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How Microsoft Beat WordPerfect/The Evidence
In reponse to my earlier post about how Microsoft unfairly pulled the rug
Lotus, WordPerfect, etc., it's been claimed that Microsoft merely outlasted and
outprogrammed the others. I think not.
Here's the first piece of "hard facts"
I clipped an ad from the 12/11/90 issue of PC Magazine .This is just a few
Windows 3.0 came out, a time when supposedly WordPerfect and Lotus were
with Microsft Word and Excel. Keep in mind that by this time, most new PCs
came with Win 3 pre-installed
and that was due to Microsoft using MS-DOS licenses to strongarm the
computer mfrs...as shown by the Justice Department in 1995.
The full-page ad is for a mail order company called Telemart. There was so
little Windows software available then
that they listed in a separate section entitled, "Do a Little Windows
Shopping with Telemart" Heres' what Microsoft had for sale in this list:
MS Excel for Windows $299
MS Powerpoint for Windows $305
MS Project for Windows $425
MS Word for Windows $305
(In my judgment, this demonstrates that when Windows 3.0 arrived and took
over, Microsoft came with an
array of high-powered applications that they could market immediately).
Here's what competitors to the above products had for sale in 12/90:
Ami Professional $289 (Windows)
Lotus 1-2-3 ver 2.2 and ver 3.1 ($335 and $410, non Windows)
Quattro Pro $310 (non Windows)
Supercalc 5 $290 (non Windows)
WordPerfect (non Windows)
WordStar (non Windows)
Only Ami Pro, a product from a small company, was competing in the Windows
word processor market.
No one serious in the spreadsheet market. Ami Pro was eventually acquired by
Lotus because Lotus could
never hope to catch up to MS themselves.
My contention, which I stand behind, is that MS planned to have all their
industrial strength apps ready when they forcefed Win 3.0 on everyone, full
knowing that their major competitors had invested millions in developing
their won apps for IBM's OS/2-presentation manager....an operating system
Microsoft had only recently been convincing them all to develop for.
Now you can say it was their own fault for developing for the wrong OS, but
even in those days developers had to follow Microsoft's lead (they DID own
MS-DOS). And none of them had any way of knowing that MS was secretly
planning to come out with a full array of Windows apps and blow them to bits.
A brilliant strategy, but patently unfair. And an example of how a company
can manipulate a market, destroy competitors, while not price-fixing in the
traditional sense of a monopoly.