Re: Friendly advice on Windows version
Fri, 3 Nov 1995 11:23:29 -0500

At 4:01 PM 11/2/95 -0500, Robert Carnevali wrote:
>I've been using the windows version of Cu-SeeMe for a couple of months now.
>Why is it so far behind the Mac version?! Video Conferencing (VC) promises
>to be a hot new technology for business. Many companies have gotten a lot of
>publicity for their own VC solutions. The majority of computers in business
>are PC's. Yet the feature set of the windows version of the software falls
>far behind the Mac. Connectix which makes QuickCam has developed their own
>VC software and have also limited the Windows version to 1-on-1 conferencing
>while Mac software allows 1-on-many. I think the Mac is a wonderful machine,
>but take a look at where the potential is for mass use. PC's far outnumber
>Macs. Many PC's are networked, use TCP/IP and are part of the net. They are
>in a perfect position to utilize an inexpensive VC software package with an
>inexpensive vid capture device (quickcam). Yet focus is on the Macintosh
>with PC's following almost as an afterthought.
>Video Conferencing has a huge untapped market in PC's. If another company
>develops their own VC package, price it right and market it right, they will
>stand to reap the benefits and CU-SeeMe will lose out to the numbers.

All of what you say is true. What is also true, however, is that we
currently make just as much money from a single Mac user as we do from 10
PC users (and I might add, get a lot less grief). Furthermore, PC
dominance is not nearly so lopsided in education as it is in the commercial
sector (hint: Cornell is involved in education). Finally, when we started
this project a little over 3 years ago, Apple already had consistent,
well-defined audio, video, and network APIs, a 32-bit operating system, was
shipping computers with built-in audio, and factory video capture was not
far behind (with cheap 3rd party plug-and-play boards already available).
Okay, so that was then. It is one of our goals to make videoconferencing
available to as many people as is possible, and we do recognize the
importance of the PC (if for nothing else than to give Mac users more
people to talk to!). Market forces are beginning to take effect, and yes,
ye shall have your volume purchasing power back in action soon enough. The
herd will rule!
Seriously, your advice is good and I hope my reaction is not too
flippant. The same factors (e.g., competitive diversity) that have made
the Intel machines more cost effective for many tasks have also made them
more difficult for certain kinds of software development. But that's okay,
because if you can sell more software you can throw more programmers at the
development effort, so you will get your product in the end, and at a good
price (eventually).

Tim Dorcey
Sr. Programmer/Analyst (607) 255-5715
Advanced Technologies & Planning
CIT Network Resources
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853