No More Little Bundle of Joy

Last night, I wrote about how I had a new toy: Corel WordPerfect X3. If you read the Answers.Com page on WordPerfect, you’ll see there was once a heated battle with Micro$oft over bragging rights. Quoting from that article:

At a time when both WordPerfect and Microsoft were in the midst of releasing versions of their flagship writing programs for Windows, WordPerfect filed a lawsuit seeking to stop Microsoft from advertising that it had “the most popular word processor in the world.” WordPerfect argued that it deserved that title, based on the total number of WordPerfect programs sold. Microsoft, which had been claiming since June 1993 to have the “most popular” word-processor, responded to the suit by citing Dataquest Inc. figures which showed that Microsoft Word outsold WordPerfect in 1992; WordPerfect cited contradictory data showing it had a sales edge in both 1992 and the first quarter of 1993. Four days after the suit was filed the two software companies agreed in an out-of-court settlement that WordPerfect could use the terms “most popular” and “all-time best selling” while Microsoft would be allowed to call its Word program “best selling.”

Why do I mention this? I’m sure you’ve seen spam touting OEM versions of products. These are versions that come pre-loaded on computers. When I was shopping for X3, I saw numerous OEM versions of X3 for sale (I didn’t buy that–I bought the Standard Version-Upgrade). But this means someone, somewhere is preloading X3.

So I started looking at the ads. At least in the PC mags that I get, nowhere were software bundles mentioned. Not WordPerfect Office. Not Micro$oft Office. Not even OpenOffice. I remember purchasing a computer in 1999 from Cybermax, and it coming with an impressive bundle of software: loads of games, utilities, the WordPerfect suite. Other computers came with the Word suite. But you don’t see bundles of software anymore–in fact, most of the mail order manufacturers from those heady days are gone. For those that remain, the bundle, other than the O/S, is now optional.

I guess it demonstrates, yet again, how the market has changed…