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winning API wars ..

From: John Frederiksen
Sent: Monday, October 27, 1997 9:45 AM
To: Mike Nash
Subject: FW: PR Training Confirmation and Reading Material

I am currently confirmed for the Thursday of this class, but not for 
Friday. I had scheduled to take Wed through Fri of that week off to 
visit my Father on the east coast prior to the following weeks reviewers 
tour. I moved the trip back by two days but need to travel on Friday. I 
just wanted to make sure that you were aware of this. John F.

---Original Message-

From: Erin Holland (W=3Faggener Edstrom)
Sent: Monday, October 27, 1997 9:35 AM
To: Bill Shaughnessy; Frank Artale; John Frederiksen; Enzo Schiano; Ed 
Muth; Karan Khanna; Gary Schare; Jeff Price; Stephanie
Ferguson; Jonathan Perera; Tanya van Dam
Cc: Mike Nash; Heidi Meslow 0Naggener Edstrom); Rich Tong; Kelly 
Lymburn; Kathleen Mallory (Intemet) (Waggener Edstrom);
Megan McKenzie (Waggener Edstrom); Rachel Weikum; Travis Bishop 
(Waggener Edstrom); Laurie Smith DeJong (Intemet)
(Waggener Edstrom)
Subject: PR Training Confirmation and Reading Material

You are confirmed for Principles of PR training! We=3Fll see you at 9:00 
a.m. on Thursday at the Bellefield Conference Center (address and 
directions below.) Again, here are the logistics for the training 
session (lunch will be served on Thursday and Friday for those attending 
the afternoon session). I have also attached the reading materials 


Re.engaging the Industry

We have developed a way of working where the negatives about Microsoft=3Fs 
image are addressed by corporate PR programs which talk to non-industry 
audiences and don=3Ft really involve the Microsoft divisions. It makes 
sense to be doing these corporate programs and addressing the broad 
audiences and we should keep doing so, but it=3Fs worth visiting whether 
we should also do some work to address image issues at the industry 

Before the Internet became a focal point, Microsoft had gained the 
perception as the undisputed center of the PC industry. Microsoft was 
Windows and the industry revolved around it. The primary requirement was 
to move the platform technology forward and share it freely with 
developers. Over time, Microsoft began to lessen its participation in 
industry forums because Microsoft essentially owned the agenda. Although 
competitors and others in the industry still looked at Microsoft with 
animosity, the industry had reached a period of relative order. Thus it 
was determined that a Microsoft-centric communication strategy was the 
most efficient at accomplishing the company=3Fs marketing objectives. It 
was deemed better to have our own events rather than participating in 
industry events.

Things have changed.

Bill has said that no company has moved successfully from one era to the 
next. With the rise of the lnternet, Microsoft is working to make a 
technical and marketing transition without sacrificing its position of 
leadership and control. Because this is consistent with what customers 
want, it=3Fs a reasonable path. But perceptually, the ground has shifted 
under our feel, and characters are being redrawn. Rather than leading 
"the" industry, Microsoft is now seen as a participant in an industry 
whose character is still being determined. Intemet pioneers will say the 
party was already going and Microsoft just showed up. Industry animosity 
is increasing. Whenever there is change, there is uncertainty and fear. 
In this case, there is fear about what the outcome of Microsoft=3Fs forays 
in the Internet era will mean for other companies. People assume that 
Microsoft=3Fs goal is to control Microsoft=3Fs rapid turnaround, which was 
established firmly in people=3Fs minds by the Kathy Rebello story in 
Business Week and echoed by many others, is leading people to wonder if 
Microsoft will be the only company to ultimately succeed in the Internet 
space. It is this fear that Reback and others are tapping into.

The editorial community is intensely interested in who will win. There 
is a sense of delight in the editorial community about the new foment in 
the industry. It makes for more interesting stories. Thus, the many 
companies who did not succeed in the PC industry as well as Microsoft 
are working fervently to assure that Microsoft does not make the 
transition to the next phase. The interesting thing is that with the 
prominent exception of Netscape, most of the new "enemies" are really 
the old enemies -- Sun, Oracle, IBM. However, given Microsoft=3Fs 
overwhelming dominance, these historic competitors have successfully 
recast themselves as the new guard, protecting the industry from 
Microsoft domination.

None of this has much to do with real customer problems that need to be 
solved and technology solutions that we need to communicate. Microsoft 
shouldn=3Ft stop engaging in a substantive dialogue and talking about its 
vision for the Internet. Indeed, we need to be less presumptive and 
spend more time educating about our technical approach (see discussion 
about Active Platform, the future of applications, the push model, and 
the media strategy). Clearly communicating our directions will help make 
Microsoft more predictable and, therefore, less vulnerable to negative 
and uninformed assumptions. The goal is to diminish the fear.

We also need to recognize the perceptual shifts and re-engage in the 
industry. We need to be willing to appear to be listening and learning 
shoulder-to-shoulder with other companies. We need to stop holding 
ourselves apart from the rest of the industry and focus on more give-
andtake in our communication. The point here is that it is better for 
Microsoft to be perceived as a participant and a bearer of new business 
opportunity, than the company that wants to accrue all the good business 
for itself, to the exclusion of others. There is almost a formulaic 
approach to coverage when MS gets into a new business -- if Microsoft 
enters a business, everyone else better look out because MS will get 90 
% of it. Based on some key businesses, namely Windows and the 
applications business, that would be a reasonable conclusion. However 
the Internet world is a far different place. Many many companies will be 
founded and prosper. To the extent that the perception of much success 
is fostered, it will help Microsoft=3Fs image.

One way to address this is for Microsoft to participate more in industry 
gatherings. It=3Fs easy to stay home from these since the topics are often 
stacked against Microsoft. But if we are really motivated to share our 
vision, we=3Fll be willing to be perceived as taking it to others, not 
exclusively asking people to come to ours. Microsoft is well known by 
press and analysts but we are relatively invisible to the rest of the 
industry. Being unknown leads to being misunderstood. In addition, more 
executives need to be engaged in the work of corporate image. 
Specifically, we should:

* Continue to emphasize context-setting, explaining and discussing the 
implications of our

* Promote executives as ambassadors and insist they not only speak at 
MS-sponsored events but at industry conferences, where they should not 
only share the Microsoft vision but stay to listen and discuss issues 
with others. In addition, the tone of Microsoft tradeshow booths and 
other corporate participation needs to be open and inclusive.

* Replicate the Hood Canal exercise with other editors and other MS 
execs in attendance; for instance, what if we had Paulma and Bradsi sit 
down with editors and talk about the future of applications?

* Hold an IMG Day for editors, not to pitch our products for coverage, 
but to address strategy and content issues in an interactive way with 
people who care about them (see below for comments about fears about 
Microsoft as a media company).

Thought for 1997

* To project more humility, re-emphasize in all press and industry 
interactions the demonstrated signs of curiosity, openness and 

* Undertake more relationship-building with Silicon Valley influentials 
and editors. A lot of the animosity about Microsoft is engendered by its 
lack of visibility to Silicon Vailey.

* Rekindle developer relations in a more visible way. Ever since we 
"won" the last set of API wars, we=3Fve been less effective here. We 
address this opportunity later in this memo. The olher thing we can 
focus on is for Microsoft to control some of the negative dialogue by 
talking about our challenges ourselves. We should be looking for 
stories, op-ed and speech opportunities on topics such as:

* why we haven=3Ft won -- we have much respect for our competitors.

* what we=3Fve learned from mistakes.

* what we worn about.

* how PCs can be better.


Today, we appearto be talking out of both sides of our mouth. On the one 
hand, we claim to love Java, to provide IE on multiple platforms, and to 
offer Active Platform as OS-agnostic. On the other hand, we denigrate 
Java apps as "least common denominator" and claim that by writing to 
Windows system services, developers can create better apps. To an 
unbiased observer, it appears that we are promoting two platforms -- 
Windows and Active Platform. To a less generous observer, it appears 
that we are feigning support for Java while secretly pushing Windows and 
trying to dominate the Internet with our legacy power. Once again, it 
appears Microsoft is only interested in controlling the platform.



court documents in the case of Comes v. Microsoft. 

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