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August 15, 2007


Edwin Khodabakchian

Hi Don,
I love your blog and learn a lot from it so I do not mean to be disrespectful. I think that Microsoft should very seriously consider the fact that it is loosing a lot of steam (not in terms of dollar amounts because you still hold a lot of customers prisoners but it terms of early adopters) and that at some point, all the little punches that Sun, Google, Apple, Adobe and open source are giving are going to reach a tipping point, a transition from early adopters to more mainstream users: I think that of all the products you mentioned, Excel is probably the only one which has still some protection left. (And putting Microsoft Works out there won't really help, AOL tried the same thing with Compuserve and look at where they are).

Steve Lacey

Just a minor observation - you only mention cost (free) when talking about Works.

The cost of Office is quite astounding when you don't have access to the company store anymore :-)

Don Dodge

Edwin, Microsoft takes all competition seriously. Microsoft is experimenting with several different approaches to serve different segments of the market.

I guess my reaction was aimed at the hypsters who proclaim anything Google does as new, exciting, and a direct threat to Microsoft.

We all love the underdog...but we should wait for some evidence of success before declaring them The Next Big Thing.

Steve, Cost is just one factor in the value decision. That is why I don't think dropping the cost of StarOffice from $70 to zero will make that much difference. It is already available for free as OpenOffice.

Microsoft Office is already installed from the factory with most business class computers. Ala carte purchases and upgrades are pretty reasonable too, but certainly not the same as free. When you think about the hundreds of millions spent on development of Office it is a real bargain.


Great post Don. My thoughts on this topic are very similar

Anthony Kuhn

A well grounded rebuttal to the hype surrounding any and all things Google.com. Time will tell if StarOffice gets any traction with its free price and Mountian View, California backing. The greatest of trees grows from the smallest of seeds!
I cross-posted on your piece to http://blog.innovators-network.org
The Innovators Network is a non-profit dedicated to bringing technology to startups, small businesses, non-profits, venture capitalists and intellectual property experts. Please visit us and help grown our community!

Best wishes for continued success,

Anthony Kuhn
Innovators Network

Walter Lounsbery


Thanks for a great blog that gets into "controversial" areas for Microsoft on occasion. Your points about StarOffice are good. I can remember when Sun decided that their business was all about competing with Microsoft instead of expanding their real customer base. Someday the stupid thin client idea of theirs will finally die ;-)

But I don't think for one moment that Google is stupid. Outlook is no longer the shining example for email, so of course it didn't make your list of Office greatness. We know what happened to that gold turkey, er, standard.

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