You didn’t mention any UsWare, but I’ll mention one from my, now distant, past: COINS. The acronym was, I just went to their site this morning out of curiosity and found that they’ve been bought by an ex-client, Construction Industry Software.
It was/is written in Progress, at the time a pretty spiffy ChUI database 4GL. What really made it different was the fact that the guy who created it was a working engineer.
Software vendors today write bad software on purpose. The goal is to sweet talk the Users with Eye Candy, thus gaining large amounts of $$$ for the Account Manager, and delivering something which will require large numbers of Off Shore folk to make sort of usable, thus gaining large numbers of Staff for the Development Manager. This is particularly true for Fortune X00 companies, both Vendors and Clients. Neither side of the acquisition has an interest in Good Programming, since GP would diminish the degree of hegemony they would otherwise achieve with Bad Programming. Joel Spolsky (whose site is a measure better than this) has written a few times on this. But I’ll claim to have figured it out long before I even heard of him.
Couple that with Users who really think that an Excel spreadsheet is the bee’s knees of data structure, and you’ve got a toxic symbiosis. Kind of like stupid people voting for President