As far as the DCC software, I doubt Lionel would offer it separately if for no reason other than to control their intellectual property. There would be nothing to stop (other than the threat of voiding the warranty) one person from upgrading all his buddies loco's once he bought the software. Perhaps, they'll consider making it available to their authorized service stations in the future.
Rusty, you're probably right but let's think about that. This isn't HO. We're talking about a scale that we want to grow. Not offering DCC compatible locomotives or at least letting one buy the program that changes the software to DCC compatibility for a one time cost is not something that is going to entice scale folks over to S Scale. Adding a $75 fee to every locomotive is to me something that might send the scale folks over to the MTH side who we know will not be charging extra for DCC compatibility. And I don't see how anyone would be able to steal Lionel's intellectual property. It's not like you can install this software in any locomotive. It only works with their products so one would have to buy their product to use the software. You're are right about one guy buying the program and doing all his buddies locomotives BUT this isn't HO. Just how many S scalers live within driving distance of one another in this country? Not that many I would guess especially on the scale side. But once again this is Lionel we are talking about and they are always (IMHO) seem to be more about sucking every last dollar out of the enthusiast than most other companies. We know all the manufacturers are out to make money but with Lionel it seems to me they do the least amount of R&D but yet charge the highest prices. I don't hate Lionel, I have some of their stuff and like what I have. I just feel that they try to keep this a rich man's hobby. Just my opinion.