What can we steal from ClarisWorks and the Apple UI
Date: February 1998
This is a fine example of Microsoft "innovation" at work.
From: Ebbe Altberg Sent: Thursday, February 12, 1998 11:42 AM To: Macintosh BU Program Managers; Macintosh BU Managers Subject: MacOffice 2K
I started to think about stuff that I feel are important for us to focus on for our next release. This is a high level list of areas to get some thoughts and discussions going. Things are not listed in any particular order here. VVhat key things are missing? What is wrong? What do you think? Never mind the 2K. I just don’t have a good name for this thing.
Things to start thinking about for next version
Our biggest competitor. We should remove all reasons anybody might have for sticking with this product rather than upgrade to Office. What features do we need to steal? What scenarios do we need to improve to make us a superset. Conversion needs to be simple obviously. Do we want to be able to switch to ClarisWorks UI or have special ClarisWorks Help that tell users how to deal, kind of like WordPerfect Help we had in Word6 for Windows?
We need to follow Apple to a large degree, but also push Apple to make improvements we need. I think we should alo leverage the Assistant, Wizards, and more to make people feel that we’re friendlier and easier. Less complex where possible. Simplify.
Need to pick up key features added by Apple. We get lots of bonus points for supporting their technologies. Need to be selective and careful as it is not all worthwhile.
Key market for Apple. This is where they make the majority of their sales. What can we do to get a big chunk of this marked? What can we do to make them willing to spend money on Office when they have ClarisWorks already for free? What scenarios are important to teachers and students. Ease of Use and TCO are key, but we should also do specific work to target key scenarios that speak to these users.
Small Business, Publishing, Home
Other pockets of Apple users. We need to focus more on these users rather than the LORG customers Office9 is targeting in general. This is why we will focus more on Ease of Use, but we need to do this with these users in mind. Do we need to provide some tools to deal with digital imaging, scanners, cameras? Party invitations. Family albums. Inventory. Customer contact management. Things Publisher, Home titles, and Small Business pack on Windows can do. These types of scenarios need to be targeted.
Short term issues
What Can we do shortly after we ship to make it more obvious and easier for people to migrate to Office98? Provide converters would be key.
What can we do short term as value add to promote interoperability with FileMaker. We should provide value shortly after we’ve shipped so that we can reduce the "ClarisWorks has a database" and "why don’t you provide Access" problems.
Both Win and Apple are implementing this stuff and Office9 will take advantage of it. How can we influence Apple to make the same implementation, or maybe better, so that we don’t have to deal with random differences and reduce the need for us to provide stuff here.
Some things that are not important
.. Would be nice to fix VB memory problems, but I don’t see the need for any major investment