I could not disagree more, but that's just me.
The fact I need to buy a dongle and contend with even more esoteric driver issues I find ridiculous and really cannot think of a parallel in any of my other interests. That NO computer I can buy will work 'out of the box'...
We are talking ZERO. I think if every other manufacturer of every other gadget available even very inexpensive ~$15 can do it - mount manufacturers at several thousand $$ per pop could pull it off.
We need to stop making excuses for them. Interesting that we require so much of all our software and gadget providers and yet when it comes to this hobby - we just make excuses for them. I suppose it could be even more ridiculous... thank goodness it doesn't use two cans and a string
Not that I disagree that it is absurd that they haven't done it... but as a non-Windows user, I am also kinda glad. How much support does the Linux/Mac guy get from the mount vendors? ZERO. I'm actually surprised the Argo Navis actually even has Mac instructions, despite being a serial port device too.
Right now, I know I can connect up to a mount that uses a serial port connection and control it via a third-party app (or write my own if I have to). The moment they switch to a proprietary USB protocol, or proprietary internal USB->Serial chipset, I'm screwed. Because now I am suddenly beholden to Celestron/Meade/etc for drivers to run the bloody thing.
There is no USB standard for serial devices, or for mounts, and ASCOM isn't gonna come to the rescue here. You will have a wonderful soup of drivers for years until they sort it out, and expect bugs that currently aren't as big of a problem. If Meade can't get Vista drivers sorted out for the LPI in a timely manner, etc... why should I trust
them to get it right consistently for mounts?
This isn't about me making excuses for them, it is about making sure I don't get lost in the shuffle as a 'second-class consumer' for functionality that works for me today, but may not tomorrow if they go USB.
If they went USB, I'd demand that the USB protocol they use be open and free so we aren't beholden to their drivers, and can support the mounts in 3rd party apps as we see fit. Otherwise, I'm gonna have to go right back to running the mount via a Handbox and not via my laptop.