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Microsoft

Netscape Co-Founder Wants IE To Stay With Windows 231

Wister285 writes: "In a rather intersting turn of events, Netscape co-founder Jim Clark said that he would rather see Microsoft's Internet Explorer stay with the Windows software, should the company be broken up as planned, despite Microsoft's promised appeals. He says that the Microsoft-Other-Software-Company could use the software in a more harmful manner than Microsoft-Windows-Company would. Makes sense... Microsoft-Other Software-Company has a larger grasp on the market (which would most likely be all OSs)." The difficulty with directed outcomes raises its ugly little head again. Where's Harry [that's "Hari" -- mea culpa. timothy] Seldon when you need him?
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Netscape Co-Founder Wants IE To Stay With Windows

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  • The trick here is that when the trial started, Netscape was griping that IE would somehow find its way to being the dominant browser due to Microsoft's sneaky tricks and evil influence.

    The year is 2000. Educated guess is that MSIE claims more than 60% of the browser market. If Windows and IE had been split two years ago, it would have been a whole different story-- Netscape could have retained its dominance on the Windows platform before MSIE and Win95/98 had all their APIs happily fused into a homogeneous juggernaut.

    On the other hand, at this point, two companies would see the IE people leverage their Windows dominance to grab the other OSes. If MS's breakup does as much damage to the Windows monopoly as [we] all hope, then it will be much more critical for Netscape (AOL?) to retain cross-platform dominance.

    Look at that, my Loonie is up.
  • As a pure app company, the-company-formerly-known-as-Microsoft would surely port the IE browser to other platforms, most notably Unix/Linux. Considering that the Windows version of IE (IMHO as a web developer) soundly trounces Netscape, seems that Jim Clark has a vested interest in protecting his browser's remaining strongholds and preventing a "full-strength" multi-platform IE from taking his weaker browser's market share. After all, Netscape has shown that it would rather compete with litigation instead of providing a rich, full-featured product.
  • by Vagatech ( 193069 ) on Saturday June 10, 2000 @07:31PM (#1010989) Homepage
    In a way yes, in a way no. There is nothing illigal about MS bundeling there browser with windows. There is on the other hand a lot illigal about MS barring there OEM's from bundeling Netscape (or some other compeating technology) in addition/place of it. This is the point that many people seem to be missing. Saying that its illigal for Ms to simply to bundle there browser is akin to saying it illigal for them to include notepad for solitare simply because there are other third party clones compeating with those products too. Its the fact that Microsoft flat out threatened and barred there OEM's from distributing NS that is what made it an illigal product tie.
    --
  • So, does this mean that AOL should be broken up too?

    If they were using illegal practices to exclude competitors from markets, yes. Give me evidence of that, and I will be happy to call for them to be broken up. Given that AOL has nowhere near 90% of the Internet/online market as Microsoft does in the OS and office software markets, I see little reason to think they are a monopoly.

    Or Apple

    A company that has, what, 5% of their market?

    Its not being big, or being successful that is what is wrong with Microsoft, despite their whining to that effect. It is the fact that they got that way and stay that way by doing illegal things.

  • Actually, so long as IIS is separated from NT, we're probably safe. Right now, IIS is `free' (i.e. bundled) with NT. This means any company with NT servers automatically has an NT+IIS WWW server on their hands - so why would they want to use another WWW server like Apache? They've already got one!"
    Because some of us do not like IIS! My Windows 2000 intranet server runs Xitami exclusively. I have tried IIS and it generated too many errors, plus it bitched about PHP extensions. I have also tried Apache, and was not impressed on the 2000 platform. So Xitami it is! Disclaimer: I am sure that some IIS guru could make PHP work well enough, just as I am sure that Apache can be made to perform wonderfully on a Windows 2000 platform. The thing is, Xitami works great with minimal effort on my part, and I can show the other people in the office how to work with the configuration easily enough.
    The reason I do not run Linux + Apache (or Roxen) on this server is because no one else in my shop is comfortable with these technologies. I am working on that though!
  • I remember a few years ago hearing about rumours of a Netscape project called Constellation (or some such. not Communicator, another name starting with a C). It would be a version of Navigator that integrated itself into the Windows desktop.

    Microsoft didn't like this, so they built these features into IE4. In the meantime, Netscape decided they didn't like the project, didn't want to anger MS anymore, or whatever, and gave up their desktop integration project. But the MS project started to compete with it had already gained critical mass, so the Web and Windows became one. (Not really. But that's what they want you to think.)

    Just as IE was bought from another company that had been working on a Mosaic-based browser (you can't see any information about where MS got the original project, but IE contains the message that it is based on NCSA Mosiac.) so that MS could stop Netscape from dominating this new market, the desktop integration was originally developed for the same reason.

    Personally, I find most of the Web integration features annoying. I hate it when KDE opens an HTML document itself instead of launching something else. (one of the main reasons I don't use KDE). But whether you like or hate it, it is important to remember that MS didn't think this up to force Netscape out of the market, they thought it up to keep up with Netscape. It just went horribly wrong and MS turned it into a strategy.

    Anyone else remember the Netscape desktop integration project? I can't recall any details, not even certain about the name.

  • I believe there is a version of IE for HP-UX, at least there was a port of 4.....

    ------------------------------------------
    If God Droppd Acid, Would he see People???
  • by pete23 ( 18547 )
    sigh.... sad sci-fi spod moment: it ain't *harry*...
  • Lots of slashdotters do not realize this yet mainly because they mostly hack linux (i.e. use mostly C and Perl) and browse the web via Netscape (broken handling of Java, CSS, XML, ECMAscript) but the browser is slowly superseding the operating system in importance. Consider the following points.
    • With a browser as the User Interface it is possible to write complex cross platform applications in a truly Write Once, Run Anywhere manner if they are all accessed by the same browser. If you do not believe how powerful browser applications have become and can be
    • read this post [slashdot.org] and think about what he is saying
    • Many companies are porting applications that were once client software to the internet to avoid several annoying user problems (e.g. install problems, patching , upgrading software, bugtracking, etc). In fact the last two companies I have worked for which service different kinds of employees are both porting their flagship applications to the internet. One of these is a retail management app originally written in Delphi for Windows, while the other company is porting a Windows NT (MFC) port of an app that was originally Unix (Motif/C++) to the web using JSP/servlets/javascript.
    • Think about it, eventually high bandwidth and more powerful machines will be ubiqitous. Already with a DSL connection I can export my Emacs display or use VMWare with little difference from running them locally. With the advent of webpads and wireless computing the browser will play a more critical role in the use of computers while the OS will play more and more of a backseat role. After all almost technology every company in existence is becoming an Application Service Provider so as to avoid all the clientside problems I listed in my first point. MSFT and Sun are working on complete web versions of their office suites. Considering the fact that all most people use their PC for is web browsing, typing a few documents and email it would seem that all they'll need is a web browser regardless of operating system.

    • And this is where the problems begin. Already due to Netscape's horrible implementation of W3C standards IE is favored by web developers all over (the horrible browser object model doesn't help much). Already some sites are becoming MSIE specific because developers do not want to maintain one site for IE and a less rich site for Netscape. Heck!!! I'm into Open Source and a browser agnostic but yet when the time came for some friends and I to design (coding starts in the fall) a secure messageboard/instant messaging service accesible over the web for use by a local company for our final project we ended up deciding that all the cool stuff would be in the IE version while we'd just make sure that the page displayed with no hijinks for Netscape. This decision is actually better than what most companies are doing or plan to do in the future. This is what scares me and Jim Clark, what happens when users need to use IE to use MS Office, or when developers can only develop for MSIE with Visual Studio? Considering that MSIE is the predominant browser on the platforms on which it exists it doesn't take much imagination to MSFT Applications Company becoming a new kind of cross-platform monopoly. This is why Jim Clark is scared and wants IE to stay with Windows.


  • by volkris ( 694 )
    Asimov... Whoop! :)
  • "MS shouldn't be split into many companies for the same reason that shoplifters and jaywalkers shouldn't be executed. They may have done wrong, but that doesn't mean they're completely without rights."

    Hardly a valid comparison.

    Noone is suggesting that the company be liquidated and the people running it be forbidden from owning businesses for a period of time. (Hey! On second thoughts... ;-)

    No, in all seriousness, they've broken the law, they've been caught and the law is being applied. Its pretty much as simple as that at the end of the day. Don't like the law? Lobby your nearest politician. In the meantime out of the way- pass the popcorn, we want to watch the breakup!

  • Before commenting on the stuff he says. Have a look at the people paying he him to say it. If IE was split into a separate company. The same could easily happen to Netscape.

    As I see it AOL is actually a much bigger evil than Microsoft. Somehow don't like the idea of media companies that are not economically independent.

  • "If you can prove that [innovation was stifled] I will shut up forever."

    Unfortunately, this is not a provable statement so I'm not really going to debate it.


    This is easily provable. In the findings of fact you see that Microsoft forced Intel to can its media software research lab with a "credible and fairly terrifying threat". He loses, and has to shut up forever (his suggestion).
    --
  • Personally, I'd hope that AOL isn't allowed to merge with Time/Warner. It would be too big to be healthy and we'd very likely have to waste time breaking them up later.

    It didn't bug me at all that AOHell bought Netscape...I never used it (still don't, not even after switching my desktop to Linux...the only browsers I use are Lynx, KFM, and IE (running under Win98, which runs under VMware)). It bothered me a little when they bought Nullsoft...that was the first company they bought that produced something I actually used. Still, other MP3 players were (and are) available. If they're allowed to buy Time Warner, I'll be pissed. I'd rather not give up Looney Tunes and such, but it'd be needed to stay AOHell-free if the merger goes through. :-| They can have CNN (the Clinton News Network) for all I care, but leave Bugs alone!

    _/_
    / v \
    (IIGS( Scott Alfter (remove Voyager's hull # to send mail)
    \_^_/

  • by X ( 1235 )
    You know, you have a point. I mean, programs which just display files are basically not that important. Things like MS-Word, Excel, Emacs, Acrobat, Quicktime, are essentially of no consequence. ;-)

    Seriously, browsers are becoming the defacto interface to just about everything. They are much more than just parsing and displaying HTML, which most Linux browsers do just fine. Browsers are software platforms, hosting scripting languages, multi-media plugins, and Java programs. On top of that they are probably the most commonly used piece of software that speaks a network protocl, so they also dictate a lot of what goes on over networks.

    Another way to look at it would be to list all the things one can do with a browser. We're talking banking, shopping, research, communication, tax filing, etc., etc. Just think of how much you can do with an iOpener, which is essentially a "browser terminal".

    Browsers are about as small potatoes today as GUI's were in the 90's. That is to say that they aren't everything, they're the only thing. ;-)
  • by Ambush ( 120586 )
    Don't you mean Hari Seldon (c.11988G.E. - 12069G.E.[3 F.E.]) ??? And on a related note, I wonder if R.Daneel Olivaw runs Linux? I mean, would Windows handle a 20,000 year uptime?
  • The reason I personally hated the old (united) Microsoft is its dominance of the desktop OS market with a crappy OS (95/98), and that it used this power to leverage its applications into the market... Now that each company has to compete, if they're to survive they have to write better software than their competitors... If this means they write a Linux version of Office or Outlook, I say go for it.. If the software is competitive and featureful (I LOVE Outlook), I'm all about it.. Don't go hating Microsoft just because they're Microsoft.
  • IE is in fact not integrated. If you've ever checked your registry, then you'll know that there are file associations in the ROOT area, that is where the asscociation of the kernel api's look for program execution. It is infact, possible to make ANY program open when you click on the 'My Computer' Icon... IE is embeded as a object, and assigned a class to the folder type. IE can be removed, it just will take knowledge of what to remove. I have infact done this to a 98 machine, but its really useless thing to do, because you end up with the look of win95, and a lot of lost time... Netscape, IMHO, does not even match IE. Lots of people complain about how bad IE is, well, I have Windows 95/98/2k and CE, I have rarly any problems, and I run everything from DEV tools to Games. I can't believe that everyone on the planet has this much trouble running a os. If you don't know how to run your os, you will probably crash/break it in some way, how long did it take you people to learn how to use linux? If you started on linux and tried to use windows, you would probably crash it just as much as people with less knowledge do. There is probably alot more that I could say, but your getting my drift, everything has a upside and a downside. You are given the choice to view whatever side you want.
  • I agree. I'd also add another catagory - hardware (it seems to be the only thing microsoft makes that works...)

    which one of those companies would make games? the hardware company? (XBox?) or apps or what?

  • fantastic.

    The last 3 books out of the five were the best
    books I'd ever read. Still are. Better than
    sliced ham, slashdot, and cowboyneal!

    Funny, I never read the first or second. I didn't
    really understand everything that was happening
    until book 4. The ending to 5 was frigin wonderful.

    digitalunity - taking offtopic-ness to new heights
  • by kaphka ( 50736 ) <1nv7b001@sneakemail.com> on Saturday June 10, 2000 @07:33PM (#1011007)
    In its zeal to tear apart the Windows OS, the government has managed to miss almost all of the monopolistic "ties" that give MS its power.

    Separating Office from Windows is good, and it's probably the most important pair. But all of the various clients and servers are still in the same company (rather than leaving the servers with the OS,) which allows MS to push incompatible protocols; Java and Visual Studio are still together, leaving no incentive to keep Visual J++ standard; I'm sure there are other examples. It's only the poor OS division which is left without much monopolistic leverage.

    IE is actually a tricky case, because MS has two potential angles on it: It can tie it to IIS, or it can tie it to content on MSNBC or MSN. I suppose separating IE from both IIS and "MS content" would work, but any way you do it, one company is going to end up with an odd combination of properties.

    (And no, splitting MS into more companies is not the solution. The government can't just go messing around with the economy at will... They have an obligation to do only what is absolutely necessary to "fix" the problem. I'm not even convinced that splitting MS at all is appropriate, let alone splitting it more than two ways. Anyway, if the government did split MS three ways, we already know that they'd leave IE and content in the same company, which doesn't accomplish anything.)
  • Hrrrm, I wonder if IIS wouldn't still be in there though. I notice you don't say anything about IE either.
  • Oh, sorry, that should have read "Task Scheduler".

    As for legacy, you are wrong.. legacy is a relative term, and you can definitely consider the drive lettering convention legacy.

    I say this because they're getting rid of it at the low level, and only exists to the user.
  • The sad thing is that even if that were to happen, Microsoft's Internet division would support the OS division with all its might.. and vice versa..

    So at best, IE won't be forced upon Windows users(I do not believe it is now, actually), it'll simply be heavily suggested.
  • by Oestergaard ( 3005 ) on Saturday June 10, 2000 @07:36PM (#1011011) Homepage
    My impressions is, that this whole deal with splitting up Microsoft, is going to makke microsoft better and stronger in the long run.

    Today, their API is a horrible mess of inconcistent calls to inconsistent subsystems, where someone with real knowledge about what's happening in the deeper layers of the OS might have a chance of actually implementing something usable. But for the rest of us, it's black magic.

    If Microsoft is forced to open up for more of their specs, eventually forced (my market) to implement and design a usable API, that will not only benefit the 2. Microsoft (the applications department) but also the rest of us.

    My guess is, that in two years from now, Microsoft will either have an API that is sufficently similar to POSIX, or they will be in the same position on the desktop as Netware find themselve on the server market today.

    Ok, Microsoft API designers (and their managers) aren't the smartes people on earth, obviously (to anyone who've looked at Win32 at least). But they may not be _that_ stupid after all. Win2K has mountponts, maybe the next Win3K5 (or whatever) will have a select() call that works on pipes (generally), sockets, and file descriptors. Maybe they will have a CreateProcess() call that takes less than 10 arguments, it could even be a fork(). Maybe, just maybe, they will learn.

    If this happens, we could have a WindowsXXXX platform which would actually be of real use to people who need more than one computer in a network. This could position Windows among the other '70s technology platforms that are in use today, *BSD, Linux, etc. This would be a giant breakthrough for the platform from the '80s that chose to never learn from history otherwise.

    Cheers, to whatever the future brings. I personally doubt we'll see the boneheads suddenly starting to learn, but then again, you never know.
  • Yes, I know this whole mess is flamebait, but sometimes you just get fed up...

    Come on - I don't have to install HotJava with Solaris, I don't have to install Netscape with RedHat, etc. etc. etc. As an OEM shipping Linux, I can modify the desktop any way it suits me, (including stripping out a browser and adding my own) whereas

    WITH MS, I DON'T HAVE A CHOICE, I HAVE TO INSTALL IE.

    If you don't see what MS did as illegal product tying, as opposed to product promotion, then you either A) Work for MS and agree with the practice, or B) Haven't been fighting with MS products for the past 4 years, reading the paper, or BOOTING YOUR PC.

    OK, I'm finished now.

    Cyano
  • Two things here

    I fail to see how breaking IE out of Windows is going to help consumers. Consumers are going to have to pay MORE for new computers since the OEMs are going to have to license whatever browser they opt to include with the Operating System. Do not kid yourself, if IE was broken out of the OS, companies such as Netscape will get back on the 50$/license bandwagon.

    The second issue is this: Why do I keep seeing comments such as "Does this mean Microsoft will write Office 2000 for Linux?". No! There is no money to be made there. Even with the SMALL userbase linux has, the majority of that is the Server marketplace. Do you have any idea how servers are used? They sit idle, no user at the console... Serving. That's what they are intended to do. Linux is *NOT* a desktop operating system (It could be, yes, but it isnt presently). If there was ANY os Microsoft Applications would be ported to, it would be MacOS . They have already ported IE and office to this platform. Aside from MacOS, the *nix variants that would get applications would be the likes of Solaris, HP-UX, etc. Not Linux. Why not? The cost of technical support would outweigh any profit gained. Linux is a changing entity, its too chaotic to be a viable platform for application development.
  • The nature of public companies is that they have a duty to maximize shareholder value. If the board violates this, they are held liable, even to the point of jail time.

    With MS as 1 company, the sort of cross-subsidy reasoning that lead to such otherwise incomprehensible decisions as spending gobs of money to make IE and then give it away for free made a certain sense for the interests of the shareholders. But to take actions that hurt your shareholders (no office ports) in order to benefit somebody else's shareholders (MS Windows Corp) is a breach of the board's responsibilities and somebody is going to jail for that conspiracy to defraud the stockholders.

    In other words modern US capitalism is going to force the ports because the alternative is personally horrific for the board of MS Apps.

    DB

  • Netscape had an effective monopoly over the browser market by virtue of being the dominant browser before IE. Netscape attempted to leverage this monopoly to render the desktop irrelevant by encouraging developers to write against its APIs, bundling mail software, news readers, etc. as part of the browser.

    Now they don't like it if the Applications company might do the same. They didn't think a browser belonged as part of the OS (as long as it was a Microsoft OS - all other OS'es should ship browsers with the OS and that's a Good Thing[tm])

    This case begins to sound more and more like a baby getting beaten at a game he was playing and wanting mommy to go beat up the big bad people who defeated him.
  • ACK!

    That is a _really_ scary thought. Just think about it for a sec.. if micro$oft (someone should trademark that before microsoft does ) made IIS serve pages, say, 10% (or whatever was deemed to be un-noticeable to the people buying IIS - who probably use microsoft clients anyway) faster to its own clients then to its competitors.. I mean, sure most (60%) of sites use apache, but there is still a scarily high amount of sites using IIS..

    Yet another reason we need lots of little microsoft companies.. it wouldn't be the first time - MaBell had 7 (I think its 7) babies :)

  • From his point of view, microsoft has granted him a monopoly on big browsers on the other OSes.. all that could change in a hurry should microsoft2 (any guesses on how the naming scheme will work?) decide to port IE.. they will no longer have any vested interest in keeping all the stuff on whinedoze..

    <RANT>Perhaps this belongs more in the original microsoft split post, but has it occured to anyone other then me that microsoft's latest monopoly trick is with their windows media player? They have been doing a lot of development on it lately, and pushing it a lot too.. if media is only available for windows.. if documents are only available for windows (ha! we beat them there.. mm, staroffice, mm, catdoc, mm, etc.) if development tools a 9 year old can use (yes, I used vis basic when I was 9... I suppose it taught me part of why their software is so unreliable), the list goes on with yet another, less observed method that they try for a monopoly..</RANT>

  • I think that is a bit oversimplified. If what you say is true, how come all the Linux browsers right now suck compared to IE?

    I'm not trolling, I'm serious. You might recall an article on here a few months back that pointed out that one of the biggest problems we have with Linux is web browsing; It's something that everyone does, but our OS doesn't do it half as well as the oppositions OS. If it's so simple, then whats the holdup on Mozilla? If it's so simply, why are we loosing so horribly?

    I am a Network Administrator for an ISP. I have delt with customers quite a bit, and I can't count the number of times I have asked a customer what their OS was, and got the response "Internet Explorer" or "Netscape".

    You might want to quantify the browser as just a tool like 'troff', and to you (and allot of us I'm sure) it might be, but that doesn't make it true to everyone.

    Besides, I don't think the DOJ has been focusing on the browser at the expense of everything else, I just think they are being thorough, and who would argue with that?
  • This is true.

    As Windows progresses, I see more and more UNIXisms being added. Most of them (like mount points), are transparent and low-level and the normal user never sees the difference. You also see more visible things like their "Task manager" which is basically cron. On the low-level, if they continue to support the existing legacy interface and API, all of their UNIXisms will be messy and wrong.

    This just goes to show that the quote saying something like "Those who don't understand UNIX are doomed to recreate it, poorly" is very true.
  • Well of course he didn't say anything about IE, as it wasn't in the discussion! Web servers and browsers are rather different things. After all, your instructions didn't mention getting rid of Netscape or the builtin KDE browser (called khtml? not sure).

    And if you remove IIS, it is gone. It does not stay around. It is not integrated with the OS any more than Apache is.
  • Actually, so long as IIS is separated from NT, we're probably safe. Right now, IIS is `free' (i.e. bundled) with NT. This means any company with NT servers automatically has an NT+IIS WWW server on their hands - so why would they want to use another WWW server like Apache? They've already got one!
    Having IIS with NT/2000 is a godsend. I run Apache on a few of my servers but would not wish this upon most of whom I work with. IIS Is perfect for the Windows mindset and is structured accordingly. The only thing I wish it had was built in .HTACCESS type security as I have to deal with this from an admin POV instead of pointing my users to a help file that explains how to set up security on their own (and then having to do it myself because they can't follow directions and command lines scare the bejeezus outta them).

    I'd hate to see Apache on NT (yeah I knows its there)...still working out some of the probs I have with Perl / IIS. I'm not slamming Apache as I use it almost exclusively for one of my side businesses, but were all geeks there and it makes sense. Use the best tool for the job, and don't try to shoehorn software where it doesn't fit: Microsoft already does enough of that for us...

    clif

  • Microsoft was only able to bully others once they gained a monopoly.

    That's not correct. Microsoft was in the bullying business long before it had a monopoly. Perhaps you don't remember how Seattle Computer was legally forced to give up their licence to sell MS Dos? There are countless examples of such behaviour. Heck, there's even a story that Bill Gates forced Paul Allen to give up part of his originally-equal share in Microsoft.
    --
  • They've had a half decent OS for years, but insist on charging a premium for it for it to corporate customers, and meanwhile they push the total POS 98 on consumers.
    +1 Insightful, AC. NT makes a fine desktop OS. It provides the common interface that newbies know, and it's hella stable, compared to NT. Would I use it on a server? No. Do I use it on my desktop? No. But NT should be where 95/98 are.

    We all know that sometimes, a having a Windows OS around comes in handy, even if just for testing cross-platform stuff. And so I've considered installing NT4, or more recently, Win2k on a box. But then I see the price tag... Win2k is ~$250 for a single license. You can get OEM versions CHEEP for $150 without docs, sometimes. But I'm sorry, I'm not going to pay that much. Not when you look at what you get. After all,

    Solaris 8: Commercial UNIX, proven server, development, and workstation OS. Runs x86. Unlimited licenses for machines with up to 8 CPUs. Comes with free GNU software, and Star Office.
    $80

    FreeBSD 4.0: Free UNIX, great server OS, used by big names like Yahoo!. Unlimited, unrestricted user licensing and free source code released under BSD license. Comes with loads of free GNU apps. $40.

    And so even though it'd be nice to play around with Win2k, I just can't justify paying that obscene amount of money. If IT managers would stop looking at Windows as "just what people are supposed to do" and see it as a competitor in the whole server OS market... oh, if only...

    I'm just stunned that in this day and age NT is still being installed on servers. But our IT departments are being run by clueless Redmond drones that think being able to run NT means you're proficient with computers. Sad, sad, sad.

    I was complaining about the cost of NT to my dad recently. Most of his computer experience comes from working in an office for the past fifteen years. He says, "Sure, it costs $250, but when you look at what you get for the money..." And I cut him off and started explaining what you don't get for the money, and how UNIX solutions give you better performance, reliability, stability, et cetera, and provide low TCO and high ROI. (And MCSEs demand the same salaries as trained Unix admins, so staffing for MS really isn't cheaper.) He had never heard of Solaris, and I received a blank stare for most of the conversation. (Don't worry, I'm used to it.) Wow, what a sad state the IT world is in, eh? When NT is thought to be state-of-the-art?

    Never underestimate the power of a smart businessman. Windows has perservered and thrived despite being technically inferior to UNIX and harder to use than MacOS, two systems that are mature and talk to each other just fine, all because Gates and his staff are brilliant (if not ethical) business people. We should be thankful that they didn't set their sights on doing something really bad.

    ---------///----------

  • too bad i don't have moderator access because i really laughed my ass off on this one!

    --
    J Perry Fecteau, 5-time Mr. Internet
    Ejercisio Perfecto [nai.net]: from Geek to GOD in WEEKS!
  • This may be an unpopular opinion here on Slashdot, but if you consider Microsoft's target audience, integrating I.E. into Windows was actually quite a smart thing to do (yes, I know they did it for the wrong reasons, i.e. to stamp out Netscape, but still...).

    Most people use their home pc's (MS's main target) to type letters, play games and surf the web. So it's kind of convenient if your gaming interface, wordprocessor and webbrowser all work together in your OS. It saves you from having to figure out a different user interface (Netscape 6/Mozilla/Whatever), which, for most users, is a Good Thing. In fact, they should have integrated MS-Works/Office into Windows as well (well, they have, try installing Office 2000 and see how many of your original system DLL's are replaced) but I suppose they figured out they could make more money by selling it separately. As it turns out, though, for most home pc's this doesn't make much of a difference, since your average Compaq/Dell/Gateway pc comes with Windows and MS-Works pre-installed, so as far as your mom is concerned it is integrated with the OS.

    Microsoft is actually moving towards creating a well rounded, userfriendly (compared to Linux or Mac-aka-the-root-of-all-evil) IA-OS. Everything you need is there, all they need to do is to come up with a kind of thin-client system (X-box plus?) to stuff it on and they'll make millions in the market of "we hate computers but we kind of like all that tasty porn on the internet" people. At least, if it weren't Microsoft they would...BSOD's are not acceptable to grandma.

  • some sort of good reasons IE should be allowed to be part of windows:

    1. it's pretty successfully integrated as the windows GUI already.
    2. there's no good reason to forbid an OS from having a browser. every major OS at least ships with one nowadays.
    3. i actually like the fact that my browser loads in ~ 2 seconds.
    4. defining an OS is not a power i'd like to see the government have (i'm pretty serious about this one)

    some sort of good reasons to divest the two:

    1. it would force windows API to be more friendly to the competition.
    2. it would weaken the OS company's market power. (this was the jist of aardvark's argument)
    3. nobody likes microsoft.

    and, finally, one really lousy reason to keep IE with windows:

    1. netscape dosen't want competition on other OS'es. screw netscape. antitrust laws are not there to protect netscape, and the DOJ would never consider the argument that mr. Clark would like to make.

    cheers,

    sh_mmer
  • The more perceptive folks already understand that the Microsoft trial was a smokescreen that covered up the formation of an even more odious monopoly that spans new media and old media:

    AOL/Time-Warner/CNN/Netscape

    For example, I watched broadcast TV news in Harare, Zimbabwe, a few weeks ago as CNN told me and other Africans a story about an IE security hole. CNN then recommended downloading Netscape to avoid said holes. CNN didn't mention that CNN is now part of the same conglomerate as Netscape, nor did it mention that Netscape's browsers have had their fair share of really nasty security holes. People around the world are even less aware of the corporate conflicts of interest of CNN than are folks in the US -- but they certainly know Bill Gates is The Great Satan of computing thanks to CNN's globally broadcast coverage of The Microsoft Anti-trust Trial.

    Reading the state-run newspaper in Harare had put me in a frame of mind where I found this behavior by CNN to be so transparent as to be down-right comical. However, I understand not everyone shares my ancient history of interest in mass media's influence on culture [geocities.com] and are therefore not quite as jaded about conflicts of interest in media as I might be. Among those people are a few who will perceive what has happened during the last couple of years of new/old media mergers and decide that Bill Gates might not be The Great Satan after all. That means a number of quite perceptive individuals may decide Bill Gates is The Not-So-Great Satan and that working with him is The Lesser of Evils. Furthermore, it could be very good business right. The Not-So-Great Satan is being forced to pay attention to exceptionally perceptive technologists for the first time in a long time. The Not-So-Great Satan might really get off on the idea of showing AOL/Time-Warner/CNN/Netscape a thing or two in the area of innovation. Finally, The Not-So-Great Satan has boatloads of capital sitting around.

    What will The Not-So-Great Satan end up doing with those exceptionally perceptive mercenaries?

  • IMHO, that would be a really dumb idea. Lots of
    companies make both hardware and software.

    But, if they actually did that, Microsoft(ware)
    would make the games and such. MShardware would
    be the licenser and patent holder for the XBox.
    They would also be the one rolling in dough($).

    digitalunity
  • Does this now mean that we'll be seeing Office and IE for Linux???
  • The problem with browsers is that it's easy to do the simple stuff fast, HTML, simple CSS, all that stuff, but then it gets more complicated real quick, JavaScript, complex CSS, Java, ...
    Even Opera still has lots of JavaScript problems (hell, even IE has lots of JavaScript problems, regarding that Netscape designed the language and IE fucked it up).


    Netscape doesn't follow the ECMAScript standard (it's not Javascript that you have to be compliant with any more - it's ECMAScript). Netscape also has a buggy DOM model (LAYERs... jesus). IE and OPERA at least support both of those correctly.

    Simon
  • They should both have it.

    Think about it... Two monopolisticly-oriented companies fighting over 'standards' for the same components, when they are not allowed have any kind of joint venture with each other.

    What they do would HAVE to be at least open spec, if not open source... wouldn't anything else be considered a 'joint veture'?

  • With troff, you can just type "rm troff" and it's gone. You can't remove IE (not easily - you can remove parts of it, including iexplore.exe, but parts of it will always remain on the system). But the main point was that MS wouldn't even let OEM's put Netscape on their computers, they had to use Internet Explorer. This is clearly anticompetitive.

    Never the case actually. The issue was that Compaq wanted to remove Internet Explorer and replace it with Netscape. NOT ship them both. This was what Microsoft griped at - they could ship both happily, one icon above the other on the desktop. But they weren't allowed to remove IE from the desktop or from the system.

    Which as far as I'm concerned, is perfectly valid. It's their OS after all. And that move can't be seen as anticompetitive can it?

    Simon
  • Which is more threatening? A web browser which can leverage extra features of the operating system, or a web browser that can leverage extra features of applications?

    What on earth would a "Microsoft enhanced" web browser do that it doesn't already do now? All the networking stuff is open enough, because it's basically a hacked up version of Unix networking. If the browser draws a little faster because it calls __chunder32_WinBlitBrowserCrap(), well, it doesn't really make that much of a difference to the end-user.

    On the other hand, if it's tightly integrated with Office, Excel, and all the other business applications, that's just another huge nail in Netscape's coffin, because it's the "gotta have" application for all the Office Lusers.
  • no matter how you look at it msie and it's integration into windows is clearly a threat to netscape. however, it clearly poses more of a threat if it is not distributed with out windows. i guess the true question here is, why can't mircosoft simply put out a good clean tested browser.
  • Jim Clark couldn't beat Microsoft legitimately, by producing a superior browser, so instead he chose to resort to whining and leveraging the government. Well, he's succeeded. What else do you want Jim?

    ---------------
  • May be off-topic but if timothy is referring
    to the guy from Asimov's Foundation series, then
    it should be Hari Seldon, not Harry.

    Y.
  • by yuriwho ( 103805 ) on Saturday June 10, 2000 @07:44PM (#1011040)
    The browser determines the content that is used on the net. It the browser supports PNG then webpage designers will start using PNG. When you start talking about video and third party plugins thats a different story. If MSFT has a monopoly in browser share and their browser only supports MSFT media player (whatever their video is called) natively, then they will slowly erase Real, Quicktime and any other competitors from the market. Same goes for anything currently supported by plugins that they can build into the browser. Lets have the user software separated from the platform (OS + browser) as much as possible to support competition and user choice.
  • BSOD's are not acceptable to grandma.

    On the contrary, if there's anyone in the world who will uncomplainingly put up with the kind of, um, stuff (meekly phrased for the new family-friendly /.) to which Win9x is heir, it's Grandma. They sure won't tolerate it at the office where they use NT instead. Not only will she put up with mystery crashes and no-warning lockups but best of all she still believes that Bill Gates is a "genius" who wrote all this stuff himself, and she even thinks the crashes are her fault. That's what she tells me when she brings me her hosed PC, anyway.

    Say, just noticed that I'm guessing wildly there. I sort of assume, without any statistics or anything like that, that businesses in general prefer NT over Win9x , mainly because my office does. Is that true, or do companies as well as private individuals who don't know better use Win9x? Anybody got figures for corporate purchases of OSes or anything like that?

    Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

  • The only downside is that leaving MSIE in Windows will make it a lot harder for Mozilla to establish a strong base on the Windows platform. Not impossible, but a lot harder. I'd rather be faced with that problem, though, than have to deal with tying between web/media content and MSIE-as-media-player. For the same reason, Microsoft's media players should be left with the OS, not the apps/web company.

    It's the best of two bad situations. Actually, I agree with those who think that the best solution would be to liquidate Microsoft and throw Bill Gates in the slammer, but that's just wishful thinking - it isn't going to happen, at least, not unless Bill is dumb enough to keep flouting the law, even after this rather clear demonstration of why you shouldn't. (starting to drift offtopic here, but oh well.) Actually, I think that's how it will finally play out. Remember all the speeding tickets, and he never learned, did he? Just counted on his rich lawyer dad to fix it all up and keep him on the road. I guess it's probably going to happen that way again, except on a much bigger scale, and he's utimately going to wind up doing time, just like Michael Milken did. It's strange what greed and ego can do to a man.

    Clark's advice has little chance of making it into policy, however, even if senators like what they hear. The appeals court that will look at the landmark Microsoft breakup proposal largely will be charged with deciding whether the original ruling was legally correct, rather than changing individual details of the remedy.

    IANAL, but that's not a correct interpretation. The details of the split, what goes where, aren't specified at all in the final judgement and in fact are to be proposed by Microsoft. Naturally, the DoJ will make it clear to Microsoft what it wants where.

    Rob, there is a new bug in slash that prevents offline composing. If you d/c while on the composing page then when you reconnect you can preview, but trying to post results in: Invalid form key! This is seriously annoying.
    --
  • > Explain to me again how the average consumer got harmed?
    > I can't figure it out.

    Well, who is an average consumer of Microsoft products? Is this an individual user? No, most individual users don't ever buy an operating system. The end-user usually gets his operating system bundled with his computer.

    Microsoft's number one customer for both OSes and applications is the OEM. Compaq, Dell, Gateway are typical Microsoft customers. Now how did they get harmed in any actionable way when Bill Gates & Co. seized control of their internal business decisions? Considering that MS had had for years and continues to have a nearly perfect monopoly in the personal computer OS market, does Compaq, for example, have any reason to complain when Microsoft says, "Sure, you can ship Netscape with all your computers, but if you do we'll charge you $95 per Win95 license as opposed to your previous price (and the one we'll continue to offer your competitors) of $45. So if you sell a million computers this year with Win95 on them, that decision will cost you fifty million dollars. How badly do you want to include Netscape in your bundle?" For that matter, keeping in mind Microsoft's monopoly, does Netscape have any right to complain?

    This anti-trust case is not a battle between Microsoft and individual end-users. It is a battle between Microsoft and a number of other multi-billion dollar computer-industry companies.

    Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

  • Gee thanks for informing our lowly slashdotters about the INTERNET Is IE W3E standards compliant? NO ,,,,,,,,,,,,,, is mozilla YES!!!

    Does Java, DHTML or XML currently work perfectly in Mozilla or are there sites being written specifically targetted at Mozilla's advanced features.? My point was that several slashdotters due to the fact that they use Netscape or Mozilla are missing out on sites that are beginning to offer more and more advanced functionality. The applications being ported at the company's I worked for are an example. Frankly I don't know about here and now but as at 1 month ago Mozilla couldn't handle ECMAscript so simple things like retrieving MP3s from my online locker at Xdrive [xdrive.com] here impossible. So if you are using Mozilla or Netscape (especially on *nix which I do) a lot of the power of 4th generation browsers and HTML 4.0 is lost on you, thus you'll think that all a browser does is display static HTML pages like the post I responded to does instead of realizing that they do so much more.

    Now that I have thought about it, once Mozilla is complete it will be adopted as the browser of choice by AOL. This will instantly make it a contender in the browser wars. After all, if companies are ready to create AOL specific websites and get in on the AOL keyword system, why shouldn't they start coding aimed at Mozilla once AOL adopts it. Maybe Jim Clark has nothing to worry about, of course now we have we'll have a browser controlled by a company that has a monopoly on content and user software for half the Net users in America and another owned by a company that will be trying to create such a monopoly. This will be interesting...

  • I've always thought that was the stupidest thing for the justice department to focus on. Of course a browser should be included in an operating system, just like Linux, Be, the Mac, and just about every Unix nowadays does. It's just a utility like 'troff'. Take a file and format it.

    The problem is that this isn't an accurate analogy. Sure, a web browser included with the operating system is a good thing, a web browser integrated into the operating system is a bad thing. You wouldn't want troff to be in the linux kernel would you? No. Why have IE in the Windows one?

    The problem is MS provides no way to uninstall IE from Windows. They did this deliberately to undermine and destroy Netscape. The issue isn't that they included IE on the Windows install disc, or that they installed it by default. The issue is they "integrated" it with the OS, don't allow the user to uninstall it, and did it with the SOLE purpose of using their monopoly power in the OS market to gain share in the browser market.

    That, my friend, is why the DOJ concentrated on IE.

    -- iCEBaLM
  • by babbage ( 61057 ) <cdeversNO@SPAMcis.usouthal.edu> on Saturday June 10, 2000 @07:57PM (#1011070) Homepage Journal
    It's not "just" the browser. For one thing, it's a pretty complex little piece of software -- it has to handle network communication using multiple protocols (http, ftp, email, others), it has to be able to quickly & accurately render a wide variety of file formats (text, graphics, sound, video, etc), it has to carry an interpreter that can run scripts (javascript, vbscript, html if you count that, etc) (but why do none of them allow perl or python???), etc. In short, it does a lot of the same tasks that a modern OS does, only in an encapsulated, lightweight form. So don't just dismiss it as trivial software. There are reasons that Mozilla, KDE, and Be are all having a hard time coming up with a good browser.

    More importantly, part of the browser's significance is the way it has to work in tandem with the server side code. If everyone stuck to published standards (yeah right), this wouldn't be an issue. But as it is, with browsers being deliberately & accidentally incompatible in important ways, the people working on the server end of thigns cannot ignore what is out there on the client end. If 80% or whatever of the market is using IE, and IE wants your html to look a certain way, then that's the way you're going to design your pages. If IE goes a step further and says it can only recognize pages delivered from IIS and nothing from, say, Apache, then servers will have to start configuring their software to keep the clients happy. One thing can lead to another and we find ourselves in a situation where a company has leveraged its position in one market in order to take over things in another one.

    That is exactly the sort of behavior that this trial was all about, and if allowed to go unchecked it's the sort of behavior that will have a very nasty effect on things in the future. It is important, if you look at how everything fits together here.

    I for one still think they got off easy -- if it had been up to me, I'd just say to shut the bastards down, none of this lameass breakup nonsense. American law gives corporations the status of "artificial persons", with all the protections afforded to real people. Horseshit! Corporations, if left unchecked, are much *more* powerful & protected than real people, and we don't need braindead laws like this to make things easier for them. If I had my way, we'd make examples out of a few corporations to show them that the people are still in charge in a democracy like this. Start with Phillip Morris & Microsoft, find out where their corporate charter is held, and sign a petition to have it revoked. Hey presto and with a stroke of a pen they cease to exist. There is legal precedent for this, though not within the last 100 years. I'd like to see it happen again, and I think this trial would have been a perfect test case.

    But then, maybe my bias against the sleazy bastards is a bit obvious here, and I doubt I would have been given the cae even if I were a judge. Oh well, I can dream, can't I? :)



  • It's not that we don't want them to be able to leverage their products against each other.. ie:
    IIS & IE, or other properietary things they want to come up with.. it's that we don't want them to be able to stranglehold the entire industry in doing so.

    Whether IE stays with the OS or Apps company, I couldn't care less... my main concern is that windows splits from apps. Period. Windows should be an OS. It can provide all kinds of functions, including those for web browsing.. as long as they are published openly.
    I mean.. look at DOS.. it used to be that if you bought an OS, and wanted to develop for it.. you could get *ALL* the information you needed to write software for it.. that's what made the OS powerful.
  • Quoth the poster:
    Funny, I never read the first or second. I didn't really understand everything that was happening until book 4
    Um, don't you think the first and second sentences might be causally connected?

    Foundation remains a great, ground-breaking book. Sure, in many ways he just stole from the Fall of the Roman Empire. Yet he also formalized and birthed the Great Galactic Empire found in many later works. Almost all vast Empires are spiritual descendants of Asimov's. (Don't believe me? Look at Phantom Menace ... Coruscant == Trantor.)

  • Absolutely...it was hilarious. The only thing I would suggest is that he use a little more ALL CAPS for effect.

    --
  • I largely agree, and am another in the subset of users who dislike Microsoft, but don't think they should be split. If anything, the government should have just invalidated any anti-competitive contracts that Microsoft "partners" have signed.

    I do have to take issue with this, though:

    I'm also tired of those that diss Dell, Gateway, Compaq, and others for [up until recently] only selling Windows PCs. Is Microsoft behind this? They have a minor role. More important is the demand of the comsumers. Windows has no competitors there. Why?

    Windows has no competitors there because of the anti-competitive licensing contracts which kept any other OS out of the market. OS/2 was a viable consumer operating system. Did it have rough edges? Yes, but so does Windows. OS/2, had it gotten access to the preload market would have been a serious competitor to Windows. But it could not reach that market, because of the restrictions placed on OEMs by Microsoft.

    --

  • Sure, a web browser included with the operating system is a good thing, a web browser integrated into the operating system is a bad thing. You wouldn't want troff to be in the linux kernel would you? No. Why have IE in the Windows one?

    Well, that's not quite accurate. The browser is not integrated into the kernel, it's integrated into the shell. Just like how KDE has a browser integrated into their shell, accessible through the file explorer.

    I will grant you that it was stupid of Microsoft to claim that IE couldn't be removed from the operating system. That just confused the issue. The fact is that IE is an object that can be embedded in a lot of different applications. For example, Quicken uses the IE object to connect to various resources on the Quicken site.

    And frankly, this is the way it should be! This is where the power of an object-oriented operating system comes from... being able to use reusable components such as a browser.

    Now, one could argue that the browser object should have clearly defined protocols so that it can be replaced if the user wanted to. And those protocols may be documents, I don't even know.

    But Microsoft did have the right idea, technically speaking. However, you can definitely argue that a lot of their other practices we're anticompetitive, I will admit.


    --

  • And no, splitting MS into more companies is not the solution. The government can't just go messing around with the economy at will... They have an obligation to do only what is absolutely necessary to "fix" the problem.

    Well no, actually government has an obligation to protect the people, and splitting up a predatory corporation is a perfectly good example of how to do this. What's the greater priority -- defending the average consumer or defending Microsoft shareholders? In many ways, it comes down to one or the other here, and if you pick the latter then I think you're pretty profoundly missing the point of having a democratically elected republican form of government.



  • Imagine how much more they could bog ya down if they integrated it into your OS.

    The hope would be that, as a non-monopoly, it wouldn't be worth their while making buggy "integrated" software because nobody would use it.


    OTOH I'm not quite convinced that the software world works like that. Quite likely, in a market in which Microsoft was not a monopoly, you'd end up with hundreds of mini-monopolies in different areas, e.g. Real Player, Netscape, Office, etc.. So maybe it would be a problem.

  • Do you even know who Jim Clark is? He's put so much jizz into the computer industry since 1980 it isn't even funny. His companies have really kicked ass in their prime but after he left and their management fell to other less competant people they floundered. He makes a good point in saying that IE currently is part of the desktop of Windows and trying to change that is stupid. Why should Microsoft be forced to use a competing product in their product? Should I bitch about KDE because it treats all files as MIME types like IE does? Yeah I didn't think so.
    • Price gouging (the existence of free [beer] & cheap OSes like Linux & Be make the pricetag on Windows look suspicious)
    • Stifling of innovation (suppression of competing technologies has prevented possibly great ones from emerging)
    • Corrosion of quality (we have unnecessarily come to expect shitty software; this should not be the case but we've all been fooled into believing it)
    • Wealth redistribution (Gates & pals ahve profited handsomely here, and while anyone is of course free to buy MS shares, the reality is that very few have gained from this arrangement)

    Just to pick four off the top of my head...



  • IMHO Jim Clark is wrong. More on that in a second.

    Maybe, just maybe the point of the MS break-up decision is that operating systems should go back to being operating systems and applications back to being applications.

    In other words the OS should be nothing more than a layer of software that talks to the hardware, either directly or by managing drivers and then provides an API to developers for accessing that hardware.

    That's all an OS needs to do.

    This will reduce the operating system to a commodity. Sold not to consumers, but to OEMs for bundling with their hardware.

    This is what the vast majority of users want since they don't know what an operating system is, but they do want their computers to boot.

    Operating systems will still be a lucrative business (although admittedly not as lucrative as today), because many devices are paperweights without one.

    Application vendors can then go back to doing what they do which is making applications, by writing to the various API's provided by various OS's.

    To me that is the point of the court decision and it seems right.

    As for what Jim Clark proposes, as well as flying in the face of the above, it simply won't work.

    The new MS apps company would just expand Word into a full fledged web browser and nothing has been accomplished. After all what is he saying, that application companies can't write browsers?

    Also it has yet to be proven that a web browser will subsume all the functions of an OS. Different people are pushing this type of model, with things like ASP, but it has yet to be proven. Almost any application can add a billion features and claim that is the new "Universal Client". Generally what it will actually be is bloated, "Universal Garbage".

  • by kaphka ( 50736 ) <1nv7b001@sneakemail.com> on Saturday June 10, 2000 @08:43PM (#1011109)
    Well no, actually government has an obligation to protect the people
    I know a lot of /.ers would dispute this, but I think that most of MS's employees and shareholders are, in fact, people. They have rights too. I'm not saying that they must be insulated completely from any damage that might come from this case, but the government does have to have to have some consideration for their welfare.

    MS shouldn't be split into many companies for the same reason that shoplifters and jaywalkers shouldn't be executed. They may have done wrong, but that doesn't mean they're completely without rights.

    (Yes, I know that I'm confusing the corporation with its employees. It is theoretically possible that the government could punish MS without harming a single human being... but I wouldn't bet on it.)
  • What are all of these MSOffice features the browser could leverage? None of those formats can get any less open (in contrast to the corruption of HTML). Plugins already exist for viewing documents. The only one I could imagine is remotely editing documents from within the browser, but if everyone had the ability to do that then fewer MSOffice liscenses would be sold.
    I honestly want to know what you have in mind.
  • Price gouging (the existence of free [beer] & cheap OSes like Linux & Be make the pricetag on Windows look suspicious)

    Sorry, but noone has been gouged by the price of Win95. It is not a neccessity of life that people have some inherent right to. MS can charge whatever they want for it.
    Hmmm... Makes for an interesting argument. If Windows and Linux (etc...) do not compete directly, then MS has a monopoly, and charging such a high price is illegal. If Windows and Linux do compete directly, then MS does not have a monopoly, so they're free to charge whatever they want. However, if Windows and Linux were in competition, then MS wouldn't be able to charge $200+ for Windows, as long as comparable alternative exists at a much lower price (Linux: $0). MS's own prices are proof that they have a monopoly.

    Of course, by that logic, there are a whole lot of other monopolies out there...
  • However, it's interesting to note that when asked where he got all those wonderful names from, Asimov said he simply took usual names and twisted them a bit, and gave the example of Harry ->Hari ... if you like trivia ;-)
  • Do you realize how long auto-makers in this country have made really shitty cars?

    That would probably be why none of them have a monopoly.. and in fact American made cars are not being bought as often as imports these days.

    This however is not the case with computers. A majority of people out there buy Windows simply because that's what the software runs on. Not exactly a choice.
  • If I'm ordering anything through the Netscape shop! icon, it's a vomit bag.

    Which is too bad. I thought Netscape was fine up until about 4.2. Then it turned into hideous bloatware, it was as if Netscape got into a war with Microsoft to see who could add more completely useless non-standard "features" and create the most bloated crap.

    And frankly, 4.7 up are just hideous, the most fucking ugly software I've ever seen. The buttons look like shit, the browser looks like shit, it takes forever to boot and is then sluggish as hell. There's no real competition. IE 5.01 is just the better browser. Netscape 4.73 blows dead goats, or rather it WOULD blow dead goats if it didn't crash in the middle of trying to blow dead goats.

    Perhaps this is because of OS integration, but perhaps it's just because the latest Netscape browser is just bad, and horribly, evilly wrong in so many ways, from its appearance to its performance, that it can't be said not to suck with a straight face. It is the "Battlefield: Earth" of web browsers.

  • If it stays with the OS, they'll be forced to document the interfaces to it, so a user could replace IE with Netscape if they wanted to. That'll never happen if it's in the Apps division.
  • Uh...how exactly do the apps have the OS in them? If you mean API then you WANT API code in your apps. I'd much rather have real tight integration with the kernel than complete abstraction.
  • Microsoft 1 or 2 (WinCo and AppCo) isn't going to be any different from Microsoft today.

    What makes you think that the new company is going to start porting Office to Linux? Windows is still a big market and as long as the windows market stays big there is no reason to split resources in porting to new platforms.

    If I was running the new app company I would continue to concentrate on Windows because that is where my bread and butter comes from. It is very unrealistic to believe that the "world is going to be a much better place" with the Microsoft split.

    Just a pipe dream.
  • by Cyberdyne ( 104305 ) on Saturday June 10, 2000 @08:54PM (#1011143) Journal
    What about letting the software company keep IE, but Windows company gets IIS? That way they can't leverage IIS and IE together? I don't like the idea of IE+Windows together for the short term though.

    Actually, so long as IIS is separated from NT, we're probably safe. Right now, IIS is `free' (i.e. bundled) with NT. This means any company with NT servers automatically has an NT+IIS WWW server on their hands - so why would they want to use another WWW server like Apache? They've already got one!

    If NT cannot come with IIS, however, it's a different kettle of fish: the company will have all those NT servers, but without a WWW server. They look around, and see two options: IIS and Apache. One has three times the market share, and a much better reputation, and it comes with source so you can modify it if you need. The other has been out there for years, but hasn't made much progress in terms of market share; the standards compliance is a bit iffy, and it dies you down to one OS. Oh, and there's no source code: you have problems, you're SOL.

    *Splat*. IIS loses. Microsoft Apps are stuck having to comply with open standards, on a level playing field. No hidden APIs to help them, no bundling to push IE out there to all the Windows users - suddenly, Real, Quicktime etc. can get a foot in the door.

    Meanwhile, MS OS (M SOS?) decides they do want to bundle a browser, video player etc., but they aren't allowed to get it from MS Apps. Where do they go? Well, Netscape have a nice new browser which should be perfect... :-)

  • by orpheus ( 14534 ) on Sunday June 11, 2000 @06:51AM (#1011149)
    "no matter how you look at it msie and it's integration into windows is clearly a threat to netscape. however, it clearly poses more of a threat if it is not distributed with out windows. i guess the true question here is, why can't mircosoft simply put out a good clean tested browser."

    I like NetscapeCo and I'm fairly irritated by MS, but I can't give Jim Clark this point. MS-IE is an app, not an OS or even a NOS (Network Operating System) as Clark implies when he says "The browser is to Internet services what the operating system is to (PC) applications."

    That's not to say that there aren't risks from MSIE in MS-AP, but that those actual risks have no place in the DOJ action. The DOJ was concerned with unfair business practice, not competition by the MSIE software itself. Specifically, the OS integration you mention applies mostly to Windows OSs (which have enough problems as it is)

    I'm more worried about "Embrace and extend", which will not end with the divestitute. It's difficult to fight any predominant software (and of course, Netscape itself was guilty of E+E in the days when it was the predominant browser), but MS has a history of bad security choices. Users want features and convenience; they usually pay lip service to security. We'd be foolish to pretend that most Linux installations are as tight as they should be -- and even OpenBSD installs often have unnecessary holes poked in them for convenience (even though OpenBSD users are more concerned with security from Day One)

    MS script/macro/integration breaches threaten user data -- and data compromise alone is more dangerous than machine compromise ('theft of PU cycles and resources') alone

    MA-AP may have a tough time giving up these poor practices, since it's staffed by the same people as before. The default settings on MSIE are heavily weighed to the Application's convenience, rather than user security. When I last saw MSIE-5, even their "high security" setting was more permissive than I considered acceptable for 'Normal' security

    I've long fought the installion of any version of Office beyond Office 95. (I suppose this has cost MS a lot of business, but I've never had a single complaint from a user about lost capability - only about MS's deliberate .doc file backward incompatibility. There are acceptable converters for OFF97 for anything less than a book or complex cross-app projects (and in my experience, Off97 is little better than OFF95 for writing books) Unfortunately, Office file formats are not covered by the DOJ decree. One can only hope that this is among the information shared between MS-OS and MS-AP. MS-OS would then have the right to release them -- and might, to encourage new Windows apps [See my most optimistic projection [slashdot.org] on why MS-OS and MS-AP may be at each pther's throats early on]

    Alas, we'll never see Off95 for Linux (BSD, BeOS, etc.) Ideally, I'd hope MS-AP might see the market advantage in creating a safe OFF2003 by going back to the feature set of OFF95 and reviewing the revision tree since. Certainly the feature set of their previous major cross-platform port (Mac) always lagged behind the current version of the Win version. We could be uncharitable and assume this was a effort to hinder the Mac, but perhaps it also contained a realistic assessment of the time-to-market for porting a full "bells and whistles" version vs. a substantial workable subset.
  • by dimator ( 71399 ) on Saturday June 10, 2000 @11:34PM (#1011150) Homepage Journal
    But look at the KDE browser. That's come a lot further a lot faster than the Mozilla project.

    That statement really bothers me, because while the KDE browser is just that, a web browser, you have to understand that Mozilla is as much as application framework as it is a web browser. The ability to parse HTML is just one part of what the Mozilla project is all about.

    Did you know that every part of Mozilla's UI and dialogs are written in an XML doc type called XUL [mozilla.org]? By doing this, the Netscape guys no longer have to deal with half a dozen UI toolkits for each platform. As you can imagine, this is no small task.

    Konqueror has come along faster, but there are different design goals: Browser vs. complex cross platform app framework (wrapped around a browser).


    --
    "And is the Tao in the DOS for a personal computer?"
  • Last time I checked, IE can't do any of the PNG transparency features, whether normal "GIF"-style or PNG's cool multi-level transparency. Therefore, it doesn't really display PNG. (i.e., an ASCII editor can read a .doc file, but not correctly.) Netscape does the same thing.

    Unless you've got Quicktime installed (which steals the MIME type and then proceeds to incorrectly display transparent PNGs), IE 5 does indeed display PNGs correctly - with full transparency and gamma correction.

    Therefore, IE 5 does really display PNG. IE 4 may be a different matter.

    Simon
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Netscape co-founder Jim Clark is the same guy who once said that we would rather have a load of hot grits down his pants than to be locked in a room with a Beowulf cluster of Natalie Portman's. This speaks for itself as to the validity of his jugement.



    But of course, most of you are just using...

    /*
    * Droid Moderation script
    *
    * Yeah, yeah, it's ugly, but I cannot find how to do this correctly
    * and this seems to work.
    *
    * NOTE! This script may moderate DOWN posts which in fact may be
    * very funny AND on topic.
    */
    {
    if (message.contains("Beowulf cluster")
    || message.contains("hot grits")
    || message.contains("Natalie Portman"))
    message.moderate_down(random()&1 ? TROLL : OFFTOPIC);
    else if (message.contains("I'll be moderated down for this"))
    message.moderate_up(random()&1 ? INSIGHTFUL : INTERESTING);
    }

  • If you buy a car does Ford tell you you can't modify it! No of course they don't. It doesn't belong to MS. You telling me Compaq has no right to change or modify the software on their machines?

    If you buy a car, it's the same as you buying a machine from Compaq - which you can't change or modify without losing the right to tech support.

    When Compaq buys Windows from MS, it's the same as a dealership buying a car from Ford. Ford has a certain set of rules which decide what is present in any given car - and which determine what the dealership can or can't do to that car and still keep the warranty (or even sell the car at all).

    This is in part to keep their costs down, but also because they advertize their cars as having a certain set of functionality, which they support (with aftermarket parts, maintenance manuals, etc). The dealerships don't get much leeway at all.

    Same thing applies to Microsoft - they advertize a certain set of functionality which people expect to be in Windows when they buy a Compaq machine running Windows. So Compaq can always add stuff, but they can't remove anything.

    Seems fine to me. But as an addendum; how about I released a Linux distribution where I thought that well, the Linux kernel was a bit crap at something*... so I swap it out with a kernel I wrote myself. Can I still sell that as Linux? Probably not. So why should Microsoft be treated any differently?

    Simon
    *not that I'm saying it is crap at anything; this is hypothetical.
  • He just might be right. However, the problem with this is that it seems to take some of the wind out of the sails of the Justice Department. They went to all kinds of trouble to show how IE was inextricably linked to the OS, and then made the case that this was damaging to industry. Now we have someone important saying, "it wouldn't be such a big deal to have the OS linked with the browser..."
  • by The_Messenger ( 110966 ) on Saturday June 10, 2000 @08:29PM (#1011165) Homepage Journal
    "Netscape Co-Founder Wants IE To Stay With Windows"

    Yes, I also think that Elian should stay with his father.

    Oh well. It will be years before we find out if Microsoft really will be broken up. All of this speculation will do nothing but put the already suffering tech-stocks in even more of a tizzy.

    Who thinks that any Microsoft spinoff has a chance of practicing any shady business activities after all of this? The DoJ doesn't assume that after action is taken, everything is peachy. You still have the same people running the companies. They'll have their eye on Microsoft for at least another decade.

    I'm part of a tiny group with these intersecting characteristics: Unix fanatic, doesn't like Microsoft products, but doesn't think they should be broken up. I think they should be punished for using their monopoly status to bully others, but I don't think their monopoly status should be taken from them forcefully. I don't think that large US corporations should have the worry of getting so large that the government breaks them up. You gain a monopoly through hard work. Microsoft was only able to bully others once they gained a monopoly. Before then, they didn't have the clout to do be a bully. Afterwards, they used their status to make sure they stayed where they were. I think that they should be punished (fines/business restrictions/et cetera) and watched very carefully. I also think that afterwards, there should be a giant wave of civil suits with generous punitive damages claimed.

    I don't think the OS should be seperated from the apps. Microsoft has valid points. The integration of the two has helped them to really improve how things work. You know why IIS runs fast as hell? Because the engineers had the OS source and could make whatever optimizations you want. When you write software for one OS, which you have complete knowledge of, and will only be executing on one arcitecture, a lot of problems Magically disappear. Why should we begrudge them for doing this?

    I'm also tired of those that diss Dell, Gateway, Compaq, and others for [up until recently] only selling Windows PCs. Is Microsoft behind this? They have a minor role. More important is the demand of the comsumers. Windows has no competitors there. Why? The only other company that produces a viable newbie OS is Apple, and they are intent on keeping the OS with the hardware. What other OS could compete, even if Microsoft weren't a dinosaur?

    Microsoft could have had competitors in this market. Sun, HP, or (snicker) SGI could have sold stripped-down versions of their respective OSes (SunOS, HP-UX, and IRIX) with CDE as a GUI and done quite well. (CDE, for you Linuxers, is the Motif-friendly windowing system that has been common on commercial Unix and DEC systems for years.) All of these companies are large enough to provide appropriate driver support. Or imagine if Sun, HP, and SGI could have allied themselves to create a UNIX-based consumer-level OS. They'd have excellent driver support for networking, printing, and graphics, and enough market share to get whatever else they needed. Plus, if implemented correctly (i.e. not stripped down too much), the power and stability of UNIX.

    CDE does have the ability to be a consumer GUI! How many of you knew that Sun boxen are used internally by Sun as PCs? Yep, a friend of mine who did Sun marketing reminded me of this. He, being a marketer, was not very techinical. (A sweeping yet sadly true statement.) I say, "What did you think of the Solaris GUI? Easy to use?" He says, "No problem." To elaborate on his cluelessness, he didn't know it was CDE in combination with dtwm**. That the user didn't even know what it was called, and yet was able to use it as a desktop OS for four years, with no UNIX training, proves that the Windows-esque isolation of the user from the CLUE can be done in UNIX. But it never caught on in the "real world", and couldn't have, because up until last year commercial level UNIX was very expensive, and didn't run on x86 hardware. But this is the subject of another rant.

    That's another thing: architecture. You complain that Compaq won't sell you a PC with Linux. I'll complain, why can't I get a PC with a RISC chip?*** ;-)

    Ah well, I'm just daydreaming and babbling again. And I could do this for hours, ranting about why I love UNIX, and how I don't think NT is a bad product, but should be marketed as a desktop OS, and blah blah blah, mouth running like I'm Signal 11. Wow, this Microsoft stuff will do that to you. We'll be seeing books and movies and studies and After-School Specials ("Don't let your kids become Microsoft Programmers!") and Made-For-TV Movies ("Bill Gates, Give Me Back my Baby!") for twenty years afterwards.

    Reminds me: did anyone watch that cable movie (on TNT?) that was about the lives of Jobs and Gates? I heard about that, but not being much of a TV viewer, I never watched it. Is it available on video? It sounded vaguely interesting.

    ** Since SunOS 5.7, that is. OW is still in option, but honestly, why? CDE is beautiful for the power-user as well as the newbie. If you want a cleaner desktop, use AfterStep. OW offers ZERO benefits, other than being preinstalled. :-)

    *** The closest you'll get is a Sun Ultra 5, which will cost you about US$3200, including 17" monitor. The box has an UltraSPARC IIi, and is pretty cool considering how much you'd have to pay to get a similar system from HP or SGI. The cheapest HP workstations will include full SCSI and a bunch of other stuff I honestly don't need, and start around $7k. Note that while HP now sells Linux workstations, they're x86. Sort of a waste.

    ---------///----------

  • Well, that's not quite accurate. The browser is not integrated into the kernel, it's integrated into the shell. Just like how KDE has a browser integrated into their shell, accessible through the file explorer.

    No, that's not accurate. IE is "integrated" into the Windows OS, if you replace explorer.exe (the default windows shell) with something like litestep, you'll see that IE is still used for the general display of "My Computer", the Control Panel, all "File Windows" when you double click a drive from "My Computer", etc. It's still there.

    But Microsoft did have the right idea, technically speaking. However, you can definitely argue that a lot of their other practices we're anticompetitive, I will admit.

    No, they didn't. They put IE too low level, if IE crashed, so did the OS. IE is always wasting RAM and CPU time when you're in Windows, etc.

    -- iCEBaLM
  • Interesting point, but my contention is that any solution is going to end up harming someone, and while the MS employees were just "following orders" so to speak, I would think that most of them are pretty talented individuals that would not have too much trouble finding (or starting!) new companies in a hypothetical post-MS world -- especially in the current economy (though, granted, that could well change by the time this mess gets resolved one way or the other).

    I think the priority of the government should be towards protecting the consumer and the diversity of the industry, and leaving MS alone (or, worse, not doing enough [slashdot.org]) will only make everythign worse because it could stand to benefit the ones that have created this problem in the first place. The bullet must be bitten at some point, like it or not, and I think most MS employees can probably handle it. Hell, with MS on their resumes they should be very employable elsewhere...



  • So, does this mean that AOL should be broken up too? into:

    1. Software (Netscape, ICQ, Nullsoft)
    2. Internet & Media (TimeWarner Cable, AOL ISP, etc.)

    Or Apple:

    1. OSes
    2. Hardware development (Firewire, PowerPC, etc.)
    3. Hardware maker (mice, motherboards, etc.)
    4. OEM (Computer assembly)
    5. Development tools (whatever ungodly creations Apple has in this arena)
    6. Applications (Quicktime, etc.)
    7. ISP (oh wait, that completely failed a long time ago, never mind)

  • Granted, a browser is not the most complicated piece of software in existance, but it is one of the most important peices of software today. There are a lot of people who buy a computer for the sole purpose of running a browser.

    Look at the iMac adds, Apple is marketing iMacs as "cars" for the internet, meaning you plug them in, connect to the internet, and launch a browser. Browsers act as a medium for other applications, I don't mean as in Java but the whole web itself.

    Consider this quote from Open Sources.

    Open sources, Tim O'Reilly [oreilly.com]

    What's interesting is that the killer application is no longer a desktop productivity application or even a back-office
    enterprise software system, but an individual web site. And once you start thinking of web sites as applications, you soon come
    to realize that they represent an entirely new breed, something you might call an "information application," or perhaps even
    "infoware."


    Joshua Yambert

    --------------

  • by Semuta ( 193948 ) on Saturday June 10, 2000 @09:02PM (#1011175) Homepage
    Does anyone bother to look at the software installed on their unix computer anymore? With all the fucking griping about Mozilla and netscape/unix it's starting to get old.

    ***MANUAL FOR UNIX WEB-BROWSING***

    Go to terminal. Type in 'lynx'. WOW.

    Go to terminal. Install 'links'. ULTRA-WOW!

    Go to terminal. Install 'w3m'. WOW!

    Go to application-launcher. Type in 'netscape'. WOW!

    Go to application-launcher. Type in 'kfm --window'. EXTREME WOW.

    Go to terminal. Download and unpack appropriate Mozilla build. Type 'mozilla'. WOW.

    Go to terminal. Locate a java browser, or Amaya, or Opera beta, or any of TWENTY UMPTEEN other projects. Install. WOW.

    ***POINTS***

    Web browsing options for unix are plentiful for those who take ten seconds of effort to slap them on the machine, even if nothing is as exceptional as Internet Explorer.

    'kfm' is the most brutally underrated quick/fast/dirty web browser ever created. Everyone has KDE, hence kfm, on their linux/bsd desktops, yet hardly anyone fucking realizes what it can do.

    'links' is the most brutally underexposed text browser ever. Lynx is a fucking dump next to it. And yes, it does color and frames and tables and layout and that shit. Press 'Esc' to turn on color.

    The GTKHTML and Konqueror projects are fucking wonderful.
  • Hmm. You've got a point. Jackson may have had something thinking about the three way split. That'd probably be the only way to get the full interface docs between both the OS and the apps. As it is, MS/AP is in a pretty good position to continue dominating the industry, while MS/OS will most likely die off or add a Linux dist and become a Linux company. Huh.
  • I really don't think it matters if IE goes with one company or the other... As long as MS does not require it be bundled with any license for Windows... That was the main problem to begin with...
  • MS should be forced to open the API's that allow MSIE to integrate so closely with the OS such that *any* browser could do the same.

    Therefore if you wanted, you could have Netscape/Opera etc etc as the integrated browser of choice. That I would think would do wonders for promoting competion and fostering innovation.

  • by aardvaark ( 19793 ) on Saturday June 10, 2000 @07:16PM (#1011181) Homepage
    I saw a Charlie Rose (yes I watch PBS regularly!)
    where he had the DOJ, MS lawyer, and some
    colmnists the other day.

    Seems like the DOJ is almost counting on the
    browser being powerful in the way that
    is mentioned in the article. I think the DOJ
    wants those two MS companies to be at each
    other's throats.

    What about letting the software company keep
    IE, but Windows company gets IIS? That way
    they can't leverage IIS and IE together?
    I don't like the idea of IE+Windows together
    for the short term though.

  • I've thought all along that Microsoft should be broken into four peices, not two, not three. The four should be:

    1. OSes
    2. Development tools (InterDev, etc)
    3. Applications (Office, etc)
    4. Internet & Media (IE, MSN, MSNBC, etc)

    Each company should have a separately traded stock, separate boards of directors and management and be located in separate physical facilities.

  • I'm of the belief that all this build it for the browser hype is going to fall apart sometime soon. Has anyone actually tried to build a real app in DHTML, driven by server-side logic? It's a friggin mess.

    Just think about how such apps are built. Client connects to server with a request. Server crunches numbers. Server returns response to client in the form of a page that can be interacted with. Repeat.

    Sounds good right? Not really. Look at the system in more detail.

    Client/Server interaction is limited to a single request/response. As we all know, every time I sen d something to the server, it has to be explicityly told who I am. It's like your 85 year old grandmother, who can't remember anything about you when you come over to see her.

    Second, once client client has their page, they quickly discover its really just a static document, made interactive with a series of ugly hacks. Forms were great to order products, and JavaScript was a good way to ensure your customer entered their address correctly, but combine all that with the layers and CSS-P mess, and suddenly it's like we forgot how to design things well. Suddenly your app can know the position of something, but only if you put it there? Suddenly you have to rewrite a bunch of text to do something simple like move a window across the screen?

    The problem with the DHTML platform is that nothing is simple. It doesn't work together in a cohesive fashion. There's a reason why a good, standards compliant, relatively bug-free browser hasn't been built in the last 3 years. The "standard" is too complicated.

    Think about why you never really saw the fancy DHTML pages all over the web making everything interactive. The stuff was too complicated to write effectively and robustly, and the browsers couldn't render it anyways.

    I really think we are going to see something else designed a little better come along. This platform is just a mess, and more and more people are coming to realize that - more and more people are looking for alternatives.
  • I must just point out that comparing Mozilla with konqueror is quite unfair if you know what is going on underneath the different beasts.
    AFAIK konqueror/khtml(?) is not aimed at being cross-platform(XPFE), it does not contain a whole new cross-platform widget set(XUL/XBL), or a cross-platform component architechture(XPCOM).

    I would say that Mozilla is more complex than GIMP at least, since platform portability induces a lot of complexity.

    Taking that in consideration, and reminding oneself that the Mozilla team lost a year in trying to make something of the old mozilla code, I'd say it progresses quite nicely.
  • Considering most consumers mostly use a browser and its plugins its has the utmost importance especially considering its the only way most people experience the Internet.

    Maybe no one will be able to write another browser if MS's embrace, extend, and extinguish strategy keeps working for HTML.

    As for being 'stupid' to focus on, if you bothered to watch the case you'd see that MS's muscling of the OEM's to keep from offering Netscape is part of the reason why they are an abusive monopoly.
  • MS can charge whatever they want for [Win95]
    Not as a monopoly they can't, unless I misunderstand antitrust law. It is my understanding (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about this -- I could be), it is illegal for a monopoly to use it's position to extract an exorbitant fee from the public. MS has consistently done this wherever possible -- or did you not read the findings of fact [slab.org]?

    If you can prove that [innovation was stifled] I will shut up forever.
    Unfortunately, this is not a provable statement so I'm not really going to debate it. Yes, you're right, there has been much progress. But one of the best engines of progress seems to be market competition, and that has been absent here for years. What would we have today if that competition had existed? No one can say, and there isn't a lot of point debating it. I'm a little bit more interested in the question of MS's supposed innovations -- what have they offered that hasn't been a refinement of something stolen from another source? Nothing leaps to mind. They make decent software, for the most part, but it's all derivitive stuff and seldom if ever any better than the original material. I can't think of a single truly new & innovative thing that MS has offered in any area where it had crushed the competition, and welcome examples to prove otherwise.

    You think that win95 is worse than 3.1? Than Dos 3? 9x is so-so.[....]What do you want?
    Each new generation is, I'll admit, marginally better than the one that came before it. But they're better in the wrong ways. It's more quantity, not more quality. More crap, more complexity, but for all the new hardware we have to buy to make the new versions work (256 mb of ram for W2k? you've gotta be kidding me!), it doesn't seem as if the machines are actually doing more for all this. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect software not to crash or corrupt data. I do think it's unreasonable to give "reinstall the system" as a legitimate solution to average problems. I do think it's reasonable to hold software to high standards of reliability, and Windows has never met even a low standard on this front. What's the joke about Gates debating the head of GM? If you notice, all the computer advances Gates cites are hardware based & thus had nothing to do with MS, while all the criticisms raised by the GM guy are valid criticisms of MS software which have not been met to date.

    Sorry but I need something better than that.
    Sorry, but apparently I'm not the person to give it to you. You seem to want to hear precise reasons to justify touching MS. Fair enough. But I'm at the other end of things, and want to hear a good justification for them to exist in the first place [slashdot.org]. I see no benefit to society in allowing a company like this to continue to exist, and don't think that any kind of breakup is enough to restore the state of things as they should be.

    So, rather than let things get ugly (as they oh so often do around here ;), I'll just agree to disagree with you on this one...



  • by CoughDropAddict ( 40792 ) on Sunday June 11, 2000 @08:34AM (#1011210) Homepage
    Congratulations, you've joined the ranks of people who are so obsessed with going against the social grain that you are just as conformist as the people you criticise.

    Nobody here wants the government getting involved in the Internet. Yet everybody wants the government involved in the software industry. (That makes sense. Since obviously the Internet doesn't use software.)

    I think a better way to put it is that no one wants a big, powerful entity to control the internet OR software. If it's the government, then I oppose the government. If it's Microsoft and the government can help, than I would side with the lesser of two evils.

    Everybody here values this forum's free speech, yet you take any well reasoned and factual comment which disagrees with /. mainstream and moderate it down to 0 as Overrated or Flamebait. But a posting of "Linus kicks Bills sorry ass yadda yadda yadda" gets a 5, for being Informative.

    You know, it's become fashionable to claim this, as if people who do are more enlightened than the rest of us. But frankly I can't see examples of it. Dissenting opinions are moderated up ALL THE TIME, and thoughtless Linux advocacy is almost always modded down. I challenge you to cite some specific wrongly moderated messages if you're going to get on your high horse and claim that we're all guilty of tunnel vision.

    Fuck moderation points, I'm just getting warmed up!

    I love this reverse psychology game, where you try and make the moderators believe that if they don't mod you up that they're bigoted or something.

    OPEN SOURCE! OPEN SOURCE! I won't run Windows because it's not open source! But let me haul ass to CompUSA to buy my closed-source copy of Diablo II and WordPerfect 2000.

    Few people claim that there's no place for commercial, closed-source software. It's just preferable when there's an open-source alternative.

    There's no fragmentation in the Linux world!! Nooo!!! But don't run that program, because it requires Xfree 32.2353, but it only comes standard with Red Hat 8.3. [....]

    Show me who claims Linux is perfect. I'll show you who doesn't get taken seriously.

    But in the meantime, I sit here on my debian box and apt-get almost ANY open source software package and watch it download and install all deps and everything. Show me an equivalent in the windows world.

    Hey assholes, how about fixing the damn bug that crashes Netscape every ten minutes?

    That's not realy possible. Because Netscape isn't open source. Oh, the irony...

    Who else can I piss off? A big FUCK YOU goes out to all of you penguin fuckers who cum when you see Linux ported to fucking digital watches.

    I think you're missing the point. When you get together with your buddies and write an full operating system complete with thousands of software packages, which only by virtue of its merit (there sure as hell isn't any marketing) manages to rival the market share and mind share that Linux has, then you can sit around and criticize the open source community. But until then, you're full of hot air. A rebel without a cause, I think they say...

  • It blows my mind that people care about a stupid browser. A browser is just not the most complex piece of software on the planet. Bottom line, it just displays files!

    Good god, it's as if no one else will ever be able to write a browser if Microsoft is allowed to keep theirs.

    I've always thought that was the stupidest thing for the justice department to focus on. Of course a browser should be included in an operating system, just like Linux, Be, the Mac, and just about every Unix nowadays does. It's just a utility like 'troff'. Take a file and format it.

    There are lots of reasons to criticize Microsoft, but the browser obsession is the least of them.


    --

We don't know one millionth of one percent about anything.

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