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Re: [wordperfectmac] WP Windows is selling well again

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  • John Kaufmann
    Thanks for sharing the article. I have to take issue, though, with what IMHO is a misleading take on the history of WP s demise: The issue was less technical
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 25, 2005
      Thanks for sharing the article.

      I have to take issue, though, with what IMHO is a misleading take on
      the history of WP's demise: The issue was less technical - who had
      the first GUI Windows word processor than it was Microsoft's
      understanding of how to exploit their Windows position to push their
      applications software via computer sellers:
      'You want our Windows? OK, the terms are:
      (1) You pay a Windows license for every computer you sell,
      whether you ship it with Windows or OS/2 or DOS.
      (2) For Windows, you get out Word/Office bundle.'

      (1) killed OS/2. [OEM: Why pay for OS/2 when I'm already paying for Windows?]
      (2) killed WP. [User: Why pay for WP when I already have Word?]

      Microsoft has always won by understanding that good marketing - even
      if it means skirting the anti-trust laws - beats good products. WP
      was in a period when the product was less good than it could have
      been, for reasons having much to do with its earlier success. Word
      was, however, much more the beneficiary of great, if predatory,
      marketing strategy.

      BTW, when Mr Doyle mentions that "The SMB market is a no-brainer for
      Corel [WP]", I presume he means the market of office productivity
      applications that are served by Windows Server. Is that the way you
      read "SMB market"?
      --
      John
    • John Rethorst
      ... You re right, but I ve heard that MS exploited their position on the technical side too, as in a version of Windows wasn t ready to ship until it made WP
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 25, 2005
        --- In wordperfectmac@yahoogroups.com, John Kaufmann <kaufmann@n...
        wrote:

        > I have to take issue, though, with what IMHO is a
        > misleading take on the history of WP's demise: The issue
        > was less technical - who had the first GUI Windows word
        > processor than it was Microsoft's understanding of how to
        > exploit their Windows position to push their applications
        > software

        You're right, but I've heard that MS exploited their
        position on the technical side too, as in a version of
        Windows wasn't ready to ship until it made WP and Lotus
        crash. Just what I've heard, but a fascinating possibility.

        > Microsoft has always won by understanding that good
        > marketing - even if it means skirting the anti-trust laws
        > - beats good products.

        They've always had the best advertising I've ever seen. WP
        had some of the worst.

        I think WP was especially good at listening to its customers,
        and the depth of implementation of most features was better
        than the competition. One mistake WP made was not starting
        Windows development early and earnestly enough; another
        was in advertising. Reminded me of AT&T after the breakup:
        quality products, which they didn't know how to sell.

        The first WP Mac ad I remember had three guys all wearing
        that party-gag disguise with the mustache and bushy
        eyebrows glued on to the glasses rims, and the text gave
        the reader an address to write to (this was pre-web) for
        information on why he or she should use WP. The next ad I
        remember had a woman sitting on the floor, typing at a Mac
        that was also on the floor. Her hair style, makeup and clothes
        suggested she had a boyfriend who carried his Marlboros
        rolled up in the sleeve of his T-shirt and wore a baseball cap
        with a Budweiser logo. Nice people to be sure, but not the
        best examples for advertising a serious writing tool. In any
        case, the woman would not have been able to write for very
        long, there on the floor, without getting a sore back. And we
        must all remember the "used to play a tuba" ads, until WP
        stopped running them after complaints from players of that
        instrument.

        By contrast, MS advertising is superb. A memorable ad for
        Word showed three people on the steps of a public building.
        Their names mentioned in the text, and certain features of
        clothes and architecture, suggested northern Europe. The
        two older people clearly thought for a living, and were
        good at it. Their faces reflected depth and care. The
        younger person with them has not lived as they have, but
        his face showed intelligence, interest and seriousness of
        purpose. They of course used Word and the ad, rather than
        giving the reader an address to write to in order to learn
        why, articulately and persuasively explained why.

        WP may have been like AT&T in more ways than advertising.
        They got into the market early, made good products and
        became a household word. Then the market changed faster
        than the company realized.
      • Steve Kane
        ... It ain t done till Lotus won t run. was how I heard it. Apocryphal?
        Message 3 of 4 , Apr 25, 2005
          On Apr 25, 2005, at 8:01 PM, John Rethorst wrote:

          > You're right, but I've heard that MS exploited their
          > position on the technical side too, as in a version of
          > Windows wasn't ready to ship until it made WP and Lotus
          > crash. Just what I've heard, but a fascinating possibility.

          "It ain't done till Lotus won't run." was how I heard it. Apocryphal?
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