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Gerald Bauer wrote:
> Microsoft is out to kill off the web and replace it with inbreed
> Windows-only APIs.
If this is the case, then it is up to us to take back the
initiative and start driving things in the direction that we want. I'm
tired of seeing everyone just sit around and complaining about how
Microsoft rules the world. It doesn't have to be this way...
Before you say that I'm na´ve, remember that Microsoft was
dragged kicking and screaming into TCP/IP, the web, etc. by the action
of folk like us who were driving *real* innovation and were not afraid
to do it. Back in the early 90's Microsoft was happily building
proprietary networking protocols and expected to have them take over
the world. Then, folk like Nick Tatham in New Zealand built Trumpet
WinSock and suddenly Windows3.0 was the most rapidly growing TCP/IP
client out there. So, Microsoft built "wolverine" -- their TCP/IP
add-in option for Windows 3.0 in order to "take back control" and folk
like Nick got blown out of the market. Nonetheless, Microsoft didn't
embrace TCP/IP because they wanted to -- they were forced into doing
it. They had had a TCP/IP project for years before, but weren't
pushing it since it wasn't strategic. The community forced them to
The same thing happened with the Web and HTML. Back in the
day, Microsoft was pushing "Blackbird" and then Microsoft BookReader
(? did I remember the names right?) as the format for online
multimedia content. They were ignoring the Web stuff since it wasn't
invented there... Then, the web started to grow and they were forced
to dump that whole line of development (we only have remnants of it
today in the Help system for Windows) and move to defending by
adopting the web standards and fighting it out with Netscape. Sure,
Microsoft "won" this battle by giving away free software, etc., but
you can also say they "lost" since they were forced to accept "our"
solutions instead of pushing their own proprietary stuff.
This has happened in other realms as well...
Innovation in the market place has forced Microsoft to follow
the "correct" path in the past. Even though they are bigger today, it
still should be possible to get them to do the right thing. We just
need the right arguments, the right threats, and some first class
Yes, I'm a dreamer... It's more fun that way.