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   RE: [xml-dev] The non-future of XHTML x.x [LONG]

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It was both.  Free for download and available 
off the shelf as a CD for those who didn't want to 
download it (slow modems dominated the day then). 

The other thing about that history:  the seventies 
and eighties were dominated by systems buys.   It 
isn't that software was given away for free as a 
norm, it was that it was part of the price of a 
systems buy.  It still is.  IE is free to download 
but one first buys an MS-enabled system, and with that, 
one can consider IE a part of the upgrade per the 
licensing agreement.  If one wants to get a different 
browser, one can and many do.  This is user-driven. 
That is a different issue from developing applications 
for a specific-browser.  Most of us still do that 
because browser interoperability is still weak.  The 
future of any standard such as XHTML is in the ability 
of that standard to enhance cross-browser interoperability 
while still maintaining application performance.  No free lunch.

The history of platforms.  The seachange was the introduction 
of the standard hardware platform in the form of the 
IBM PC.  Up until then, one tended to focus the system 
on a single hardware provider (eg, DEC minis, Vaxes, 
etc.).   As the PC grew in power in the 90s, focus 
shifted away from single vendor procurements to 
procurements in which the PC standard was cited, but 
a single vendor (now Dell, Compaq, etc) was procured. 

The norm now for us is that.  If the customer wants 
to procure their own hardware, we tell them the specs 
they must meet.  If they ask us to procure it, we 
tell them which vendor we prefer.  Mixed systems are 
also not uncommon.

By far and away, the preferred operating system for the 
PC is still MS Windows.   That can change but what I see is 
still in the systems sales.  For example, rumor is that 
CNN recently changed over to Linux on IBM platforms.  The 
cost break was good and so was the performance.  So it 
is not the open source that was attractive, but the overall 
systems configuration.  For large sales, I don't think 
this has changed, but it is a market in which open source 
is a viable option and is becoming more competitive.  These 
buyers don't care about the open source business model per 
se because they don't see it.  They go to a systems house 
and buy from them based on their recommendations.


From: Joe English [mailto:jenglish@flightlab.com]

I don't remember Netscape ever charging money for Navigator.
I certainly never paid for it.  They may have licensed it to ISVs,
but it was always available to end users for free download.


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