Who Remembers Samna, WordStar, MutiMate and WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS Word Processors?
In my early days of doing desktop support (before Windows made its clunky appearance), I remember starting out supporting Samna word processor (WordStar was also in use at that time) along with Harvard Graphics and Lotus 123 spreadsheet (I'm doing a separate post on retro spreadsheets). They were pretty good in their day but with the advent of WordPerfect that took the world by storm (WordPerfect actually started out on DOS back in 1982 already). WordPerfect was the MS Word of its day and many wondered how it ever got displaced by Microsoft Word (which was only running on the Mac at the time). One thing that Microsoft did do, was to more tightly integrate their bundle of word processing, spreadsheet and presentations tools vs Corel bundling theirs more as best of breed separate products.
Fact is WordPerfect was "perfectly" good and did transition quite well to Windows but MS Word had a two year head start on Windows and had already adapted well to the GUI and mouse environment. WordPerfect's stumble to Windows cost them dearly and goes to show that as big as a product may be they can stumble and lose out (look at Internet Explorer too).
WordPerfect had an excellent "reveal codes" view and a strong macros functionality that allowed powerful tweaking and fixing, and had also a strong following within the legal and government environments.
I still have a few .wp5 documents on my hard drive!