In an interview with the BBC which is being widely linked, I recently said “claims by Microsoft that people were buying their software because it was good are pretty self-serving.” The BBC didn’t run the rest of what I said about Microsoft’s success, probably because they were looking to find someone to set up opposite Bill. Fine. These days we have blogs, so here’s my unfiltered side of the story.
What I said to the BBC, as I’ve said on many occasions about Microsoft’s competitors, which was that 20-25 years ago none of us (Lotus included) applied the same combination of business and technical rigor as Microsoft, and we paid the price. Bill makes this point in his interview, and I agree. I also speculated that had Microsoft stayed inside the foul lines in its conduct it might well have triumphed anyway, but we’ll never know.