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Old 05-06-2020, 06:20 AM   #16
fjtorres
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Actually, I think the problem was when WordPerfect Corp. was sold to Novell. .
FWIW, Novell bought WordPerfect in 1994, *after* it was too late.
It was Satelite Software International that fell in love with cross-platform and lost sight of market behavior. They were so in love with UNIX license fees they failed to track the migration to Windows and the decline of minicomputers.

Early Windows was limited but by 1990 it was already clear it was where the bulk of the market was headed. (Again the DRAM price fix conspiracy was getting started). Plus, once IBM refused to license MicroChannel and Apple refused to license NuBus to the Compaq/Dell gang, which led to EISA, the handwriting was on the wall.

WordPerfect wasn't the only outfit that died trying to stick it to Gates. Lotus was another though they had an excuse early on. But holding grudges and emotional reactions aren't good business. Adobe lost control of the font business for similar reasons. Totally unnecessary; business is no place for emotion. Dispassionate decision making was probably the only thing Jobs and Gates shared; they were able to set feelings aside when it came time to make money.
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Old 05-06-2020, 08:09 AM   #17
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Basically many programs and companied "died" as DOS faded between 1991 and 1997.
I came late to the MS-DOS world. For about six or seven years I used a Sinclair QL. When I finally bought an XT PC (about 1992) it came with DR-DOS instead of MS-DOS and that's what I used until my brother decided I needed a 486-SX machine that came with MS-DOS and Windows 3.1. I still mostly ran DOS instead of Windows, but there were a few Windows programs that didn't run well in the limited memory and CPU in straight Windows, but ran great under OS/2 with Windows. So I ran OS/2 (but mostly Windows programs under it) for a few years. Then I built my own computer, installed Windows XP on it and used it until XP was nearing EOL and then I moved to Linux (that's where I've been for 13 years now).

The only time I ran Word or Excel is when I had to use it for work. And even then I was happy when my boss decided to go with OpenOffice instead (for most of us grunts). I never liked Word, it tried to do too much thinking for you, and it produced files with embedded code that seemed almost impossible to eradicate. I haven't used Word for about 15 years. And the only I used Excel is when customers brought their "databases" (spreadsheets) in and I had to convert them to dBase. Now I use Jstar (text editor) and sometimes Emacs and some specialized screenplay software (Trelby, Kit Scenarist). LibreOffice Write is only used when I have to "fancify" a document. Most of my writing is done in Jstar (I like plain text).
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Old 05-06-2020, 08:25 AM   #18
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WordPerfect wasn't the only outfit that died trying to stick it to Gates. Lotus was another though they had an excuse early on...
I think Lotus and WordPerfect were just trying to survive, not trying to "stick it" to Gates. Lotus had already damaged their business (and Borland's also) when they initiated a drawn out lawsuit against Borland because Borland's Quattro Pro looked and worked too much like Lotus 1-2-3. Soon after the court case ended, Borland sold Quattro Pro to Novell, who collected it into its WordPerfect suite (along with the Paradox database that Borland had bought earlier). Borland retained dBase, and its programming applications. At one point (earlier) Borland and WordPerfect worked jointly to form the same an earlier version of the office suite, as Novell later formed, which was called Borland Office for Windows (not a huge success). When Corel bought WordPerfect and Quattro Pro from Novell they also bought Paradox from Borland (although Borland retained certain rights to Paradox).

(Just realized I was rambling... sorry.)

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Old 05-06-2020, 10:03 AM   #19
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I think Lotus and WordPerfect were just trying to survive, not trying to "stick it" to Gates.
Maybe.
But when Gates personally lobbied them to support Windows they refused and put tbeir development efforts into much smaller installed bases.
WordPerfect, for example, created an exquisite version for NeXTStep which had near zero installed base vs the horde of PC Clones.
Lotus treated the Mac like a toy.
Others, like XYWRITE might credibly make the excuse they couldn't afford to support the new platform but damaged brand or not Lotus had the money and staff to port Windows. They just chose not to, probably because they wanted people to stick with DOS and move the Symphony instead of mixing and matching best in class apps.

Imagine a world where instead of prepackaged suites, people could simply mix and match WP, Lotus, and dBase, seamlessly.
They could on Macs but there was no Lotus or dbase. Plus it required new hareware and retraining.
Windows, however, was just a memory stick or two away.

By the time they backtracked it was too late.
Office was a thing.

Borland survived as long as they did because they did jump on Windows in good time. But then they blew it buying AshtonTate.

Lots of mistakes, some were misreads but most were betting on the wrong horse, grying to control the market. That rarely works. IBM failed, SUN failed, and Ballmer failed. (Though most of his really big mistakes were abandoning markets too soon.)

So far, Nadella is proving much better at surfing the market, which is why MS is resurgent.

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Old 05-06-2020, 10:30 AM   #20
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Borland's Delphi, originally Turbo pascal, was once upon a time the best Windows Development environment and sort of exists today with the new owners.

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which is why MS is resurgent.
Um, they spaffed over $12 billion on the phone ecosystem and it's dead.
Windows 10 is accepted because many people have no alternative and it's essentially free. Worst Windows GUI since Windows 2.
MS is succeeding in copying Adobe. A rental model for software and Azure is selling well, but a popular option on Azure is Linux. MS Edge routers are running Linux.
The PC market is flat. Home users have switched to Android (> 85% of phones + tablets) or iOS (a bit under 15% worldwide).
Since 1998 or so, the time of the infamous Halloween Papers approximately, Linux Server share has gone from about 5% to over 90% on servers the public actually use.
Chrome (the Spyware Browser from Google) has edged Safari, Firefox and IE/Edge to the bottom. Once IE had a majority. MS has even abandoned IE and now the their own engine in Edge to use Google's.

Where is this MS resurgence? Unless you only count Azure and Rental SW, it's moribund.

Even the Xbox has struggled to compete, has it made a profit over the entire life of the category?

If Apple sold OSX for approved PCs rather than x2 to x3 overpriced Macs, and Sage, Payroll, etc was on it, MS Windows would be dead. Except Apple have no intention of doing that. They'd be mad.

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Old 05-06-2020, 02:34 PM   #21
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Maybe.
But when Gates personally lobbied them to support Windows they refused and put tbeir development efforts into much smaller installed bases.
Gates always attached strings to his offers. Ami (then Ami Pro, then WordPro) was the first Windows word processor out there, even before Word. But being early didn't gain them much (either for Samna or Lotus, who bought Ami Pro in about 1989 or 1990, early on in the Windows world).

As for using whatever you want in the Windows world... that's what I did. Never did buy into the concept of using one office suite. My database was dBase for DOS (and Windows). My word processor (what little I used a general Windows word processor) was Lotus WordPro and my (personal) spreadsheet (what little I used a Windows spreadsheet) was Quattro Pro.

EDIT: One more thing I wanted to add... Microsoft may have wanted to "play" with the others, but they always wanted to dictate the standards to their advantage. One example of shooting themselves in the foot. Windows Phone was finally getting traction, especially in the corporate world. The corporation where my brother worked was rolling out Windows phones to all employees... until they discovered that the codec Microsoft insisted on using couldn't play voice mail from Cisco (and other VOIP) mailboxes. (Very important in the corporate world.) Microsoft refused to change, even though the Cisco "standard" had been in place for years. They demanded Cisco change. The corporation where my brother worked stopped the Windows Phone rollout (returned the Windows phones) and went with Samsung Galaxy phones. I have no idea why Microsoft was so stubborn here, but I'm guessing they wanted to dictate the standard. Once they finally caved, Windows Phones had lost their momentum and never got it back. I think Microsoft was used to using their monopoly position in the Windows world to get whatever they wanted and couldn't adjust to being thwarted for once.

Last edited by rcentros; 05-06-2020 at 02:55 PM. Reason: Lots of typos and other errors.
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Old 05-06-2020, 03:56 PM   #22
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Old 05-07-2020, 07:00 AM   #23
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Old 05-07-2020, 08:37 AM   #24
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Where is this MS resurgence? Unless you only count Azure and Rental SW, it's moribund.
In twenty different billion dollar-plus businesses.

A few examples:

In cloud computing, they are neck and neck with Amazon (they just beat them for a US$10B government contract) and both are lapping the field. By now they are close to faking in US$40B a year and were growing at a 70%+ last year.

https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/24/mi...wth-continues/

In hardware, the Surface Line is moving several billion a year, growing at 21%, and rolling out innovative products nobody else is producing like Surface Studio for artists, Surface Hub conference room computer displays, and HoloLens mixed reality systems. All unique and all selling into the very profitable corporate market. Not kid stuff.

The same applies to Office 365, newly expanded and renamed as Microsoft 365, as it expands its already large consumer sales. They have 38M subscriptions at US$100 or so each year. And growing. That's another $40B a year.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/...el/2918896001/

XBOX?

Yeah, they lost money on the first XBOX, mostly because people hacked it and used it as a media center PC instead of for gaming. But even after the Red Ring of Death fiasco, they made billions annually off 360 games, the newer hardware, and (sound familiar?) subscriptions. XBOX LIVE has around 50m subscribers, each paying US$50-60 a year. That's about $3B a year.

And they just added the GAME PASS subscription service that just reached 10M subscribers at US$10 a month. That's another US$1.2B a year all by itself and it's still growing. And that is witbout including their cut of game and video sales tbrough their digital store at a time when game sales across all platforms are moving to digital:

https://business.financialpost.com/t...by-2021-report

And MS makes good money off video sales and rentals, too. Music? Still working that. Just enough to stay in business. They need a free tier and better marketing there.

The dirty secret of gaming is that while PS4 sold more consoles, MS made and makes much more money off gaming than Sony both on console and PC. In fact, Sony is starting to sell a handful of tbeir exclusives for PC. There's too much money there to ignore.

It's much the same all over.
MS makes tons of money of Macs, Android, and even iOS. They have hundreds of top android apps. They're simply all over. Where most of tbe big tech companies (Google, Facebook, etc) are one trick ponies making the bulk of tbeir money off one business, MS is fully diversified.

This is from 2016 but things haven't changed much:

https://www.zdnet.com/article/google...ney-come-from/

Windows? Less than 10%
(It's not that Windows has declined at all; It's that everything else has exploded. $12B is hardly a decline.)

Gaming? Over 15%.
Office? The same.
Azure? 20%.

And all are growing.

MS became the most valuable company on Earth in nov 2018 and has been jockeying with Amazon and (occasionally) Apple for top dog for most of the time since. 2020 is seeing them and Amazon inch ahead.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List...capitalization

So no, the days of the monkey boy are long gone and MS is quietly dominant again. US$120B a year in revenue and US$90B in cash reserves from non-US income. And looking to move further ahead. Is that your idea of "moribund"? A lot of companies would love to be that moribund, methinks.

And the future?

Microsoft 365 is just starting a big push into the consumer space, Azure is signing up customers with a vengeance, keeping pace with Amazon. (Amazon has more customers, MS has a deeper app system and hence make more per customer. It's a good race.) And Teams was growing big time before the crisis and exploded 40% in the first week of lockdowns.

And for gaming?
Ahh, yes, XBOX 2020..
Xbox Series X is already in production in Malaysia and China by most reports and today are announcing their slate of upcoming third party titles. Next month they'll announce the first party slate (they've recently bought like a dozen studios including OBSIDIAN, and are rumored to be sitting on news of more, possibly one of tbe bigger ones.) They're doing another anouncement in July, probable for the cheaper Lockhart/ "series s" model, maybe for pre-orders. Plus they're launching with HALO: INFINITE starting a new arc and a rumored free to play online component. (Everybody wants a piece of tbat action.)

Oh, and their game streaming service XCLOUD is in beta. Sony will be using some of tgeir tech. So far Google Stadia is a dud (expensive, good graphics, horrible lag). NVIDIA runs well but software debelooers aren't playing ball with their business model. How that plays out is TBD but so far MS is doing well.

And Sony? They still haven't shown their console and their announced tech is 25-30% slower and it might even cost more than the high end XBOX. All there are are rumors and not good ones; that they are expensive to build, that the storage module overheats, that they haven't shown it because they're redesigning the cooling, that they might miss tbe 2020 release window. Overclocking the CPU, GPU, and storage has a price, apparently.

Round 4 of XBOX vs Playstation is shaping up like a dog fight; Sony brand loyalty vs XBOX design and pricing. Especially if the all-digital Series S realty comes in at $299.

All that might not fit your idea of "resurgence" but when when the moneyguys start dinging Apple for not being as innovative as MS it's clear Nadella is doing a *lot* of things right. Haters or no haters.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/th...ple-2019-09-12

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/featu...luable-company

And despite all those, Word *still* doesn't output epub or Kindle without add-ons.


(The Kindle add-on is real good, though.)

Last edited by fjtorres; 05-07-2020 at 08:57 AM. Reason: Forgot about game straming.)
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Old 05-07-2020, 08:46 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
In twenty different billion dollar-plus businesses.

A few examples:

In cloud computing, they are neck and neck with Amazon

https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/24/mi...wth-continues/
Both the following links, from early 2020 give very similar figures for the respective market shares. 33 vs 17, 32 vs 18, neither fits any common definition of "neck and neck"

https://www.parkmycloud.com/blog/aws...-market-share/

https://www.statista.com/chart/18819...ice-providers/
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Old 05-07-2020, 09:05 AM   #26
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Both the following links, from early 2020 give very similar figures for the respective market shares. 33 vs 17, 32 vs 18, neither fits any common definition of "neck and neck"

https://www.parkmycloud.com/blog/aws...-market-share/

https://www.statista.com/chart/18819...ice-providers/
Did you read the full comment?
Yes, Amazon has more users. I said so.

MS makes more money per customer. Bigger contracts.

It's a lot like the PDA days: Palm had the low-end B&W organizer customers at $100-200, MS cherrypicked the high end color multimedia customers at $200-400. Different approaches to making money. AWS wins tbe cheaper, smaller deals; MS wins the big $10B ones.

Look at the financials: that is neck and neck. Kindly stated. The race is hardly over.

https://www.onmsft.com/news/azure-is...rket-dominance

AWS is making $10B a quarter, AZURE is making $12B. And still growing faster.

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Old 05-07-2020, 11:08 AM   #27
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EDIT: One more thing I wanted to add... Microsoft may have wanted to "play" with the others, but they always wanted to dictate the standards to their advantage.
Gates was smart. You don't want the 'other guy's system' to become The Standard. Especially if they have a Patent. $$$$ in royalties must be paid (instead of received )

Funny thing about the original IBM PC was the Royalty free system they had, led to everyone and their dog making accessories and software to use with it.

They tried to correct their (revenue) error, with the micro-channel architecture
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Old 05-07-2020, 12:06 PM   #28
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Gates was smart. You don't want the 'other guy's system' to become The Standard. Especially if they have a Patent. $$$$ in royalties must be paid (instead of received )

Funny thing about the original IBM PC was the Royalty free system they had, led to everyone and their dog making accessories and software to use with it.

They tried to correct their (revenue) error, with the micro-channel architecture
Much too late.
By then the clones had enough clout to collectively establish their own standard. Eventually IBM had to (grudgingly) release their own line of EISA systems. And that too was too late.
IBM went from 100% of the PC business to zero in barely over a decade by betting on PS/2.

Managing a platform transition is critical because if not, even the biggest lead evaporates. Going to the Early Windows days, MS for years let Compaq pay as much for DOS+Windows as DOS alone. $11 a copy. Even past the time when Windows alone was $40. It was worth it, though.

"What's mine isn't yours." is a powerful business practice.

We're seeing the same general effect in video, gaming, and ebooks:
There is a practical limit on consumption: people can't spend all their waking time consuming any of the three. So on the business side, there is real value in sacrificing some profit margin to reduce the other guy's revenue.

in ebooks, that is one of the least understood aspects of KINDLE UNLIMITED (and XBOX GAME PASS on consoles); each item consumed cheap on your platform displaces more expensive consumption on somebody else's.

Even without the lock-in of wall gardens, habit and brand loyalty is a form of currency and valuable on its own.

Last edited by fjtorres; 05-07-2020 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 05-07-2020, 09:03 PM   #29
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Do you believe in this line?
Yes, especially when put into context of the whole passage...

Quote:
It is true that some speak lightly and loosely of insanity as in itself attractive. But a moment's thought will show that if disease is beautiful, it is generally some one else's disease. A blind man may be picturesque; but it requires two eyes to see the picture. And similarly even the wildest poetry of insanity can only be enjoyed by the sane. To the insane man his insanity is quite prosaic, because it is quite true. A man who thinks himself a chicken is to himself as ordinary as a chicken. A man who thinks he is a bit of glass is to himself as dull as a bit of glass. It is the homogeneity of his mind which makes him dull, and which makes him mad. It is only because we see the irony of his idea that we think him even amusing; it is only because he does not see the irony of his idea that he is put in Hanwell at all. In short, oddities only strike ordinary people. Oddities do not strike odd people. This is why ordinary people have a much more exciting time; while odd people are always complaining of the dulness of life. This is also why the new novels die so quickly, and why the old fairy tales endure for ever. The old fairy tale makes the hero a normal human boy; it is his adventures that are startling; they startle him because he is normal. But in the modern psychological novel the hero is abnormal; the centre is not central. Hence the fiercest adventures fail to affect him adequately, and the book is monotonous. You can make a story out of a hero among dragons; but not out of a dragon among dragons. The fairy tale discusses what a sane man will do in a mad world. The sober realistic novel of to-day discusses what an essential lunatic will do in a dull world.

Last edited by rcentros; 05-07-2020 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 05-07-2020, 09:05 PM   #30
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People believe what they prefer regardless of the world beyond.
Opinion is opinion, regardless of the "world beyond." G.K. Chesterton was pretty good at defending his opinions.
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