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Boston Globe: Sharing the Riches

Dec 20, 2002, 17:30 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Chris Gaither)

"Trolling the high-tech waters in search of the next big thing, legions of software entrepreneurs have learned, the hard way, to steer clear of Microsoft Corp.'s main turf: platforms for the personal computer.

"The overwhelming bulk of the profits from operating systems and office productivity software flows to Microsoft, which sets its own pace for improving those applications. Few start-ups can find profits in this business that the world's largest software maker dominates.

"But if you are rich enough and have no shareholders to answer to, why concern yourself with profits? With the fortune he amassed creating the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet application that helped start the PC revolution, Mitch Kapor has tackled such socially responsible causes as environmental health, education for the poor, and Internet privacy and free speech. His focus now is on a nonprofit corporation with an unusual goal: giving average PC users richer software that lets them manage their e-mail, calendar appointments, contact lists, tasks, and documents in new ways, allowing more intuitive sharing of information..."

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