|Re: HP policy on source files|
Message #22 Posted by Mike Morrow on 19 Feb 2011, 9:05 p.m.,
in response to message #20 by Eric Smith
That has nothing to do with it. Adding more features to a product does NOT necessarily make it sell better.
In any event, not when the marketing is so incompetently prosecuted or purposefully self-defeating as it was with the HP 42S.
I'd used my favorite, an HP-15C, for three years before and eight years after the HP 42S appeared. Had I known the tremendous advance that the HP 42S represented over the HP-15C, I'd have purchased a 42S many years earlier.
When I finally retired my HP-15C, the HP 32SII was the only thing still in the RPN product line that seemed to offer similar capability. I found out after buying a 32SII that it wasn't even *remotely* as capable. Other than having the advantageous portrait layout, a limited alpha capability, and Saturn processor (for greater speed and accuracy), it was incredibly inferior to the old HP-15C. I tossed it in the clunker box (with other junk like the 28C and 38G) and found a source for the HP 42S. (In retrospective fairness, the 32SII is not a bad machine...unless one is comparing it to a 15C or 42S.)
Those of us who had used HP machines for decades made the mistake of assuming that the best models of one year would be replaced by even better models in later years. Sadly, HP broke this tradition in 1995. We're still waiting for a worthy 42S successor today, 23 years after introduction and 16 years after discontinuance.
The reason that the HP 42S did not sell as well as it might have is HP's piss-poor, shoddy, self-defeating marketing. I saw many HP advertisements in US engineering trade magazines such as the IEEE Spectrum for the HP 48SX. I recall none for the HP 42S, even though it is an electrical engineer's dream machine (and still is, even in 2011).
The reasons that the HP 32S/32SII sold adequately before the HP 42S was discontinued was penny-wise-dollar-foolish buyer attitudes (the 42S was 70 percent higher in cost than the 32SII), ignorance of 42S capabilities (due to HP's poor marketing of the 42S), and lack of buyer sophistication (who could imagine no value to 42S capabilities). After the discontinuance of the 42S in 1995, the 32sii sold well simply because it was the *only* small RPN machine available, as Martin points out. This was aggravated by the prices of yet available HP 42S stock rising very sharply after 1995 as HP's strategy was recognized: HP deliberately killed the grossly superior (to 32SII) 42S in order to kill competition to 48-series machines. There would be no successor. Ever.
Edited: 19 Feb 2011, 11:24 p.m.