Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 11th Sep 2006 18:03 UTC
Original OSNews Interviews Yesterday, I wrote a short editorial concerning the news that Magnussoft started accepting pre-orders for the next version of Zeta, 1.21. Today, via email, I asked a few short question which arose, more or less, in the comments' section of that editorial, to Magnussoft's Rene Weinert. Updated: See question 3.
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i'm actually a beta tester
by kwanbis on Mon 11th Sep 2006 19:33 UTC
kwanbis
Member since:
2005-07-06

i got the invitation about 30/45 days IIRC.

Reply Score: 2

The same questions remain
by sogabe on Mon 11th Sep 2006 19:59 UTC
sogabe
Member since:
2006-04-27

This clarifies the relationship between Mr Korz, the "development team" (whatever that is), and Magnussoft. But the key questions remain.

It is public knowledge that Magnussoft signed a worldwide distribution agreement with yellowTAB. But since everything seems to indicate that yellowTAB is now bankrupt, who is Magnussoft obtaining the rights to sell ZETA from?

Also, how is this "independent developing team" any different from yellowTAB (other than just on paper)? And more importantly, do they have a license with the IP owners of BeOS to continue developing ZETA?

To tonestone57: if you are reading this, did you see that not everything is what it looks like? :-)

Reply Score: 5

RE: The same questions remain
by tonestone57 on Mon 11th Sep 2006 20:20 UTC in reply to "The same questions remain"
tonestone57 Member since:
2005-12-31

Hi Sogabe,

Yes, not everything is. :-)

The rights to sell Zeta are from Bernd Korz (who says he obtained these from BE Inc.)

Looks like Bernd has given a license to Magnussoft to sell Zeta (but the name Magnussoft Zeta, implies it is made by Magnussoft & not Yellowtab or anyone else).

Also, Magnussoft will provide support for Zeta & is the main distributor of Zeta, etc.

Basically, Magnussoft runs the show & without them there would be no Zeta.

An Independent developing team: sounds like they don't work for Yellowtab or Magnussoft. They could be part of some secret organization. :-)
Actually, it is some former Yellowtab employees, with maybe a few new faces, working together to develop Zeta.

Edited 2006-09-11 20:23

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: The same questions remain
by sogabe on Mon 11th Sep 2006 21:36 UTC in reply to "RE: The same questions remain"
sogabe Member since:
2006-04-27

I highly doubt that Be, Palm, or Access would give a license to an individual (Bernd Korz) as opposed to a company (yellowTAB). Maybe Mr. Korz has another company that holds the license agreements and that we do not know about. But, then what do I know? :-)

There is one thing we agree on tonestone75: yellowTAB and business around ZETA has always been sort of secretive. I believe that is usually for a reason: that they have something to hide. :-)

Edited 2006-09-11 21:48

Reply Score: 3

Thanks Thom
by tonestone57 on Mon 11th Sep 2006 20:09 UTC
tonestone57
Member since:
2005-12-31

Terrific Thom for following up on this story & clearing up some of the information.

At least now you've given us some definite answers to go on.

yT & Magnussoft seem to keep things very secretive. You never know what to expect from them. Sometimes I wonder if they are trying to avoid the "Secret Police" or maybe they just want to keep users confused & uninformed (because they derive great pleasure from it) or maybe something else?

I pretty much *guessed* everything here, by using logical reasoning, but have to admit, wasn't too sure about the relationship with Bernd, Zeta development team & Magnussoft (I too thought he might be working for Magnussoft).

Reply Score: 1

nice
by judgen on Mon 11th Sep 2006 23:48 UTC
judgen
Member since:
2006-07-12

hope everything goes well with the release, i just hope they make it compatible with Tracker.newfs the compatibillity in zeta 1.0 and 1.1 was ok but it broke the boneyard and some other stuff, and in 1.2 it broke so much, rendereing it practically useless. Also i would like to add that no version of zeta has ever worked on opteron mp system with a via mobo withouth the classical hacking of the kernel with the authenticamd line. Also Thom could you ask magnussorft if they dropped the openoffice.org port or if its continued? according to roadmaps on the internet yT had gotten quite far.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: The same questions remain
by _DoubleThink_ on Tue 12th Sep 2006 01:48 UTC
_DoubleThink_
Member since:
2006-02-15

There is one thing we agree on tonestone75: yellowTAB and business around ZETA has always been sort of secretive. I believe that is usually for a reason: that they have something to hide. :-)

After reading some articles about yellowTAB on the Internet [i.e., wikipedia], I wonder if Zeta uses a "closed source" or a "stolen source" license? ;)

Is it true that Bernd Konz sued (or threatened to sue) a Haiku developer for "stealing" Zeta source code? Sounds quite ironic to me... ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: The same questions remain
by sogabe on Tue 12th Sep 2006 03:45 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: The same questions remain"
sogabe Member since:
2006-04-27

You must be referring to this:

http://osnews.com/story.php?news_id=11613

yellowTAB alleged that this one dev had breached his NDA, and Mr Korz apparently threatened with legal action. The dev posted the info here:

http://haikudev.blogspot.com/2005/08/threatening-mail-by-yellowtab....

Apparently, yellowTAB did not put the money where their mouth was. :-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: The same questions remain
by _DoubleThink_ on Tue 12th Sep 2006 04:55 UTC
_DoubleThink_
Member since:
2006-02-15

Thanks for clarifying this, sogabe.

It looks like yellowTAB is exactly where it deserves to be. I won't support this company (which means: what is left of it) with my money.

Actually I'm glad I wasn't accepted as a beta tester. Usually, beta tester have to sign NDAs...

Let's hope Haiku will be a success.

Reply Score: 1

From what I understand
by vege on Tue 12th Sep 2006 11:20 UTC
vege
Member since:
2006-04-07

Magnussoft claims it do not employ the development team, but it do distribute the product the team develops.
Mugnussoft gives its name to the product.
Magnussoft provides support for the product.
Magnussoft grants the infrastructure for the site, beta tests, downloads, etc.
Mr. Korz (aka Zeman) is allowed to publish claims at the forums in name of Magnussoft.

So, what I understood, it is claimed to be a kind of outsourcing from Magnussoft to the team, which is not named nor introduced to the public, but there is a close relationship with somehow shared responsibilities.

Maybe the whole thing seems to be messy because of the near-to-be-mystic development team. The public may still be interested in the followings:
Who are the members of this team?
What is the legal form of this team?
How much and in what terms is this team integrated with Magnussoft?
Who owns (if anyone) the legal rights yellowTab previously aquired?

I am pretty sure, public would understand if parties said "It is not yet final" or "not yet decided" or "not yet worked out". Practically we all (Magnussoft, developers and the public) are excited to see a success of the product, so we share the motives. You inside have a good position to say clear things, even that you can not say anything for now. Once again: we all would understand for now. But in time there should be satisfying answers to keep the trust and interest.

Edited 2006-09-12 11:22

Reply Score: 1

RE: From what I understand
by sogabe on Tue 12th Sep 2006 16:49 UTC in reply to "From what I understand"
sogabe Member since:
2006-04-27

Not sure what you mean, but I can say one thing: "it is not final", "not yet decided" or "not yet worked out" will not inspire a lot of confidence in the product.

Add this to the lack of support for technologies such as Flash and Java, weak hardware support and the unrealistic pricing of ZETA, and I don't think you expect "the public" to go crazy about ZETA, do you? :-)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: From what I understand
by vege on Wed 13th Sep 2006 08:17 UTC in reply to "RE: From what I understand"
vege Member since:
2006-04-07

IMHO knowning that something is still shaping surely inspires more confidence than getting just some parts of the big puzzle. A statement like that would suggest it is not a mystical issue.
People worry because they think, if they do not understand something, that something is hidden or messed on purpose. Avoiding this feeling is the best interest of everyone.

Pricing of Zeta may be a subject for a longer thread, I do not really feel like picking it up. I am sure there are many who can afford 100 EUR, and I admit that some are out because of this price. Leave it to those professionals who see the results and count the big balance.

Technical issues are hardly always up to the OS development team as we all know; and the product of course targets those who can live without Java and Flash. Most probably: yet.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: From what I understand
by sogabe on Wed 13th Sep 2006 18:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: From what I understand"
sogabe Member since:
2006-04-27

"IMHO knowning that something is still shaping surely inspires more confidence than getting just some parts of the big puzzle. A statement like that would suggest it is not a mystical issue.
People worry because they think, if they do not understand something, that something is hidden or messed on purpose. Avoiding this feeling is the best interest of everyone."

I am not sure what to make of this, but you surely sound like a mixture of politician who claims to know what everybody's interests are, and some sort of esoteric preacher. :-)

The only points that I wanted to make are here:

http://osnews.com/permalink.php?news_id=15802&comment_id=161388

My comments about pricing were just an observation to the posts saying that ZETA was too expensive. That's all.

As you say, there may bemany people out there that can afford $100 for, say, a cheeseburger. But the question is, will they?

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: From what I understand
by vege on Thu 14th Sep 2006 11:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: From what I understand"
vege Member since:
2006-04-07

It is indeed going to be a nice conversation ;)

I don't think saying "people don't like to be confused" is anything politician. Neither is "knowning what's up is the best interest".

We share the questions, as you could see in my first post.

For the pricing issue: people decide to buy or not to buy the product. Some guys at the producer (let the name be "A") tried to predict these decisions before selling. Some guys ("B") analyse the situation after the sellings. If "B" realizes "A" was wrong, they surely will change.
A note: they haven't changed anything yet, so (pretending they do not want to commit a business suicide) it may be OK generally.

Reply Score: 1

Pricing
by Mage66 on Tue 12th Sep 2006 11:55 UTC
Mage66
Member since:
2005-07-11

I think Zeta is STILL overpriced.

YellowTab would have sold a LOT more copies of Zeta had they made the pricing more reasonable.

Who wants to pay MORE than Windows XP Home or MacOS X for an OS that isn't finished yet?

I paid $39.95 for BeOS 5, and I think that would have been a good price for Zeta.

Had it been at that price point, I would have bought it to support them. But, $119.00US was just too much money for what the product delivers. And while I wanted to support YT and help them fund the development of Zeta... $119 was too much.

I threw $50 away on AmigaOS 4.0, and all I got was a T-Shirt for my money...

Magnussoft needs to seriously consider dropping the price of Zeta to a more reasonable $39.95 - $49.95, and to bundle it with systems like Linspire does.

Drop out the office software that most of us already own, and sell that seperately.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Pricing
by sogabe on Tue 12th Sep 2006 16:40 UTC in reply to "Pricing"
sogabe Member since:
2006-04-27

I recall reading that yellowTAB had to they pay license fees to Palm (Access now?). Maybe ZETA's pricing needs to be high so that the license fees can be paid, development can be funded and there can still be a profit margin for distribution and resellers. If that is the case, I would not expect a change in pricing as long as they have to license IP.

Reply Score: 1

Amen, _DoubleThink_!
by Luposian on Tue 12th Sep 2006 15:16 UTC
Luposian
Member since:
2005-07-27

I feel the exact same way. And, trust me... as the right people get behind Haiku, it WILL be a success!

Reply Score: 1