Why should the player "research" it? That's just silly game logic of nowadays, where access to stuff is arbitrarily locked away until you "research" it. This is totally immersion killing.
No. The ship upgrades (consisting of Software and associated hardware) should be bought. The process could be streamlined so you dont have to sit at an equipment dock for several minutes to equip 20 fighters one by one. There should be the ability to produce the Upgrade package hardware yourself.
Yes, but not because users really want it, its because it makes more money from customers and it can be planned for the vendor. It's bloody annoying. Egosoft already said that hiring people will not cost continuous fee. That's why its unlikely (thankfully) that software will not cost a continous fee.Isn't "software as a service" the big thing nowadays instead of actually buying a software?