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Re: Genera 8.0 Announcement

    Date: Mon, 5 Mar 90 21:33 EST
    From: GRoberts@YUKON.SCRC.Symbolics.COM (Gary Roberts)

    There is nothing in the standard Symbolics software maintenance contract
    about the number of manuals to be delivered per new release.  If your
    contract reads differently, please let us know and we will be happy to honor

My copy of the price list (dated October 31, 1988, with a July 1, 1989
addendum for UX400S), in the description of Software Contract Service
says "The customer will receive ... Updates of software documentation.
The number of copies provided will be equal to the number of eligible
systems covered under the contract."

    A survey was distributed at the last SLUG annual meeting.  Your
    responses to this survey were the basis for determining the new policy.

I think a new policy should only apply to support contracts signed
*after* the policy has been announced.  We already paid for support that
includes one manual set per machine.  While we don't need that many
(we'll probably need another half dozen, not the forty we're entitled
to), we do need more than one for every five machines (several of the
systems covered under our support contract are located offsite, since
we're a VAR).  It seems that we're being asked to pay for something we
already paid for.

    3. FYI:  the annual Genera software subscription fee on "additional
    systems" beyond the first at a site is $540 (commercial pricing).  For
    academic institutions such as yourself, this price is discounted,
    substantially, to $297.  The cost to Symbolics (not the price we sell it
    at) of your manual set is about $250.  

The aforementioned price list quotes Genera 7.2 Documentation at $220.
I've got a call in to my sales rep to find out the current price,
though.  If the above is true then I'd expect the price to have
increased significantly.

					   This is computed as the total
    cost of the press run divided by the number of manuals printed, and does
    not account for the time and effort we invested in rewriting them.  We
    are providing a completely new manual set with your update.  It seems to
    me that you are still getting a pretty fair deal.

Also, comparing documentation costs to annual support prices is not
fair.  It has been over three years since Symbolics released a complete
documentation set.  Genera 7.2 included updates to about five manuals.
That's about 1.4 manual sets in 3.4 years, or about .4 sets per year;
call it about $100 per year per set in printing costs.  If you have ten
people maintaining the documentation and 50,000 customer systems then
it's another $20 per year per system.