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Re: How Microsoft Beat WordPerfect/The Evidence
You call that evidence?
Microsoft, if they had any leg up, had their experience developing these
same desktop apps for the Macintosh. They were, and still are, a top
deleloper/seller of Macintosh applications.
WordPerfect, Lotus, and the others knew about windows (this was version 3.0
remember). They kept advertising how their DOS apps would run under
windows, placing their bet on that strategy. They owned the market in
desktop productivity apps. They had the "monoply" in those days, remember?
Those DOS apps were cash cows for them. They wanted to keep that revenue
flowing in. They also wanted windows to fail--they felt that by not
immediately releasing windows versions of their products that Windows would
fail. And they were almost right.
They made calculated business decisions. These were bright calculating
people. To presuppose any differently is to do them a huge injustice.
Having said that, let me share with the list my view of how Sun, Netscape,
Novell and the others who feel wronged in the marketplace can (and should)
compete in the marketplace.
Sun has a good idea with the Network Computer. It could conceivebly save
businesses money. It would, of course, force customers to purchase Sun
servers at their prevailing top-of-the-market price. Because this would be
a net benefit for the customer, they wouldn't mind being forced to buy the
Sun hardware. Customers have free choice to buy or not to buy... Of course
bandwidth is still a real unresolved problem (but this isn't a technical
discussion, is it?) but I'm sure they could solve it with their technology.
Sun could also make enhancements in their Solaris operating system that
wold get it closer to the unreachable network nirvana. It presently is a
good OS, by most anyone's accounts, but every operating system could use
improvements, right? They don't have to bundle their hardware/software do
they? Distributors must have one to sell the other...
Netscape could go back to their initial model and give their browser away.
The real money is in the server products anyway, right? They give their
browser away (after making it bit-by-bit compatible with MS IE -- hey they
could do this, they are capable of producing a browser for most every OS
known to mankind...). They could also pledge theirself to supporting only
W3C apporved conventions (making compatibility issues for webmasters go
away--am I dreaming?).
Netscape could develop a broader product line so that all their eggs aren't
in one basket. Hey, your stockbroker gives you the same advice--diversify
and minimize your risks. They seem to have caught on a little bit by
unbundling the browser from a whole buch of other stuff. (I understand this
was mostly in response to Lotus rather that to customer demands). Hmmm,
sounds familiar adding the browser to other applications/OS and maing the
customer buy them all.
-- or --
They could both team up and "buy" (or fund if you will) a grass roots
effort to embarrass and harrass the company whom they see as their main
competitor.... Maybe the Java Forum in the UK? or maybe a leading consumer
-- or --
They could spend a lot of money and effort lobbying Congress to enact laws
that would restrict the right for a public or private company to do
business as they wished...
These are merely unsupported suppositions on my part. I make no effort to
defend them or to force you to believe or appreciate them.
Wonder what they will really do?
At 10:59 AM 11/8/97 -0500, Jeffrey Fox wrote:
>In reponse to my earlier post about how Microsoft unfairly pulled the rug
>Lotus, WordPerfect, etc., it's been claimed that Microsoft merely
>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.