Subject: Feedback on PowerComputing IPO direct from the President, COO
Date: Wed, 2 Jul 97
From: Grant Bayley <email@example.com>
cc: "Joel Kocher", "Mike Rosenfelt"
In regards to the current shock topic in the Mac advocacy field - that of
Power Computing moving into the area of WindowsNT servers in the future, as
described in their IPO filing, I thought I'd relate to you all a little
conversation I just had with Joel Kocher, COO and President of Power
I sent a letter to firstname.lastname@example.org last night, Sydney, Australia
time, basically stating that given the reports in the press, I was shocked
to hear about their apparent move away from the Mac platform and to the
opposition, using processors from Intel in WindowsNT boxes. I expressed to
them my concerns about buying a Power Computing machine in light of this
move and asked them to reconsider their decision on the matter.
This morning, I received a letter from Brian Combs about the letter,
stating that it had been passed up the chain of command and that Mr Kocher
wanted to speak with me personally about the matter. I sent back a small
explanation of my comments (Why I wasn't buying Apple or Motorola etc)
along with my phone number and didn't expect to hear much more about it for
another day or so. Wrong. Within two hours, my phone was ringing and I had
Mr Kocher and Mike R on a conference call from Austin at 8pm their time and
11am my time.
We spoke for about 10 minutes about their requirement to basically remain
silent after the announcement of an IPO and then on exactly why they were
making the move into the Windows NT server and to a lesser degree Win95
desktop market. In summary, these are the points they made and asked me to
pass on to the Mac community:
- Power is doing this after months of consultation earlier this year in
which users and IT staff stated that the juggernaut of WindowsNT on the
server and to a similar degree on the desktop is being used to push Macs
out of organizations, and that while IT staff were happily buying NT, Mac
users were not happy with the situation and wanted some way to keep their
Macs and also keep the IT drones happy.
- Power is using this strategy as a "Trojan horse" to keep the Mac market
alive in businesses that would otherwise have followed the path as
described above. In other words (my words) "WindowsNT server and the MacOS
from one vendor, seamlessly integrated"
- Power seems to have decided that as far as IT departments are concerned,
UNIX is dead and WindowsNT has won the race, and that fighting the battle
on terms similar to those that Apple has used to fight Windows would not
work in trying to reverse such a trend. I asked if they had considered the
fact that alot of the things I'd guess people would want to run on NT exist
as well on UNIX, they restated "WindowsNT has won". I was a little
surprised at how strongly they believed this, but nonetheless, in light of
the Trojan horse analogy above, it seems reasonable, IMHO. I still think
UNIX has some considerable life left in it, especially in light of the
number of patches that NT needs to remain "stable".
- Although I didn't mention it (and I will check on it), I didn't get any
idea on what Power Computing thinks of the Rhapsody platform/technology and
how it factors in with the plans to built Wintel boxes. I'll get back to
you on this.
Overall, my impression is that while they intend to keep the Mac platform
a core part of their business (the estimate I heard during the conversation
was in 5 years 80% Mac, 20% WinXX), they are making this move to prevent
the Mac platform being marginalised in light of the domination of Windows
NT, giving businesses no reason not to stay with the Mac on the desktop yet
keeping the IT gods with their own OS for the server, and all from the one
In conclusion, I'm impressed that a single user's feedback has gone so far
up the chain, and made it to the point of an international conference call.
I'm also impressed that they were so forthright about their plans and the
reason behind them. impressed enough to buy the PowerCenter Pro I've been
drooling over? I'd say so.
Hope this clarifies the situation a bit. Has for me, anyway. It's not
everyday you talk to the President of a company.
Grant Bayley AusMac Archive Admin, Mac Evangelist Spare Time Mac Internet
Consultant http://mac.unsw.edu.au/ email@example.com
I know that, you know that, it's Apple that doesn't know that.
<> firstname.lastname@example.org <>