I've been getting all sorts of offers in the mail from Borland. Borland isn't well known in the Mac market, but it is a big player in the PC market and its spreadsheet, Quattro Pro, may be the best one for the PC despite Lotus 1-2-3 and Microsoft's Excel. Anyway, Borland wants to sell Quattro Pro 2.0 to me for $99 and has offered its powerful database, Paradox, to me for the same price. I have two problems that prevent me from taking Borland up on this kind offer. Problem #1: I don't much use a PC even though I do consult on them and have been known to check stuff out in SoftPC. Problem #2: I hardly ever use either spreadsheets or databases, and I'm unlikely to buy a PC spreadsheet and database to use under SoftPC when Full Impact and HyperCard serve me perfectly well. As I said, I'm not big on spreadsheets and databases.
Borland dropped its prices on these products only to owners of competing products, but I get the impression if your friend's father once used a pirated copy of Lotus 1-2-3, Borland would still sell you Quattro Pro for $99. It's all a marketing scheme, of course. (I'm beginning to suspect that all the world is a marketing scheme and not a stage, as William Shakespeare thought. Does that make me cynical?) Well a public word to Borland. It's working. I feel guilty for not buying Quattro Pro each time I read one of your offers. It's just that I really don't need the program. Now a Ronco slicer-dicer, that I could use. :-)
Seriously, Quattro Pro has gained a lot of market share from Lotus 1-2-3. It helps that Quattro Pro is probably a better program, but the low price is what's done the trick. I'm writing this, not because I want you to run out and buy Quattro Pro or a Ronco slicer-dicer, but because I heartily approve of lower prices for quality products. I would like to look back on this article in a year or two and see this marketing gimmick as the end of the $795 business programs. Sure, it may be slightly worse in the PC world, but have any of you priced a copy of Macintosh Quark XPress recently? $530 mail order! Sure, it's a good program, maybe the best, but that's a lot of money. So I say more power to Borland, and may it someday put out a decent Macintosh program.