Bill Gates takes a moment to celebrate Microsoft passing Lotus to become the No. 1 software company in 1987.

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April 17, 1987

From: billg

To: Bill Neukom (LCA); ‘frankga’; ‘jeffh’: Jeff Raikes;

Jon Shirley; Scott Olson; Steve Ballmer

As conservative as we are about self-congratulations and celebrating our achievements, I have to say, as today went on, I got pretty excited about the fact that we are now the number 1 software company in every respect (sales, profit, units, leadership, people…) In fact when I think of Lotus’s statement at the introduction of their annual report where they say “there is increasing evidence that LOTUS is the preferred vendor, the preferred investor and the preferred employer,” I think they are kidding themselves. We didn’t just have somewhat higher sales that they did — we had $14M more in sales which puts us ahead for 3, 6, 9 and 12 months (I think). Of course their sales may go past ours again and it’s not really our goal to be #1, but I do get a real kick out of the fight that their big distraction of being the largest is being taken away BEFORE WE HAVE EVEN BEGUN TO REALLY COMPETE WITH THEM. Actually, I found out these numbers about 5pm, so I’ve been enjoying it for only 6 hours and it will be a fact of no importance in a few days but I think it’s really great.

Source: Microsoft

Link: (opens Word document)