Marco Cantu just blogged about the price of Delphi and his conclusion that it is reasonably and comparably priced. Whilst it might be encouraging that he is looking at these things in his new role, his methodology and reasoning leaves a lot to be desired.
Someone in the comments to his post made the point that it was Borland who hiked the price to current enterprise levels. That was when the complaints started, and they haven’t quietened since. So it is not surprising that if you look around now that you will find that Delphi is priced comparably with it’s competitors – of course it is, that is the complaint in the first place !!
The problem being that those other competitors have other things going for them. Looking only at price or the licensing model misses the point entirely.
If Delphi is priced only as well as it’s competition then it simply cannot beat that competition on price but must compete in other ways.
It cannot compete in terms of “career prospects” – the number of Delphi jobs continues it’s downward trend – and sadly it no longer competes on “customer/user experience” (see point on innovation later).
It never has been able to compete on the basis of “industry standards/acceptance” and at the current price, it has no hope of competing in the hobbyist space – the space from which enterprise validity often springs as it builds the foundations on which enterprises rely (a pool of available and competent skills) in the absence of any formal support (Delphi is not taught in schools, and increasingly neither even is Pascal, so these skills need to be nurtured elsewhere and elsehow).
But – some will cry – Delphi competes with innovation! Just look at FireMonkey and the multi-platform support!
Being innovative can help, but only if that innovation is something that can be relied upon. FireMonkey and FM2 are still not up to scratch as far as reliable code quality is concerned, and introducing features and then yanking them unceremoniously as was done with the iOS “support” and was attempted with the Professional client/server/n-tier EULA changes is not a good way to establish trust among your customers as far as product/relationship reliability goes.
So, given that Delphi falls sadly short in all these areas, price is the only significant lever left to pull, and selectively pulling out a narrowly focussed price comparison to justify not doing so (and indeed in order to defend the most recent price hike) is simply further evidence of the 1990′s “enterprise” mindset that dominates at Embarcadero to the extent that it has already pervaded (or was already present in) the mind of the newly appointed Product Manager.
Tags: delphi pricing
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