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RE: st: Welcome STATA 9


From   "Nick Cox" <n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   RE: st: Welcome STATA 9
Date   Thu, 28 Apr 2005 21:58:46 +0100

I am not surprised at all. Here degree of surprise
depends on how many releases you have experienced. 
In particular, as Bill Gould clearly pointed out
some months ago, Stata has an approximate 2 year cycle. 

As in mathematics, suppose the contrary, that StataCorp were 
in the habit of telling people the release 
date well in advance. This would be problematic 
for several reasons. 

1. People would start to plan for that date and 
build it into their budgeting and research plans 
and then (understandably) blame StataCorp if 
there were slippage. In extreme cases, this 
could lead to unpleasantness or even litigation. 
No promises broken, no hearts broken. 

2. Even though StataCorp allows upgrade to recent 
purchasers at zero or little cost, there would 
be a habit among many people of postponing purchases
until a new release. This is understandable, but 
historically needed to be adjusted to, as new 
development depends intimately on a steady income 
generated by sales. 

3. As a commercial product, Stata competes 
with other products. StataCorp's strategy 
is to keep relatively quiet about dates 
and contents of new releases, at least 
in public forums. Statalist as a internet
forum is of course easily scanned by 
competitors. You tend to learn much more
at users' meetings. 

Naturally, one can imagine, justify 
and even identify companies with different 
styles, but this is StataCorp's style
and has been so consistently through its history. 

Nick 
n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk 

D.R. Wahlgren
 
> Ironic that I was just about a month or two ago asking this list 
> about the probability of a v9 release in the coming months, and the 
> consensus seemed to be that it was very unlikely!  Psychics we're 
> not.  Although I'm surprised that none of the Stata folks on the list 
> made any hints to the contrary.

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