OT: Wordperfect vs MS Word

apit34356 wrote on 1/21/2008, 7:51 PM
In another thread, we travel down history about MS in the 90's. I had stated that MS fed contracts changed the market and Wordperfect was hit hard. John Cline stated that I had a confused understanding of that time, but the fact is I had mega $$ dealing with the feds during that time and we were forced to convert all documents, research notes, communications, contracts,etc,, over 4.5 million internal documents... from Wordperfect to Word for electronic transmission and that was not in our contract but an Executive Order closed that debated. Of course, databases where "fitted" with converters for text in the beginning. Picture processing was a nightmare.

This article does not discuss the fed issue but points out the more commonly known issue about MS 95 and word vs. Wordperfect. This may be the view of that time frame John Cline refers too. Either way, MS was aggressive and heavy handed.

Microsoft tries to CTRL-W WordPerfect lawsuit again
Asks Supremes not to save changes

By Austin Modine
Published Monday 21st January 2008 21:55 GMT

Microsoft is asking the Supreme Court to strike-out a multi-billion dollar word processing monopoly lawsuit from Novell.

Centered in court documents is WordPerfect, an ill-fated word processing suite that once controlled about 50 per cent of the market in 1990.

Novell only owned the software title briefly. It purchased WordPerfect in 1994 and sold it to Corel just two years later. But, during that time, the company claims it received a monopolistic squeeze from Microsoft that killed its chances at unleashing office productivity upon workers everywhere.

Microsoft has tried twice to quash the lawsuit since it was filed in US District Court in Maryland in 2004. Microsoft's first motion to dismiss was denied there, as was its second attempt with the US Court of Appeals.

Microsoft filed a petition for a writ of certiorari (legal latin meaning, "nuts to those lower court jokers") with the US Supreme Court on January 11. The court will be required to respond by February 11.

Novell's case asserts that Microsoft maliciously withheld technical information about Windows 95 to give Microsoft Office an advantage over rival software. The case is based on the federal antitrust suit in which Microsoft paid out nearly $5bn to settle damages with the likes of Sun and RealNetworks.

But the software giant claims Novell's particular case is unjustified because Novell wasn't selling an operating system at the time, and therefore, not in direct competition. Novell counters that because its software was multi-platform, it offered any competing operating systems a popular word processing application to help break the Windows monopoly.

When Novell purchased WordPerfect in June 1994 for $51m, it began the process of integrating the software into its own Novell productivity suite for the upcoming release of Windows 95. The company claims Microsoft deceptively "evangelized" the benefits of using integrated browsing extensions with Explorer in the early stages of WordPerfect and Windows 95 development. Novell said it devoted - with Microsoft's encouragement - significant resources to make sure browsing extensions were tightly integrated into its software.

But when the public test version of 95 arrived, Microsoft had removed the programming interfaces and withdrew documentation of browsing extensions. Novell claims to have evidence the change was malicious.


As a result of the alleged switcharoo, Novell had to delay the release of WordPerfect for Windows 95. The impact of the change was catastrophic. According to the company "in many instances, a user literally could not open a document he previously created or saved." Novell said it took another year to provide a workaround with the same functionality. And it claims that Microsoft developers had access to integrated browsing functions all along.

When Microsoft released the retail version of Windows 95 and Office 95, the company "changed course" and again offered documentation of the programing interfaces. This voided the alternatives Novell spent an entire year developing when the company said WordPerfect needed to enter the market. It also made Novell spend more time designing basic functions of WordPerfect all over again.

By 1996, WordPerfect's share of the market had fallen to about 10 percent. At the same time, Office grew from 20 per cent in 1990 to about 90 per cent.

On the day the lawsuit was filed, Microsoft blamed WordPerfect's downward spiral on "poor business decisions" and "mismanagement" by Novell. ®

Plus just recently, MS + SCO was in an major legal war trying to shut down Linux and its shareware apps with IBM,( with Novell in the background). Novell destroyed SCO claims of ownership of Unix...... now SCO is in bankruptcy with illegally collected fees for linux,unix, but MS gain3 years of development time for their servers. Now MS still claims SCO licenses acknowledging and granting MS tech in servers, networks, and in linux is valid------- Fed court is expected to says "Hold on MS" SCO never owned unix or linux to grant MS Unix tech or acknowledged MS tech in Unix or Linux.


DrLumen wrote on 1/22/2008, 12:37 AM
Wordperfect got a raw deal with all the crap. It was a far superior product in the way of features and usability. Unfortunately, because of Microsofts' hidden api's it was very unstable. It really was a shame to see such a great word processor fall to the likes of word. Personally, I still prefer to use WP but have to keep borg word around for file compatability.

There is an interesting synopsis @ Groklaw that shows examples of the m$ MO. There are a few exhibits in which m$ is discussing hidden api's, undocumented function calls, intentionally trying to break third party apps, ... typical borg stuff.

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blink3times wrote on 1/22/2008, 2:50 AM
Years ago I used nothing but wordperfect but was forced over to M$ Word because that's what everybody else was using. IMO, Wordperfect was (and still is) a MUCH better product.
nolonemo wrote on 1/22/2008, 2:29 PM
What blink said.
apit34356 wrote on 1/22/2008, 5:49 PM
What blink said.---second that! Wait a minute----- Blink and I agreed -- must be the full moon----- ;-)

Wordperfect was the better editor, cleaner operations, pics handling was a breeze, in was easily interfaced with other programs..................
blink3times wrote on 1/22/2008, 6:37 PM
"Blink and I agreed"
This has me deeply concerned.... full moon or otherwise. :)
Bob Greaves wrote on 1/22/2008, 9:41 PM
I used Wordperfect from version 4 until I Lotus suite when windows 95 came out and used Lotus Wordpro until 2001 when, in order to be compatible, I had to switch to MS office 2000.

Wordperfect was fine. I liked Wordpro a lot and liked what MS Word promised but found it to be problematic. I was sad when I switched over from Lotus Wordpro to MS Word.

Today I teach at a college where MS office 2003 is the only way to get anything done. It is installed on all of the computers. The college has an agreement that allows all professors to install it on two home computers. So who am I to argue.