Microsoft Considered Dumping Mac Office to Hurt Apple

Documents in the recent Iowa antitrust trial reveal more of Microsoft's business practices.

Yet more criticism of Microsoft's business practices has emerged in the wake of the recent Iowa anti-trust trial.

Documentary evidence that Microsoft considered abandoning Office for Mac in order to cause "a great deal of harm" to Apple has emerged.

An emailed memo from Microsoft-founder Bill Gates to then Mac Business Unit chief Ben Waldman dated June 1997 talks about morale in the Mac Office development camp.

At that time Microsoft's senior management were considering dumping Mac support.

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."

View: PC World Story

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What can Steve Jobs do legally about it? I don't think he could do much.

Maybe a bold move is to make an open source fork of OpenOffice (maybe sponsor NeoOffice) and give it for FREE with leopard!

Personally if i was Steve Jobs I'd call it Apple iOffice, it would still be under the GNU license but it would use the OSX libraries so they would still have a measure of control (it would still be OSX only)

i dont think Steve Jobs could do anything right now BUT MS could still be sued or by <insert department of antitrust> (idk the name if it exists :P)

or something like that could happen

I don't know, i'm just talking mumbo jumbo here


That's like.. not even plausible. I think this myth is busted.

IT would hurt apple. Businesses use mac office as astepping stone. They figure if they change over to mac they still can have office so there documents wont have any problems. IF that happens businesses will be leary to change over.

But Microsoft is seeing that its actaully making them money now. I will not be surprised if we start seeing more microsoft applications for the mac.

majortom1981 said,
But Microsoft is seeing that its actaully making them money now. I will not be surprised if we start seeing more microsoft applications for the mac.

I think we may even see them for Linux in a couple of years.

That's MS's best strategy at this point. From strictly a functionality and performance perspective, Windows no longer has nearly the same clout in business as it used to. It's primarily just an application-delivery platform now, you don't actually need it anymore, you need the apps.

I dunno...I don't see anything wrong with this. It's their product and they can kill it for whatever reason they want.

I agree with Chad's point. Microsoft as a company is there to make money, but if a product helps another company make money in the same area that it is competing in i.e. Operating Systems, then they can kill the production of a product.

The money being placed into the R&D of Office for Mac, is not from Apples coffers for sure, therefore there should be complete control from Microsoft to withdraw its product services from that market, as long as things such as support don't get cut completely as well, then Microsoft should be in a legal position to do so.

i hope they close down the project, i hate mac so hard, without support from microsoft mac are going to crash and burn in computing again.

You'd think so... but last time Apple almost crashed (pun intended???) you know what happened? Bill wrote them a cheque to keep them alive.

In one way or another Microsoft will always help Apple because they need that little bit of competition.

And besides all that, Microsoft is a software company. They don't care what hardware you have as long as you have Windows and Office on it. Why else would they have worked with Apple to make BootCamp (the program that lets Mac "computers" run Windows)? Whether you have a Mac or a PC, if you buy Microsoft software they'll be happy.

Yeah, MS would love to kill the Mac by cutting Office for Mac and then losing heaps of money. Also probably incurring an anti-trust suit. Sounds like a real good idea.

I'd be more upset if they DIDN'T at least consider it. A company should discuss all of its options. They obviously didn't do it, so I see no problem.

I don't see them actually dumping Mac Office. But I'd love it if they did. Since all Apple does to market their OS is talk trash about MS all the time, I wouldn't feel sorry for them if this happened. You don't bite the hand that feeds you.

How about OSX for the PC? Oh wait, they don't do that. Probably because they'd never sell another Apple computer if they did that but okay.

Oh, topic? Sorry, just going on with the "I hate Apple" peeps.

It was in 1997, that time situation was something else. I don't think MS thinks this now. But the news title sounds that email send in 2007 not in 1997.

If you read the PDF, Bill Gates wasn't even the one that wrote that, he just replied to it. If you also read down more, it says they have some frustrations with Apple. Basically he goes on about lack of market share with Macs is losing money for them but if they actually marketed Mac Office, there is a lot of money to be made. Bill Gates just had a short reply with some questions about getting ready for launch. It's not all that they're making it out to be.

Hah, how do you justify telling a company they have to keep producing a product because failure to do so might damage their competitors ability to compete with them?
This is just retarded.
If they dump Mac Office it's just because it's not making money for them anymore, MS could care less what Apple does (nor anyone else for that matter).
All Apple is going to be making in a few years are iPods, and OS/X is going to be running on third-party x64 and x86 clones. Then we can all rejoice about what a genius Steve Jobs was for waiting 20 years to finally sell the one thing Apple ever had going for them, their OS.

Nah, I don't think that's the case. Yes, OS X is the biggest reason I have a mac, but the computer itself is good too. And also, it's OS X, not OS/X (IBM OS/2 anyone? :P).

If I were Microsoft I'd ditch the Office Mac contract as soon as it expires... But then I'm a Mac user, so meh.


Your all forgetting that in 1997, Apple were practically dead. They were on life support, with falling market share. Then Steve Jobs came back, Microsoft bought some non-voting shares, and Apple 2.0 was born. Killing MS Office for Mac in 1997 would have made good business sense, but instead some MS Mac Business Unit people convinced Gates to keep the product alive. That was a good move seeing the success Office has on the Mac today.

Seriously, why does anyone give a **** about 10 years ago? Now the Apple and MS fan sheep fight over stuff from a decade ago.

Then Vista users whine because their iTunes 7.1 has some tidbits that don't work fine.

MS's business becomes more questionnable every day.

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