6103Re: [wpmac] Corel Bought Out
- Nov 30, 2009In my opinion, the relative "friendliness" of MS Word is what really made it take off and kill off WordPerfect, over time. By the same token, it's *also* what motivates some people to swear by WordPerfect to this day. For example, I remember doing on-site computer service for a couple of law firms that absolutely HAD to have WordPerfect, because the legal assistants all relied on complex macros designed by former employees of the firms. Many of their often typed form-letters, they could generate with practically a single Function key combo - including such things as printing the address on the envelope automatically, as long as it was loaded in the printer behind the piece of paper for the letter itself, all in one shot.
Theoretically, the same or similar functionality could probably be crafted into a Word template and macros ... but who wants to change products (spending money on another software license in the process), and THEN have to manually re-code and test all of that?
But those users amount to a "niche" compared to all the students, year after year, who learn how to use a word processor for the first time (and almost always learn MS Word), plus all the business users who don't do enough "fancy stuff" to really care which word processor they use, as long as it lets them type and print. And again, they usually wind up with MS Word because it's offered, pre-loaded, as an option on so many new PCs.
You have to remember too, people are typically buying an "office suite", not just a word processor. Office looks even more attractive when that's the case, because MS Excel is the de-facto best choice of a spreadsheet package on the market for Windows. Corel did try to sell "Wordperfect Office", but with no Excel spreadsheet - they just weren't enough of a contender.
On Nov 30, 2009, at 12:29 PM, John W wrote:
> People tend to forget or ignore just how different Word and WordPerfect were, way back then. WordPerfect had the market share, but there wasn't any real competition until Word came along.
> Does anyone else remember how obscure the WordPerfect keyboard commands were? I don't remember the WP keystrokes to save a document or to exit WP - I think it was some combination involving the F-keys. (WP never bothered with mnemonics.) And I think for many commands you had to use those keystrokes. Understand that this was really early in the graphical interface days; most secretaries and typists really weren't comfortable using a mouse.
> I remember having to shut off and restart the computer because I couldn't figure out how to exit WordPerfect.
> Word was like a blast of fresh air. (I know it's painful to hear this, but you had to be there.)
> The menu structure seemed logical and the keyboard shortcuts made sense. It shortened my learning curve dramatically, and I never did learn how to use the early version of WP.
> I'm not trying to sanitize history, but Microsoft's challenge to compare the two was evil genius at its best. Word was a better product by far, and WordPerfect didn't do anythiing about that until it was too late, so they brought the lawyers in.
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