From: Bill Gates
Sent: Friday, June 21, 1997 9:37 AM
To: Ben Waldman
Cc: Jon DeVaain; Greg Maffei
Subject: RE: Moving forward with Mac Office 97
I appreciate your mail, It shows the kind of passion about great
products that has made Microsoft successful, I admit we have neglected
the Mac business. Although the Mac is declining if we move ahead on this
product we should ask for the subs with localized product to make a real
I have 2 things I need to understand better.
1) Realistically when do we think we would ship this product?
2) Can we avoid Apple knowing how far along we are for the next 30 days?
From: Ben Waidman
Sent; Friday,June 27, 1997 1:58 AM
To: Bill Gates
Cc: Jon Devain; Greg Maltel
Subject: Moving forward with MacOfficeS?
I am writing to argue for making a final decision to FINISH Mac Office
97, and detach this issue from the current Apple discussions.
The pace of our discussions with Apple as well as their recent
unsatisfactory response have certainly frustrated a lot of people at
Microsoft. The threat to Cancel Mac Office 97 is certainly the strongest
bargaining point we have, as doing so will do a great deal of harm to
Apple immediately. I also believe that Apple is taking this threat
pretty seriously, and at least someone there seems to want to move
forward (when I discussed the issue with Jim Gable, an Apple marketing
VP who visited MS today, he seemed very concerned about getting more
details on our specific objections to their latest proposal; also, we
received mail today from Apple’s evangelism group asking for details on
the Office Early Adopter Program, saying that exec mgmt had instructed
them to get these details (participating in this program was one of the
minor issues in the discussions}).
Regardless of the outcome of these discussions, though, I believe we
should ship Mac Office 97 Furthermore, I believe we need to decide this
immediately - our indecision so far has caused quite a bit of harm, and
this will become far worse very shortly, as we are not only close to
shipping code externally, but need to finally start press and customer
communications, especially with MacWorld a month away.
5) We can experiment with Mac Office
Because Mac Office is so much less critical to our business than
windows, we have the flexibility to test out new things in the product
and in its marketing before we try them on Windows.