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Microsoft

New IE Disables Netscape-style Plug-ins 534

Posted by michael
from the antitrust-shields-holding-firm dept.
Snibor Eoj writes: "In his latest column, Robert Cringely takes a look at Microsoft's motivation for disabling Netscape API plug-ins in IE. As always with Cringely, it's an interesting take on things. We'll see how this one turns out..." Among other things, this will disable Quicktime plugins.
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New IE Disables Netscape-style Plug-ins

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  • All Netscape/AOL has to do to get back in the game is develop a 'Web Page Loader' plugin for their browser. Then they can claim to ignorant Joe Sixpack that MS's new architecture refuses to support their plugin and therefore cannot load web pages!

    It's perfect! MS will be slapped down by their ignorance, and the mass of netizens will flock back to Netscape because they can't be without the ability to load web pages!

    • MS will be slapped down by their ignorance, and the mass of netizens will flock back to Netscape because they can't be without the ability to load web pages!

      Not likely. Which browser is the standard browser? It's not Netscape.

      Site designers will design for the standard browser, which is IE.

      Next: expect MS to introduce new "standards" that site designers use, which exclude other platforms.
    • Only problem: most web developers write HTML with IE in mind, and NS is an afterthought (thorn) that is worked out in the testing process. Besides, most people use IE, so if your page didn't load, your site visitors are going to assume you are a dumb webmaster.
      :)


      • >Only problem: most web developers write HTML
        >with IE in mind

        The problem, to be more precise, is that web developers do not write HTML at all. They write
        the markup language for some or other particular browser application, but it most certainly is NOT HTML.

        If web developers would be professional enough to embrace standards properly, we wouldn't need to have this discussion.

  • by Faies (248065) on Friday August 17, 2001 @07:43PM (#2111107) Homepage
    Alright, we know from the article that Quicktime is out for sure.

    But won't removing also kill Flash, one of the few Internet-wide plugins that I can be pretty sure these days that the majority of the visitors to my website can see? If that happens, a whole lot of site designers will sure be peeved.

    Course, that will include every media company and such.

    However, it would help me get away from those cutesy webpages I see sometimes that keep on playing annoying loops of midi quality music and disable the controls too (and which takes it's own pleasant time to load on my 56k) :)
  • GO MICROSOFT! and everyone stop picking on them. (although this technique will expire in a month, when everyone decides to jump on MS again...)
  • Intercompatibility (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Digitalia (127982)
    Obviously, we'll get a slew of complaints concerning anti-trust allegations and such. Yet here's my question: should intercompatibility and interoperability be mandatory in software when they aren't in the rest of market law?

    Also, isn't this motivation for a new standard in web browsing? We have one for the languages of the web, and for the content. Yet we don't have one for the viewer or plugins. If there were a standard, such as in CD players or other infrastructure, then we would have a reason to be upset when someone deviates from the standard. As it is, the businesses devise their own standards, for good and bad.
  • Some thoughts.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Picass0 (147474) on Friday August 17, 2001 @04:19PM (#2117941) Homepage Journal
    1) If IE stops supporting external plug ins, how many plug-in publishers will go out of business?

    2) If a plug-in maker goes out of business, I won't have future updates of that plug-in for my Linux based browser.

    3) If a plug-in such as RealPlayer or Flash goes away, websites will change to a MS based technology to drive it's content.

    4) If a websites require MS based technology that is not supported by my browser, the internet starts becoming much smaller for non-MS people.

    5)By creating the perception that plug-in technology is a liability, the laywers start looking for other browser publishers who do use plug-ins and sue them. Hello Netscape, AOL, and maybe even desktop shells with integrated HTML support. Hello Gnome.

    6) Without plug-in support it becomes damn near imposible for other OSs (Hello Linux) to utilize Microsoft's .NET.

    7) This is a very clever way for MS to further the goal of "the browser is the operating system". Hello monopoly.
  • Just more of the same nonsense.

    Let's face it, a cometitors' plugin interface is bound to be more stable and consistent than anything MS publishes, for reasons that have been beaten into the ground.

    Having an IE plugin interface in Mozilla, for example, would be ludicrous. The lizards would spend far more time playing catchup with MS interfaces than doing anything else, thus killing the project. Duh.

    Hopefully the courts will demand a few things from MS immediately:

    1) Open MS Exchange to LDAP/POP3 access unconditionally.
    2) Allow OEMs the right to add or remove components, software and icons unconditionally.
    3) Allow OEMs the right to ship dual boot systems unconditionally.

    If Ford shipped a car that only ran on Ford(tm) gasoline, or a GM dealer couldn't add accessories to a vehicle at the customer's request, or on their own initiative, there would be OUTRAGE expressed by the dealers, end buyers, and accessory shops.

    These steps should have been taken years ago.
  • by vaxer (91962) <sylvar@NospaM.vaxer.net> on Friday August 17, 2001 @02:59PM (#2118058) Homepage

    RXC says:

    "Goodbye EMBED."

    Goodbye indeed. See ya. Don't let the door hit you in the marketing department on the way out.

    I, for one, won't miss the EMBED tag. I'd also be willing to go without IFRAME, MARQUEE, and BLINK.

    Microsoft's getting rid of EMBED? Bully for them. It's about time.

    • by gehrehmee (16338)
      IFRAME has been adopted by the W3C as part of the HTML 4.01 standard.
      Information on how to use IFRAME. [w3.org]
    • by tbmaddux (145207)
      Actually it appears more complicated than that, as Microsoft states the following in support article Q303401: [microsoft.com]

      "The Internet Explorer versions that are listed above continue to support the Embed tag. Content creators can continue to use the Embed tag for components that are built on ActiveX technologies..."

      EMBED was never part of the HTML standard anyway, which Microsoft claims to be compliant with. So it would be good to see a migration to the OBJECT tag, which would also work for Java (W3C classifies APPLET as deprecated). But then why does MS continue to support EMBED for only ActiveX? They ought to drop it completely if they're going to be as standards-based as they claim, particularly if they nitpick Sun about submitted Java to a standards body.

      Pot, kettle, black.

  • by belg4mit (152620) on Friday August 17, 2001 @03:45PM (#2119304) Homepage
    NO NO NO NO

    These are not "Netscape style plugins"
    They are <EMBED>, yes Netscape probably
    was the major force getting them into HTML
    but they are legal HTML (3.2 I believe)

    Now IE has dropped support for this tag and is breaking HTML 3.2 support (surprise
    surprise).

    What people are calling "IE style plugins"
    are <OBJECT>which are part of HTML 4.0.

    PS> All those filters and still doesn't translate HTML enitites in text-mode, gret code Slash!
  • I Don't Understand (Score:3, Informative)

    by Hacker Cracker (204131) on Friday August 17, 2001 @02:52PM (#2120648)
    ... why people seem to think that IE and Netscape are the only choices for a decent browser out there when there's such wonderful browsers like Opera [opera.com] out there (not to mention Konqueror--but I digress). It's small (compared to MS and NS bloatware), fast, doesn't spy on you, and it's free (as in adware--oh well, three out of four ain't bad!). The ability to turn off images with the click of a button (or a single keystroke) does wonders for surfing sites with annoying graphics! Give it a whirl--you won't be sorry!

    You can ditch MS and their crapware. All it takes it a little digging!

    -- Shamus

    Bleah!
  • by vectus (193351) on Friday August 17, 2001 @02:26PM (#2121427)
    Quit bashing microsoft.

    They only took out the Quicktime plugin because it is a stable feature, and thus isn't compatible with any Microsoft products.

    If Apple were willing to add some buggy code, I'm sure the Microsoft would be more than happy to allow the feature in Internet Explorer

  • Would we expect any less? This way, they get to screw Apple's video standard in favor of their own, *and* they get to get rid of a deprecated feature that almost nobody else uses.
  • So whats the problem?

    Sure it is a hassle, but Windows or Microsoft per say has an API they're trying to get developers to follow. Netscape a few weeks ago if you don't remember basically said "We are out of the browser Business" so what is the use of supporting the api of a dead browser? Especially one that is based on Mozilla which isn't even a 1.0 product yet?

    Sure netscape 6.1 amd mozilla browsers are getting there, but not quite there yet and maybe in IE 6.01 ot 6.1 you will see it back in or an optional download

    Finally Microsoft is trimming some bloat, and all we have to do is complain or bring up things that aren't even relevant (like monopolistic practices, what in the hell does that have to do with supporting a dead products plugins?)

    Again, just my opinion.

    • Uhh (Score:2, Troll)

      by Auckerman (223266)
      Gee, I don't know. I think using their monolopy position to tie the very existence of a plugin to IE and only IE just might violate the Sherman Act. As IE is shipped on more and more computers, and people just use what came with the OS (read IE), 3-D party venders will, naturally, migrate their plugins to ActiveX. From that point on, for a browser to be viable, all other browsers will have to support ActiveX. There are two problems with this 1. ActiveX isn't very secure and 2. You will need Microsofts permission.

      "what is the use of supporting the api of a dead browser?"

      1. Netscape 4.x did not magically stop working the day AOL bought Netscape.

      2. WinME STILL runs Win3.1 apps.

      3. It required time, money and effort on MS's part to actively REMOVE Netscape style plugin support. Why REMOVE a used feature when leaving the code doesn't actually hurt anything and supports your current user base?

    • What the problem is, you ask? Well, most browsers can use Netscape plug-ins, including those for Linux and Mac (though those for the Mac need to be ported to PPC code). IOW if somebody wrote a Netscape PI, you could run it an almost all machines.

      When IE doesn't support NPIs, while being the majority browser, developers will have to decide if they want to write two plug-ins, one for IE, and one for the rest of all browsers, or just write one for IE.

      I case you didn't get it yet, MS is trying to break a working defacto standard of a competitor (that benefits all users) by using their monopoly power. IOW nothing new to be seen here.

    • by jd (1658) <.moc.oohay. .ta. .kapimi.> on Friday August 17, 2001 @03:34PM (#2134159) Homepage Journal
      ...The point is the motive.

      If Microsoft is =selectively= crippling IE, to force users down a specific upgrade path, then that is a very serious problem. So serious, it may well come up in the DOJ vs Microsoft trial, during the re-evaluation.

      Using a monopoly in one area to create a monopoly in another is a violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Law.

      How is this relevent to plug-in technology? Actually, that's surprisingly simple. Dropping the API is not the important part. That's just the mechanism. The important part is that they are "conforming" to this patent only in part. That part being dropping compatiability, which is the entire point of a =world= wide web.

      What is happening is that they are generating negative press for competitors, at the same time as making it difficult to impossible for users to use any products other than Microsoft's.

      If it were a case of needing an API wrapper, to use Apple's, Netscape's or Sun's plug-ins, there would be no problem. No such wrapper exists, and I very much doubt that sufficient documentation exists for anybody to write such a wrapper.

      If you remember, when Microsoft dropped Java support, people voiced the opinion that all people would have to do is download the Sun Java plug-in. It now turns out that Microsoft won't let you.

      So. No 3rd-party plug-ins from ANY source Microsoft doesn't approve of. That's a monopoly. Or, to use "real english", that is a Feudal state. THIS is the "real issue", not whether the API is alive, dead, or both. Schrodinger's Cat it is not.

      To sum up, the allegation reduces to this: Microsoft is running an operation bordering on the paramilitary, in an effort to conquer and plunder territory, in a manner that is more rememiscient of a feudal war-lord than a civilised corporation in the 21st century in a country based on freedoms and democratic principles.

      I don't know about you, but I don't give a damn what runs in what. =I= don't want Napoleon Bonepart running the tech industry at gun-point.

    • by ReelOddeeo (115880) on Friday August 17, 2001 @02:38PM (#2154396)
      The problem is this:

      • Netscape plug ins run on three platforms. (Unix, Mac, Windows)
      • Many of the plug in's are important (Flash, QuickTime, RealOddeeo, etc.)
      • Some major web sites use these plug ins
      By changing these plugins to ActiveX, it increases the possibility that these plugins will stop being supported on non-Windows platforms.

      So non-windows platforms end up being second-class (or worse) citizens when it comes to the browser.

      Since the only business model MS knows is the leverage and maintenance of monopoly power, it makes sense for MS to do everything they can to make IE the standard, and make it incompatible with everything else. This helps them effectively steal open standards and turn them into proprietary standards by leveraging their monopoly on the desktop. By making other browsers second-class, it helps them maintain their monopoloy on the desktop. Nobody wants to use a desktop with a second class browser.

      Both leveraging and maintaining a monopoly is what got them in trouble in the first place.
      • by cybrthng (22291) on Friday August 17, 2001 @02:44PM (#2130778) Journal
        It isn't monopolistic to be proprietary or non supportive of competitors product. It was monopolistic of Microsoft to be anticompetitive on licensing to OEMS, Product locking agreements and some shady deals. However including a browser that is conformance of W3C standards but not conformant of competitors products is NOT anticompetitive nor is is monopolistic.

        YOU CAN RUN NETSCAPE AND USE THOSE PLUGINS. Netscape DOES run on windows!

        • by Anonymous Coward
          but you can't write code that will work on both browsers. That's the issue for me.

          I'm trying to code an online test that has an audio clip with questions about that audio. The desginers requested that I make it so that the audio can only be played twice.

          My first thought was to have an embedded quicktime movie that used javascript to control when it was played, and how many times. Not only does IE not support the quicktime/javascript API [apple.com], but now I read that they are doing away with completely.

          Great. so what am I supposed to do? Insist that all students who take the exam use netscape? Learn activeX and write two completely different versions of the test? Create an interactive flash movie to do something as simple as control the playback of some audio?

          Those are great options. Man, the web has become a shitty place to publish content....


          • Insist that all students who take the exam use netscape?

            Yes.

            Microsoft would insist that everyone use ActiveX plugins--only by demonstrating that their forced obsolence is actually driving away customers will stop this kind of practice. Right now, MSFT takes for granted that you will yield to their wishes; prove otherwise.
            • Microsoft would insist that everyone use ActiveX plugins--only by demonstrating that their forced obsolence is actually driving away customers will stop this kind of practice. Right now, MSFT takes for granted that you will yield to their wishes; prove otherwise.

              Your take makes sense on paper, but in reality if he forced students to use netscape he'd just come off looking inept. "Uh, yeah, i made that website you wanted but it doesnt work in 90% of the web browsers in the world". And Bill Gates won't lose any sleep at all because everywhere that matters will continue to bend to his will.
      • Yea.. lets support antiquated CRAP and bloat the browser even more. Jesus, don't you want programs to evolve and get better (maybe not more stable, but better none-the-less) As long as we are on the subject of supporting older legacy systems, I want a version of netscape for my TANDY 1000 machine. Will that ever happen? No, why? Netscape is out of the browser business.. I guess they two learned that you can't have a business based on giving crap away for free. But alas, I forgot I'm talking to open source people who wouldn't pay for software because they can hudle together and make a free version of it, but by then, the product is so out dated that its' useless. (but then you'd demand microsfot support it. HA!)
        • They yanked the feature in a bloody POINT RELEASE.

          They should have had a popup message informing the user the functionality would be depricated in the near future. Instead, they caused it to break. I'm not sure if Microsoft is so competent at crushing the competition, or they do it like a bumbling giant stepping on the little people while looking for the light switch.

      • by Rick the Red (307103) <<Rick.The.Red> <at> <gmail.com>> on Friday August 17, 2001 @05:19PM (#2154365) Journal
        By changing these plugins to ActiveX, it increases the possibility that these plugins will stop being supported on non-Windows platforms.

        True, and I know the Microsoft KB article [microsoft.com] says to switch to ActiveX, but Cringly said ActiveX infringes on the Patent, and I can't see where he's wrong on that point (without looking at the patent, and even then IANAL).

        On the other hand, Cringly says .Net is the "solution", but I'm not sure .Net won't violate the patent, either. Well, .Net may not violate it, but .Net won't be able to "embed program objects or applets in the browser", or implement "dynamic, bi-directional communications between Web browsers and external applications" (i.e., .Net apps running on a server). I'm not sure how .Net is supposed to get around this patent.

      • By changing these plugins to ActiveX, it increases the possibility that these plugins will stop being supported on non-Windows platforms. [...] blah blah monopoly blah blah open standards blah blah

        So what you're saying is that Microsoft should have to support someone else's proprietary standard (i.e., Netscape) rather than being able to use their own standard. That's absurd.

        One again it must be said: Microsoft has exactly as much right as anyone else to promote a standard. If you are worried about other platforms, then put in support for ActiveX controls.

        • I believe that Konqueror is getting support for ActiveX.
        • I guess if your local phone company decides they're going to switch their signal to an encoded digital format, for which only they can supply compatible phones, that will be fine too.
        • by drew_kime (303965) on Friday August 17, 2001 @03:21PM (#2135601) Homepage Journal

          Microsoft has exactly as much right as anyone else to promote a standard.

          Actually, as a confirmed monopoly, they most definitely do not have the same rights as any other company. And until/unless the supreme court overturns the unanimous opinion of the circuit court, that's exactly what they are.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 17, 2001 @03:01PM (#2154557)
          Netscape plugins aren't proprietary; the API is fully documented.

          Microsoft does not have a right to ditch support of a de facto, platform-neutral standard for one which only works on Windows machines. They lost that right when they were declared a monopoly.

          If Microsoft ditched support for RFC 822 and started using their own email, would you argue that it's their perrogative?
          • You are wrong.

            They can ditch whatever they want, period. Regardless of "monopoly" status, which can be debated here for ever, MS is still in control of thier product. MS has no monopoly in browsers, never has, and never will. Therefore they can create any browser any way they want forever, period. They can license it, give it away, kill off Netscape, DO ANYTHING they want to it. Its thier property, thier software, thier decision.

            YOU can choose not to use MS software, browsers, and OS's.

            YOU can choose to use Netscape or Mozilla, or any other browser.


            And btw, if MS ditched RFC 822 and did their own e-mail thing then yes, it would be their perrogative. They could do ANYTHING they want with THEIR software, and I will do ANYTHING I want with my computer.

            What MS can't do is use their currently held monopoly in OS's to FORCE competitors into using their standard. For example, if they didn't allow ANY RFC 822 compatible client to run on Windows (therefore forcing their standard on all Windows users) then they'd be in trouble. Or, if they didn't allow ANY Windows machines to connect to a POP3/SMTP style server, THEN they'd be guilty of violating antitrust. They are not doing that. They are modifying THEIR software to do what THEY want - that is fine, legal, and a.ok even if they are indeed a monopoly.

            Its important to remember that popularity and market share do not mean monopoly. Even if 99.99% of all computer users used IE it still wouldn't necessarily mean MS had a monopoly in browsers.

            Now, if MS dropped this support from IE, AND prevented users from choosing alternative browsers, THEN they'd be abusing their trust. But till then, they can ANYTHING they want with their browser.
            • by SubtleNuance (184325) on Friday August 17, 2001 @04:55PM (#2113248) Journal
              They can ditch whatever they want, period. Regardless of "monopoly" status, which can be debated here for ever, MS is still in control of thier product. MS has no monopoly in browsers, never has, and never will. Therefore they can create any browser any way they want forever, period. They can license it, give it away, kill off Netscape, DO ANYTHING they want to it. Its thier property, thier software, thier decision.

              Monopolies are regulated. Monopolies - regardless of your overwhelming adherance to capitalist-dogma - can occur with much less than %XY of marketshare. Any business with enough power to do as they will, with no effective opposition to check on technology, direction and price is a monopoly. Period. Corporations serve customers. When customers have no choice the corporation is a public service.

              And btw, if MS ditched RFC 822 and did their own e-mail thing then yes, it would be their perrogative. They could do ANYTHING they want with THEIR software, and I will do ANYTHING I want with my computer.

              Wrong, they would be doing exactly what it anti-monoply laws are meant to prevent (see above) - one major player cannot randomly force their clients to make a move - one that makes no sense, other than to cripple already limp competitiors - this is abuse of their monopoly position. If they *DIDNT* have a monopoly - would they arbitrarily switch to a non-open standard? NO, of course not, it would be suicide, unless their was a compelling reason (technology or price)... breaking the plugin API is almost the same as saying "we are a monopoly - watch us extinguish our only competitor and ram change down the throat of the plugin vendors.. try and stop us"... where do the vendors go? NOWHERE b/c m$ is a monopoly... see it coming round now?

              Its important to remember that popularity and market share do not mean monopoly. Even if 99.99% of all computer users used IE it still wouldn't necessarily mean MS had a monopoly in browsers.

              Most people, and the law disagree. It really matters how you define monopoly. In the US, if Microsoft isnt a monopoly - your laws need to be adjusted. M$ has been running rampant in the IS industry - UNCHALLENGED - for far too long.. the health of the IS industry is suffering, opportunity is non-existant, innovation has been stiffled.

              If the DoJ dosnt win a reward with some teeth this wont be the end of Anti-Trust concerns for M$... there is always the EU ;)

      • by SilentChris (452960) on Friday August 17, 2001 @03:01PM (#2154599) Homepage
        How does this affect IE on the Mac? Internet Explorer isn't just Windows-reliant, you know.
  • Here's the link for making suggestions to Microsoft:

    Microsoft Suggestion Form [microsoft.com]

    I have sent them a polite request and I suggest you do the same. I also placed instructions on the video page of my website [crazyeddy.com] for visitors to do the same.

    Stand up for interoperability - it is always good.

    :)

  • Wow. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Chris Johnson (580) on Friday August 17, 2001 @03:21PM (#2131434) Homepage Journal
    This is like a James Bond movie, except for it's in real life. Makes me glad I don't really depend on having the ability to use the internet and computers for everything I do...

    What I'd really like to know is, while thinking this shit up, is Bill Gates petting a white cat in his lap?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Distribute OS with PC cheap. (Xenix was a choice for early PCs but was expensive)
    Have people write software to OS standard.
    Now their OS is only one with Applications
    People buy only their OS.

    Got Control of OS.
    Change OS to break competitor's Applications.
    Say competitors Applications are buggy.
    Distribute MS Applications "Free" (come bundled with PC at purchase)
    No More Application competition.

    People try to break MS control of OS.
    Company creates work alike DR DOS.
    Change Windows 3.1 so that DR DOS is buggy.
    No one buys DR DOS
    Eventually combine DOS and Windows (Win 95) to shut out this possibility in future.

    Not in control of Internet?
    Distribute Browser Free with PC (like OS and applications before)
    Comine Browser with OS to shut out competition (Like Windows with DOS)
    Become dominant in Browser Market.
    Others write software to use Browser (like OS before)

    If anyone tries to make a competitor that is compatible change Browser (like OS). When user complains say competitor is buggy, just use IE.

    Use control of browser to eliminate competitors plugins. Make competitors use Active X. Change Active X, OS, API at random to break Quicktime, RealPlayer, MP3 players, Netscape Browser, Office Apps etc.

    Users complain? Competitors software is buggy not MS.

    Once MS apps are standard change Media formats (say they are improved, innovated) now control Media formats, Internet Protocols, OS, Application and file formats. Charge media companies distribution fees and consumers playing fees.

    MS rich. PC users poor. Internet Coporate playround. RMS crying in corner somewhere.

  • by jmorse (90107) <joe_w_morse&nospYAHOoam,com> on Friday August 17, 2001 @04:41PM (#2134625) Homepage Journal

    This could go one of two ways:

    1. Since 80% of browsers will no longer support Quicktime, Applets, RealPlayer, or anything else, sites will start using standard HTML to convey content and stop trying to hog my processor's capacity with stupid Flash intro pages.
    2. Since 80% of browsers will no longer support the aforementioned, everyone will switch to ActiveX. The internet is now Windows-only. Thank you for playing.

    The latter is the more likely situation, as marketers won't soon give up on their pretty animated crap.

    Don't even get me started on all the ActiveX security holes we'll be able to exploit.

    Here's the recipe to remedy this:

    1. Load a squadron of F/A-18s with cluster bombs and bunker busters.
    2. Set course for Redmond, WA
    3. Drop said munitions on the Micro$oft complex
    4. Repeat as necessary
    Of course, we should make sure Gates and Ballmer are there.
  • OK, the more I hear about XP, the less I like. I don't see myself buying XP anytime soon, and that's a shame because I was looking forward to continuing to use all my Windows apps on the latest and greatest hardware with the latest and greatest software.

    This reminds me a lot of Netscape. Netscape peaked with 3.x of their browser. I seem to remember using it for what seemed like an eternity until IE 4.x, and the only reason I switched to IE was because OE was so much better than Eudora and Netscape Mail.

    I think MS may have peaked with Windows98. From this point forward, it could be all down hill. The only question is what will replace Windows? Sorry guys, I just don't see Linux doing it for me. I could however, be easily persuaded to switch to OS-X if it were available for x86. I would even pay $200 for an x86 OS-X if I thought it had the staying power that Windows has had. Maybe Palm will keep going with Desktop Be, but that doesn't have the huge app base that a *NIX based OS does, and quite frankly I'm reluctant to go with any small market "alternative" OS.

    I'm seeing a lot of disinformation here about the plugin API. It is currently possible to write a plugin DLL that will work with both Netscape Navigator and IE. There are a few places where the two browsers do things differently, but the intersection of functionality is sufficient to make writing compatable plugins a reasonable thing to do. So, at the very least it will still be possible to use most of your plugins with Netscape, and developers of IE plugins will just have to tweak their code a little bit, unless they were stupid enough to commit to features not supported by Netscape.

    So, what will my solution be? Probably not to abandon Windows. I may actually haul out my old Netscape CD and install it. Who knows, the Mozilla project could actually get a big shot in the arm from this. I think MS is seriously shooting themselves in the foot with this... I mean, they've got me re-thinking Mozilla now, and if you had asked me about it yesterday I would have said something like "why would I want to run that? IE is so more stable".

  • How is this not going to absolutely convince the judges deciding the penalty phase of the MS trial that the company must be broken up into at least two, if not three separate companies?

    The alternative is that, for any other competing browser provider (btw, there is no telling how many other browser providing companies were scared off from competing when they saw what happened to Netscape) to achieve support for its product in the future, it also must develop its own operating system!

    I'm convinced that the OS folks need to be broken off from the apps folks by dint of this action - which can only be considered 'smart' because it shows arrogance and confidence in MS political clout, unless I don't get all their strategy - now what does it take for judges to understand this?

    Also, think of this: if there were a break-up, do you think that the OS side would continue to push .NET in the form it is currently designed? I think the answer has to be 'no', since the function of a post break-up Windows operating system would serve nobody's apps except un-upgraded MS Office etc...
  • by scott1853 (194884) on Friday August 17, 2001 @02:43PM (#2140843)
    Maybe this will make IE more stable. Personally I wish they'd get rid of the ActiveX plugins too. I'm so damn sick of it opening Word and PDF document IN the browser when I'd rather download them or at least spawn the actual application they were meant for.
  • Hrm... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Hacker Cracker (204131) on Friday August 17, 2001 @02:24PM (#2145444)
    I wonder if this means that the BackOrifice(tm) plugin won't work anymore?

    -- Shamus

    Bleah!
  • by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Friday August 17, 2001 @02:36PM (#2154391) Homepage Journal
    It appears that the plug-in support has changed because Microsoft is wanting to use Active-X to handle content. In one way the change makes sense as they want IE to be more integrated with the desktop. In theory, with Active X any program can act as an embedded media viewer.

    On the other hand wasn't active-x meant to be one of the gapping security holes in IE? I often find active-x allowing websites to install software on my computer without even asking me.
    • by _xeno_ (155264)
      ActiveX used as a plugin architecture is just as secure as Netscape's plugin architecture was. What you're thinking about is ActiveX being used in the Java Applet sense.

      ActiveX controls run as the user on the system - there's no "sandbox" and the only security is that it'll only run digitally signed controls. And on the default permissions, it'll ask you first. That's it.

      As a plugin framework, ActiveX - well, works. I personally do not enjoy trying to write ActiveX controls, but I've never really tried to other than a simple one that didn't work. It seems to work about as well as the Netscape plugin API for simple plugins. It's just as secure - both involve running native code as the user - and it's actually much easier to install new plugins with.

      MS's entire browser technology is much more extensible than Netscape's ever will be, and ActiveX controls as plugins are one part of that. ActiveX controls as downloaded content are a security nightmare, but as plugins, it's just as secure as any Netscape plugin.

  • Well look at it. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by soulsteal (104635) <soulsteal@NOsPaM.3l337.org> on Friday August 17, 2001 @02:37PM (#2154414) Homepage

    Microsoft is getting sued by Eolas for patent infringment. Microsoft (while also litigating with Eolas) is also removing the infringing code from their product. It just happens to be (according to the article) support for the APPLET and EMBED tags. So it seems that Quicktime needs EMBED tags to function. I'm sure someone will find a way to write a plug-in to fix that.

  • by jvmatthe (116058) on Friday August 17, 2001 @02:40PM (#2154491) Homepage
    It's not like Microsoft was been bothered by Quicktime before and told Apple where they could stick it [zdnet.com].
  • by Darth RadaR (221648) on Friday August 17, 2001 @03:31PM (#2154518) Journal
    "Now where in any of this is the part about serving customers? It isn't there."

    This last sentence pretty much says it all.

    The whole pissing match between Sun, MS, and every other fscking co. does nothing but insure that we all have software and hardware that sucks. Isn't about time that these a-holes start showing concern for their customers by working on making decent products instead of worrying about their stock prices, IP, and market dominance.

    I digress....

  • by Lechter (205925) on Friday August 17, 2001 @03:18PM (#2154534)

    Looking at Eolas, on the one hand, it's kind of funny to see the degree to which Eolas [eolas.com] is beating Microsoft in Court, and the ridiculous hoops that Microsoft has jumped though in the process (Microsoft attempt to claim inventorship of Eolas invention [eolas.com]-pdf). But on the other hand Eolas patent is sort of the worst kind of patent-squatting - thinking of something, patenting it, and then hoping others will pay you to license it, because you don't plan on developing it.

    If you look at Eolas's website [eolas.com] you don't get the impression that they're generating too many "algorithms that implement dynamic, bi-directional communications between Web browsers and external applications," to quote Cringely. Granted they developed the first plugin - in 1993! - for Mosaic! but they don't seem to be doing much else these days, in the hey day of the interactive internet. In fact, as near as I can figure they don't generate anything except law suits (right now only against MS, but what's to stop them from going after Netscape, Mozilla, Sun, etc. should they decide to do so.)

    You really have to wonder about how far this sort of thing will be taken in the future - that is how many people will patent ideas and not act on them until that fundamental idea has made many companies tremendously successful. After all what if Turing had pattened the idea of "stored information, which can be utilized to control an electronic machine in the preformance of actions determined by the information" - the stored program executable. Morris and Eckert would have had to pay him to write the code for the ENIAC and we'd be paying his heirs everytime we wrote an executable (assuming his heirs renewed the patent).

  • by PCM2 (4486) on Friday August 17, 2001 @02:56PM (#2154590) Homepage
    Much of Cringeley's argument seems to be that Microsoft will soon issue a "real" rationale why they are removing support for the JVM and Netscape plugins. This seems unlikely to me, given the following release from Wagged PR, Microsoft's agency, recently distributed to some industry media outlets. I'm blanking out the names because I'm not sure if this is supposed to be a general-public release or not. But it states pretty plainly their reasons for dropping Java -- and in direct opposition to Cringely's theory, it pretty much amounts to "Sun made us do it":

    -------[cut here]-------
    To: xxxxxx
    From: xxxxxx@Wagged.com
    Date: 08/16/2001 01:50 PM

    Dear xxxxxx,

    There is a considerable amount of confusion surrounding Microsoft position
    regarding the virtual machine in Windows XP. Wanted to make sure you have
    the most accurate information from Microsoft as to the events leading to and
    the consequences resulting from this decision. From Microsoft's perspective,
    Sun Microsystems has turned its marketing machine into high gear about
    Windows XP, claiming that Microsoft has hurt Sun, Java and customers by not
    including the Microsoft virtual machine in Windows XP.

    It's time to set the facts straight.

    First, this is unparalleled hypocrisy on Sun's part. Sun has taken every
    step possible to prevent Microsoft from shipping its award winning Java
    virtual machine. They spent several years suing to stop Microsoft from
    shipping a high performance Java virtual machine that took advantage of
    Windows. Rather than pursue a new licensing arrangement, Sun settled its
    lawsuit with Microsoft by offering a phase out of Microsoft's Java
    implementation. Since the settlement a Federal Appeals Courts has upheld
    Microsoft's development of a high-performance, well-integrated virtual
    machine for Windows as pro-competitive.

    Moreover, when Microsoft and Sun settled their litigation earlier this year,
    Sun was quick to pronounce the settlement a great victory. Sun's CEO said,
    "It's pretty simple: This is a victory for our licensees and consumers. The
    community wants one Java technology: one brand, one process and one great
    platform. We've accomplished that, and this agreement further protects the
    authenticity and value of Sun's Java technology."1 Sun got what they said
    they wanted: the termination of the existing Java license and an agreement
    that Microsoft would phase out its Java virtual machine. Now they are
    either unhappy with what they got or simply being disingenuous. Analysts
    such as Bob Sutherland with Technology Business Research say: "Sun can't
    have it both ways. They don't want Microsoft to have monopolistic control,
    but at the same time they want them to control their Java. No matter what
    Microsoft does, Sun is going to try to demonize them."2

    Sun is also being disingenuous about the impact on customers. Microsoft has
    taken multiple steps to make its Java implementation available to Windows XP
    customers while adhering to the settlement agreement and protecting Windows
    users from any future litigation by Sun. While the Microsoft virtual
    machine is not on the Windows XP CD, it is still an integrated part of the
    product. Customers who upgrade to Windows XP from recent prior versions of
    Windows can easily and automatically take advantage of their existing
    virtual machine. Customers with new machines or who perform a clean
    installation of Windows XP can automatically do a one-time download of the
    virtual machine the first time they browse a web page containing a Java
    applet. This download is then available for any subsequent applet a user
    may encounter. Finally, Microsoft has made its virtual machine available to
    any PC manufacturer to ship with new Windows XP systems so as to save
    customers even the one-time download.

    The Microsoft virtual machine has a long history of outperforming other
    virtual machines and offers the best real world compatibility of any virtual
    machine. It is also the only virtual machine that offers an integrated
    applet browsing experience with Internet Explorer. But if desired, Windows
    XP also runs other third party virtual machines.

    Sun wraps itself in a mantle of openness and choice. The idea that Java is
    open is laughable, particularly after Sun submitted Java to a standards body
    and then broke its promise not just once but twice. Contrast this to
    Microsoft .NET, where we have submitted the underlying specifications to
    ECMA and are following through on our commitment. Moreover, Sun's idea of
    choice is you can have any language you want, as long as it is Java.
    Microsoft .NET supports over 20 languages from Microsoft and third parties
    and Java too will be supported as a full-fledged language for the .NET
    platform.
    • I love this.

      Microsoft thinks to itself ~if we change it these ways, and don't point out what we changed, lots of people won't notice they're writing "Java" that runs only on our systems~ (this is documented in the antitrust findings of fact)

      Sun takes umbrage at M$ breaking their contract and trying to hijack their product. Sun takes M$ to court, and wins.

      M$ then blames Sun for the fallout, and whines

      The Microsoft virtual machine has a long history of outperforming [unspecified] other virtual machines and offers the best real world compatibility of any virtual machine. It is also the only virtual machine that offers an integrated applet browsing experience with Internet Explorer
      -- I especially love the "real world compatibility" part: compatibility, that is, with Microsoft's trojans, designed to get their corrupted "Java" in.

      Lord, how I pity the honest people who work there.

    • So, let me get this straight, ms is blaming sun for not letting ms distribute its own proprietary, non standard version of java and trying to control the future of java (and change it to ms-java)? That is not an argument. That is a pr spin.
      -CrackElf
    • What I understand (which admittedly isn't much!) is that Msft licenses Java from Sun, and violates the agreement, doing something that wasn't in the contract, even if that something actually does improve the user experience by integrating it with Windows proprietary specialsauce, which already tantamount to proprietary 'embrace, extent, make incompatible, extinguish or appropriate'. The fact remains it's Sun's property, not Msft's. What seems belligerent to me is OTHER companies have to follow Msft's license agreements but Msft doesn't, and do whatever they want with other companies products??? Sure, Sun may have 'laid a trap' for Msft, but wtf has Msft been doing for the last 25 years that's any different?? It certainly hasn't been producing quality software!!
  • by dpilot (134227) on Friday August 17, 2001 @02:32PM (#2154593) Homepage Journal
    Last week I tried to look at the "Microsoft Bra" ad on adcritic. Even though I already have Quicktime installed, it wanted me to install it, again. I figured maybe my Quicktime was downlevel, so I got another.

    Restarted Netscape, went back. Wants me to get Quicktime installed.

    One of these days I'll look for the ad in mpeg, if I have spare time.
  • Dear God, NO! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BillyGoatThree (324006) on Friday August 17, 2001 @02:47PM (#2154764)
    You mean I won't be able to watch QuickTime videos with IE on Linux anymore?

    Of course I'm kidding: I always immediately leave any site that *requires* a plugin of any kind. If you can't take a picture of it, write some words about it or (in a rare case) make a video of it in a format everybody can read, I'm not interested.
    • I always immediately leave any site that *requires* a plugin of any kind. If you can't take a picture of it, write some words about it or (in a rare case) make a video of it in a format everybody can read, I'm not interested.

      And if you WERE interested in it -- what exactly could you do about it?
  • by Rimbo (139781) <rimbosity.sbcglobal@net> on Friday August 17, 2001 @02:48PM (#2154809) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft leaving Java out of XP doesn't hurt Java.

    It hurts Microsoft.

    EVERYTHING that is happening in software engineering, everything new and bold and adventurous, is happening in Java. From where I sit here in San Diego, Java is simply taking over. The problem is this: Java isn't just a web page scripting language any more. And because of its structure, it's very easy to write compiler tools for it. As a result, all kinds of nifty new extensions (such as AspectJ) are being applied to it. Even the hardware industry -- including the embedded hardware industry -- is going all over it.

    The reason for the above craziness is simple -- Java has features people have been trying to put into languages for years, but unlike those languages, it actually had a marketing push behind it.

    Java is no longer Sun's alone. Java is the industry's. And Microsoft's abandoning Java just means that Microsoft has further detached themselves from everything innovative happening in the industry.

    Even Apple figured this out. Witness OS X.

    By crippling XP so that it can't run Java, they're making the same mistake IBM made when they crippled the PS/2 so that it couldn't use ISA cards, or when GM installed "planned obsolesence" and got waxed by the Japanese in the 80's, or when DEC's president decided he'd rather fly his plane than talk to IBM execs about an OS for their new "PC" dealy-bopper.

    DEC is gone. GM is still suffering (although the new attitude at Cadillac shows hope). IBM had to reinvent themselves.

    Microsoft is shooting themselves in the foot, and in the same way others have done in the past. They've forgotten that they only succeed as long as they serve their customers, and that their customers do not exist to serve them.

    It's one of the classic blunders. Like trying to win a land war in Asia. ;)
    • Microsoft is removing there proprietary JVM (based on java 1.1.3) which is entirely outdated and having people downloads suns proprietary JVM from java.sun.com instead.

      Java is Proprietary until sun gets off there ass and standardizes it.

      It is only helping, as anyone knows java 1.1.3 sucks and 1.2 and 1.3.1 are mucho better.

    • EVERYTHING that is happening in software engineering, everything new and bold and adventurous, is happening in Java

      That is really funny.

      Java is no longer Sun's alone. Java is the industry's

      No it isn't. It's Sun's. They refuse to let it go, refuse to let it be an open standard, and they never will allow it.

      By crippling XP so that it can't run Java

      Ugh, this is getting so tired. XP CAN run Java. In fact, in can run the MS JVM if you download and install it. It can run any JVM you want that you download and install.

      Why do people insist on writing long comments trying to look smart, without actually bothering to know what they are talking about?
      • by SuperKendall (25149) on Friday August 17, 2001 @03:43PM (#2112006)
        No it isn't. It's Sun's. They refuse to let it go, refuse to let it be an open standard, and they never will allow it.

        I'm afraid it is you who are wrong about a great many things...

        In particular, it's finally time to lay to rest the false notion that Sun controlls Java. It is controlled by a standards body called the Java Community Process [jcp.org], plain and simple. IBM has a major VM as do other companies, and they are not letting Sun alone hold the reigns on Java. There are far too many corperations from all sides that have gone with Java to let Sun alone control things.

        Furthermore, I would argue that not only is Java controlled by other groups besides Sun but in fact Java is the most open and interactive standard to ever come down the pike, and THAT is what has really made it popular with developers. All new aspects of Java (like generics support or new API's) come through the JCP, and along the way ANYONE can help shape the direction of things - I know as I've been on the KVM mailing list as well as the Java 2D mailing list before they were finished standards, and ideas from individuals were incorperated into final standards. That means everyone who wants to has a say in how the API works along with the giant corperations, who send reps to the ISO bodies you seem to think Java needs to be controlled by. I don't know about you but I like enhancements done out in the open with vigorous discussion from everyone rather than by some smoky-back-room process.

        If Java really is closed, how can projects like Kaffe exists? (GNU JVM).

        Ugh, this is getting so tired. XP CAN run Java. In fact, in can run the MS JVM if you download and install it. It can run any JVM you want that you download and install.

        Well, that's great! So support then is on the same level as Perl, in that you can download and install that. What percentage of users do that again? I think right now I'd say that XP comes with better support for Code Red than Java.

        I agreee though with the concept that XP really has shot itself in the foot by not including Java. This leaves the door open to say "well, they're going to have to download a VM anyway so we might as well use the Java plugin". Microsoft could have kept Applets mired in the old Java 1.1 world for quite some time, but now that the plugin is more of an ooption it can help further the use of Java. I know that discussion is happening right now at my own company, we're pretty sure to move on to using the Java Plugin for external applets to help provide a more standard applet environment.

        Why do people insist on writing long comments trying to look smart, without actually bothering to know what they are talking about?

        Why do most posters here insist on furthering group-think that's patently wrong? Who knows.

        • It is controlled by a standards body called the Java Community Process, plain and simple.

          Java(tm) is owned, specified and trademarked by Sun. Regardless of how Sun develops this specification you cannot deny that basic fact. If Sun went crazy tomorrow they could dissolve the JCP, make incompatible changes to Java and screw the rest of the industry. This is highly unlikely however (about as likely as Microsoft dropping Windows as a product).

          There was a point where Sun was going to release the spec to be developed by an independant standards organisation (ironically the same one that is now controlling .NET) but for some reason they decided that this was not in their own best interests and pulled it back to themselves.

          If Java really is closed, how can projects like Kaffe exists? (GNU JVM).

          Kaffe isn't Java. It's an implementation of the Java Virtual Machine and runtime libraries. If it was called Java then they'd be violating Sun's trademark or would have to pay licensing to Sun.

          Well, that's great! So support then is on the same level as Perl, in that you can download and install that. What percentage of users do that again?

          Actually, a lot more like the support is the same level as Flash, Shockwave, Acrobat, Quicktime, RealAudio and others. Many users happily download them and it certainly hasn't hindered development on those platforms.

          I think right now I'd say that XP comes with better support for Code Red than Java.

          Code Red never ran on XP. Java does run on XP. Get your trolls right.

          XP really has shot itself in the foot by not including Java ... Microsoft could have kept Applets mired in the old Java 1.1 world ... we're pretty sure to move on to using the Java Plugin for external applets

          So you are saying that by XP not including a crappy JVM and giving web sites the ability to run better and smoother applets that it will hurt it's installed base? I don't think so. Basically MS has cut Java loose, which is what Sun always wanted them to do. By not supplying the 1.1.4 version they were restricted to in the court agreement they are freeing XP from a cruddy JVM and freeing Sun to find a way to get their own JVM onto all of those machines.

          Of course, given that .NET is a better platform (though younger) it may be an interesting battle.

          Why do most posters here insist on furthering group-think that's patently wrong? Who knows.

          Most, like you and probably me, are just misinformed, don't post what they mean, or read things into the posts of others that aren't really there.

          Go figure.
      • Java is no longer Sun's alone. Java is the industry's

        No it isn't. It's Sun's. They refuse to let it go, refuse to let it be an open standard, and they never will allow it.


        Although Java is technically still under the Sun umbrella, Java has grown too big for Sun to dictate its direction alone.

        Danese Cooper a.k.a. Sun Microsystems's "Open Source Diva" and Manager of Sun's Open Source Program Office, recently quoted in an interview about the Reaction to OSCON's Microsoft-Red Hat Debate [sun.com] as saying:

        Sun doesn't claim Sun's Community Source Licensing (SCSL) is open source, because we understand that it isn't. Our choices for Java technology were made to protect a technology from some well-known industry predators, and we have stated that we can see a day when it will be sufficiently unprofitable to write incompatible clones of Java technology. When that happens, we will be able to make it fully open source. We will open Java technology when it's possible for us to do so. We've said that before, and we're saying it now.

        Sun doesn't want Java to be their proprietary code, but until companies such as Microsoft learn they can't taint Java for their own ends Java is better under the watchful eye of Sun.

        Do you seriously think that Microsoft wouldn't have gotten away with distorting Java without Sun there watchdogging them and suing them when they tried?

      • Why do people insist on writing long comments trying to look smart, without actually bothering to know what they are talking about?
        welcome to the net...
      • by thejake316 (308289) on Friday August 17, 2001 @03:47PM (#2133775) Homepage Journal
        An activex Java applet engine is silly, but that's what MS wants, so they can co-opt part of the Java developer base. Sun's Java plugin uses NS API. Most of Java is open enough that you can run Java code and code in Java without using anything Sun. Cool high-profile things are happening with Java, and the only thing funny about that is how prejudiced programmers are language bigoting themselves out of jobs. Java is the best thing the open source movement has going for it, the only winner if Java loses is MS.
        • Sun's Java plugin uses NS API.

          Not as far as I can see. I've been running it on XP for a while now and just had a look in my plugins folder and nothing there. Nothing in the registry pointing at it as a NS plugin either. Looked at the exports of the DLL and there are both NS API and ActiveX exports so you'll find on IE it is loaded as ActiveX.
    • EVERYTHING that is happening in software engineering, everything new and bold and adventurous, is happening in Java...
      ...It's one of the classic blunders. Like trying to win a land war in Asia. ;)

      Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

    • "The problem is this: Java isn't just a web page scripting language any more."

      Um, Java didn't start out as a web scripting language. JSP and servlets didn't come out until Java had been out and buzzworthy for quite a while, and they've never been the dominant form of Java expression. If you think that Java Applets are at all the same as 'scripting languages' then I'd question the rest of your conclusions as well...

      From where I sit, most coding development, be it Java, C++, or C# is written based on the context of where it will be used. If it's an enterprise solution, the enterprise can mandate the technology and install Java on XP machines. If it serves a global audience, then shooting itself in the foot or not, Microsoft's decision to axe Java from XP means the developer will have to use another solution.
      • yeah... all that wonderful code development being done in C#... yeesh. You guys are already bent over to microsoft, and they haven't even asked it of you yet!
        • Huh? I said "From where I sit, most coding development, be it Java, C++, or C# is written based on the context of where it will be used."

          Where from that do you get the impression that I'm 'bent over to microsoft'? My argument is that whatever language is used, environment mandates technology. Some people actually use C#, so it applies. It would have applied just as well if I substituted Fortran or Assembler.

          Sheesh. Don't let your blind Microsoft Fury force you to tilt at windmills.
          • My microsoft fury isn't blind. It has been educated by 7-8 years of corperate abuse. When they change their ways maybe I'll cut them some slack. Declaring a vacuous development environment open and submitting it to ecma looks good on the surface but doesn't prove anything. At best it's a way to kill java with a monopoly-backed, but oh-so open, standard. At worst it's a bait and switch to get everyone on .NET, then woops we're all paying an MS tax on all our important transactions.

            I may appear quixotic, but I think a good deal of skepticism is neded to battle this C#/.NET love-in. It's just plain unhealthy.
            • I'm not asking for you to cut them some slack. I'm asking for you to cut me and everyone else who mentions Microsoft some slack, and not go assuming we're mindless sycophants. Your reply is a case-in-poiint. You didn't respond the the fact that I didn't say anything pro- or anti-microsoft, but just went off on how you deserve to be cynical...
    • by anomaly (15035) <tom.cooper3@g m a i l . com> on Friday August 17, 2001 @03:05PM (#2155639)
      It's one of the classic blunders. Like trying to win a land war in Asia. ;)
      Good reference.
      I fear that you're a bit optimistic. MS still controls the desktop in corporate America. Where I spend my days the idea of considering migration of desktops away from MS is not seriously considered.

      I'd love to see us dump MS like a bad habit.
      Let's get an equivalent to VB (with an accurate interpreter), a clear direction and single object model for X, and solve the font translation/printing issues and move forward with kicking their butts out of the workplace!

      I'd love to sign up for this, but we're not close enough yet. To succeed, we must do what AMD does - be better and cheaper. We're more reliable, and we're cheaper, but MS has got us at point blank range when it comes to ease-of-use.

      Try things like macros, or resolving printing issues, or clip art, or add-on programs like browser plugins, or killing applications through the GUI.

      Once we deal with this type of thing, we'll be truly competetive. We're not there yet, but we're getting closer.

      Let's find more geeks who find it interesting to do the coding necessary to make our GUI environment more AOL-like, or more MS-like - then the masses can easily move to our platform!

      Regards,
      Anomaly
      • "I'd love to sign up for this, but we're not close enough yet. To succeed, we must do what AMD does - be better and cheaper."

        Although AMD is having problems, because they don't have that one other bit in place: They can't sell it. They couldn't sell water to a man with a bag of gold dying of thirst in the desert. And that's why Intel's still raping them in the OEM market.

        Fortunately, this is not a problem Sun has -- otherwise, Java wouldn't be where it is today.
  • hmm (Score:3, Troll)

    by 1g$man (221286) on Friday August 17, 2001 @02:33PM (#2154843)
    Netscape's plugin API is their equivelent to ActiveX on Microsoft's side. Why does anyone complain about this? If Microsoft should be forced to support Netscape APIs, should Netscape be forced to support ActiveX? Seriously, the plugin API is losing support. Why would a developer create a Netscape plugin on the Windows platform? Sure, it would make sense to develop as plugin for other platforms, but on Windows, it simply makes more sense to create an ActiveX control because not only could the object be used in a web page, but in any activeX container (very common on teh windows platform). And if you even mention security issues in regards to what I just discussed, you don't know what you are talking about: they are both running native code and have the same vulnerabilities, therefore you don't run either one from untrusted sources. I'm not trolling, I would like intelligent discussion on this, really!
    • Why would a developer create a Netscape plugin on the Windows platform?

      Simple -- because it makes porting their application to other platforms much easier.
    • Re:hmm (Score:3, Insightful)

      by baptiste (256004)
      Yes, but read the article close - ActiveX is in violation of this patent too - so by having Microsoft get behind getting rid of ALL embedded HTMl APIs, they can wave this patent around, claim they are being good corporate citizens, and get everyone onto .NET to get around the patent - boom Monopoly creates new Monopoly on Internet.

      Scary shit!

  • by derrickh (157646) on Friday August 17, 2001 @02:45PM (#2154944) Homepage
    I'm one of the few people that actually registered Quicktime. So I use it to view just about everything, from MP3's to AVIs and Mpegs. Now I'm screwed until I can find a player that will handle avi's, Mp3, and Mpgs.

    Oh wait, Microsoft makes one.....go figure.

    D

  • by erroneus (253617) on Friday August 17, 2001 @04:50PM (#2155056) Homepage
    The feeling I'm getting from Microsoft is something along the lines of "doesn't work or play well with others."

    I mean, sure, "It's their product and they can limit it as much as they want... they can choose to not include Java support... ad nauseum" But if you view the Microsoft present in combination with their past, it's easy to make the conclusion that their purpose for dropping support for various APIs and languages (Java and more) is more motivated to damaging the ubiquity of the market than anything else.

    So first, they earn market share by embracing the standards in a way that makes the consumer comfortable. Next, they kill the competition. finally, they drop the "standards" they used to attract people with in the first place! Now since they own the market (effectively removed consumer choice) they can drop support for the things people wanted most.

    Following the time line from beginning to end shows the pattern clearly. So while it is "their choice" to support this feature or that, especially when it isn't theirs to begin with, I have to question the motivation behind it. Further, it would seem like a clear example of further monopoly power abuse. The move seems rather deliberate and further, it also feels as if Microsoft's "true" goals are coming to fruition.

    "Microsoft Conspiracy?" Well, yeah, maybe...

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