• Subject: Re: IBM Spin Doctors on AS/400 Marketing
  • From: "Chris Rehm" <Mr.AS400@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 08 Nov 1997 10:11:41 -0700

>OK, but the premise falls apart when you try to understand why so many
>companies purchased NT in the first place.  How did so many of them find
>about a product that was not even released yet?

Product not released yet? NT was released in '92. By the end of '95
Microsoft had sold about 900,000 licenses for it (less than IBM sold in
the month of December '95 for OS/2). I am not sure what you mean by find
out about a product not even out. 

Do you mean back in '91 when Microsoft announced they would be releasing
their new product in November? That was when NT and 95 were all one
product (but when NT was released MS announced that Chicago would be
released soon). NT didn't sell much. Through the end of '94 there were
less than 300,000 licenses sold for it. Remember, it is a desktop solution
as well as a network one. 

Microsoft tried to come up with a 32 bit api for both NT and 95 that would
allow a number of applications to run on both. This was buggy and still
causes incompatibilities, but it did allow Microsoft to get NT compatible
stickers on a large number of applications. 

Also, by bundling MS Office on shipping PCs, MS forced competing office
suites out of the market place. So, when MS supports NT with their own
office suite they are catering to the majority of users. Then, when MS
puts a feature into their office suite that takes advantage of an NT
specific product (say, MS Back Office) they create a demand for NT. 

Other office suites which might use features of other products (like Lotus
SmartSuite which might use Notes, for instance) can't get bundling deals
because Microsoft will not allow PC vendors to ship competing products.
Software developers, seeing this, know that if they want to make money
they need to develop for the product that will be around in the future,
and publish their press releases likewise.

It is very effective. IBM discovered that spending $200,000,000 on
marketing a superior product with a long track record didn't make a
difference. I think that IBM would find the same problem marketing the


>Dean Asmussen

Chris Rehm
You have to ask yourself, "How often can I afford to be unexpectedly out of 
Get an AS/400.
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