NS for newcomers

by Dan Lavin

Redwood City NeXT is seeking to encourage initial purchases of NEXTSTEP through three separate sales and support programs that were announced in January. In addition to an installation- and configuration-support program, the company is offering two promotions that discount the cost of NEXTSTEP.

All three programs are aimed at first-time buyers, attempting to both encourage trial usage of NEXTSTEP within corporations and generate immediate income.

At least one developer criticized this method, saying, "NeXT should not want the kind of customer who is price-sensitive in the first place, though the configuration support is long overdue."

NeXT will now provide thirty days of installation and configuration support to all users who are installing NEXTSTEP on a NeXT-certified system. The support is available through toll-free numbers in the United States and extends for thirty days from the first phone call. This program will continue indefinitely.

The program applies only to installation and configuration, and those processes are considered complete when users can launch the Workspace Manager and start an application from their NextApps directory.

Both price promotions began January 11 and expire March 15. "We are providing customers an opportunity to experience [NEXTSTEP] without having to invest a lot of money," said Rick Jackson, director of product marketing for NeXT.

With the Developer Bundle, NeXT offers both NEXTSTEP Developer and NEXTSTEP User for $995, sharply discounted from a normal combined retail price of $2790 and only slightly higher than the standard $795 retail price for the user version. Both the user and developer products are required to run a development system. This promotion is limited to one copy per department or project.

The Project Starter Pack includes five copies of the user system, three NEXTSTEP developer packages, and one registration to NeXT Developer Camp. It costs $7995 for a package that would normally run $11,760.