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bad MS tag may have affected prospective business partners ..

To: FY96 WWSMM Attendees
From: Steve Ballmer
Date: March 30, 1995
RE: FY96 Planning Memo

1. Introduction We need to be more aggressive in our marketing and sales efforts. We need to attack our competitor's weaknesses and force them to react to us. We must take the initiate, make smart fast decisions and act.


We will communicate more effectively how we approach our business, our competitors, our customers, and our business partners. The "big, bad Microsoft" tag has not yet affected customers and we cannot let it. It may have already be affecting prospective business partners. We will start with some white papers explaining our views. We must respond quickly and clearly when press or influential say things about us that are factually inaccurate. We are a good lawful, ethical firm. It is legal and proper to be aggressive and to achieve economies of scale from multiple businesses.


11. Competition


* Lotus has focused their company largely on Notes. They have made smart Notes pricing decisions. They have momentum everywhere in the world for Notes as a business productivity tool.

* They see Notes as an operating system extension. They want to take our OS strength from us with Notes. The want to make Windows the graphical c: prompt as communications become the key role for the PC. They have a clear focus of using broad Notes momentum to help them in other businesses.

* Their desktop apps business is more threatening than at any time in the company's history. They will be aggressive and nimble in in their actions to hold position. They will try to do that through partnerships and market actions which require low Lotus time and money. This may make them more aggressive on price and terms in FY96. They will have Windows 95 applications around the time of Win 95 launch.

* IBM and ATT will aid Lotus in their efforts. ATT will compete with MSN with Notes. IBM will compete with Windows and NT with OS/2 Notes and Smartsuite.

* We must find out who still buys Smartsuite and go after those customers aggressively. We must get stronger in the mail and Office businesses. If people use our mail infrastructure and our apps to view information they will likely use our products for bulletin board and other group applications. We must unseat Lotus's loyal; Ms-DOS and OS/2 customers. We must win with customers who may like Notes features or features we do not have.


Our OEM revenue should grow strongly through reduced naked systems, higher Windows penetration and higher prices for Windows 95.



court documents in the case of Comes v. Microsoft.

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