With the recent announcement(March 13) that Microsoft will not make Visual Foxpro v10, a lot of people were sad, me included. Many smaller companies relied on Visual FoxPro(VFP) because it is a great tool for them and fit well with their needs/budgets. They don't need Access or SQL Server(yet) but something in between. Visual FoxPro fitted that need. They might go latter to SQL server(back end) but still keep VFP for rapid development or front end. Some even use VFP to make a fast prototype to show clients and then they go from there. To Microsoft credit, you will offer Sedna and service pack 2 this summer and keep service until 2015(2015-01-13 to be exact). Take my case All of my career path was with FoxPro/dBase/Clipper. My first summer job as a programmer was with Clipper Summer '87(Haaa! memories). My internship(4 months) when in college was with dbFast from BumbleBee Software for a small company under Windows v2.x(Yes! Windows 2.x). My first contract out of college was with FoxPro DOS v2. My first real job was with FoxPro DOS and then we migrated to Visual FoxPro, on my advice, but we looked at other non Microsoft products. Even my sidelines contracts were in Visual FoxPro: One was to convert from FoxPro DOS(first contract) to VFP and another one from Clipper to VFP. MIS Info Video and Info2MIS are programmed in Visual FoxPro because:
- I wanted to show what is possible to do with VFP in a none typical field(multimedia)
- I wanted to launched something fast and, of course, leverage what I knew.
Now for the upgrades: With a new version on 18 months cycle and by keeping the 75 000 75 000 x $75 = $5 625 000/version 1.5M x 18 months = $2 250 000 (cost of development) A profit of $3 375 000 per upgrade and that's not counting new clients at $200. If you think that salaries a low, just come to Quebec City. ;) It's about 2 times the average. Plus, being a bilingual city, the team will think in developping more for multilingual clients(v11) and sell more overseas. :D How much can you sell it to a 3rd Party company? A fair price would be 1.2 Million. Take the $600 000 x 2 for a discontinued product. A new company would need to rebuild all the team($$$) but you are not supporting it anymore and make a nice profit. What good PR can you get from making it open source and what is your lost(Patents)? Good PR would be good for you but you might not want to do that because of the technology(Patents) that you want to use in your other products or keep the patents. Can you give it to a non-profit organization while keeping patents? If you don't want to support it yourself, then give it to the community(non-profit group) with a clause that source/patents are to be kept secret and still belong to Microsoft. Good PR for you! 10 team x $ 75 000 = $750 000/year (New team but with salaries for experienced programmers ) 1 PR x $ 75 000 = $ 75 000/year (Sell to small companies owners) Budget x $350 000 = $350 000/year (Publicity, travel, equipment...) Other x $325 000 = $325 000/year (Lease, unexpected, training, distribution, accounting...) Would need 1.5M/year budget. 75 000 x $30/upgrades = $2 250 000/version 1.5M x 18 months = $2 250 000 (cost of development is longer because of new team) That will cover the cost of each version. Or to raised the initial money, members could give $20/year instead of upgrades. 75 000 x $20/upgrades = $1 500 000/year Asking $40-60 to new comers will give a little leeway in the budget. Remember it's not open source but a non-profit. Microsoft saves $500 000 on the long run but you will send a current team member($100 000) during the transition. Again come to Quebec City to lower cost! ;) Conclusion Granted, I don't have the real numbers but the best thing would be for Microsoft to continue it's development and make a profit or give Visual FoxPro to a non-profit and have good PR and keep programmers and their clients in the Microsoft world. You don't want them to look elsewhere? The current version Visual FoxPro is stable enough but it can always be improved a little each 12-18 months. The word version exist for that!
Keywords: Business, Info2MIS, MIS Info Video, Passion, Software, Technology, Visual Foxpro