>What a horribly inefficient system you describe. I wish we had a market >economy in this country, so that dinosaurs like that could die and be >replaced by more agile competition.
Why is it horrible/inefficient?
If this company's major target market was free software people, then sure. But this is likely one time deal, or if we are lucky one product line. Why optimize something you rarely do and will likely never repeat?
Of course if this becomes popular product line, and free software support becomes important, then they will likely streamline the effort.
Like it or not, but free software support is not high on anyones
And besides it needs legal review and sign-offs because of legal climate (not just US). Anyone not doing this is just asking for trouble down the line.