Microsoft to Apple: stop OEM-ing ClarisWorks

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Date: January 1998


Synopsis

Analysis (from a contributor): "Threaten to cut investment in Mac by at least 50% if Apple don't drop development of ClarisWorks. While they are distracted with restructuring, try and poach their referrals."


Snippet

From: Ben Waldman
Sent: Wednesday, January 28, 1998 5:48 PM
To: Grog Maffei
Cc: Jon DeVaan; Bob Muglia (Exchange)
Subject: RE: Claris

A couple of things:


1 ) This was publicly announced yesterday. We’ve known about it informally for a few days, and recruiting is already working on the best way to get candidates.

2) Though we’d had a couple of informal hints about this (rick holzli, the ms evangelist at Apple had talked about it to Don and to Jodi Granston, who talked to me), we didn’t get any formal notification of this, or discussion on what this meant for ClarisWorks until Rick called me last night. I told him that I was really unhappy to be learning about stuff like this from press releases, and that this was not in the "spirit of partnership" that Steve Jobs is always talking about, and that he could go back and tell Steve and Phil Schiller (new VP of worldwide marketing) this. Turns out that Rick didn’t know either, and feels out of the loop. I also told Jodi to "let it slip" to Rick that I’d told her that if Apple is continuing development on ClarisWorks, that I was going to recommend to MS exec mgmt that we cut our Mac investment at least 50%.

3) Though we still don’t have a clear idea on what they want to do with ClarisWorks, I have a hard time believing that they’d want to invest in it much. Steve views apps as outside of Apple’s core competency, i.e. not worth the opportunity cost. Also, Apple is spending a ton of money promoting Office 98, so it’s odd that they’d be spending effort on this (though, I could see that from their point of view, these things are orthogonal, because they are intended to achieve different goals). Last time we met (earlier this month), Steve told me that he thought that Claris was only important so they had something which would run on 16 meg machines, but in the last week or two, I know they’ve realized that 16 meg machines are not important (this is why they’ve pushed back their Allego release to the summer or later, not May as Brad suggests (I sent mail to DonBrad on Allegro yesterday)).

4) I have been slowly pressing Apple to stop OEM-ing ClarisWorks. In Japan, it’s OEM-ed with all their laptops. I am meeting with the head of Apple Japan next month, and was going to bring this up, as well as talking to Steve about this.

My plan is to mail Phil, not Steve, expressing displeasure, and asking about their plans for ClarisWorks. I think one safe way to indicate displeasure (not now, but down the road) is to just say tell Apple that I will not work on Office if they are putting effort into ClarisWorks. Jobs and others at Apple have been making a bunch of noise lately about how they wish there were just 1 mac group at MS, and that they wish I were running it; it’s obviously a lot better for us to talk about specific individuals not doing anything that to talk about changing MS’s commitments.

2 questions for you:


1 ) Do you talk to Steve at all (i’m curious if he has different paths of communication with MS)

2) What do you feel our stake in Apple entitles us to? Should we have been notified of the Claris decision (or any major Apple decision) beforehand? Do we get to give an opinion on the ClarisWorks stuff?

Ben

- Original Message--
From: Grog Maffei
Sent: Wednesday, January 28, 1998 4:27 PM
To: Ben Waldman
Subject: FW: Claris

gregma@microsoft.com

.... Original Message .....
From: Brad Silverberg
Sent: Wednesday, January 28, 1998 11:57 AM
To: Mike Murray; Executive Strategy Committee
Cc: Jon DeVaan
Subject: RE: Clads


I learned from Don Bradford (ex Claris) that Apple is bringing ClarisWorks back into Apple proper as a mac focused product (macworks). The MacOffice guys know about this -- don’t expect it to sit well. Jobs and Ellison are still trying to get their MacNC stuff going but have hit another setback: Apple has redefined their Allegro release without a 16M requirement and a May target release.

---Original Message----
From: Mike Murray
Sent: Wednesday. January 28. 1998 10:10 AM
To: Executive Strategy Committee
Subject: FW: C~ans

fyi -- big change in Claris’ business strategy:

----Original Message--
From: Letitia D’Aria
Sent: Tuesday, January 27. 1998 1:54 PM
To: Kathy Weisfield; Valerie Berberoglu; David Pichard; Beth Kester (RhoTech); Michele Benson; Industry Recruiters; Phaedna Kopp; Bret Graham; Carolann O’Brien
Subject: RE: Please read-Claris Opportunity


Just got word from one of my Claris referrals that today Claris announced they will cease development on all their products except for FileMaker which will be spun off into its own company. There will be a skeleton staff finishing up the other Clads products and this staff will become Apple employees.

Of the roughly 1000 employees there are about 300 that are being laid off including engineers, product support and technical writers. Even the people that are not laid off are pretty unhappy. This news hasn’t been officially announced yet but I'm hoping well make inroads networking through our referrals. I anticipate we’ll start seeing alot more activity soon and maybe even an outplacement person from Claris

If you haven’t already put the word out to agencies, please do so and forward your referrals to Carolann who is keeping a spreadsheet of our referrals so we are coordinated and not calling the same people twice.


Full Exhibit

http://boycottnovell.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/px02832.pdf

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