Next Up Previous Contents Index
Next: Information Letter 2 Up: Potential Products for Previous: Existing products

New products

The following are product ideas of various degrees of definition which might fit into our new line of business.

Executive planning aid.

This is being investigated by John Nagle. It's a screen oriented PERT package with costing and resource allocation, and every manager in a large company with a desktop computer is a potential prospect. We want to target products to this market segment as it is being aggressively targeted by IBM and Xerox and is likely to be one of the fastest growing market segments in the next few years.


  This is being kicked around by John Walker. This is an ultra-simple database which lets you replace things you currently keep on scraps of paper or boxes of file cards. It requires absolutely no knowledge other than how to turn on the computer and type and works in a language as close to plain English as possible. I think that even if I had SELECTOR, I would still want a product like this.[Footnote]


MAPPER is the first product Univac has developed which is being heavily promoted as a product in my memory. It is responsible for the sale of numerous very expensive systems simply to run it. We should study it carefully and see if it contains concepts which can be applied to a standalone desktop system. If so, is such a product applicable to any office, or is it salable only to the Univac user base? Might it fit as a product under UNIX?

Forms generator.

This is a utility which allows people to design forms, and optionally fill them in. The simplest use is just to allow people to edit forms which are printed on a printer and used as Xerox masters. The stored form can also be used as input to a prompting routine which allows users to fill in the forms on the screen and generate either data files for input to other programs, or simple printed forms with the blanks filled in. This seems like a natural for the transitional ``office of the future'' which hasn't sworn off paper.

Menu-oriented TS.

A terminal emulator which can be programmed to present menus and conduct dialogues with the remote system for the user.


  Convert it and sell on small systems.[Footnote]  

This drawing was done on AutoCAD-80 shortly before COMDEX 1982, and was shown at COMDEX as an example of a ``mechanical drawing''. I hand-measured an ANSI A size title block and drew the title block piece by piece. The ellipses were done by inserting circles with differential scale.

Next Up Previous Contents Index
Next: Information Letter 2 Up: Potential Products for Previous: Existing products

Editor: John Walker