Microsoft Advertisements Promote Freedom to Innovate In the Software Industry

Microsoft Advertisements Promote Freedom to Innovate In the Software Industry

REDMOND, Wash., April 9, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today announced it is running brief essays in national newspapers in order to refocus the current debate over competition onto the central principle that the company is standing up for – the ability of every American company to continually innovate by integrating new technologies and ideas into its products.

The current essay reads in part: “We believe the marketplace should determine what innovations consumers want. At Microsoft, the freedom to innovate for our customers is more than just a goal; it is a principle worth standing up for.” The advertisements appear in today’s Washington Post, Washington Times, New York Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Seattle Times.

“We want to begin a discussion with the American public, and PC users in particular, about the principle we are fighting for,” said Bob Herbold, Microsoft’s COO, whose responsibilities include Microsoft’s advertising. “Some of our competitors have been working to hobble competition, by denying a competitor the right to improve its products. Our dispute boils down to a simple principle. We believe companies like Microsoft must be allowed to innovate and improve their products for consumers. We believe government regulation of the software industry will hurt consumers, slow innovation and undermine one of the healthiest sectors of our economy. We think Americans believe in the free market and consumer choice.”

Additional essays are scheduled to run in newspapers in the coming months. Today’s essay can be viewed at .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft is either a registered trademark or trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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Text of the Microsoft Essay

Twenty years ago, people wondered what a personal computer could do. Today, people wonder if there is anything it can’t do. In the workplace, it has helped everyone from the CEO to the line worker create, deliver and improve products and services. In education, the PC has created exciting new ways of learning about everything from math and history, to science. At home, the PC has enabled grandparents to communicate with their grandchildren halfway around the globe.

At the heart of this incredible computer revolution is the kind of innovation that is uniquely American. Innovation that results from a spirited, competitive environment in which one company’s good ideas spark more great ideas in other companies.

Innovation is the ability to integrate a vast array of seemingly unrelated capabilities. For example, the cell phone integrates a visual display, telephone, pager and radio. Two decades ago, the PC was little more than a box with lights and switches. Today, the personal computer integrates multiple components into a lightning-fast machine that can manage entire libraries of data and provide instant global communication.

In the past, consumers had to run separate software to print documents, send faxes, change typefaces and navigate hard drives. Today, these tools are completely integrated into operating systems. And thousands of other software companies use these tools to make their products more useful.

Today’s newest technology is the Internet. For consumers and developers to tap the Internet’s full potential, Internet software needs to be seamlessly integrated into operating systems. Integration means people can access the Internet from any software program. And this integration is helping software developers produce new applications that will provide consumers with even better features.

At Microsoft, we’re always working to figure out how to make computers more powerful and easier to use to improve people’s lives. We start by listening to our customers, by collaborating with hundreds of other technology companies, and by constantly improving our products.

Every wave of innovation and integration creates another wave of great ideas. Imagine if someone had tried to stop innovation in automobiles in the 1920s, or TVs in the 1950s. In the same way, no one should try to freeze software innovation in 1998.

We believe the marketplace should determine what innovations consumers want. At Microsoft, the freedom to innovate for our customers is more than a goal, it is a principle worth standing up for.

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