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Microsoft

Gates Tries to Explain .Net 613

Posted by michael
from the effing-the-ineffable dept.
AdamBa writes "Speaking to financial analysts and reporters, Bill Gates admitted that .NET hadn't caught on as quickly as he had hoped. The headline ('Gates admits .NET a "misstep"') is a bit misleading; he doesn't think all of .NET was a misstep, just the My Services part (aka Hailstorm). He also said that labelling the current generation of enterprise products as .NET might have been 'premature.' Summary: Microsoft got too excited about locking in users via Hailstorm and botched the overall .NET message." There's also a Reuters report and a NYTimes story on the same subject, which includes the interesting line: "Microsoft also warned today that the era of "open computing," the free exchange of digital information that has defined the personal computer industry, is ending." It isn't clear if Microsoft is talking about something happening beyond their control, or if they're boasting about ending it.
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Gates Tries to Explain .Net

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  • by FortKnox (169099) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @10:03AM (#3951222) Homepage Journal
    He could be speaking of the end of open source in the business sense. Look at all the open source companies on the market. The market, itself, is getting hammered. Open source/linux companies are getting hit EXTRA hard (VA was hit >17% just yesterday).

    Also, .NET is a nice technology, and has wonderful features (which it should, seeing that it looked on other technologies that broke out, like Java, and improved upon it). And, they are even trying to crack open that "you can only run it on IIS", by attaching it to apache. I'm surprised, myself, how it isn't catching on quickly, but I'm sure the market is mostly to blame.
  • by pgpckt (312866) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @10:05AM (#3951243) Homepage Journal

    According to the CNN article, Gates has gone with a report card scheme to give his company a "C" rating (for non-americans, grades can be A,B,C,D, or F (no E), and C is "average").

    I guess it is nice to see a top Microsoft exec give a realistic review of the company. I wonder if the corperate scandles of late have anything to do with this unusual honesty? Perhaps Gates feared if he gave too rosey a picture, stock holders would be skeptical.

    I think if we were really honest with ourselves, we would rate Linux at around the same score (perhaps C+). It is good to see our main competitor admit that we are on a level playing field :)
  • by Stoutlimb (143245) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @10:09AM (#3951276)
    And Bill Gates knows it! He probably just had a business meeting with his emplo^H^H^H^H^Hcongressmen, and gave them a big fat bonus and new marching orders. When people this important make statements like this, either they're completely deluded about what's really going on in the world, or they're the ones who are trying very hard to bring such predictions about.
  • by Noofus (114264) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @10:16AM (#3951338)
    The information age seems to have run amok.

    Example:

    My parents are on vacation in france. They have web based email accounts. One of the hotels they stayed at happened to have internet access. So they sent me (and my grandparents) and email stating that they were having a good time. They did this a few times, until they went on to the next hotel that had no internet access.

    My grandmother, who just learned how to use email, has decided that something HORRIBLE has happened to them because they havent sent an email report in 3 days. She is now convinced they are dead, or something stupid.

    If I dont have my cell phone with me one day (or god forbid I TURN IT OFF when I go to a movie), I am assumed to be dead by my family because they cant contact me.

    I would seriously consider dropping my cell phone plan - except it DOES have its uses. I think it would do the world a bit of good to drop the "Information Revolution" back a few notches. Dropping all the way back to pre-information age technology wouldnt be good. But I think people are taking some of this stuff too far.
  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @10:20AM (#3951373) Homepage Journal
    I am only worried about the goverment making Palladium the LAW. We need to tell the our goverment that.
    1. You can not take away our freedoms.
    2. we do not gives a rats ass about the Record companies.
    3. We do give a rats ass about us.
    The software compaines do not want DRM. Get talking to your reps.
  • Oh thank god... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by da3dAlus (20553) <dustin@grau.gmail@com> on Thursday July 25, 2002 @10:27AM (#3951422) Homepage Journal
    I thought I was the only one who didn't get the whole .NET thing. Since that hype machine started up last year, I heard so many things from other programmers (who love MS products) talking about VB.NET and other .NET applications. I repeatedly asked them, what's the difference between the old environment and the new one, or simply what good is it all. Never have I recieved a clear answer of what it is, how it works, or what good it is. I'm not saying anything bad (or even good) about the whole .NET thing, I'm just saying that I've never heard a compelling argument from anyone who seems to fully understand it all. I think that right there proves that the idea didn't catch on.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 25, 2002 @10:28AM (#3951434)
    Worth every penny. Darwin is sweet and it's by far the best user interface available. Dont get me wrong, I like Windows and Linux. They just dont compare in ease of use.

    Now if Apple could only figure out that they need to lower the prices to decent levels. Just like DELL you can make as much profit on volume as gouging your customer-base.
  • by FatRatBastard (7583) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @10:34AM (#3951491) Homepage
    I'm not disagreeing with that, but when you are changing markets (or branching out into new ones) its a bit arrogant to think that the folks that bought other stuff from you are going to jump joy. As I has said in the parent post, just because Porsche makes a kick ass lawnmower doesn't mean that Porsche owners are going to want it.

    Or a better analogy: if a fine furniture manufacturer decided to get into the piping and plumbing business then they better not rest their fortunes on selling piping and plumbing to all of their furniture clients. You may get a few, but if you go into the piping and plumbing business then you're better off selling to plumbers than going around to everyone who bought an chest-of-drawers trying to get them excited about U bends.
  • by zero_offset (200586) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @10:36AM (#3951509) Homepage
    I can't tell you how happy it makes me to see other people have figured this out. Microsoft marketing might be good at pushing individual products or tightly-coupled suites like Office, but when it comes to selling technologies, they suck badly. When I was beta testing and saw the "services" hype machine gearing up, I wanted to pull my hair out. It's as if a Ferrari salesman chooses to focus on the stereo exclusively. Yes, it's present and useful and some people will be very excited about it, but it ignores a vast array of other more important things, more compelling reasons to invest some effort into this.

    During the beta I thought this might be just a smoke screen to keep the DOJ from looking at it too closely. After all, proper exploitation of the CLR should allow them to eventually run Windows on other hardware, or maybe even as a full replacement GUI/pseudo-OS layer on other OSes. However, this stupid murky message has persisted, so now I think it's just marketing incompetence.

    Recall that MS marketing almost tanked the previous generation of MS technology with that stupid DNA bullshit. I remember YEARS went by before even many developers understood what DNA actually was -- a set of useful discrete but interoperable products which were related but were not "one big thing".

    .NET itself is an excellent move for Microsoft, and since virtually everybody uses Microsoft products, it could eventually be a great thing for Windows users too (although if properly used/implemented, they probably won't know it's being used, which is fine).

    I just hope BillG gets his heads out of the clouds long enough to pinpoint the problem, execute the market droids responsible for the mess, and make a cleaner, more digestible push to the people who really need to understand it -- the development community.

    Oh yes, and one other point -- the size of the framework may prove to be a sticking point. It's pretty big, so unless you're selling CD-based traditional software, it'll be a hard sell for quite some time. But even the typical /. anti-MS flame-belching troll should at least recognize that MS is smart enough to have accomodated that in their planning.

  • by dpilot (134227) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @10:41AM (#3951540) Homepage Journal
    All your data are belong to us.

    Aside from a cutesy cultural reference, .NET and DRM offer the ultimate customer lock-in.

    It really annoys me how one can see a black lining to ANYTHING Microsoft does. It annoys me even more that historically, this attitude seems to be justified.
  • What is .NET?????? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Zspdude (531908) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @10:48AM (#3951595) Homepage
    On Wednesday, he hammered home a new definition: "software to connect information, people, systems and services."

    Before .NET was released, no-one knew what it was. After its release, we still didn't know. Maybe I'm just stupid...But what kind of software connects information? This definition is all-encompassing, vague, and one of the more impressive examples of burble that I've seen. I guess MS just doesn't want us to *ever* know what they're doing.

  • by Melantha_Bacchae (232402) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @11:07AM (#3951743)
    Zone5 wrote:

    > I am genuinely afraid of what personal computing
    > will look like in ten years if Microsoft has
    > their way, and I have never been too concerned
    > in the past, so I am hardly an alarmist
    > Microsoft conspiracy nut either.

    You can see what it will look like now. Check out a Microsoft research project from the late 1990's called "Millennium":

    http://research.microsoft.com/research/sn/Millen ni um/mgoals.html
    (Especially "What would such a system be like?")

    http://research.microsoft.com/research/sn/
    (Look under "Previous Projects".)

    Everything that Microsoft has revealed so far moves toward Millennium: .Net, Palladium, etc. They will ride DRM OS and the Hollings bill into becoming a legislated monopoly, if they can. If they can't, forced upgrades and closing the system while they still have 90+% of the desktop market might do it.

    There are two things in the way of Microsoft's thousand year rule:

    A heroic penguin keeping them from a server monopoly.

    A jaguar in an Apple tree looking at their vaporware (Longhorn) like it found its lunch.

    And a third:

    An angry god who isn't into being embraced or extended (gee, Toho gets ideas for these movies from the strangest places):

    Godzilla 2000, the Dreaded God! The battle for Earth's future has begun!
    The future Millenium threatens.
    Godzilla cannot be assimilated, by Millenium who would embrace, extend!
    (From my lyrics to Godzilla's theme from "Godzilla 2000 Millenium")

  • by toupsie (88295) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @11:09AM (#3951757) Homepage
    If you believe what Steve Jobs said during the MWNYC keynote, 'Dot Mac' [mac.com] is the same thing as 'Dot Net'. Of course, we are smarter than that but Jobs was taking advantage of the problem Bill Gates has. Nobody that owns the corporate checkbook knows what the heck 'Dot Net' means. The only thing the 'General Public' knows about .Net is that they will have to pay more for wine instantly when some idiot at the winery destroys the best vintage. And to be completely honest, as much as I know about .Net, I am still not sure what the heck I would do with the technology.

    I think in hindsight, .Net will be taught not in Computer Science courses but in Business Marketing courses as a failure of Public Relations.

  • by Mr. Firewall (578517) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @11:10AM (#3951764) Homepage

    One of the people at the White House Office of Cybersecurity told me an interesting story once.

    About 2 years ago he was at a briefing of high mucky-mucks where Gates was pitching all of the Good Things (TM) that .NET was going to be.

    My friend was in one of the front rows, not twenty feet from Gates. He knew that if he raised his hand, Gates couldn't ignore him. So he waited for a few reporters to ask their usual lame questions and then made his move: "Bill, how in the hell are you going to secure all of this?"

    He says that Gates's eyes glassed over and his knuckles, where he'd been gripping the edges of the podium, turned white. He spent the next several minutes rambling about QOS -- yes, QOS was going to secure .NET!

    There is more to this story that I wish I could tell. Suffice it to say that the White House cybersecurity people (including Howard Schmidt, who was recently vilified here) are not as stupid as slashdotters think they are. These men will never reveal in public their true opinion of Micro$oft, but they have spoken to me in private about it. They're not as far away from our opinions as you think.

  • Re:Is "C" average? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by InOverMyFeet (576320) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @11:40AM (#3951984)
    'Corporate America' doesn't want you to have common sense. It allows you to see behind the curtain and reveal the stupidity that defines upper management. They hire based on grades because it defines your ability to learn/be taught (i.e. transformed into a mindless follower).
  • by wrinkledshirt (228541) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @11:42AM (#3951994) Homepage
    At a local consumers conference, Microsoft's Bill Gates, apparently growing frustrated over the questions surrounding .NET ("What is it?" "What does it do?" "Why do I need it?") finally said, "Look! You know Java? Same $%#@ thing!" and then stormed out.

    You know, to be honest, I think they kept it vague on purpose, so that they could sell a whole bunch of products and tout each one as an essential component of .NET. They were looking to brand first and foremost, and it's worked to a certain extent. I know some guys who landed some venture capital who say that they think .NET is great even though they can't quite explain what it is.

    To be honest, I think if we weren't in the middle of the a Linux revolution right now, nobody would be asking the questions that needed to get asked about .NET and that Microsoft can't answer because they weren't expecting to have to answer them. Consider all those commercials touting One Degree of Separation. Yes, we all know that we could recreate the same systems in any OS/platform, only with .NET you can do it in VB.NET. Perhaps that's a bonus, but only the VB programmers are going to recognize that, and I wonder how many IT departments (the people who'd give the green light on the switch) would be dominated by VB programmers? Or there's the bonus of being able to write ASP+ pages in several different languages. How many different IT departments are dominated by the web programmers? Furthermore, even if the different programmers made a fuss over .NET, I wonder how many IT departments would have said "That's nice, but with a little effort and good design we can incorporate the benefits using our current tech."
  • by tshak (173364) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @11:42AM (#3951999) Homepage
    Sorry if I sound like MS drone, but I have to contest your "+5 insightful" assertions.

    a1. If you already have a substantial investment in software written in anything but a .NET language, chances are you aren't very motivated to switch paradigms.
    This could be said with J2EE as well. We had a ton of Cold Fusion, PHP, and ASP/COM that we wanted to consolidate into one platform so we could reuse code accross applications. J2EE and .NET are the best candidates for this scenario.

    I have yet to meet a serious java developer who has any interest in .NET


    Again, this can be said for any set of competing languages. I could also say, "I have yet to meet a serious VB developer who does not have a huge interest in .NET".

    Regardless of all the claims Microsoft makes about C#/.NET maturity, nobody in their right mind is going to bet the company on a new MS platform...

    This is pure speculation. Sure, it sounds nice to say on /., but we're supposed to be scientists not religious zealots. Do the research (I'm not going to spoon feed it to you) and you'll find that you're wrong very quickly. One quick example, Verizon's entire customer service system (one of the biggest in the world) has been running .NET since it was in Beta. Ask anyone with solid .NET experience and they'll tell you that Beta 2 of .NET was more mature then Java was when it was released. It is much more mature then you think.

    There is little imperative to adopt something for which there are no major none-Microsoft commercial offerings.


    Unless you have no problems running on a Microsoft platoform, which many do not. Again, look at all of the ".asp" sites out there. The vast majority are NOT running on Chillisoft, and are probably looking to migrate to .NET within the next year or so (source: Gartner... grain of salt applied).

    The wait-and-see approach is a tried and true paradigm with respect to version 1.0 software from Microsoft.


    For larger and less technically ambitious companies I'd have to agree. However, for smaller companies who need to get away from ASP/COM, Cold Fusion, or even PHP, .NET is a viable solution, as is J2EE. I believe that they are both great competitors. Really, "Web Applications" are moving away from little scripting engines towards compiled, OO, strongly-typed languages. The only serious offerings are J2EE and .NET. I think the competition is great, and will only make our lives as developers better as both technologies get better.
  • by laddhebert (570948) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @11:51AM (#3952070)
    "Microsoft also warned today that the era of "open computing," the free exchange of digital information that has defined the personal computer industry, is ending."

    Does this mean open source software or does this refer to the rampant warez/pirating scene that has existed for as long as I can remember? Or does it possibly mean both?

    It does appear that MS is getting more aggressive in their licensing. Personally, I thought the XP licensing was pretty aggressive. But I guess I've accepted it because I was not really surprised when I saw a story describing their latest licensing escapades [betaone.net] .

    It basically describes how MS plans to end the "XP pro for corporations" pirating party by fixing/rewriting the algorithm used to generate product keys. They also plan to shaft the business customers already using valid keys by forcing this update into a service pack which will require all machines to get a new "valid" key.

    -Ladd

  • How to kill .NET (Score:3, Interesting)

    by frank_adrian314159 (469671) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @01:37PM (#3952753) Homepage
    The one thing that the JVM doesn't do as well as .NET is supporting languages other than Java. This has been its Achilles' heel. Although you can sort of coerce other languages to run on the JVM, the match isn't very nice. The CIL and CLR provide a much more friendly interface to languages other than C# and, thanks to our friends at the Mono project, .NET will soon have the platform interoperability that once only Java could boast of. If Sun wants to remain relevant in the portable VM space, they need to embrace languages other than Java.

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