Woe is Microsoft and Corel (when it comes to Mac OS X)

by Chuck Toporek

MacCentral points to a "scathing" article in the Wall-eyed Street Journal where MacBU's head and Corel's EVP of marketing are complaining that Apple hasn't done enough to promote Mac OS X, and thus their wares. Poor, poor, Microsoft and Corel. Shame on you!

When I first saw this article, I had to restrain myself from laughing too hard. Here's the lead-in from MacCentral:

"As Macworld Conference & Expo draws near in New York City this week, the Wall Street Journal has published a scathing article about the state of Mac OS X adoption and how it has affected some Mac software publishers -- chief among them Microsoft Corp., whose Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU) head said that the company may re-evaluate its relationship with Apple unless Apple makes a stronger effort to market the operating system."

Okay, now try to forget about the bad writing in that last sentence. The "operating system" in question is Apple's Mac OS X. Great. Now that we have that cleared up, let's look at this for a minute.

What a load o' crap! Typical WSJ bullshit and MS posturing, if you ask me (which nobody did, but that's okay). Of course, the timing of this couldn't have been any better. Gee, what conference is this week? Hmmm...could it be Macworld New York?

The head of Microsoft's MacBU is complaining that Apple hasn't promoted Mac OS X enough, saying it's hurting sales of Office v.X. Corel's executive vice president of marketing is complaining because people aren't buying their wares, either.

Wah! Microsoft's profits are down.

Um, hello?! Saying that Apple isn't promoting Mac OS X is kind of like saying the sky isn't blue, or the world is flat, or that Cheetos are bad for you. Have either of these people been to Apple's web site lately? Have they seen all them Switcher ads on television? Have you, uh, picked up and read a magazine in the last, oh, year or so? Seen any Mac OS X ads in them magazines?! (I know I have, does the /dev/null ad ring a bell?)

Will someone please send out the clue police?

Come on, let's get down to the real issue here. Microsoft doesn't like the fact that Apple's encouraging people to Switch (the correct term) to Mac OS X. "Real people" in television commercials are putting themselves out there, saying "I was a Windows [user/admin/whatever], and I've switched to Mac OS X, and you know what? It's better." You can't get any clearer than that, can you?

The fact of the matter is that Apple must've joined the NRA, or something. They've squarely targeted their advertising (see that, "ad-ver-tie-zing"?) at Windows users by putting ex-Windows users out there to say: "Hey, come on over, life is great with Mac OS X." Windows users are finally catching on to everything that us Mac-folk have been saying all these years, and Microsoft doesn't like it. Wah!

I'd rekon, too, that in this economy, people aren't willing to shell out ~$400 for Office v.X, especially when it's received such bad reviews from people who actually use it. It's bloated. Slow. And yes, the Service update helped, but it's still over-priced and grossly overweight.

And really, I can't see why Corel is complaining. They've done a really good job at turning people away from their products, long before Mac OS X came out, so why not jump on the bandwagon? (For those of you who've been Mac users for any length of time...remember what happened when Corel bought WordPerfect from Novell back in the mid-90's? Well I do. Need I say more.)

As fellow editor, Derrick Story, pointed out in an email exchange we had over this:

"...just ain't many people to buy over-priced bloated software. Especially when AppleWorks can open .doc and .xls files and let you make changes ... For free!

"I think this is more of a reaction to the Switch campaign and QuickTime's emergence ..."

Poor Microsoft. Poor Corel.

Apple's not promoting Mac OS X? Bah!

Okay, enough of my ranting. Let's hear what you have to say about all this...


2002-07-15 13:29:00
Poor MBU, it get's worse
Remember, OpenOffice for MAC OS/X is coming along and when it's released, demand for Offic X shoud take a serious turn towards zero.
2002-07-15 13:38:40
Poor MBU, it get's worse

And think about this...

After the new version of Mac OS X releases, Apple has to do something more with AppleWorks. Once the OS is spit-polished, I'd be willing to bet that's next on their hit list.

Firm up the apps (not abs).

2002-07-15 14:24:02
Office V.x is the best MS Office suite
its even better than the Windows version.

Now,if MS ports Outlook to OS X, then, they'll start to get some major traction.

Still, long term, I thinks things look glum for the MS Mac BU, especially with the MS-Apple agreement having lapsed, and Apple making an overt effort to switch Windows users.

Hopefully, once the anti-trust settlement comes around, the Mac BU will just spin off as the Justice Dept makes that part of the settlement.

At the very least, I think they should force MS to share the Office file formats so that OpenOffice is not forced to reverse-engineer it.

If so, even if MS closes down the MS BU, Apple can do two things:
- adopt OpenOffice and eject Appleworks, and perhaps, create an extended OpenOffice and bundle in Appleworks support.
- extend Appleworks with OpenOffice

Regardless, they should bundle it in like the iApps and do an MS on MS (remember when MS gave away IE to kill Netscape?) That is, if Sun allows them to do so. Heck! They may even want to sign a partnership with Sun, with OS X as the *Nix on the desktop and Solaris being the *Nix on the server. (but then XServe may prove problematic).

Still, they have a common enemy, so they might still pull it off....

2002-07-15 20:19:22
re: Switching and OpenOffice vs AppleWorks
Tell me: Why shouldn't Apple gear their advertising toward people who are considering switching to the Mac from Windows? It would be stupid for them not to!

All the naysayers can say all they want to about Apple (and they do), but the fact remains they have a small share of the PC market, yet they're a leader in bringing new technologies to light. USB, FireWire, etc., and yet all the people in the mainstream press can focus on is their minute market share?

Well, guess what: Mac OS X has scared the pants off Microsoft. Redmond is watching their flock of sheep moving down to Cupertino where the weather's nicer (I've lived in the Seattle area, so I can honestly say that). People are making the move from Windows to the Mac, and MS is scared about losing their (chokehold) on the consumer market.

Apple can see people making the Switch, so why not capitalize on that? Why not put the Switchers out there, front-and-center, for the rest of the world to see that yes, it is possible to go from Windows to Mac, and it really isn't bad. In fact, it's better.

If only Stan Frieberg (sp?) were around. He'd be eating this up. It's a chance of a lifetime for someone who works in advertising. The person who came up with the Switch campaign for Apple should be crowned King or Queen for the day. (Okay, maybe not that far, but still, they should, you know. Genious! Pure genious!)

Now on to AppleWorks and OpenOffice...

I can't see Apple "eject"ing AppleWorks. They've devoted a lot of resources to it, and dropping AW just doesn't seem right.

To be honest, I'm not sure what to say there. I guess I need to install OpenOffice and take it for a spin. I used StarOffice on Linux and Windoze (yes, I've also used other platforms, but I've always been a Mac person) in the past, and wasn't terribly pleased with it. In fact, I stopped using it because, well, it didn't suit my needs.

I have used AppleWorks in the past, but I haven't used it recently. So, maybe I should pick up both OpenOffice and AppleWorks and compare the two? How do they work with Office? How do they work with each other (if at all)? Which one is better?

Do you know? How about anyone else out there? Maybe I should take this up as a writing project? Hmmm...we'll see if my schedule permits, but it could be fun.


2002-07-15 21:43:54
Remember, Corel is in Micorosoft's pocket.
The reason these two companies simultaneously decided to fuck apple is because MS recently bailed Corel's ass out. I doubt it's merely coincidence. I mean, MS is the reason Corel completely dumped their Linux initiative. Not surprisingly, I've heard overwhelmingly positive things from other developers about the sales of their osx products.
2002-07-15 21:44:07
Remember, Corel is in Micorosoft's pocket.
The reason these two companies simultaneously decided to fuck apple is because MS recently bailed Corel's ass out. I doubt it's merely coincidence. I mean, MS is the reason Corel completely dumped their Linux initiative. Not surprisingly, I've heard overwhelmingly positive things from other developers about the sales of their osx products.
2002-07-15 23:55:39
Old Fashioned MS Bash Fest
Sorry girls and boys but all the stuff floating around the net on Monday, from the Mac web sites to the WSJ, looked, tasted and smelled like a good old fashioned Uncle Billie bashin' session.

Where's Kevin Browne? He takes off for three months right before MacWorld? Look at the figures the WSJ cited (which makes the big assumption they're accurate, yeah, right). Microsoft's sales are "bad," or "poor," or "disappointing" they're the kind that get people fired.

Uncle Billie has never minded squeezin money from Mac heads anymore than from his DOS or Winsome OS and related applications. But he does get peeved when he isn't making some money so exactly why isn't he? Rave about the 'Switch' commercials or whatever you choose, Office X cost as bundle and virtually the entire Mac community hailed it as the most "Mac OSX - like" software for OSX when it shipped.

So now it's bloated and slow and all that other good stuff all of a sudden? What exactly are we Mac faithful going to use, System 8.6 and Nissus Writer? There's nothing "coming" in open source and we wouldn't be very thrilled if Sun did condescend.

All this garbage about AW6....has anyone actually opened that sucker, keyed in a page of text, and printed it? It might be great for a paper in your Civics class in high school but it's a groaner for anything else. The fact that it can open two-page Word letters that are plain jane and might as well be in SimpleText has nothing to say about documents in the professional or business world. Nada. (And we'll just play like the higher education world doesn't exist at all.)

It's time to wake up and smell the salsa, the cheap red-hot stuff. 10% of the installed Mac base, pretty damned small to begin with, has made the trip to OSX and just as we held the beacon light out to the faithful last summer, "wait until 10.1 ships," we're doing the same stupid thing with Jaguar. And least we forget a trip around the web will find apologists already prepared for the promises of 10.5 which they've tentatively (thanks for the info guys) scheduled for MWNY 2003.

Wired kicked off their Expo coverage with a story about that weirdo that does MacCommunist, and the end of last week saw two, not one, but two articles in The Mac Observer proclaiming that "we really do have a right to be egotistical, elitist, pinheads if we want."

1997 has come and gone. Uncle Stevo has returned to the Mac faithful and delivered unto them a bunch of new high tech goodies but even a new OS. The fact that it still takes twice as long to load a web page (another jewell in the crown of Wired) than Windows and their folding@home work units are crunched in a fourth the time, means nothing.

It is the silly season. It's MacWorld. And I can't for the life of me see where all the new sleek and cool mac heads of 2002 are coming from....

....other than a good old fashioned Microsoft bashing party, just because they're there. Wouldn't it be nice instead to hold a party celebrating something instead of the same dull routine that saw the platform's market share drop from 30% to 3% in between 1989 and 1997?

But, heh, we've been holding our own at 3% ever since. Sure. We sure have.

2002-07-16 00:00:52
re: Switching and OpenOffice vs AppleWorks
AW6 is a joke when compared to Office. Hope you do find some time to open up a two page AW6 document and print it.

You may then wonder if your cousin's sophomore English class prof at ABC Univ. will find the document "acceptable."

With luck Open Office will be "up" to AW6 standards in about two years.

Try opening a 10,000 cell Excel spreadsheet in AW6. And, oh yeah, we need to have someone write us a PowerPoint.

Heh, man, they've got high school kids doing presentations in PowerPoint these days as part of the ciriculum. Maybe we integrate that knock off from Adobe?

2002-07-16 00:44:24
Problems with Office Sales have little to do with Mac OS X
To be honest, though I like MS Office, it's only worth about 50% (or $259.95) of what they are selling it for. Microsoft is simply having a problem justifying such, especially when they are lower priced competitors that give at least 80-90% of Office's features. Even the corporations are balking at Microsoft's licensing terms (http://news.com.com/2100-1001-908773.html) And this is not just an issue on the Mac platform, to which their are few real competitors, but also with sales on the PC platform, where they are plenty. Moreover, companies such as ThinkFree and Mariner Software have introduced competing products, and open source projects like OpenOffice and Abisource, have increased their efforts to port their software to Mac OS X.

Quite simply, Microsoft needs to charge less "prohitbitive" and "punitive" prices and invest more marketing funds towards their Mac and their PC products.

2002-07-16 08:30:27
has anybody noticed...
That the underlying complaint of Kevin Browne is that Apple is failing to promote Mac OS X and that the adoption rate of said OS is not as favorable as the MacBU unit would want [as measure in costly Office v.X. sales]. This is an odd comment to come from MS, given their own issues with both the promotion and adoption rate of WinXP. Sure MS PR can count pre-sold XP licenses as bona fida WinXP users, but fact remains that most WINTEL people are still clutching on to 95, 95SE, 98, 98SE [ME users should have abandoned ship years ago]. IT people have the death grip on NT4 and Win2000 and both users groups find XP less attractive that what they have already got [more so IT]. So how does MS respond to this lack of adoption and "promote" XP? Two words: "forced retirement," [Licensing 6.0] and by making sure OEMs only ship XP. MS has tried the medicine with the sugar, but bugger Ms Poppins, the medicine will go down sugar or not.
2002-07-16 15:39:00
Corel doesn't know how to write a Mac App
Your article about the crap in the Wall Street Journal was right on. The only thing I'd like to add is that Corel has still not proved that they know how to write Macintosh Software. When Corel Draw 8.0 for OS 9 came along, I hoped that I'd see a real Mac App. But no, Draw 8.0 was just a sloppy port of Draw for Windows. My hopes were raised once again when Corel crowed that they had made Corel Draw available for OS X. I ran right out and snatched up a copy. To my horror and disappointment, yes Corel Draw for Windows tries to run on OS X. Sure it launches and draws things, but it still forces the user to do things the Windows way. It still just wreaks of Windows. Last I heard, Corel has claimed that Draw 11 for OS X will be a "real" Mac App. I will reserve judgment. But now Corel has the balls to claim that the slow sales of Corel products can be blamed on Apple. What a bunch of horseshit!
2002-07-16 15:46:08
has anybody noticed...
and if it won't go down from the top, it will be shoved up from below.