The big deal being announced in this newsletter is the M1 Apps Program. Apps are all the rage now, but we've been in the apps business since 2004 when we invented the idea of making scope software user-definable. What's different from what we've been doing is that we've also created a marketplace to bring customer needs and developers together. The hope is that this rapidly speeds brings new tools to speed scope-based measurement workflow across all scopes.
The reason we initially created built-in automation in M1 was to get the creation of compliance tests out of the hands of the 12 or 15 engineers (coders) in the world that create compliance tests for scopes. It typically took 18 months from the first faint signals around the need for a new compliance test until the first one hit the market. After one scope company had one, the others followed suit, so it wasn't really like it was 12 or 15 guys working on this due to all the "me-too" parallelism. What our Apps strategy does for you is this... instead of having just our team working on the plethora of things that need to be measured/tested/automated, we have created a marketplace and training to attract more developers to the solution of your current and future problems. We expect the amount of innovation to increase rapidly since those 12/15 guys will have a whole bunch of company shortly. Actually, they're welcome to participate in the program as Developers.
If it weren't for the M1 Apps Program stealing the spotlight, the SimBridge capability or the External Decode capability would have easily been the lead story. SimBridge is just cool. You can use the same analysis/debug/collaboration powerhouse (M1™) from cradle to grave for your devices... simulation... R&D... characterization... production test... customer support and failure analysis. How's that stack up to ScopeCo? Just a friendly question... really.
To anticipate a question... are we abandoning our commitment to including new functionality in M1 by having an Apps Store? HELL NO! I'm not cutting my engineers loose and shipping work to a cheaper, lower-skilled labor pool like some are. The objective of the program is to add to the rich innovation stream we've been putting out for over a decade. The functionality that ends up in the Store will be things we would have never done. There's a ton of test standards nobody's addressing. New measurements are needed that take months and years to become broadly available. Getting more bodies and more brains involved only makes sense. What about SimBridge? Yup... we're charging for that. It's a simulation tool, not scope software, and as simulation capabilities goes, it's dirt cheap.
There are a lot of former application engineers sitting on the sidelines these days. If you know someone with a test-development background who wants to click together the next killer app for scopes, please let him or her know.
I'll be continuing discussions with various signal-source manufacturers to bring new stimulus response solutions to the marketplace under our Manufacturer's Program. Being able to quickly associate your source with any scope your customers happen to own can significantly increase the marketability of your instruments. If you work at one of those companies and would like to make sure I get to your instruments, please shoot me an email.
I have to really congratulate the M1 Engineering Team. We're kicking the Apps Program off with well over 100 Apps in the Store which is better than you see for some phone systems! Good work, Guys.
In closing, let me say this about riding motorcycles. Crashing royally sucks. But it sucks quite a bit less when you have friends like I do. My deepest and sincerest thanks to Bing, John, Charles and Keith.