Regards,cww I've been using Rockwell software since before it was RS.
I will grant that their history of buggy and crashing software is legendary.
The new trend in GUIs in the business world seems to be web interfaces that have the same degree of interactivity as traditional GUI systems. There's also a new version of Sun Java intended for the same market, and Microsoft has come out with something called Silverlight to try to compete as well (although those latter two seem to be going over like a lead balloon in the market so far).
They also have the ability to operate when disconnected from the network and to access files locally.
The best thing going for PLCs is the wide body of knowledge in support.Those (at least the HTML 5 and Flash ones) tend to make the OS itself irrelevant when it comes to user interaction.It's all relatively new, so most people probably haven't seen applications using them yet.On the flip side, I have an incentive now to STAY with A-B now that I've got so much invested in the software.Perhaps they feel that locking people in once they get them is more beneficial to the bottom line than attractive people in the first place. I'm certainly okay paying for technical support and some nominal fee for the software (a hundred bucks, maybe? But paying thousands per copy per year is quite painful. We would be much more willing to look at other PLC vendors if their software were free (or priced reasonably.) I actually like Automation Direct.com's pricing, and I'm okay paying for manuals (it's nominal).-James Ingraham Sage Automation, Inc. It costs considerably more to develop good software than it does automation hardware.In representing Schneider Electric and our programming software, perhaps you would prefer us to add this cost to the price of the hardware? Like it or not, automation company's are evolving into software vendors.....