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WinInfo: Microsoft Feeling the Office Licensing Pinch

May 30, 2003, 02:30 (24 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Paul Thurrott)

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"Years ago, as I downloaded floppy disk images of an up and coming new operating system called Slackware Linux to my Windows 95 PC, I rhetorically asked a colleague how Microsoft would respond if the open source community ever supplied a credible Microsoft Office challenger at little or no cost. Back then, the only major challengers to Office were similar products--with similar price tags--from Corel and Lotus, making Microsoft's suite a pretty obvious choice: After all, which company could make a more integrated product than the one that made the underlying operating system?

"Regardless, the question remained: What would happen if some entity--a company, individual, or group of programmers--cloned the 10 percent of Office that most people actually used and then offered the product to the public for free or for significantly less money than Microsoft Office...?"

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