Author Topic: Preview: eComStation 2.2 Beta, the legacy of OS/2 lives on  (Read 14586 times)

Sigurd Fastenrath

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Preview: eComStation 2.2 Beta, the legacy of OS/2 lives on
« on: February 27, 2013, 08:02:40 pm »
Is that the announced "testing of a 'big' comupter magazine"?

I guess the main point might be this one:

Zitat: "To wrap this all up nicely, eComStation is an excellent business
solution for those stuck in legacy land, "

In my opinion:

Ups:
- there is at least one review of ecomstation

Downs:
"it compare well with against (!) Linux and Windows " (must be joking for
someone not familiar with OS) but no mention of:
- No WLAN support
- No bluetooth support
- No USB 3.0 support
- No ivP6 support
- No working suspense/resume support
- still weak USB 2.0 support
- Panorama is faster than before but still....
- it is still better to use APM instead of ACPi on older (legay hardware),
especially on Thinkpads up to "60
- The new icon set of ecomstation.ru - hopefully this can be changed in the
usual way :-(

This might sound very negative but I think it is better to tell people what is
possible and what not.

The old story: why not writing:

"eComStation works well, but only on selected hardware".

 :-\


:-(


Martin Iturbide

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Re: Preview: eComStation 2.2 Beta, the legacy of OS/2 lives on
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2013, 09:06:48 pm »
Hi Sigurd.

I want to take your comment more like a "reality check" than "pessimism".

Please notice that in the past OS/2 had been very aggressively hit by the press. They always say "OS/2 is a superior product but...". Or what happens today, that we have no press at all (since we are a non-relevant platform).

Now, I don't care if someone write a positive article about eComStation. But we need to focus on the positive things about eComStation and fight/help/support/suggest/chip in for the stuff that is missing.  So, I don't think it is bad for us that someone write a positive article about eCS.

I'm glad that we are going to have a new eComStation release, I can put all the negative points on the table, I can still complain about the long term strategy, but today I'm glad that we are going to have a new release. 

Regards
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 10:03:30 pm by Martin Iturbide »
Martin Iturbide
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Eirik Romstad

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Re: Preview: eComStation 2.2 Beta, the legacy of OS/2 lives on
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2013, 11:02:55 pm »
Sigurd and Martin (and others),

I agree wholeheartedly with Martin on this.  A new release that tightens things up and is tested for consistency also makes it easier for further developments of drivers and software.  Admittedly, there will still shortcomings with the new eCS, but so has all the other alternatives too.  If the alternatives did not have any shortcomings, we would have switched long ago.

Speaking for myself, eCS offers the user friendliness, reliability, and superior possibilities to design my working environment.  I am therefore thrilled about eCS 2.2 arriving shortly to offer even more.

Eirik

Sigurd Fastenrath

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Re: Preview: eComStation 2.2 Beta, the legacy of OS/2 lives on
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2013, 11:10:03 pm »
Hi Martin,

My intention is to tell people what is possible and what not. If you use google translater I would like you to follow some discussions at os2.org about the following topics regarding ecomstation I did not mention:

- No response from Mensys if asked for support
- No response for postings at bugtracker

And that leads me to the old, so often (so often that I am tired of writing it but it is sadly proved so often...)written facts:

If there would have been the decission to concentrate on selected hardware (at least since 2006) what have lead to:

- a full supported selected hardware
- less hardware problems
- less questions
- less support needed
- less bugtracker entries
- less frustrated users

........

But -yes - lets be happy for waiting for the new release, but do not let people with no knowledge of this OS to expect that it will run out of the box and could compete with Linux or Windows - this will lead to much more frustrated users and bad press and will loose the last credit of what is left of OS/2............

guzzi

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Re: Preview: eComStation 2.2 Beta, the legacy of OS/2 lives on
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2013, 12:26:32 am »
Is that the announced "testing of a 'big' comupter magazine"?

- No WLAN support
No WLAN support? That's interesting. I've seen reports on the newsgroups from people using WLAN.....

- No bluetooth support
Indeed. Wonder how many users need it.

- No USB 3.0 support
No, and should be addressed.

- No ivP6 support
Not an issue for me, but that could be a showstopper for some, I think.

- No working suspense/resume support
Not true. It works on some hardware. So, limited support.

- still weak USB 2.0 support
Yes. But there has been a lot of progress.

- Panorama is faster than before but still...
.
- it is still better to use APM instead of ACPi on older (legay hardware),
especially on Thinkpads up to "60
So? APM was the de facto standard when that hardware was made.

- The new icon set of ecomstation.ru - hopefully this can be changed in the
usual way :-(
Just some cosmetics. I've never cared about that.

This might sound very negative but I think it is better to tell people what is
possible and what not.

The old story: why not writing:

"eComStation works well, but only on selected hardware".

Yes. And most people who buy it know that and select their hardware accordingly
 :-\


:-(

With regards to support, I have had direct support from Mensys, to full satisfaction. I do agree that the response to tickets isn't always what it should be.

I am still a -lot- happer with ecs then with the win 7 that runs on my notebook. Whenever I need the thing windows will either complain about 'low memory', needing a reboot to prevent the system become unstable or just be incredibly slow because it's doing yet another huge set of updates.

Sigurd Fastenrath

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Re: Preview: eComStation 2.2 Beta, the legacy of OS/2 lives on
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2013, 08:28:19 am »
Is that the announced "testing of a 'big' comupter magazine"?

- No WLAN support
No WLAN support? That's interesting. I've seen reports on the newsgroups from people using WLAN.....

-> True for Adapters build up to 2007/2008 - how many are still in use (not by OS/2 users - by 99% of users....)

- No bluetooth support
Indeed. Wonder how many users need it.

-> Scan old (very old) news groups articles.....

- No USB 3.0 support
No, and should be addressed.

- No ivP6 support
Not an issue for me, but that could be a showstopper for some, I think.

- No working suspense/resume support
Not true. It works on some hardware. So, limited support.

-> it is working on some (!) legacy hardware from before 2007 - but there still APM is the better choice (i.e. read Thorolfs experience at OS/2.org and I can show you about 50 messages from Mensys that "it is already close to work" (on legacy harware (!))

- still weak USB 2.0 support
Yes. But there has been a lot of progress.

-> but what does this help when it is not working reliable?


- Panorama is faster than before but still...
.
- it is still better to use APM instead of ACPi on older (legay hardware),
especially on Thinkpads up to "60
So? APM was the de facto standard when that hardware was made.

-> yes, thats what I try to say - since then ACPI is not working the same way on hardware since the "APM" age....

- The new icon set of ecomstation.ru - hopefully this can be changed in the
usual way :-(
Just some cosmetics. I've never cared about that.

-> Yes, useless to debate, but my experience (as like others) with some ecomstation.ru software is very poor and weak - and sometimes really dangerous like USB Widget, failing (like Temp widget) and so on....

This might sound very negative but I think it is better to tell people what is
possible and what not.

The old story: why not writing:

"eComStation works well, but only on selected hardware".

Yes. And most people who buy it know that and select their hardware accordingly

-> but that means to choose 7 to 8 year old Hardware -how long willl this be aorund?

 :-\


:-(

With regards to support, I have had direct support from Mensys, to full satisfaction. I do agree that the response to tickets isn't always what it should be.

-> none of my entries in bugtrakcer over the last years (!) has ever been solved by mensys, most of them did not get even one answer.....

I am still a -lot- happer with ecs then with the win 7 that runs on my notebook. Whenever I need the thing windows will either complain about 'low memory', needing a reboot to prevent the system become unstable or just be incredibly slow because it's doing yet another huge set of updates.


-> well, as I am using modern hardware it is still the other way round for me - I am using my Samsung Tablett with Windows 8 for over one year now (before with Windows 7) and it runs more than perfect. But this is to the personal point of view. But telling eComStation can compete with Windows or Linux is just a bad sad joke.... And for Business things I am using Widnows for more than 30 years now, and never ever (with an own Windows Server Network) get any problems with it, I guess it is just about being lucky....
And for the updates: just disable the automatical update....

Eirik Romstad

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Re: Preview: eComStation 2.2 Beta, the legacy of OS/2 lives on
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2013, 11:27:21 am »
Sigurd,

you've got some points, and these are issues those making and support services work on.  I use my T410 with eCS 2.1 at work.  Connection to the Windows network is faster on my eCS partition (through the NetDrive/Samba client), most of the stuff I work with on a daily basis goes faster on eCS than Win 7 (because I can tailor my work environment), ThunderBird and FireFox work the way they should, I have access to better editors, etc.  When there are serious data security issues, my Win using colleagues look a bit troubled.  I am not, and my eCS also works perfect vi-a-vi my bank.  Good to know I got a secure and safe system.

My employer (a university) deserves credit for documenting how to access servers etc., but they need to -- in a university environment you see many different uses and users. Fact is that the data and support services like that there are multiple systems on our network -- it makes them look for open solutions that adhere to international standards, not proprietary solutions that at some point could leave us all stranded and locked in.

Downside: no WiFi (yet), FnFx buttons do not work (so I cannot run presentations from my eCS partition), Java still not working appropriately, and no good terminal server access program.  But these problems are worked on in ways that will provide support also for newer systems on the market.  In 1-2 years my T410 is obsolete, and I will get a new computer.

In your case, the work environment appears less open (more Window'ized).  So, for you Win appears a better solution.  For me, not.  To conclude: different users have different needs.  If I were working with graphical design, I would probably use a Mac.  The fact that Win7 (and Win8) works for you is no valid reason to mock those making other choices.  People are not stupid -- they make the choices they think serve them best.

Have a thoughtful, yet positive day / Eirik

Sigurd Fastenrath

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Re: Preview: eComStation 2.2 Beta, the legacy of OS/2 lives on
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2013, 11:59:10 am »
The fact that Win7 (and Win8) works for you is no valid reason to mock those making other choices.  People are not stupid -- they make the choices they think serve them best.

Have a thoughtful, yet positive day / Eirik

Hi Eirik,

it is not my intention to mock people using different OS - may be a fault of my bad english - sorry if it sounds like this.
I am happy that your 410 is working for you, as others get the 500, 510 and 520 to run as well. I myself had a X200t really well supported - by trying to support it on my own with a lot of help of some really nice people, but Bugtracker - to be honest - did never help me.

I would not have published videos about eCs if I wanted to distract it.

But: would'nt it be nice to have WLAN and all the other missing things with your 410 supported? Would'nt it have been the much better choice to concentrate on selected hardware and support this (Suggestions about this have been made about a hundred times druing the last 8 years on os2.org, an dnot only there) instead of trying to cover everything?

That's my point: eCS development is still following the wrong path and even worse there seems to be the opinion there the result could compare with Major OS. That is simply not true. It is true for some users with some hardware, but here the attempt is to spread the OS and in that case in my opinion it is worng to tell people it could work out of the box with computer hardware, I guess that is the reason why the review mentioned: "on Legacy hardware".

By the way: My X200t was really well working with OS/2 Warp 4.52 (that I included the newest drivers with) while eCS 2.0 failed to install.

Even though - it is just my opinion. I do know that a lot of people do not like it, that is OK and thats it. I can only tell from my experince I had with "modern" hardware since 2007.

One other major fault in my opinion is the lack of a real Beta Test. You could say "why", my answer is:

- ECS 2.1 failed to copy AHCI driver
- ECS 2.0 failed to install Mousdriver (or it was the other way round)
- ECS RC 4 (or5) destroyed Layout of HDD
- ECS 2.1 German has bugs the English does not have (Peer not working and so on)
- all ECS Versions have been delayed, 2.2 is schedulded for April now, but I guess we have to wait if USB can be fixed till then....
....
I could tell and show you so many "never come true" informations and timetables about eComStation from "informed persons" but that would not change anything.

And I think it is my right to answer to other opinions like "eCS has some shortcomings but Windows is even worse" if my experince is totally different.

But you are right, I will from now on staying outside this discussions, the forums and everything else realted to ecomstation and leave it as it is.
 
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 12:02:35 pm by Sigurd Fastenrath »

Eirik Romstad

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Re: Preview: eComStation 2.2 Beta, the legacy of OS/2 lives on
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2013, 12:28:47 pm »
Thanks Sigurd for a thoughtful response.

You bring up a very interesting point: the strategy choices for the development for eCS.  Here, I agree with you that a clear strategy choice has not been made, and that one can make a lot of damage to oneself by overselling (it works on all modern software when in reality it does not), and by not sticking to time tables.

On proper beta testing: with the small eCS community, it would be difficult to test all new computers.  Some of this is probably not even the fault of eCS but of computer producers who fail to document the hardware that make up their computers.  This is a problem not only for eCS -- Linux developers face many of the same problems.  As indicated by my previous posting, things work on my workplace because the computer and network department document things.  Hence, odd guys like me know which solutions to look for.

So, there have two challenges:
  • Proper documentation by hardware producers
  • A clear development strategy for eCS, followed by proper documentation on which hardware that works.  And then this documentation needs to be more detailed: several computer models come in multiple editions, and one needs to be clear on which edition = which hardware
When I buy new hardware, I try to get as exact info. as possible.  Drivers is a huge challenge.  The ongoing ACPI development will solve some of that, but not all as some computer producers neither adhere to standards nor document what's in their box.  PCI produces this documentation once you have bought a computer, but for most of us, that is a bit late.

Eirik

Roderick Klein

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Re: Preview: eComStation 2.2 Beta, the legacy of OS/2 lives on
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2013, 01:50:59 am »
I guess I can answer most of the questions since I'm doing the work with the other tech guys to keep eCS on thie move.

When it comes to public beta's my experience is the following.  A public beta is needed of the product. But I can speak from practical experience the beta cycles don't really give that much feedback.
For some projects we have closed mailing lists and dedicated testers. When I started working for example on integrating Chris Wolgemuth his MMOS/2 classes into eCS I got little to no feedback from people asking to test MMOS/2. These where people even interested. Since it are all volunteers you won't hear me complain. But over the years my guess is most bugs are found by following a logical development path. You follow what is done to a program and then test it. If you make a change then you test that program.

Basically my conclusion is that with public beta's we get little to very little feedback and if we do get feedback in the form that something does not work we far from always get proper log files back to drill to the bottom of a bug.
I hope that partly answers the questions about public beta's. So we will do a public beta of 2.2. Infact tomorow morning I will call David Azarwitz early in the morning his time and do some debug on a system with USB problems. But this requires time using the kernel debugger and him logging in via VNC to find the problem.

Roderick Klein
Mensys B.V.

Roderick Klein

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Re: Preview: eComStation 2.2 Beta, the legacy of OS/2 lives on
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2013, 02:02:40 am »
Hi Martin,

My intention is to tell people what is possible and what not. If you use google translater I would like you to follow some discussions at os2.org about the following topics regarding ecomstation I did not mention:

- No response from Mensys if asked for support
- No response for postings at bugtracker

And that leads me to the old, so often (so often that I am tired of writing it but it is sadly proved so often...)written facts:

If there would have been the decission to concentrate on selected hardware (at least since 2006) what have lead to:

- a full supported selected hardware
- less hardware problems
- less questions
- less support needed
- less bugtracker entries
- less frustrated users
........

But -yes - lets be happy for waiting for the new release, but do not let people with no knowledge of this OS to expect that it will run out of the box and could compete with Linux or Windows - this will lead to much more frustrated users and bad press and will loose the last credit of what is left of OS/2............

Let me first address this item that I have seen before on forums that we point a selected subset of hardware.
I will type it again. The suggestion is not and will never have worked. Let me explain you why it is flawed and not a 100%
proper strategy.

In theory it sounds nice but in practice here are some of the pitfalls of sticking to specific models/brands of computers.

1. Not every hardware vendor has the same model on sale everywhere around the world. I can mention one example we needed an HP workstation for a large customer.
It had different part numbers and different models world wide. Or some PC brands are not even for sale worldwide!

2. Some companies Mensys does business with has a preferred brand they want to use for example Dell. Such a list would then not work.

3. if we focus on a subset of hardware its still not going to safe us. Because how long will hardware be for sale and what happens if the vendor brings out a new BIOS with an ACPI in the BIOS that is suddenly broken. Years back I once had it with a T42 that had APM suspend/resume problems and another T42 did not. Turned out it was a BIOS revision problem...

As for support missing ? What tickets are outstanding in the bugtracker. I have given you access to eCS beta's in the past for testing to see if things where fixed.

Thanks,

Roderick

Roderick Klein

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Re: Preview: eComStation 2.2 Beta, the legacy of OS/2 lives on
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2013, 02:12:37 am »
Thanks Sigurd for a thoughtful response.

You bring up a very interesting point: the strategy choices for the development for eCS.  Here, I agree with you that a clear strategy choice has not been made, and that one can make a lot of damage to oneself by overselling (it works on all modern software when in reality it does not), and by not sticking to time tables.

On proper beta testing: with the small eCS community, it would be difficult to test all new computers.  Some of this is probably not even the fault of eCS but of computer producers who fail to document the hardware that make up their computers.  This is a problem not only for eCS -- Linux developers face many of the same problems.  As indicated by my previous posting, things work on my workplace because the computer and network department document things.  Hence, odd guys like me know which solutions to look for.

So, there have two challenges:
  • Proper documentation by hardware producers
  • A clear development strategy for eCS, followed by proper documentation on which hardware that works.  And then this documentation needs to be more detailed: several computer models come in multiple editions, and one needs to be clear on which edition = which hardware
When I buy new hardware, I try to get as exact info. as possible.  Drivers is a huge challenge.  The ongoing ACPI development will solve some of that, but not all as some computer producers neither adhere to standards nor document what's in their box.  PCI produces this documentation once you have bought a computer, but for most of us, that is a bit late.

Eirik

I commented on selecting certain hardware for eCS and making a list public for that. From my point of view it won't really work.
Infact to make the specific point even more clear. Most companies that contact us say simply "he I have this peace of hardware, make it work with eCS".
Most companies don't ask us "what hardware is supported".

Also with not all equipment being sold by suppliers for a long time its not always possible to say use model X from manufacturer Y.
We had it with a very big OS/2 customer from Europe. They just knocked on the door and said "he want this HP workstation to work". We got it to work and 2 months later it was off the market.
Then again some computer vendors do have business models that are sold longer so companies can plan.

See my other posting for some of the issue's with sticking to a small sub list of hardware.

Roderick

Sigurd Fastenrath

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Re: Preview: eComStation 2.2 Beta, the legacy of OS/2 lives on
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2013, 10:33:09 am »


As for support missing ? What tickets are outstanding in the bugtracker. I have given you access to eCS beta's in the past for testing to see if things where fixed.

Thanks,

Roderick


Just to proof my words:

http://bugs.ecomstation.nl/view.php?id=3006 - No response at all
http://bugs.ecomstation.nl/view.php?id=2785 - Response from other user, No Response from Mensys at all
http://bugs.ecomstation.nl/view.php?id=3007 - Some response, but was more or less adressed as "OS/2 related", but eCS 2.1 failed even worse - No response to eCS
...

Some time I gave up there as a logical result. Main errors like "Destroying Hardware Layout" I did not mention there as I thought that this was so obvious....

I recieved two Betas, one from 5/2012 I would consider it to be an Alpha, one in December (as far as I remember).
I would like to consider all the 2.0 RCs from 2007 to 2010 as betas as well, but there have had some more people access... At least this long period of fails did show that you choose the wrong track, just look at the ACPI development then with ecomstation.ru - I guess the biggest fail in eCS history.



In theory it sounds nice but in practice here are some of the pitfalls of sticking to specific models/brands of computers.

1. Not every hardware vendor has the same model on sale everywhere around the world. I can mention one example we needed an HP workstation for a large customer.
It had different part numbers and different models world wide. Or some PC brands are not even for sale worldwide!

2. Some companies Mensys does business with has a preferred brand they want to use for example Dell. Such a list would then not work.

3. if we focus on a subset of hardware its still not going to safe us. Because how long will hardware be for sale and what happens if the vendor brings out a new BIOS with an ACPI in the BIOS that is suddenly broken. Years back I once had it with a T42 that had APM suspend/resume problems and another T42 did not. Turned out it was a BIOS revision problem...


To answer in short terms: "Using that Theory"  must be the reason why Apple failed during the last years, I guess.....  :o

It is at least a bit easier as you allways try to explain:

You tell yourself that each Brand has a variety of different models with different internas.
I.e. there have been T models from IBM some equipped with Intel WLAN, some with Atheros or something like this.
Why not saying: Yes, we fully support this T Modell, but please do take a look that the Intel card is inside. That is something much easier to follow - as i.e. IBM/Lenovo models are quite well documented, the have differnt model numbers for this.

When some day eCS 2.2 will arrive I will use UPDATECD to update the OS/2 Warp 4 MCP2 with all the new drivers, kernels and stuff and burn a new DVD with this and then one more movie will be made, possibly - "OS/2 in 2013" or something like this.

And finally (if you believe it or not) that was the result of my testing on several modern hardware with eCs from 2. RC up to 2.2 during the last 8 years:

The most stable, fastest and best version was OS/2 Warp 4 MCP2 SMP with AHCI as it is shown during the last minutes of my best video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HhfPhxCGjQ 

Even though, that answer was just to proof my ealier comments and thats it. It is not my intention to pursade you as it was obvious to me that this would not work. I will leave the field of eComStation as stated (and will in addition do not answer emails related to this anymore, especially when other OS/2 useres are considered to tell 'farytailes' of what I can proof that those have been right), and wish all the users luck and success and a good time, most important health! I would like to thank at least all the friendly helpers and developers who have been so kind to help me in the past, especially for their patience!


Auf Wiedersehen!  8)




Remy

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Re: Preview: eComStation 2.2 Beta, the legacy of OS/2 lives on
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2013, 10:33:26 am »
I just get the demo ecomstation 2.2 CD and tried to install it under virtual box like I did for 2.1
The installation fail reading a file for network adapter while I configured the machine like the 2.1 working one !

RD

Eirik Romstad

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Re: Preview: eComStation 2.2 Beta, the legacy of OS/2 lives on
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2013, 02:06:05 pm »
Dear all,

Roderick's comments on the difficulties with different models is to the point for eCS in the sense that it is difficult to keep abreast on all developments of all vendors.  I also think he is spot-on regarding testing schedules vs. voluntary testing.  For me eCS is my production system, and I upgrade my eCS when I think the new version is stable for the system I have.   And the threshold for upgrading is not that big: we expect (and have good reasons to do so) that upgrades will make life better, not worse.

When that is said, as Mensys' tests are conducted, I think it would be wise to be open and clear = tested on this product (which conducts this hardware), and works.  Those of us who have different systems will look through our own specs. and see if it is worth while to upgrade.  If we conclude yes, and upgrade, it would be easy for us to submit a small report on what worked and what did not work, that would be quite specific.  For this to work, we need some sort of reporting system that makes this task easy.  With that in place, we would have much more reliable reports on working systems, which would expand the eCS market.  In turn, we would all benefit: larger market, more resources for development etc.

Along the same line, and as Sigurd has remarked: if Mensys had been better at sharing their strategy with users, and this strategy is one we can believe in, it would also be easier to attract committed ("production")users.  Please note that it is much easier to commit oneself if one knows the other party is committed too.  A first step to create more committed users is therefore for Mensys to more clearly signal which users are their targets.

Eirik