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The ultra top-secret Microsoft strategy.

Well, it's happened again: another sneak attack from those rascals in Redmond. This time, the entire database community was shocked!! to hear that Microsoft plans to roll out Access, its new Windows database, at a $99 promotional price (86% off the $695 SRP). Never mind that Microsoft has been tearing up the rate card to win deals for most of its 16-year history. Never mind that Bill Gates keeps warning Wall Street analysts that he's happy to trade profitability to gain market share. Never mind that Microsoft sales reps are practically giving away every other Windows title to close large corporate accounts- Somehow--and this is the beauty of Microsoft's secret strategy--the price ploy always manages to catch the competition by surprise.

Since the whole software industry only seems to respond to Microsoft's get-the-sale-at-any-price strategy with heavy denial, we're truly baffled by how to write about this otherwise valuable piece of market intelligence- So we'll pass the buck by quoting from Hard Drive, the unofficial biography of Bill Gates (a book that every Microsoft competitor should read):

"Gates hated to lose business deals. He told [Steve] Smith [Microsoft's first marketing director, who joined the company in 1979] that when you lost a deal, you lost it twice--you didn't get the money, and the other company did. If the deal were worth $50,000, then you essentially lost $100,000 because that was the difference between what you could have had and what someone else walked away with. 'We had one rule that we both agreed on,' recalled Smith. 'We would never lose the deal."


Hard Drive, by James Wallace & Jim Erickson, John Wiley & Sons, New York; $22.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Soft-letter
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Microsoft Corp. cuts prices for its Access database management system
Date:Oct 31, 1992
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