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Gobe Productive for Windows in trouble?

Filed under the:  department.
Posted by:Ryan on Sunday, 03 Jun, 2001 @ 4:56 PM
Gobe Software

The Register recently ran a “MS Calls Linux a Cancer” article, which obviously caused some replies. The Register has posted the replies as a new article. The third response is what is interesting, as refers to a BeOS related company in Portland Oregon, producing software for Windows. Read on.

Here is an excerpt from the Register article:

Recently a small company in Portland tried to get a foot into the Microsoft door. This company contacted the powers that be at Gateway and indicated they would like to introduce a new product which would allow Gateway to be more competitive in the marketing of their computers. Gateway responded enthusiastically until they discovered the company they were dealing with had been an advocate of the Be operating system. Then they shut the magic door and replied they were not interested.

Oddly enough, the product the company wanted to promote to Gateway was created, designed, and produced to run on Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, etc. But….alas….the door was closed before it even had a chance to open.

Now, I haven’t recieved any official word about Productive for Windows from Gobe, and it may not even be Gobe mentioned in the article, but this seems pretty solid. It seems that Gobe is trying to market Productive 3.0 for windows to various OEM’s, who are being scared away by Gobe’s BeOS connection. This leads into whole realms of speculation about Gobe dropping Be to promote Windows, or Gobe being killed by short sighted OEM’s.

I have emailed Gobe for a statement, and will attach it here if and when it arrives.

36 Responses to “Gobe Productive for Windows in trouble?”

  1. Utako Says:


    Never before now have I hated Microsoft more viciously.

  2. Delija Says:

    I love Productive

    Productive is good enough for my needs. I handles Dest Top Publishing like a champ, yet its price is accessable to a wide range of people. M$Office is overkill, and frankly isnt as responsive as Productive. I think they can fill a niche in Winland.

  3. Anonymous Says:


    With thier dismal sales, and shoddy PCs, Gateway is lucky anyone is approching them at all.

    Gateway Countrys sure are dropping fast.

    Heh, heh.

  4. LeftTurn Says:


    …if this isn’t a show of monopolistic power, I don’t know what is.

    It would be quite a shame if the article is referring to Gobe and they are being shut out of the market. Even on Windows, Gobe Productive would be an excellent alternative for people using Windows.

    It should not matter about any company at all and what ties they have to any operating system.

    I would bet if even one OEM stood up and did the right thing, their equipment would have a leg up on the competition.

  5. Kart Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 06/04/2001 10:59:28 AM

    Re: This just plain sucks

    It’s sort of a .uk-english versus .us-english thing. Collective nouns are almost always treated as plural in English, but not always in American.

    The differences are subtle, but sort of weirdly irritating if you’re reading along and not mentally in .us or .uk mode already.

    Ever notice that in England, people “go to hospital”, but in North America, they “go to *the* hospital”?
    [Edited at 12:43 Jun 4 2001 by Kart]

  6. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 06/04/2001 10:59:28 AM

    Re: This just plain sucks

    Dude- lightens up! ;-)

  7. Kart Says:

    In Response To Utako @ 06/03/2001 6:22:42 PM

    graaar. hulk smash!

    I’m disgusted too. Seems like Microsoft and Gateway are bullying everybody out of the market who doesn’t meet their bigoted standards.

    Gateway’s in a position where they’ll get slapped around if Big Brother Microsoft finds out that Gateway was making business with Gobe.

    Hitachi killed BeOS on their Flora Prius systems for the same reason. No company dares even to give the impression that they’re fostering competition with Microsoft. The entire market is in collusion with Microsoft.

    BTW, mnep, it’s spelled “competition” ;-)

  8. Chevron Says:

    This just plain sucks

    Poor Gobe, a magnificent company who are trying to do something right in the world of computing just get knocked back because of reputation, that’s just ludicrous. I really think this is tied into Be’s Reputation at the moment, it certainly is in tatters.

    I hope Gobe are resilient enough to overcome this setback, and find their dreams realised elsewhere.

    -One Happy Gobe Productive User.

  9. bkakes Says:

    In Response To Delija @ 06/03/2001 6:30:11 PM

    Re: I love Productive

    I also like Productive a lot, but there are some features it still needs if it wants to have a chance in Windows land (whether or not they are in 3.0 I do not know). Word is one of those programs that has 95% more stuff than you’ll ever need, but some of that 5% is nice enough to still make it more attractive than the competition. Most prominently in my mind is the red underlines for misspelled words; it’s a much better solution than forcing people to go back over the document with a separate spell checker afterward (and yes, if it annoys you, you can turn it off). The customizable toolbar is very nice, and the substitution of quotes for inches marks (Windows gets quotes wrong [you have to press Alt 0xxx], whereas Be does them right [Option-bracket], but most people still don’t know to use them), and em-dashes for –s, and things like that. Also, of course, don’t forget the file format. Office has established its file formats as the standard, and that’s very important.

    But I agree that with a few tweaks and added features, Productive could be very nice for home users and the like. Microsoft sells Works (which comes with the full version of Word) for like $110 or so, so if you could get Productive for $50, it could be an attractive option.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Chevron @ 06/04/2001 03:46:17 AM

    Re: This just plain sucks

    Since when do (singular) company names agree with plural verbs!? That drives me frickin nuts!!


  11. Anonymous Says:

    Computer industry

    Wow…this is SO depressing. Not just this article, but the whole
    computer industry in general. Crap like this should not be taking place.
    If M$ wins the appeal, I can only imagine how much worse things will get.
    Big Brother (M$) will own your computer. Geez..computers used to be fun.
    Now, more and more is being forced upon the end users. Less and less choices.

  12. Galley_SimRacer Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 06/04/2001 2:04:49 PM

    Re: Computer industry

    At the rate things are going, I think it’s entirely possible that Microsoft and their .Net “strategy” takes over the Internet as we know it, with perhaps another small, underground Internet for the anti-establishment types that MS will somehow never be ble to kill off.

  13. franknputer Says:

    In Response To bkakes @ 06/04/2001 05:13:35 AM

    Re: I love Productive

    “Most prominently in my mind is the red underlines for misspelled words; it’s a much better solution than forcing people to go back over the document with a separate spell checker afterward…”

    You know, for me this is one of THE most annoying features of Office. I type a lot of nonstandard things in documents, & find it a real pain to see 70-80% of my document underlined in red, because the program assumes I screwed up. (The same goes for the grammar checker, which doesn’t even understand the sentences half the time.)

    Sure, I can turn it off - but is this much more trouble than hitting a spellcheck button?

    “Also, of course, don’t forget the file format. Office has established its file formats as the standard, and that’s very important.”

    It’s important as far as that’s what most people use - but it’s not a “feature”, for better or worse. I could argue, actually, that by not allowing the formatting codes to be disclosed they do harm to the exchange of information, rather than setting a standard. Plain text is a standard - strange formatting that people have to reverse-engineer to decode is not.

    EDIT - Don’t take all this the wrong way. I’m glad you like Productive (I do too), & I do agree that it could use some more in the way of features.)
    [Edited at 16:11 Jun 4 2001 by franknputer]

  14. Anonymous Says:

    Say it isnt true …

    I hope it isnt true … even thought Gobe would be nice on Windows … most organizations buy MS Office so they can have Outlook as it is the only client to properly connect to Exchange.

    Gobe should be working on the product which made them famous — Productive for BeOS. Come on Gobe — where is our new version ?

    Gobe is really lacking on Office 2000 support … it supports Office 97 great.

    I’ve written to Gobe about an issue with cells in it’s spreadsheet you can’t merge cells which is a very common thing I do in Excel all the time. I got no response from Gobe.

    I wouldn’t buy their Windows version anyway …

  15. bkakes Says:

    In Response To franknputer @ 06/04/2001 4:09:02 PM

    Re: I love Productive

    >Sure, I can turn it off - but is this much more trouble than hitting a spellcheck button?

    Absolutely not. One checkbox turns off red underlines for the (I suspect) minority of people who don’t want them, forever. Only having an old-fashioned spell check means every user has to consciously go back and check the spelling on every single thing he/she writes, often multiple times per document. Not only is this more work for the user (and more to remember, thus introducing more errors), but it’s the wrong paradigm: if you mistyped a word, you have to go back at the end, choose a function, and then for each misspelling you have read the surrounding text to figure out what you meant instead of taking care of it right away.

    (Not to mention that with the underlines, ignoring words it thinks are wrong is a lot less annoying than using it with an old-fashioned checker; your eyes can ignore an underline, but a spell-checker will go through the entire document every time.)

    Like I said, I can appreciate that some people don’t like the underlines. However, since so many people seem to (and it makes sense that they would), not having them is a serious detriment. Especially since turning off the feature is so easy for those it annoys.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    [No Subject]

    I never liked Gateway.

    Why not port to platforms yet to be infected by M$ Office. Lot’s of people want to see Office on Linux, why not preempt M$ and get there first.

  17. Tasslehoff Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 06/04/2001 9:58:14 PM

    Re: Say it isnt true …

    I think that cellspanning feature in the spreadsheet module is planned for Gobe 3.0. There is an interesting thread that has been going for a year or something on http://www.thegreenboard.com in the “Productive and Utility Apps” board.
    There’s also a new thread about the future of Gobe on BeOS with a comment from Tom Hoke from Gobe.

    PS: I wished I could post the URL the the specific threads, but here’s again an example why frames are evil! :}

  18. Chevron Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 06/04/2001 12:28:01 AM

    Re: This just plain sucks

    Yeah, Lighten up, ok!
    Being overtly pedantic restricts our thoughts to the mundane, lose the pendantic mind and you find an aspect of your true self, liberate those restricted thought patterns.
    [Edited at 7:21 Jun 5 2001 by Chevron]

  19. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Galley_SimRacer @ 06/04/2001 3:55:04 PM

    Re: Computer industry

    I think that Bill Gates has made a deal with Satan to control the world, and that he gets his power by sacrificing children on an altar made of old XTs.

    Come on, people! Do you realize how stupid you all sound? Microsoft was targeted by a bunch of anti-capitalist swine that could write decent code to save their lives and wanted to blame all their woes on Microsoft. When was the last time you ran a stable version of Netscape on ANY platform? It’s buggy on the Mac, it’s buggy on Linux, and it’s buggy on Windows.

    Be may have a superior product, but they came out with it several years too late. If the current codebase for BeOS was released at or before the release of Win95, undoubtedly we would all be running BeOS 8 by now, but it’s all a matter of “too little, too late”.

    Of course, we could force thousands of computer people to lose their jobs by forcing MS to close its doors, then take Bill’s money (what’s left of it, since most of it isn’t “real” money, but a portfolio value) and redistribute it to everybody in America that has ever owned a MS product… But that would be stupid.

    Nobody forces anybody to keep Windows on their personal machine. It’s a choice. Deal with it.

  20. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 06/05/2001 08:53:37 AM

    Re: Computer industry

    No one forces you to keep Windows, but it still is tough to *buy* a PC without buying Windows. I’m all for capitalism, but a lot of Microsoft’s actions are reprehensible, whatever you think of their software. For example, how about when Windows 95 was released and Microsoft offered to pay retail software stores (in the form of Win95 discounts) to remove OS/2 from the shelves? What about the MS bootloader license that prohibits dual-booting? Explain how these practices are in the public’s interest. It seems abundantly clear that Microsoft will use both legal and illegal means to build up their business, as long as they feel they can get away with it.

    David Bruce

  21. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 06/05/2001 08:53:37 AM

    Re: Computer industry

    you just want Bill Gates’ babys…I can tell!

  22. altp Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 06/05/2001 12:58:38 AM


    Office is not actually that bad … It wouldn’t be my first choice, but it does an excelent job at producing documents and spread sheets.

    and being the standard, it’s a lot easier to use office than worry about compatability issues using other software.

    hehe … MS-IE has become a standard, and does the job fairly well and doesn’t crash taht often. Office has become a standard, and again, it does the job well. Encarta is my favorite encyclopedia on a computer, Outlook is a complete package taht does what it is supposed to do, if it was just more secure. Windows Media player has come a LONG way and has good quality output now.

    hehe …. if they could only get a descent OS …


  23. oberon Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 06/04/2001 9:58:14 PM

    Re: Say it isnt true …

    I have to say that support from Gobe has been the total opposite from you, last week I posted in Benews forum about problems with Word translators in Productive 2.01 and few hours later I had a mail in my inbox from Tom Hoke asking for more details, I sent him a reply and 5 minutes(!) later he had already answered…

  24. oberon Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 06/05/2001 12:58:38 AM

    Re: [No Subject]

    I think Ive read somewhere that Productive was being ported to Windows and Linux too…can anyone confirm?
    [Edited at 14:35 Jun 5 2001 by oberon]

  25. chrish Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 06/05/2001 12:58:38 AM

    Productive on Linux

    I bought Productive for BeOS, I’d certainly buy it (or hopefully a cheap cross-grade) for Linux.

    I wouldn’t buy a Windoze version, but then again, I never try to do anything useful on Windows, it’s just there to play games. ;-)

    - chrish

  26. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 06/05/2001 12:58:38 AM

    Linux Productive

    I, for one, would buy Productive if it came out in
    a Linux port. And, I’d be happy to pay full
    price. While Star Office is a decent office suite
    in Linux (probably the best, but that’s open
    to argument and individual tastes), I find Pro-
    ductive to be much more graceful in both design
    and use.

    Additionally, couldn’t a Windows version still be
    done, even if it’s not bundled with Windows on
    Gateway PCs? Or, would it be just too tough an
    uphill battle?

    Finally, though I have no reason to purchase
    another copy of Productive for myself, does Gobe
    see some revenue if I buy Corum III from them? I’d
    love to support Gobe some more, but.. I’ve
    about exhausted all the products they sell. :)

  27. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To franknputer @ 06/04/2001 4:09:02 PM

    Re: I love Productive


    nice comic.. hehe


  28. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To oberon @ 06/05/2001 2:32:36 PM

    Re: Say it isnt true …

    wow … thats not bad … i might submit my problem again.

  29. Ores Says:

    In Response To franknputer @ 06/04/2001 4:09:02 PM

    Re: red lines

    I think the idea of the red lines is a good one
    i think its just done badly, making it a bit more upbeat, eg reconizing that and ’s are the same thing, having to go ignore all to both is annoying.
    Also when you use technical documents, it could maybe automatically turn off or somthing. If your typing out a fairly standard letter, its good to be able to see your mispelt words quickly and selectivly.

  30. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 06/05/2001 08:53:37 AM

    Re: Computer industry

    Wake up and look around you.

    If any company comes up with a good idea that is perceived to threaten microft’s monopoly, they usually do th following
    1. buy the company and pervert or shelve the technology.
    2. steal the idea and pass it off as their own.
    3. Failing the above they freeze out said company through immoral and un-ethical back room deals.
    4. drag the poor company through courts and litigation until they go bankrupt fighting a non-existant copyright or patent infringement.

    We do not have the ability to choose aslternative products because microsoft kills any up and coming competitors before they become well known.

    and thats the fact. end of story.


  31. Anonymous Says:

    Linux is a cancer

    It’s true.

  32. ansis5 Says:

    In Response To Tasslehoff @ 06/05/2001 03:13:26 AM

    Re: Say it isnt true …

    In Net , right click, select “show this frame only” and get the URL from there:



    I agree with you though, frames generally cause more trouble than they’re worth. :/

  33. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 06/04/2001 9:58:14 PM

    Re: Say it isnt true …

    We’re working on Gobe Productive 3.0. The Windows and BeOS versions use the same source. What aspect of 2000 support are we lacking? The file format has not significantly changed since 97. Merging cells is a feature in 3.0 spreadsheet. I don’t know why you haven’t recieved a reply are you sending it to support@gobe.com?

    -Tom Hoke
    Gobe Software, Inc.

  34. Tom Hoke Says:

    In Response To Chevron @ 06/04/2001 03:46:17 AM

    Thanks for the kind words…

    To all who answered in this thread. Thank you for your kind words.
    -Tom Hoke
    Gobe Software, Inc.

  35. Tom Hoke Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 06/05/2001 3:44:58 PM

    Re: Linux Productive

    ” I find Productive to be much more graceful in both design and use.”
    Ahhh Anonymous I can only hope you’re a software reviewer who might someday pass our path :)
    Great tag line!!!

    As for Corum… yes we get some revenue from each Corum we distribute. It’s a very pretty Game that plays pretty well if you like the RPG genre.


  36. Anonymous Says:

    Gobe Windows???

    Frankly, if they’re in trouble, it’s not entirely their fault.

    The fact is that MS is so entrenced in so many places, and the lawyers have drawn up enough docos with signatures to make sure the cover is on the jar and no jam will be spilt.

    Personally I hate MSOffice because it’s every hackers dream of entry to your box. Java and Javascript in an email is what is killing email in general. Simple attachments are fine and if your dumb enough to indiscriminantly open some file types sent to you from people you don’t know, then you get everything coming to you that you asked for. Simply put, we don’t need all the garbage that Micro$oft is pushing in our faces.

    Gobe productive under BEOS for me is a charmer. I’m doing some “templates” for all the media papers I work with and projects I do. They take exactly 1/4th the time to do than under Office.

    In Windows, I’ve started using Star Office and find that to be quite acceptable compared to Office. I’ve not seen a copy of Gobe on it, but knowing “Microsoft sneaky programming tricks”, probably aint very stable under Winblows…
    Either that or they’ve stuck entirely with the “stock user” lib’s and done nothing “special” because that might infringe on Microsoft’s Office monopoly…


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