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Microsoft Wanted To Drop Mac Office To Hurt Apple

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the airing-the-dirty-laundry dept.

Microsoft 479

Overly Critical Guy writes to mention that more documents in the Iowa antitrust case have come out. This time, it's revealed that Microsoft considered dumping the Mac Office Suite entirely in a move to harm Apple. "The email complains at poor sales of Office, which it attributes to a lack of focus on making such sales among reps at that time. It describes dumping development of the product as: 'The strongest bargaining point we have, as doing so will do a great deal of harm to Apple immediately.' The document also confirms that Microsoft at the time saw Office for the Mac as a chance to test new features in the product before they appeared in Windows, 'because it is so much less critical to our business than Windows.'"

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Nature of the beast.... (5, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243226)

The problem with this is that if nothing else, Microsoft is good at making money and the Microsoft Mac Business unit is quite profitable, with Office as one of their biggest revenue generators. On the other hand, that has never hurt Microsoft when they felt that losses in revenue in one area would be made up for in another area if they cancelled development for a competing platform. Just look to the cancellation of Halo development for Macintosh and Linux after they bought Bungie.

However, it is an unfortunate reality of the software business, no matter how the consumer may benefit. When it comes down to it, companies are interested in making money and they have to balance the needs and desires of the customer along with their requirements of making mo' and mo' money. Just look to insurance companies, right? They are not in business to provide health care insurance or to cover your medical bills. They are however in business to make money. Don't ever mistake the two or conflate their motives.

That is not to say that there are not companies that have motivations that are geared towards the consumers of their products. On the contrary, I feel that Apple has done a pretty good job over the years of balancing ethical behavior with making great products that will keep their customers happy, but even they have, on occasion screwed up, sometimes spectacularly.

I guess the most impressive thing to me about this is the continued flood of documents that have come out of the anti-trust trial that was dumped after the current POTUS entered the White House. These documents show an amazing culture of not just intense competition, but also one of dishonesty, dishonor and patently illegal behavior. I remember the case being dropped, but how could it have gone so wrong and how much more is there to find?

Re:Nature of the beast.... (5, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243266)

Wait a damned minute. MS does NOT have a patent on illegal behavior.....

Oh wait, you said 'patently'

Never mind

Re:Nature of the beast.... (4, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243326)

companies are interested in making money and they have to balance the needs and desires of the customer along with their requirements of making mo' and mo' money.

But I think the big question is: did Microsoft consider dropping it merely because it wasn't generating enough revenue, or mostly because they wanted to hurt Apple. If the "Microsoft Mac Business unit is quite profitable" as you say, then there seems little reason to drop the product except the hurt Apple. If they're willing to lose profit with the intent of hurting Apple it's possible grounds for a suit by stockholders as it's likely not in the best interests of corporate profits. Plus it would be clear they were intent on hurting a competing platform even if it cost them more money to do so.

Re:Nature of the beast.... (5, Insightful)

powerlord (28156) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243520)

Also, if they were trying to hurt Apple for the benefit of their Desktop OS, for which they are convicted monopolists, that might be a bit troubling to the DoJ (assuming it grows a pair), as well as their EU equivalent agencies.

Re:Nature of the beast.... (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243574)

If they're willing to lose profit with the intent of hurting Apple it's possible grounds for a suit by stockholders as it's likely not in the best interests of corporate profits.

The only people it might not be in the best interest of would be day traders, and even they will benefit if they sell short. See, if Microsoft could crush Apple, then they would have an even stronger hold on the market, an even stronger monopoly position, and they would get even more for their bribe money to whoever received it that immediately pulled the DOJ dogs off of Microsoft after they had been convicted of abusing their monopoly position.

Well, and it wouldn't be in the interest of Apple users either, but by then they would have lost their voices entirely so they would be quite irrelevant :)

Re:Nature of the beast.... (2, Insightful)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243774)

Office for Mac wasn't making that much money at the time because the version of it that was out pretty much sucked. For the first time ever, Word for Mac was not the best selling word processor for Mac - NissusWriter had overtaken it.

Re:Nature of the beast.... (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243468)

The problem with this is that if nothing else, Microsoft is good at making money and the Microsoft Mac Business unit is quite profitable, with Office as one of their biggest revenue generators.

Thats true today 2007, not when the memo was written in 1997.

Re:Nature of the beast.... (3, Insightful)

GregPK (991973) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243482)

Think of what would have happened had microsoft cut funding for the mac office? Most likely Apple would have made thier own version of office probably heavily embracing Wordperfect. Thus, creating an entire market outside of MSFT control and what if Wordperfect got a good foothold in the mac side then you'd see many clients having to support it on the PC side as well thus increasing the market on PC side. Thats the side that was thought out in the boardroom, coffeetable discussions that we never hear about. The idea of cutting off mac. Was simply at the time an idea. It only got as far as slow updates to mac office. But look at the upside. The last version of macoffice is pretty much similar to the current version of office. So you get the new ideas, new features, ahead of the PC guys. So I think Microsoft played thier cards quite well for the time. Otherwise they would have assured the destruction of one of thier own core markets.

Re:Nature of the beast.... (3, Interesting)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243510)

"they have to balance the needs and desires of the customer" a customer is only important if they make you money. Charity cases, or very marginalised businesses, are not important. In reality a profit-seeking company balances the needs of the customer against the company's need for the customer. If MS no longer needs the Mac customers then they will no longer care what the Mac customers want.

This is nothing new. Almost 10 years ago MS was going to completely step away and that would have killed Apple, but they didn't: http://www.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,1101970818 ,00.html [time.com] . In many ways, MS has given Apple ten years to get its shit together from a MS perspective (ie. be a worthwhile platform for MS to support) but has this really happened?

Re:Nature of the beast.... (4, Informative)

BWJones (18351) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243572)

In many ways, MS has given Apple ten years to get its shit together from a MS perspective (ie. be a worthwhile platform for MS to support) but has this really happened?

The reality of that little ten year waiting period descended from MS being caught red-handed with their hand in the Quicktime cookie jar codebase. The outcome of that was that MS agreed to a public endorsement of the Macintosh platform, a $150 million dollar investment in Apple (non-voting stock), an agreement to continue producing Office for the Mac and to share certain codebases. It will be interesting to see what Apple got out of the codebase sharing agreement in the next month or two...

Re:Nature of the beast.... (1)

sangreal66 (740295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243612)

Just look to the cancellation of Halo development for Macintosh and Linux after they bought Bungie.
Halo development for Macintosh was not canceled when Microsoft bought Bungie. Halo was released for the Mac in December, 2003. I don't believe a Linux version was ever being developed by Bungie.

Re:Nature of the beast.... (4, Interesting)

BWJones (18351) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243802)

Halo development for Macintosh was not canceled when Microsoft bought Bungie.

Yes, it was.

Halo was released for the Mac in December, 2003.

True, and in fact, I worked as an alpha and beta tester for the company that did the port (look for my name in the credits). The important thing to note is that MS *did* cancel all development for the platform and decided at a later date to allow the existing code to be brought to the Macintosh through a third party developer who did all the work required.

I don't believe a Linux version was ever being developed by Bungie.

To my peripheral knowledge, there were active efforts at Bungie to bring a number of their titles to Linux and Halo was one of them.

And we are supposed to be...Surprised? (1, Interesting)

StCredZero (169093) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243242)

Really, is there anyone who has used Office on the Mac and knows anything about Micro$haft who hasn't thought this?

Re:And we are supposed to be...Surprised? (1)

random0xff (1062770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243788)

What about Apple? You think they had thought this, and do you think they have a Word/Excel/Access replacement or are they happy with the Open Office programs?

Re:And we are supposed to be...Surprised? (4, Interesting)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243878)

Really, is there anyone who has used Office on the Mac and knows anything about Micro$haft who hasn't thought this?
I thought of a 5 step plan for Microsoft to crush and virtually eliminate Apple as a Desktop platform (Note, this plan would likely (1) be far to expensive to be worthwhile unless Apple somehow became a huge threat; (2) fall afoul of anti-trust legislation and be stopped before it really ever got started):
  1. Cancel Office for the Mac and cease support and updates for exisiting versions
  2. Buy Adobe
  3. Cancel all Adobe products for the Mac and cease support and updates for existing versions
  4. Buy DigiDesign
  5. Cancel ProTools for the Mac and cease support and updates for existing versions

Technically MS has just enouigh of a war chest to manage those purchases, but of course there is no way they would fork over that much cash, nor be allowed to.

Duh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18243246)

If ever there were an appropriate place for the "duh" tag, this article is it.

Harm Apple? (5, Funny)

basic0 (182925) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243262)

If they really wanted to harm Apple and it's users, they'd port Clippy to Office:Mac and enable it by default.

That's why kids... (2, Insightful)

Yuioup (452151) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243282)

That's why kids... we have Open Source projects like Linux and Open Office.

Y

uhm (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18243322)

no, thats not really the _why_

Re:That's why kids... (4, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243376)

I know it's popular around here to think that OpenOffice is a viable replacement for MSOffice, but I'm sorry to say, whoever worked with both know it isn't. OOo is *almost* there, but not enough there that it can take on MSOffice. For example, Impress (the OOo Powerpoint) sucks ass in terms of speed. OOo font management can be erratic between OS platforms, and quite frankly, the entire OOo suite is a big slow infinitely deep rat's nest of ultra-slow ram-hungry object-oriented code.

So no, OOo won't replace MSOffice quite yet. Which incidentally is why I think MS is pulling the plug on the Mac Office suite: they do it while there's still time, before OOo gets good enough that Mac users would just say "good riddance" to MS. Right now, they can't, so MS plays its card.

Re:That's why kids... (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243596)

I know it's popular around here to think that OpenOffice is a viable replacement for MSOffice, but I'm sorry to say, whoever worked with both know it isn't.

Ok, I've worked with both for years and know it's a viable replacement, at least for Word and Excel.

OOo font management can be erratic between OS platforms

I use NeoOffice on the Mac, which supports native fonts, and have no problems at all. And I trade documents and spreadsheets mostly with Windows users.

the entire OOo suite is a big slow infinitely deep rat's nest of ultra-slow ram-hungry object-oriented code.

On the Mac Microsoft Office is no faster than NeoOffice. Both sets of software are big and slow.

Re:That's why kids... (1)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243794)

the entire OOo suite is a big slow infinitely deep rat's nest of ultra-slow ram-hungry object-oriented code.

On the Mac Microsoft Office is no faster than NeoOffice. Both sets of software are big and slow.
But only one is a Universal app...

Re:That's why kids... (4, Insightful)

antirelic (1030688) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243610)

I didnt realise MS office was the symbol of efficiency and effectiveness. To say that OO sucks because you dont like a few pieces of its "package" is like me saying the same for M$ office. I think only a retard would use MS Access database. That doesnt mean that it "sucks", thats just my opinion. Open Office is FREE, uses OPEN STANDARDS that dont LOCK YOU IN just in case your favorite vendor decides to DROP SUPPORT for your Operating system just to be a dickhead. Perhaps you missed the whole point of TFA and should read it again and then maybe you'll understand why people say OO is better than MS Office....

Re:That's why kids... (1)

Prophet of Nixon (842081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243756)

I find Writer to infinitely superior to MS Word, but Calc is a little lacking compared to Excel. Impress is on par with Powerpoint. I prefer OO over MSO simply for Writer, since documents and spreadsheets are 90% of the 'office' files I deal with, and I can cope with the shortcomings of Calc.

Re:That's why kids... (2, Insightful)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243800)

Which incidentally is why I think MS is pulling the plug on the Mac Office suite: they do it while there's still time, before OOo gets good enough that Mac users would just say "good riddance" to MS. Right now, they can't, so MS plays its card.

Who sayd MS is pulling the plug on Mac Office? If you read TFA, you'd note the memo in question was a decade old.

I think the only reason they keep Mac Office going now is to keep the monopoly-abuse people happy. Perhaps Microsoft trying to gain standardisation for .doc is a prelude to ditching Mac Office. If Office uses an 'open' format it's no longer a monopoly, so they can ditch Mac Office and have half a chance of winning an anti-trust case. After Windows, Office is the cash-cow for Microsoft. Being forced to open up Office would be devastating to Microsoft's bottom line. Selling it on a platform (any platform) other than Windows is the best insurance against that.

Re:That's why kids... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18243390)

Which also happens to suck cocks. To put it bluntly. In a manner of speaking.

Re:That's why kids... (2, Informative)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243630)

Or, relevant to the topic of Macintoshes, NeoOffice [neooffice.org] . I'm not in any way associated with the project, but I always like to bring it into discussions of Macs and office suites. They're doing a great job porting OpenOffice to OSX, a job that the OpenOffice people seem unwilling to do, and I hope they get the suppor they need.

Re:That's why kids... (1)

solitas (916005) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243786)

I still find Appleworks v6.2.2 suits most of my needs - it runs fine on OS 10.4.7 (and the installer CD has the windows version on it too).

Still runs, still enough features, you have to really try to abuse it HARD to make it crash.

I can't imagine (0, Flamebait)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243298)

Why anyone smart enough to buy a Mac and avoid Windows would then want to buy Office, especially when they can download OpenOffice for free.

Re:I can't imagine (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243342)

especially when they can download OpenOffice for free.

When you're on a Mac, you'll want to make it NeoOffice/J [neooffice.org] . :)

Re:I can't imagine (3, Informative)

claygGone (1072146) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243500)

Open Office is not natively supported without the use of X11. For most people this is a deal breaker. Most people I know who have Mac's don't have the skill's to install it. For them it is worth it to shell out the money for Office. I wish they did....but they don't.

Re:I can't imagine (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243558)

There is an almost-finished Carbon port of OpenOffice, that will be migrate to Cocoa when it is done. It was demonstrated at FOSDEM and apparently is very fast.

Re:I can't imagine (1)

toriver (11308) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243692)

But that's the point of NeoOffice: It's OpenOffice ported to native APIs. No more ugly non-anti-aliased fonts of the X11 version.

Re:I can't imagine (4, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243396)

Two reasons. First, it's Office. I needed Office in school, so I used Office. Now that I don't need to do that kind of stuff on my laptop/home computer I wouldn't buy Office.

Second, Office for Mac is really very nice. I have Office 2004 on my Mac (version 11). I've got to say that I like it's interface WAY better than the Windows versions of Office I've used (up to XP, I haven't had much chance with 2k3 or the newest one). It's really a very nice program. If it wasn't from Microsoft, I think it would still sell very well.

I've also heard of them using the Mac version to "test" things. I think the UI that I like so much (the floating pallets on the right side) was probably a part of the precursor to the ribbon they've been touting so much.

The Windows version may have gotten complacent, but the guys in the Mac Business Unit are good at what they do.

Re:I can't imagine (0, Troll)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243524)

Two reasons. First, it's Office. I needed Office in school, so I used Office. Now that I don't need to do that kind of stuff on my laptop/home computer I wouldn't buy Office.

I'm sorry, but this level of handwaving won't fly here. "It's Office"? Whoopdeeshit. Name one thing it does that OO.o doesn't that will matter to the average user. Hello? Beuller? Beuller? There's no such thing.

I use OO.o every day, to interoperate with Word and Excel. So far I have had zero problems, except that copying and pasting from OO.o into Dreamweaver results in some spurious HTML crap for which I blame OO.o (a fucking DOCTYPE actually makes it in there!) but that's pretty minimal, frankly. And 99% of users will never do that, nor have the opportunity to because they don't own Dreamweaver.

Second, Office for Mac is really very nice.

Is it nice enough for the average user to pay for when they can get OO.o for free? If they actually knew about it, that is? The answer, of course, is no. Most people will never notice a difference, really, between two versions of Office, and one version of Office and a copy of OO.o.

Re:I can't imagine (1)

falmon (949154) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243736)

I have to back him up here: Office for the Mac is an excellent product. It's got a good Mac-like feel, runs fast and performs solidly. I have been continually surprised by it. Being an MS product the price is (of course) very high but it is leagues ahead of the alternatives. I do not have any objection to using OpenOffice, but on the Mac it still runs in X11, which for me is an instant deal-breaker. My attempts to use NeoOffice were met with too many bugs/crashes for me to get too far into. And as for "most people won't notice the difference" - OpenOffice is an excellent product, but particularly on the Mac that simply isn't true at this stage. On Windows, perhaps.

Re:I can't imagine (0, Flamebait)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243882)

I do not have any objection to using OpenOffice, but on the Mac it still runs in X11, which for me is an instant deal-breaker.

"I do not have any objection, but here is my objection, which is a dealbreaker, but I won't tell you why."

And as for "most people won't notice the difference" - OpenOffice is an excellent product, but particularly on the Mac that simply isn't true at this stage. On Windows, perhaps.

I don't think you are listening. Based on the utter breakdown of logic in your comment I'm not sure you are capable, but I'm going to try again.

Most people use maybe 1% of the features in MS Word. In fact the majority of them don't even need to ever open a menu to do what they do, although many of them will because they are too stupid to mouse over the icons at the top of the window to see what they do (even though tooltips have popped up on them while they were woolgathering in the past.)

As a result, most people would never feel a lack in OO.o. This is what I mean by never notice the difference.

Sure, they might notice that the app didn't look like the rest of their apps. But would they notice any other differences? Even apps that all use the same API on OSX can behave VERY differently from one another because so many choices are left up to the programmer. Programmers are generally in favor of this, but I think it is a disservice to the user. Mind you, it's no more a disservice than when Microsoft does it.

Once upon a time Apple had strong human interface guidelines. Apple itself followed them and expected others to do so. Today, Apple has apparently forgotten everything it ever knew about interface design and consistency. They don't follow their own guidelines. They don't follow very simple rules about interfaces - the dock is the prime example of a poorly designed interface.

Most users use an office suite to do very simple, stupid things. They don't need Office. OO.o is, frankly, overkill for them. Most people never even use a spreadsheet. They'd be served fine with just Abiword.

Re:I can't imagine (2)

agiduda (861184) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243398)

Pivot tables in OpenOffice are not quite there yet.

Re:I can't imagine (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243434)

My school bought Office for the Macs they have. I bet their thought processes were "Oh, Office. We should buy that because it is a stable of computing." or something.

Re:I can't imagine (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243590)

My reason was: it was 1999, and I knew nothing other than Star Office (and it was not very good) and I needed Word to send my resume to stupid recruiters. Somehow they found text documents to hard to deal with. Dummies! I didn't see Clippy, but they had a little animated Mac along with the other characters for the help/annoyance feature.

Other than patching, I would never upgrade from the original Office v.X, especially now that the ODF is beginning to gain traction in the marketplace. Proprietary doc formats should all go away. Next time I go job searching I'll spend extra time "educating" the recruiters on the need for them to support open docs.

Re:I can't imagine (1)

64nDh1 (872430) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243628)

Please, for the love of god give me a better way than Entourage with Mac:Office to connect to my work e-mail account on an Exchange server? I've tried plug-ins for Apple Mail, similarly for Eudora, Thunderbird extensions, Mulberry (an IMAP client), I considered running a separate machine with Evolution on a Linux distro. But I've never got support for shared calendars and public folder access from home working with anything other than Entourage - which to me is a piece of shit for a litany of reasons. For all the rest that I can think of, I could easily live with NeoOffice/J.

I truly hope I'm ignorant of a real solution to this. If not, I still need the whole suite for that one program, its clusterfuck of an interface, its shoddy database management (why, if it's comparable to IMAP, does it need to create a 3GB database on my harddrive?), and its randomly attributed shortcut keys.

Re:I can't imagine (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243812)

First of all, forget OpenOffice for the Mac. The OpenOffice port, requiring X11, is not something most tech-savvy people want to run, let alone standard users. At the very least, you're talking about NeoOffice. Now, for all the great work done by the NeoOffice people, they don't get the level of help and support that OpenOffice has, let alone the sort of funding that Microsoft has. NeoOffice is making good progress, but it's still far from perfect.

Even ignoring all that, it can be hard to avoid MS Office. OpenOffice doesn't always have all the features you might need. Exchange connectivity, for example. Also, OpenOffice still has its problems. It loads slowly, for example, and doesn't always read/write Word documents perfectly. Now, of course, that last one can't be blamed on OpenOffice developers, but it's true none the less.

I'm not trying to badmouth OpenOffice, and I am, in fact, very glad for the work done by the OpenOffice/NeoOffice communities. However, I can't pretend that there are no good reasons to choose Microsoft Office for OSX.

Wow. (2)

igotmybfg (525391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243302)

Why wouldn't they want to harm Apple? They're competitors! Why is this news?

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18243386)

It illustrates a concept of balance. The free market is great, but when a monopoly forms anywhere, it needs to be kicked in the nuts until insensate, and put down as quickly as possible. Concentrations of power are *NEVER* good in either political or business circles.

Seriously, can anything Microsoft builds *really* be considerd "the better mouse trap?"

Re:Wow. (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243614)

It's news because it's more evidence of the monopoly abuse that MS was obviously guilty of. Although the current administration in the US has basically given MS a free pass, Europe is at least trying to hold them accountable for the damage they've done to the computing industry. Even with all the evidence against them, MS continues to whine and appeal and pretend like they're victims in all of this. Every time some more solid info comes out proving their intentions, their complaining becomes more tiresome, and they lose a little momentum.

While I don't expect or even want MS to completely die out, just about everyone except their shareholders (and maybe MSCE's doing tech support) stand to benefit from a more diverse computing environment. Having one company dominating the OS and office software markets so heavily is not ideal for the industry or consumers.

APPLE IS SHIT (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18243320)

-DRM
-Proprietary hardware
-Proprietary software
-Closed protocols
-Lock-ins
-selected compatibility

Anything good said about Apple in comparison to Microsoft is just hypocrisy. Except for human interfaces, that where they excel (ex iPod).

Re:APPLE IS SHIT (1)

ksd1337 (1029386) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243832)

This should have been modded 'Flamebait'.

Dropping MS office for the Mac could.. (5, Funny)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243338)

Dropping MS office for the Mac could hurt MS Office for the PC long term - Why?

Apple might consider including OpenOffice.Org then advertising it:

Mac: Hi, I'm a Mac,
PC: and I'm a PC
PC: So what is that your doing
Mac: Oh, just some office stuff, you know, spreadsheets, documents, presentations
PC: I can do those too
Mac: Yeah, but I don't use your monopoly expensive as shit software, I use this free one which is actually better. It doesnt try to format shit I don't want. Oh, and it's free and works on a PC too. You should try it.
PC: Hey you're right! This OpenOffice.org is the shnizzer! All the PC users should download it from www.openoffice.org right now!

Re:Dropping MS office for the Mac could.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18243504)

Mac: So what is it that you're doing?
PC: Oh, you know, playing video games.
Mac: Obviously activity a "square" would pursue.

Re:Dropping MS office for the Mac could.. (0)

toriver (11308) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243752)

Well, since the first commandment reads "Thou shalt hold no games before World of Warcraft", and World of Warcraft runs on MacOS X, the Mac is served in that regard.

And video games run on games consoles. You know, the ones where you don't have to fiddle with driver updates or PixelShader versions. PCs are good for life-consuming MMOs, anti-social strategy games and headache-inducing FPSes.

(All of which, coincidentally, are genres present on Macintosh.)

Re:Dropping MS office for the Mac could.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18243872)

Yea yea yea. I don't give a crap, I was doing it for the lulz.

Re:Dropping MS office for the Mac could.. (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243512)

Including OpenOffice would do more to hurt Apple than Microsoft's cancelling of MS Office. OpenOffice on Mac sucks, sucks real bad.

Re:Dropping MS office for the Mac could.. (1)

lazarusdishwasher (968525) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243836)

Didn't they use KHTML for the basis of safari after Microsoft stopped development of ie for the mac? Would OpenOffice be any harder?

Re:Dropping MS office for the Mac could.. (5, Insightful)

Foerstner (931398) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243938)

Mac: Hi, I'm a Mac...

PC: and I'm a PC.

PC2: and I'm another PC

PC3: and I'm another PC ... (Repeat 17 more times)

Mac: So what are you guys working on?

PC: We're working on this year's budget. We need the numbers for your department.

Mac: Okay, send it over.

(Pause)

Mac: Here you go.

(Pause)

PC 6: What's wrong with this file?

PC 11: I don't know, it's formatted all wrong.

PC 8: I'll bet it's Mac's fault. Hey, Mac?

Mac: It looks fine to me...

PC 3: Mac, look, you're a cool guy and we really like you, but you can't just go off and mess up a document like that!

Mac: But...but...it looks fine in OO.o!

PC 19: Oh oh oh? Listen, I don't have time to play games, I need your numbers in that file without any screwing around!

Who is surprised? Really? (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243340)

Tell me it ain't so Stevie!

(Ducking out to dodge the thrown chair )

Re:Who is surprised? Really? (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243580)

Can't think out any new joke? Just throw in one about a chair.

Where are the documents? (1)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243354)

Microsoft removed the coart case documents after it was settled.
I'm just wondering if anyone has posted them back up again.

Timeline 1997 (4, Interesting)

dafz1 (604262) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243358)

February 7, 1997 - Steve Jobs returns to Apple

June 27, 1997 - Bill Gates sends email explaining threats made to Apple of pulling the plug on Office for Mac.

August 6, 1997 - Apple and Microsoft announce $150 investment of Microsoft in Apple.

What happened between June 27 and August 6?

Correction:Timeline 1997 (2)

dafz1 (604262) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243388)

August 6, 1997 - Apple and Microsoft announce $150MIL investment of Microsoft in Apple.

Re:Timeline 1997 (1)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243432)

Hey man, $150! Now I know why Steve was using that new turtleneck back them. All bought with MS money :D

Re:Timeline 1997 (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243494)

4th of July?

Re:Timeline 1997 (1)

LaminatorX (410794) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243536)

Settlement of legal disputes, including some cross-licensing of IP, and IE is blessed as the default browser in Mac OS installs.

Re:Timeline 1997 (5, Funny)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243542)

Probably a whole lot of BJs.

Re:Timeline 1997 (2, Funny)

postmortem (906676) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243730)

... hence the Steve Jobs middle nickname "Blow"

Re:Timeline 1997 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18243584)

MS didn't dump $150[,000,000] in a hole, they bought shares which means that by making Office for Mac (and helping Apple succeed) they might actually make more money than by hurting Apple.

Re:Timeline 1997 (4, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243588)

What happened between June 27 and August 6?

MS settled the patent infringement lawsuit Apple was about to win and included in that bargain was a guarantee to continue Office for the Mac for several years, the purchase of non-voting stock, and Apple gaining perpetual rights to the Windows APIs of the time. Of course as this reveals the threat to cancel Office for the Mac was probably illegal in the first place, so they just opened themselves up to more litigation, but MS's modus operandi for a long time has been to blatantly break the law and worry about settling lawsuits long after the damage to the market has been done.

Re:Timeline 1997 (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243640)

Redmond has some pretty strong shielding. It took a while for the RDS to penetrate.

Re:Timeline 1997 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18243716)

Blowjobs. Good ones.

Re:Timeline 1997 (1)

BWJones (18351) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243840)

What happened between June 27 and August 6?

See my post here [slashdot.org] . In essence, MS got caught stealing code from Quicktime.

Email Communications (4, Interesting)

Swanktastic (109747) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243364)

Of course they found emails saying this. It's blatantly obvious to any armchair strategist. The only way you wouldn't find an email somewhere in the MS vault saying something anti-competitive is if the entire organization had been coached not to use this type of language. In fact, this is how corporate America operates today. Employees at market leader companies are specifically taught not to use phrases like crush, damage, etc when refering to the competition in electronic communications. It's perfectly fine to advocate these types of tactics in verbal communications, though.

Everyone these days knows enough not to say anything incriminating in emails, but rather to save it for face-to-face meetings.

I AM SHOCKED! (0, Troll)

Supreme Dragon (1071194) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243366)

I never would have thought a company with such high integrity would want to do that.

Apple commercials (4, Insightful)

phasm42 (588479) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243368)

Apple creates commercials that portray the Mac as a jeans-clad hipster and a Windows PCs as a balding lame-o in a suit. They believe it will harm Microsoft. News at 11.

Entourage problems already have hurt (4, Insightful)

mekkab (133181) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243370)

Given the flakiness of connecting Entourage to an Exchange server, where I could get all my e-mails but not send anything (?!) I just stopped trying.

Having half-working software is far worse than none at all.

Logic (software) (2, Interesting)

Peter Trepan (572016) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243372)

Apple did the same thing when it bought Emagic, cancelling development of the Logic digital audio workstation for Windows. This is exactly the sort of thing that makes me want to switch to Linux's free alternatives, even when they're less user-friendly.

Re:Logic (software) (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243762)

It's not really the same thing, because Apple wasn't using one product(Logic)to try and kill an only tangentially related competitor's project. Whether Apple was just trying to sell more macs or avoid having to maintain multiple versions of the software (it was probably a mix of both factors), I don't think you can reasonably argue that Apple stopped developing Logic for windows in order to drive Windows under.

If the Mac version of Office ceased to exist, it would have a significant effect on the viability of Mac OS X. Apple would have to very quickly establish a legitimate contender in a market in which they currently have no real presence, in order to keep the entire mac platform healthy. Tough to do when you're going against a monopoly product that totally dominates the market. The situation is less dire now as there are some reasonably well developed alternatives (There have been consistent rumors that Apple might even keeps one under development just in case it becomes necessary), but a few years back, during Apple's rougher days, it's not unreasonable to think that it would've killed Apple.

But still, your point about open source software being less susceptible to similar issues is valid.

Way old news (3, Interesting)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243384)

It's been rumored for years that Microsoft was going to dump the Mac version of office. When MS bought out Connectix, thus acquiring the Virtual PC line of products, I remember seeing alleged quotes from Bill Gates that MS was going to stop Mac Office development and just ship VPC with a Windows version of Office.

Ironically, Microsoft Excel was released for the Mac in 1985 [wikipedia.org] and didn't arrive on Windows until 1987, while PowerPoint was first released on the Mac in 1987 [wikipedia.org] and not released for Windows until 1990. (Admittedly, PPT was originally developed by another company and then purchased by MS.)

Re:Way old news (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243758)

True, all true. Back when I was an Apple IT employee (90-93) we started migrating the internal mail system from the god-awful Apple-Link (AKA Crapple-Link) to the distributed mail systems running on our own hardware. The better one was a product call QuickMail, and the other was Microsoft Mail (before it was re-engineered as Exchange). I've never admined an Exchange server, but MSmail was a giant pain in the ass to take care of, so most of the engineering dept went with the easier to manage, and more reliable QuickMail. I think I even have my QM client install floppy. Good times!

The Headline (0)

Psionicist (561330) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243394)

Microsoft Wanted To Drop Mac Office To Hurt Apple

The headline states this as it's something bad. Seriously, wtf? Microsoft has done lots of stupid/"evil" things, but this is not one of them. This is real free market competition without government intervention. I fail to see the problem. Should Microsoft be _forced_ to sell a product that doesn't benefit them? I think not. They are free to do as they please, and in this case they are, as there's no force whatsoever involved.

If, however, Microsoft tried to abuse some laws for their own gain, that would be evil.

Re:The Headline (4, Funny)

pla (258480) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243570)

Should Microsoft be _forced_ to sell a product that doesn't benefit them?

Yes, damnit!

And unless I can have Clippy offering helpful advice as I slave away at my Timex Sinclair 1000, I plan to sue Microsoft for anticompetitive behavior.

Damn that Bill Gates and his 640KB of RAM... Just because I only have 2KB, he thinks he can just ignore 0.00026% of the home market?

Re:The Headline (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243894)

There are, in fact, laws to prevent monopoly companies from using a monopoly in one product (office) to damage competing products (Mac OS) in a different market.

For better or worse, the USA is not an entirely free market. There are many rules and regulations that companies need to follow. Believe it or not, but at some level the government is supposed to support the general well being of its citizens, and not value capitalism, corporations, and some dedication to a "free market" over all other concerns. There is ample evidence that having a single company have monopoly control, particularly in a market as significant as computer operating ,or office software, or telephone service, or oil production...it's bad for consumers. And the majority of citizens in this country are consumers.

So to sum it all up, Microsoft was labeled as a monopoly by the government, and as such can be held to a number of laws that might not be applicable to other companies. I'm no expert on anti-trust litigation, but there are many examples of actions that MS took that were of questionable legality, and had they decided to cancel Mac office in an effort to kill Apple, that would hopefully raise some red flags.

This is *not* news (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18243418)

Before bailing out almost bankrupt Jobs and Apple , Gates threatened to drop office. This was well known in 1997. Why are applfanbois whining about it now? I suppose if they scream their revisionism they can erase the painful memory of sleeping with the enemy. Yes. Jobs had to take from Gates and say "Yes Sir, I love it !!!"

mod trolls down (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243616)

Whatever moron modded this up, please stop. This factually incorrect troll has been circulating way to long, fooling the gullible.

Final Cut Pro 5 for Windows? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18243460)

Where can I buy Apple's Final Cut Pro 5, for Windows?

Oh.

Maybe because if FC Pro 5 was available on Windows people would have less incentive to go to the Mac?

Re:Final Cut Pro 5 for Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18243702)

Windows is not a serious platform for digital video editing.

Re:Final Cut Pro 5 for Windows? (0, Flamebait)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243746)

The Mac is not a serious platform for office productivity.

Re:Final Cut Pro 5 for Windows? (1)

toriver (11308) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243822)

You know, you would have a point if there ever WAS a Final Cut Pro for Windows that Apple could threaten to pull. But hey look there isn't. Meanwhile, Office for Mac started at the same time as the Windows version - earlier if you look at the Mac-debuting Excel spreadsheet.

Thanks for pointing out the lack of a movie editing application for Windows that can match Final Cut Pro, though. Microsoft's Movie Maker doesn't even reach iMovie levels.

Not a monopoly? (3, Insightful)

iPaul (559200) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243526)

This is exactly the kind of anti-competative behavior that monopolies engage in.

Re:Not a monopoly? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18243712)

I think your mistaking the term monopoly with money making organisation. It's apple's fault for relying on it's competitor for a very important piece of software. People wouldn't blink an eye if MS never had office on a mac- why in hell should they be required to support a competitor's OS.

MS Office on Intel Mac (4, Interesting)

andrewa (18630) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243552)

To be honest, I use my MS OFfice installation on my Parallels instance, as it's much faster and usable than the Mac Office 2004. I'm planning to give Office 2008 (which should be universal) a bit of a look, and approach that with an open mind, but for now I'm happier with using the Windows version under my VM.

Yes, it would hurt (4, Interesting)

chrysalis (50680) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243670)

Ouch!

Yes, it would definitely hurt Apple sales.

Of course, there is software like NeoOffice, Pages and Keynote.
But people *want* MS Office, and in corporate environments, people *need* MS Office.

The OSX Version of MS Office is still not 100% compatible with the Windows version, but it's still better than NeoOffice.

And "MS Office runs on OSX" is a strong selling point. People familiar with Windows and Office are thinking "cool, Office runs on OSX, I won't feel lost if I ever switch to OSX".

Re:Yes, it would hurt (1)

Utopia (149375) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243858)

Don't think you read the article. The email was dated ten years ago in 1997

fuddy duddy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18243694)

Since it is hard to accuse MAC types as FUD spreaders, I will just call them fuddy duddy's

IT would help Apple office suite sales (1)

chipperdog (169552) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243718)

It would simply give apple one less competitor for appleworks [apple.com] and iWork [apple.com]
Also give Apple ports of OOo higher popularity...

Fag8o8z (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18243792)

The failure bof [goat.cx]

Microsoft borrowed my Pavement CD... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18243838)

...and they never gave it back.

Drop Office and our lab migration to OS X ceases (1)

maynard (3337) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243850)

Where I work, a University lab, we are migrating from Linux on the desktop to MacOS X. This is principally due to MS Office support; users want it. Badly. If Microsoft kills Office for Mac I predict a wholesale dumping of OS X and a migration back to Linux. Nobody here wants to run Windows, except for a small number of administrators and fiscal professionals who are accustom to MS software. That would really throw a wrench in our plans. We're basing the whole migration on the presumption of Office 2008 for Intel Macs.

Office support is critical for a large number of professionals. Drop it and IMO the Mac will die. Quickly.

Still a monopoly (1)

JiveBay (1065744) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243876)

By keeping Office on the Mac, they kept their monopoly in the Word Processor/Spreadsheet dept. Otherwise Apple would of just created their own or helped work on a Open Source one. I didn't think Macs were much of a threat in 97, sure they dominated graphic design but thats about it.

No Surprise (3, Insightful)

calstars (562543) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243900)

This shouldn't be surprising to anyone who follows Microsoft and Apple. Of course MS 'considered' it; not to do so would show a remarkable lack of long-term strategy thought at high levels of the company. Unless they actually do remove Office for the Mac, there's no story here.

Why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18243916)

am I not surprised? This kind of nasty planning is hardly out of Microsoft's character.

Then again, I wouldn't really be surprised to hear of _any_ buissness trying to undercut it's competitors...

Please do, and soon! (2, Interesting)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243932)

The day that Office for Mac gets killed will be the day that iWork gets released as a complete, full-featured, Office-killer suite. We know that Apple has a spreadsheet app waiting to be released. It is inconceivable that they would not have the rest of the suite at least in closed beta. I, for one, would love it if Apple would go ahead and release that suite soon.

That said, killing Office for Mac would cause microsoft to lose those profits, and probably lead to more people switching to Apple. Microsoft knows that Apple can make a slick GUI for almost anything, and they know that their Office GUI is anything but slick. That's why there was all the crap about the ribbon. They don't want to incite Apple to do anything smart, like releasing a better product than MS Office.
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