Springboard's Newsroom is the kind of useful, easy-operating software that thousands of 8-bit Atari owners would want to buy as soon as it became available. Yet Springboard has no plans to convert this program for the Atari market and gain additional sales.
Newsroom was a successful product on the Apple II, Commodore 64 and IBM PC during 1986. At $49.95, Newsroom is a page layout program that makes it easy to create flashy newsletters on standard dot-matrix printers. Newsroom includes over 600 clip art pictures, five text fonts, an easy-to-use word processor, drawing capabilities and automatic wrapping of text around pictures. There are also two affiliated Clip Art Collection disks ($29.95, $39.95) containing an additional 1,400 pictures.
The blindness of Springboard's no-Atari policy is made evident by the dramatically contrasting example of Broderbund's Print Shop ($49.95). Like Newsroom, Print Shop is a popular and versatile graphics printing utility Print Shop was originally released for the Apple II in May, 1984 and the Atari version appeared in February, 1985-two months after the Commodore conversion. IBM and Macintosh versions are now also available.
According to Broderbund Sales Director Rod Haden, "Print Shop sales are still healthy. And our experience with this software showed that converting a hit program to the Atari provides reasonable success.
Similarly, the Atari-version success of Computereyes - a $129.95 hardware-software video digitizer that won an Outstanding Product Award in the May 1986 Antic-prompted Dave Pratt, the president of Digital Vision Inc., to say, "We would have brought out the Atari conversion much sooner if we realized how fast sales would take off, compared to the earlier Commodore and Apple II editions. Atari users seem to be heavily into graphics."
WRITE SPRINGBOARD NOW
If you'd like to be able to buy an 8-bit Atari version of Newsroom, you ought to let Springboard Software know. The most effective way to do this is to write a letter, print it on your dot-matrix, and mail it to:
Springboard Software, Inc.
7808 Creekridge Circle
Minneapolis, MN 55435
It's also a good idea to mail Antic a copy of your Springboard letter, as well as copies of any replies you get from the company. This will help us keep everybody informed about how effectively the Newsroom campaign is proceeding.
Longtime readers of Antic will recall how successfully we all worked together during the 1985 "We're Mad As Hell write-in campaign. This drive to get more Atari software released by major independent publishers began with a May 1985 editorial. As a direct result of thousands of Antic reader letters, some much-wanted software conversions were brought out by companies including Electronic Arts and Broderbund.
Now seems to be a good time for putting on some pressure again. Newsroom would fill an obvious gap in the Atari 8-bit market. But please feel free to write the Antic I/O Board about any other important software you think we should be all be demanding for our computers.