Bonum Certa Men Certa

Cancel Mac Office 97 will immediately harm Apple

Category:Apple Category:Microsoft Category:Office Date: June 1997


This exhibit shows that Microsoft was experimenting with Mac users and considered abandoning them.


From: Bill Gates Sent: Friday, June 21, 1997 9:37 AM To: Ben Waldman Cc: Jon DeVaain; Greg Maffei Subject: RE: Moving forward with Mac Office 97

I appreciate your mail, It shows the kind of passion about great products that has made Microsoft successful, I admit we have neglected the Mac business. Although the Mac is declining if we move ahead on this product we should ask for the subs with localized product to make a real effort.

I have 2 things I need to understand better.

1) Realistically when do we think we would ship this product?

2) Can we avoid Apple knowing how far along we are for the next 30 days?

—Original Message— From: Ben Waidman Sent; Friday,June 27, 1997 1:58 AM To: Bill Gates Cc: Jon Devain; Greg Maltel Subject: Moving forward with MacOfficeS? Importance: High

I am writing to argue for making a final decision to FINISH Mac Office 97, and detach this issue from the current Apple discussions.

The pace of our discussions with Apple as well as their recent unsatisfactory response have certainly frustrated a lot of people at Microsoft. The threat to Cancel Mac Office 97 is certainly the strongest bargaining point we have, as doing so will do a great deal of harm to Apple immediately. I also believe that Apple is taking this threat pretty seriously, and at least someone there seems to want to move forward (when I discussed the issue with Jim Gable, an Apple marketing VP who visited MS today, he seemed very concerned about getting more details on our specific objections to their latest proposal; also, we received mail today from Apple’s evangelism group asking for details on the Office Early Adopter Program, saying that exec mgmt had instructed them to get these details (participating in this program was one of the minor issues in the discussions}).

Regardless of the outcome of these discussions, though, I believe we should ship Mac Office 97 Furthermore, I believe we need to decide this immediately - our indecision so far has caused quite a bit of harm, and this will become far worse very shortly, as we are not only close to shipping code externally, but need to finally start press and customer communications, especially with MacWorld a month away.


5) We can experiment with Mac Office

Because Mac Office is so much less critical to our business than windows, we have the flexibility to test out new things in the product and in its marketing before we try them on Windows.

Full Exhibit