company was a refrain we heard, sometimes welcomed (that it was

    Is it? That is, are they really making more money these days, or just
    controlling costs better? 

More profitable = making more money.  You are confusing profits with
revenues (profits = revenues - costs).  Much of their profitability over
the last year has almost certainly been due to cost-cutting; that's not
bad, though, since controlling costs was a big problem with the previous
Symbolics management (the company grew much faster than their market).

			      I heard sales of equipment were very depressed...
    also a recent management reaffirmation that they are a *hardware* company,
    which is depressing in and of itself...

We asked them about this.  Their answer is that it's very hard to make
money as a software company.  I believe them; Lotus and Microsoft are

    So, how much hardware really is being moved out the door?

I think they said that their number of units increased around 30% last
year.  Revenues didn't increase as much, though, because current
machines have lower price tags (lots of those units were MacIvories, and
hopefully next year's numbers will include lots of UX400S's).

    Why isn't there yet any upgrade plan for old 36xx machines to Ivory class

There is.  My sales rep offered us something like a 10K or 15K discount
to replace a 36xx with an XL400.

    Didn't they just cut the price of the XL400? Did it boost sales? (I'd not
    expect it to, but I'm curious).

They didn't say what effect the price cut has had on XL400 sales (it may
be too soon to tell).  They did, however, say why they cut the price.
XL400 prices were originally set artificially high because they hadn't
ramped up the production facilities.  They didn't want customers opting
to wait for XL400s rather than ordering G machines that were available