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Interview: Chris Stone, Data General's Product Marketing Manager Of Office Systems Talks About CEO
Data General's product marketing manager of Office Systems, Chris Stone, spoke to a closed session of DGUG (Data General Users Group, UK) members during the recent conference and annual meeting. I met with him later for the following interview.
He discussed the specific directions of CEO and CEO-related products for the near future. Although we cannot disclose the details, we'd like to report what general directions DG has planned and why they're going in that direction.
The focus for the future is making CEO functions available on a variety on CPUs and operating systems. Stone echoed the statement that was expressed many times by DG representatives during the conference that DG has come to realize normal business systems are not made up of a single vendor's equipment. They believe the offices of the future will have a variety of machines specific to a variety of tasks, and DG intends to integrate the systems so they all use the common functions of office automation software (mail, filing, calendar, etc.)--all with the same "look."
DGR: The first question I have centers around the controversy about charging for CEOwrite. I'd heard it is being sold unbundled and is considerably more expensive than WordPerfect.
CS: No, it's not. WordPerfect recently raised their price, based on the introduction of their new 4.2, and they've also introduced this thing called 5.0, but it's only available for PCs right now. And they'll move it to minicomputers eventually. Or maybe they won't though, because 5.0 includes a lot of graphics enhancements that don't make sense on a minicomputer. But the price of CEOwrite is actually half that of WordPerfect on the lower machines and equal to it on the higher machines--that was the pricing strategy. We also looked at what DEC prices WPS-Plus at, and what Wang prices WP Plus at, and [CEOwrite is] cheaper. So in relative terms, it's less expensive.
I think the uproar is just the fact that it has a price tag associated with it and that we initially said we were going to include it. We should take the blame for that. It was a miscommunication. We shouldn't have said that, but we were excited about putting in a new word processor.
DGR: With equal functionality, it makes sense that it cost a similar amount. But, I'm wondering about the upgrade option you mentioned [in the DGUG presentation]. I think that would appease a lot of people who're interested in replacing CEO word …