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Symbolics maintenance prices
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 89 16:24:00 -0600
From: Kenneth Forbus <email@example.com>
For workstations other vendors have been willing to offer very
reasonable prices, generally less for a year's maintenance per machine
than Symbolics wants for a month per machine.
I believe maintenance on XL400 costs similar to maintenance on a
comparable Sun (don't forget to include maintenance on the disk).
I don't know what XL400 costs are. But I do know that "Replace
anything necessary to get it up within 24 hours, flying in parts if
necessary" from IBM for RT's costs $500/year/machine for universities,
$800/year/machine list. That includes the CPU, three 310MB drives,
display, cartridge tape drive, etc. If the XL400 price for this kind
of service is that cheap, I will certainly consider buying Symbolics
machines again. Or if they go back to being several times faster than
the competition, as opposed to being slightly to signficantly behind
Well, I just looked at my price list, and XL400 maintenance isn't as
inexpensive as I thought. The list price is $3300/year, about the same
as 3650 maintenance. However, it's about 2/3 the cost of 3640
maintenance, and about 1/3 the cost of 3600 maintenance.
When I spoke to my sales rep about Symbolics maintenance prices, his
answer was that their formula for setting maintenance prices is the same
as most other vendors'. I don't know what the parameters to this
formula are, but the major one is presumably the purchase price of the
machine. The ratio of the XL400 maintenance to price is about 5% (my
price list is from before the XL400 price cut); if the list price of the
IBM RT is around $16K then they're similar.