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Why do I need to be logged in to access the Archived MathWorks Documentation?

Asked by Franck Dernoncourt on 2 Feb 2014
Latest activity Edited by Jan
on 3 Feb 2014
The Archived MathWorks Documentation for Matlab ( http://www.mathworks.com/help/doc-archives.html ) requires to be logged in. What's the point?

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1 Answer

Answer by Walter Roberson
on 2 Feb 2014
 Accepted Answer

Archived documentation is only available to people on support contracts.

I could $peculate about reason$ for the policy, but it would be pure $peculation.

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Why would policy change between current and past releases?
This policy went into effect a couple of years ago, when they did the large reorganization of the documentation.
Online access to the documentation for past releases could be viewed as a Value Added Feature. If you have already purchased the release then you have access to the documentation in your copy, by pressing F1 within MATLAB, so being able to search it on the internet could be considered a convenience.
When you are providing a convenient service, a natural question is whether it could be monetized. If a charge were made for the service, to what extent would the potential buyers of new copies of the software be discouraged, considering the software to be of lower value? Now compare that to the amount that could be raised by the people willing to pay for the convenience.
Technology corporations make money in two primary ways: by sales of new items, and by support payments by people who have already purchased an item. How can the support contract be made to seem attractive so that more customers will purchase one? Typically the answer is "By providing Value Added Services".
This is product lifecycle economics, and does not reflect any inside knowledge of why Mathworks made the decision, as no-one has ever talked to me about it. My own access to the archived documentation got cut until my maint contract payment got through.

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