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Monday, November 8, 1993 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Software Firm Quicksoft Closes Doors -- Maker Of Pc-Write Failed In Efforts To Find A Partner

Seattle's Quicksoft has closed a chapter of software history, quietly shutting the doors to its lower Queen Anne headquarters after efforts to find a strategic partner failed.

Company officials could not be reached for comment, but customers last week reported that Quicksoft had stopped answering its phones. A client who sent payment for an upgrade said the envelope had been returned.

In the mid- to late 1980s, the company's PC-Write was one of the most popular word processing programs available. Marketed as shareware - a "try before you buy" concept pioneered in 1983 by company founder Bob Wallace - PC-Write introduced hundreds of thousands of college students to writing with a computer and gained an international following as a powerful writing tool.

But PC-Write remained available only in a DOS format as the computing world shifted to Microsoft's Windows. The company at one point polled its clients, who reported they were happy with DOS and did not want a Windows version.

But the word-processing field narrowed from hundreds of "cottage" word processors to only a handful of Windows-based document-processors, including Microsoft's new Word 6.0, WordPerfect 6.0 and Lotus' Ami Pro.

Price-slashing also victimized Quicksoft.

Wallace founded Quicksoft 10 years ago with the aim of "making a living, not a killing" in the burgeoning personal-computer software industry. His efforts to bring software makers together to share ideas led to the founding of the Washington Software Association, which includes more than 600 member companies.

Wallace, Microsoft's ninth employee when the company was a tiny start-up in Albuquerque, N.M., in the late 1970s, sold Quicksoft to Microsoft alumnus Leo Nikora in 1991.

Copyright (c) 1993 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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