EETE: So there will never be a Rohde & Schwarz oscilloscope app?
Steffen: You should never say never, but at the moment I do not believe this is a business case. Of course, it is cool when you can operate your tester from a smartphone or tablet, but is it practical? We've already had the discussion about whether it's practical to voice control a test instrument and have it voice report the measurement results. Now imagine a lab with fifteen employees, and each of them has a talking tester. And they're all voice reporting at the same time. That may be fun, but I don't see any value for the user.
EETE: But software is easier to upgrade than hardware. So if I have a new test sequence that might require another type of analysis, it might be actually easier to implement it with an app than by changing my hardware.
Steffen: No, that isn't necessarily the case. At Rohde & Schwarz, we spend around 50 percent of our development costs on a product after it is launched. It's no longer true that hardware is inflexible. Of course, analog hardware in the frontend can only do so much, but there are DSPs and FPGAs for analysis, and the instruments have built in computers with hard disks. We update the software every three months. We offer a software option if, for example, a customer wants to work with a new wireless communications standard and the instrument has the technical prerequisites. You could, of course, call this an app, but we stick to the traditional term of software option. These options make it possible to custom configure instruments without overloading them with expensive features. A