I'm new to GIS, having only dabbled with ArcGIS for Desktop for about 4 weeks in 2007. The business I am at wants to target writing complete solutions that involve GIS as it would benefit their hardware sales. They do not know which market they want to target but want me to pick the GIS software to use, yet I am very green to GIS markets. All i know if target platforms are windows, windows mobile, android and web applications. The idea of mobile applications means data connection is not 100% so internet based services may need to be ruled out, i.e. GoogleMaps.
I was struggling to work out how to phrase this as a question, given the huge range of GIS products available, Esri's ArcGIS for Desktop, CadCorp, MapInfo, GoogleMap/Earth, qGIS, Manifold, openJump, openstreetmap etc.
To avoid the what do I buy question, I instead ask the question why do you use Esri ArcGIS. From my experience its slow to navigate around maps and quite verbose to program in causing quite a lead time in development. Esri is also the most expensive product on the market, and i believe also the most popular. But why do people continue to use it, when other systems like CadCorp have the same functionality if not more, seem to be more responsive, can import Esri data and cost less.
I feel that I must be overlooking something here. I know client demands in some industries like defense, want Esri but why is it still so popular, given I often hear how other products are betters (Is this a Windows vs. Mac example on market share vs. quality)
P.s. This question has been spawned from this one on StackOverflow.