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President's Letter

by Andrew Welch

[Andrew on Harley]

Ambrosia has maintained a forum on America Online for close to a decade, providing technical support, the latest versions of our software, and up-to-date Ambrosia news. Sadly, this soon will no longer be the case.

AOL recently dropped its hourly billing practice in favor of a flat-rate pricing structure, likely due to competitive pressures from ISPs that have long offered flat-rate pricing for Internet access. This created an interesting conundrum for AOL: how to stay profitable.

One of AOL's solutions to this problem is apparently to begin charging "content providers" a relatively high monthly fee to maintain their forum on AOL. That means us. The rumblings began in early 1997, when we were invited to participate in a paying program that offered us the same forum features that we've had for years, but for a price. A cool $55,000 a year.

The axe just fell. Despite the years of dedicated support we've provided on AOL (not to mention the money we've made them in the process), we were informed that our forum would be closed down in early June. We absolutely do not want to give up supporting our AOL customers, but we cannot justify that kind of expense for what the forum offers us. It's a tough decision.

We talked over our options at length, and decided that we could better serve all of our customers by closing down the AOL forum. The money we'd spend to keep it in its present state would simply be better spent beefing up our web site. We'll still have the same eMail address on AOL, and we'll continue to make our products available in the appropriate forums, but unfortunately our forum (at Keyword: Ambrosia) will no longer exist.

AOL Forum

It's an unfortunate ending to a positive relationship that we've maintained with AOL for some time. We're still doing our best to fight for the forum, but it looks unlikely that we'll be successful. AOL needs to turn a profit, and we apparently aren't worth keeping around unless we pay rent.

So there it is; a bit of bad news for our AOL customers, but it certainly isn't the end of the world. AOL provides Internet access, so you can reach our web site at http://www.AmbrosiaSW.com/ to obtain the latest Ambrosia software and news. Additionally, our games will be available in the Mac Games forum on AOL (Keyword: MGM). Likewise our utility products will be available in the Mac Utilities Forum (Keyword: MUT).

Of course, if AOL cramps your style, there are literally thousands of ISPs that'll give you a flat-rate dialup account with full Internet access. A rather complete list of ISPs is available at http://www.thelist.com/

[Andrew's Signature]

Andrew Welch
Ambrosia Software, Inc.

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