Re: How did it win? Simple economics
It was in the WordPefect for Windows v5.1 Licence Agreement that if you had a company copy, you could also load it on a PC at home. It was not "pirating".
I am looking at a copy of that agreement right now, because I still have my boxed copy from work, with floppies, heavy manuals and everything. When my company went over to Word, most people tossed their WordPerfect boxes in the bin, but some of us took it home.
We all (except some PHBs) thought Word was crap compared with WP. We especially missed the "Reveal Codes" feature, and Word would render our old WP files in peculiar fonts; they had only been in Times Roman, but this was Microsoft punishing us for ever having used WP.
I used WP right up until I went to Open Office. I must try re-installing it one day.