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Microsoft

Could .NET Render An MS Breakup Verdict Irrelevant? 247

AntiFreeze writes: "The Economist has a very interesting article about Microsoft's plans for .NET and how it would effectively remove most damage caused by a government orderred breakup. The article is written towards the layman, but is very clear and sort of scary." He cites this excerpt from the article, as well: "Even so, it is remarkable how effectively .NET could insulate the firm in the event of its being divided into an operating-system company (which would own Windows) and an applications company (owning Office)."
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Could .NET Render An MS Breakup Verdict Irrelevant?

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Companies are/were heavily dependant on old DOS and Win3.1 internal applications that they either built or bought. *Most* of this stuff went out the door with Y2K, but I'm sure there's quite a bit still around.

    The day MS finally really kills DOS/Win3.1 compatibility is the day Windows stops being the business standard.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "because their software is centered around saving you time and making your job easier. " Yeah, right, nice myth. That's probably why several dozen people in my company, all typical lusers, that is whose who allegedly love MS stuff, tried win2k, and every single one of them removed in within 2 weeks. Their general impression: "same shit, only moved some stuff around so it's harder to find, slower, and takes several times more space. And still crashes from time to time". Same for Office2k. Based on these win2k experiences, when I installed whistler on one machine, only a dozen of lusers took a look and again, their impression was "same shit, just worse. now let's go to lunch". So as of now, 2 generations of MS products did'n appeal to their target customers. Can we say "out of business soon"?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    IT WAS an annus horribilis


    No, that was not annus horribilis, this [goatse.cx] is annus horribilius.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    You've obviously never looked under the hood of Windows (the dos prompt). If you had dug in a bit, you would have seen it plainly stated:

    Windows 95 = 4.0, 4.0a, 4.0b
    Windows 98 = 4.1
    Windows 98 SE = 4.2 (or possibly 4.11?)
    Windows ME = 4.9

    Windows 2000 = NT 5.0

    Anyway, getting back to the article, the author is delusional. The Windows platform will continue to be important for the forseeable future. The effort to move back to terminal computing is going slower than molasses and I don't think it's going to pick up all of a sudden now that you can type in MS Word from your browser. If I'm missing something, please fill me in.
  • Yeah, I agree with you. My first Unixlike OS was Linux (dating myself as a newcomer, that). I since worked with several commercial Unices (Solaris and HPUX, mostly) and when I first tried OpenBSD one of the things that surprised me was the man pages -- covering much more than I had previously learned to expect.

    However, I still think info has its place. OpenBSD's man pages on such topics as, say, VPN setup have no parallel (except HOWTOs and other 3rd-party documentation) in the linux world; info pages certainly don't compete with them. On the other hand, many of the features provided by info (the whole hypertext thing) really are quite nifty.
  • frankly, I'm surprised (shocked?) at recieving any moderation other than 'offtopic' or any response other than chastisement for troll-feeding... but if I've given anyone some good food for thought (or arguments in a debate), why, I'm more than glad to have been of help.
  • By the same logic, wouldn't they hate giving up win32 API-based software and moving to .net, thus giving *nix and friends a chance?
  • Yup -- .NET's base in open standards a big part of why I think it's technically a Good Thing. However, .NET itself is still basically vendor-controlled, and I've seen no reason to believe this will ever end.

    Understand that when I speak of a non-vendor-controlled project, I'm speaking of something like... ohh, say [picking one out of the air] Python. Development is done by an organization formed specifically for the purpose of making their one product, without any motivation to try to tie it to another (for-cash) item. Development may be supported by commercial interests, but said interests don't have the final say, either in theory or in practice.

    That's what it'd take for me to be truly comfortable with .NET -- and frankly, it ain't about to happen. (Needless to say, I'm not "truly comfortable" with Java, either).
  • Hmm... well.

    If I see a functional, stable (GNU-style) Free Software implementation of the runtime, I'll seriously consider using it; it does indeed seem attractive.
  • True. I was thinking that the folks doing the noticing would be more along the lines of developers (who've already learned win32... if they've got to change APIs to use new features, might as well consider GTK+, wxWindows, &c in the process, no?).

    Not that I really believe this. I was merely pointing out that the argument raised works both ways.
  • After thinking it over, I'm inclined to agree that the model you propose is indeed a better way to Build Good Stuff. Thanks for bringing it up.
  • That's an utter bull. .NET has much more inside that just a DCOM/RPC. First of all, common binary platform (bytecode) for some 20 languages, including C++, C#, Eiffel, Perl and what not. Second, open (and I mean that - everything is documented) COM protocol, based on open SOAP standard. Third, class library that can be used via the above by programmer on any language (and any platform as soon as someone writes .NET interface for that platform - which is certainly not Microsoft's fault if someone does not). Fourth, real programmable COM classes, not the aboimination they had before with 200 definitions and methods before you have a thing working. Last, but not least - common IDE for all the above with extensibility potential (you have your own language? write bytecode compiler and a copule of hooks and you're in).
    This is not really a "technology" - more a toolkit. And though I'm not a great fan of Microsoft, I must accept it being pretty worthy toolkit. They seem to have learned on all their mistakes with COM/OLE (closed protocols, one-platformness, royal pain in the ass to program) and improved seriously.
  • SOAP ties together Bonobo, CORBA, DCOM, and any other object type you want.

    So does TCP. Without information about meaning of the data in XML it's as proprietary as any binary, and DTDs or schemas do nothing to describe how to operate on the data. Also "remote objects" without objects mirroring mechanism and transparent transfer, are only good as a recipe for network congestion -- if you think, X is slow, try to imagine how bad that thing will be.

  • It's not even that freedom of choice and rock-solid software rules.

    Installed base rules.

    Live by the installed base: die by the installed base.

  • The Reagan administration presided over the IBM case- and the Supreme court used up their political partisanship on the election, wouldn't you say?

    Sorry- I don't think you're aware of political realities. Neither is Microsoft, for that matter. How many times do people have to say 'FoF cannot be so easily overturned' before it is heard?

  • Cross platform support to Microsoft means Win[9.|ME] and [nt|2k]. I'd like to say the M$ does not care in the slightest about any other platform but that would be dead wrong. They fear all other platforms and .NET will be yet another weapon that they are designing to lock all other platforms out.
  • It has about as much chance of success. Take a good look at Microsofts attempts to do anything different or branch out in new directions. Anything they have tried (msn, windows ce, event nt) have only survived and verly slowly been accepted because Microsoft has the deep pockets to keep trying and pushing and using their existing monopolies to slowly force their products into the main stream. Sure .NET will probably be accepted but it's going to take them 5-10 years to force it onto most peoples computers. Microsoft is the IBM of the new decade they are more strongly shackled by their legacy software than any company has ever been, it will not be easy for them to make any changes, and they may just find that once they get people to move off the windows platform, those people may decide that it is time to find a better solution altogether.
  • I can only say, if MS is always successful at what they put their minds to, then they must have been putting their minds towards creating extremely lousy software designed with the single purpose of pissing me off.

    Yes, sometimes they do attract bright people... but they appear to not really do anything with them. They have the guy who made the Newton, but they have yet to make anything like the Newton. They're too constricted by their own concepts of backwards compatibility to really innovate.

  • Here's some more info on how Microsoft has made their C++ variant even more incompatible with everybody else's compiler.

    The following is one of their sample C++ applications [microsoft.com]:

    OK, there was going to be a bastard-variant-of-C++ code excerpt here, but... (Dammit Taco, the lameness filter sucks...)

    Anyway, the example I linked to above uses three proprietary extensions that Microsoft has introduced to the C++ language.

    1. #using <mscorlib.dll>

      Programmers can now directly include .NET DLL's into their program. (God forbid they have to run some external tool that generates a C++ header file from an DLL or IDL description and then include that, I mean, think of all the extra typing they would have to do...)

    2. __gc public class StringComponent

      So you want to declare a .NET managed (created and garbage collected by the runtime) class. As everyone knows, you have to introduce a new keyword to do this. There is absolutely no way you can make this class be derived from the NetManagedObject base class, that would (once again) require way too much typing if you were to require that the developers do it that way...

    3. __property int get_Count()

      Once again, a new keyword was absolutely necessary to allow developers to declare properties in their classes. An external file that says that StringComponent::get_Count() is the get method for a read-only property called Count would be an incredible burden on the developers. (As would a /* %NET property Count(get_Count,NULL)% */ comment next the the declaration of get_Count(), and then running the source file through a preprocessor..)


    ---
    The Hotmail addres is my decoy account. I read it approximately once per year.
  • Software AG ported DCOM to Linux and, IIRC, several other Unixen some years ago. I haven't heard anything else about this, so I don't think it took off (why use DCOM when you can use CORBA?).

    DCOM wasn't that hard for them to port, however not much would actually work using it because many COM interfaces use Windows APIs internally to do graphics or networking or whatever. So, yes, DCOM runs on other platforms, but it is basically useless because almost none of the COM components run on other platforms or ever will be able to run on other platforms without some one porting the entire Win32 API to those platforms. (Which is what Wine is doing, but it isn't finished yet...)


    ---
    The Hotmail addres is my decoy account. I read it approximately once per year.
  • There's a dozen states involved here, so the federal government can only drop THEIR part of the suit. The states still individually have the ability to keep it going...

    No, 19.
    --

  • Scanning through Gregory Pomerantzs' paper [nyu.edu] just makes me wonder why 'we', the general computer using population, would need .NET.

    It sounds to me like .NET is an MS 'replacement' of the Internet.

    What I mean is that currently what we call the net is made up of many things, and MS is looking to replace them all.

    Hence .NET is about languages, scripting, search engines, protocols, services, customer data, servers, clients etc. Hence .NET is really MS replacing all net related technologies with .NET versions.

    So my question is, if .NET is mostly a huge technology swap (net for .NET), and only marginally a functionality provision (unless you call digital copy prevention a function 'enhancement'), why do we need it? Why would we want it? Is the net really in need of a retooling for the sake of rebranding?

    Is MS so peeved that the net was built on *nix that they want to rebuild it on MS tech??

  • Are you complaining because you're a Luddite or because you merely dislike Microsoft? You're picking out a great evil from a business plan. Most business plans include in them somewhere "we WILL take over the world or at least our market niche for the sake of our shareholders". Who cares if Microsoft buys broadband and owns rights to the Xbox, you don't have to buy the fucking thing if you don't want it. Many of your assumptions are pretty bad ones anyways. According to the market statistics, most people who will buy one already have PCs and a good portion of those have DVD players. You're also misconstruing the whole .NET initiative. It is a label for a set of technologies most of which are merely standards for sharing information. Labeling .NET as bad and evil because it has a Microsoft logo is stupid. Sun has a similar set-up, they've got a whole suite of tools that lets Java apps communicate objects back and forth and runtimes that run Java apps anywhere. Oh my gosh I must be kidding! How the fuck do you think PepsiCo gets those quaint little commercials to show up in front of you anyways? TV stations are using your patronage to make money; will the capitalism never cease?
  • There's a dozen states involved here, so the federal government can only drop THEIR part of the suit. The states still individually have the ability to keep it going...

    ---------------------------------------------
  • If XML is being produced according to standard by a program, why is testing it for correctness needed?

  • WOW!

    I've occaisionally seen posts I'd love to give all 5 moderation points at once, but this one is also worth clipping and saving!, too.

  • Obviously, XML is more than just a comma-separated list. It also includes additional redundancies to make it even harder for humans to read under the guise of being able to verify correctness of data generated by another program. XML is a waste!

  • If they weren't using it, I'd call XML as irrelevant and pointless. Since they are using it, I call it a waste. The only reason they are using it is because it is the format du jour. Since a lot of development has gone on around XML, as opposed to anything better, it's not their fault they have to choose something that's a waste.

  • An unreadable replacement for XML? That would be just like ... XML

    HDF is hierarchical and has syntax. But it doesn't have the redundancy of XML since it doesn't give the same item name again to close it (just a closing brace). It's more readable by humans than XML. It can be parsed faster by computers than XML. It can be typed in by humans in a shorter time (should a human ever need to, which should be rare for either).

  • Essentially another language with the same power as C/C++ but more nuisances.

    Well, genius, all programming languages have exactly the same power; they are all Turing-complete.

    C# has some nice syntactic sugar, actually. I don't know if it offers enough of a difference from Java to make it worthwhile to switch for non-Win32 programmers, but we'll see. Win32 C++ programmers will probably jump on the C# bandwagon relatively quickly.

    -jon

  • You are so much smarter than all of us, I bow humbly in your presence. You are, indeed, the one true genius.

    I'm glad you realized that.

    Have you considered a TWR.com where we could all benefit from your genius? Oh wait, that was last year. never mind.

    Well, I'm hoping that my acolytes, such as yourself, will fund such a site as a tribute to me. You can also sit in airports, tell people about my genius, sell flowers and turn over the proceeds to me.

    -jon

  • by log0n ( 18224 )
    What is .NET exactly (in laymans terms heh)? Is it limited to Microsofts Office style applications?
  • 'standard'? You surely must have ment 'Windows-only'.

    Your MS-internal lingo is prominent in your reply, are you still betting your life on Microsoft? What will you do once Microsoft/Windows goes the VAX and Novell way?

    Sure, there is going to be some sort of .NET cross-platform support - MS has no choice, with only 19% of the webserver share. So it's going to be cross-platform - on the server side only. For a while. Until Microsoft thinks the market is seeded, and suddenly the 'Corel Linux Microsoft.NET' package is seeing unexpected delays, and curiously slow bugfixes. We know this old world order very well - total control by Microsoft - no, thank you very much.

    We've got news for you: welcome to the new world order, where control is yours, welcome to Linux.NET :-)

  • Windows 95 = 4.00.950, 4.00.950a
    Windows 95 OSR2 = 4.00.950 B (4.00.1111, 4.00.1212), 4.00.950 C (4.00.1214)
    Windows 98 = 4.10.1998
    Windows 98 SE = 4.10.2222
    Windows ME = 4.90.3000

    * don't ask why the Windows 95 OSR2 releases have two version numbers (one in Control Panel|System, one in ver on the command line). I think there was a 1212b release too, but who cares. I'm rambling.

    Windows NT 4 = NT 4.00.1381
    Windows 2000 = NT 5.00.2195
  • Do you think with .NET coming up that more and more people would be telecommuting? If so, i won't have to drive through snow to get to my QA work!
  • Which they couldn't do if they wren't broken up without very obviously being an anti-competitive cartel. The Economist article is just plain wrong: breaking up Microsoft cripples its `Embrace and Extend' strategy, with or without .NET.
  • With .NET, what Microsoft means is that their MSIL (their Java
    byte-code like language), C# and some other technologies are being
    submitted to the ECMA standards organization (Note: This is more than
    Sun ever did with Java).


    The submission of c# to a standards body is old news: I hadn't
    heard about MSIL. Which are the other technologies? Any APIs?

  • While you're at it, why don't you dispense with the ad-hominem attacks and answer the question?
    --
    Obfuscated e-mail addresses won't stop sadistic 12-year-old ACs.
  • Me?

    Look back at the poster's name. And consider thinking for more than 5 seconds when you type a comment.

    --
    Obfuscated e-mail addresses won't stop sadistic 12-year-old ACs.
  • The aim of justice is not merely to be corrective (i.e. stop MS from doing any further damage). Indeed, that would mean that they can get off scott-free with what they already did to the economy, to their competitors and to the consumer. Letting them off this way would send the wrong message to future, would-be monopolists: "it's ok to do predatory trade practices, until the anti-trust division wakes up. And when they finally wake up, you only have to stop doing further harm, you won't be made accountable for what you will already have done". This is not the goal of justice. Justice should also be a deterrent. Microsoft is neither the first monopolist nor probably the last. In this case we must think as much about what signals we send to future would-be monopolists than about merely "corrective" action.
  • MS has always bet on the future and made smart moves to be in the right place at the right time. I think however, this time they are shooting themselves in the foot.

    IF they try to make .NET the new "standard" platform to write software for they are going to kill themselves. Here is why:

    -Everyone is tired of programming for them, and .NET is just an updated set of dictated rules to programmers. No programmer is going to wilfully move to a new platform that has no market share, just so they can be dictated in how to write their software. Even so, Sun is way ahead with Java and net based applications, with the promise of openning it [java] to the world, something MS has never said they would do with .NET

    -Companies will NOT pay for subscription based applications. There is no way that if most of the world would not pay to upgrade to Office 97, that they are going to decide that monthly charges are better. I know accountants, they will NEVER buy into this idea.

    -.NET based apps (services) will be totally dependent on your connection to the network (internet). You think your company is effected now when you can't get email or surf the web? Imagine all the sales, accounting, etc, depts. sitting around without any apps because the DSL/FRAME/etc is down.

    So what does this all mean...
    Open source software will still be based on applications, on computers. The software will continue to get better and will become the only software availble that is not a "service"

    Someone will right a replacement for X windows, throwing away all the compatibilty of past Unix to make a new PC platform. In fact if Apple were smart (and they are not) they would open Mac OS X to PC hardware and watch the world move to them, as open source software will run freely on it, as well as commercial apps.

    IHMO, this is the future...
    Microsoft just jumped off a cliff.
  • Microsoft was a very very very late player in the net software. In fact it almost sunk them in late 80s/early 90s. Gates originaly thought the WWW was an interesting side technology. It took a bunch from NCSA making truck loads of money to change his tune. I hate to sound trite but Microsoft's past actions don't sound very enlightened.

    You are correct: Pushing repackaged technology every few years is super expensive for consumers and people might have to stopped buying at the outragous rate Microsoft wants them too. Why upgrade to Windows ME when my Win98 works great? Why upgrade to Office 2K when Office 97 works great except that it doesn't open Office 2K files? Why write new code for a platform that is only supported on one hardware configuration which could be accomplished by other cheaper and more flexible hardware and software?

  • The adage goes, "the net sees censorship as damage, and routes around it." Is this Microsoft's scheme to route around it? The .net project was started when the courts told Microsoft to quit messing with someone else's standards on JVMs.

    Microsoft's putting C# in front of standards committees strikes me to be similar to their attempt to standardize NT. It's not Microsoft who made NT/Alpha and NT/MIPS fail, it's the Alpha and Mips people who licensed, ported, and gave up on those platforms. At least, that's how Microsoft sees it.

    Similarly, if Linux makes a half-hearted implementation of .NET or C#, and it doesn't take off, it's still not Microsoft's fault: they can focus on the Wintel hegemony in comfort.

  • Everyone is tired of programming for them, and .NET is just an updated set of dictated rules to programmers.
    I'm not tired of programming for the windows platform - It pays for a roof over my head and food in my kids' mouths.

    No programmer is going to wilfully move to a new platform that has no market share, just so they can be dictated in how to write their software.

    I'd like to see your logic - No market share? Deploying the .NET will be as easy [or easier] as deploying the java VM to any Windows based machines. In fact, when whistler comes, VM deployment will become a non-issue.

    Even so, Sun is way ahead with Java and net based applications, with the promise of openning it [java] to the world, something MS has never said they would do with .NET

    I'll be pleasantly surprised the day Sun 'opens' up Java.

    Companies will NOT pay for subscription based applications. There is no way that if most of the world would not pay to upgrade to Office 97, that they are going to decide that monthly charges are better. I know accountants, they will NEVER buy into this idea.

    Companies will perform a cost-benifits analysis. Bottom line, if leasing is cheaper (remember, there may be tax-based lease benifits to lease vs. purchase. If there aren't, expect Microsoft to be lobbying heavily for such benifits in the future). Bottom line? Accountants and PHBs' will select the cheaper option, all other factors being similar.

    NET based apps (services) will be totally dependent on your connection to the network (internet). You think your company is effected now when you can't get email or surf the web? Imagine all the sales, accounting, etc, depts. sitting around without any apps because the DSL/FRAME/etc is down.

    I would expect both "Office Enterprise Servers" to be available to large corps. Also expect that clients will be able to survive and operate seamlessly during network disconnects, and automatically resynch once the network connection is established. Such technology will be required for laptops, anyway. It would be trivial to extend this technology to the desktop.

    -jerdenn

  • Pure bullshit.

    If that was the case they'd document their extensions and try to get as many third parties as possible to use their extensions.

    Generally they modify and extend without documenting, or in a way that is not "better" but incompatible. An extended set of options is always nice, but trying to cause a rift between standard Kerberos and Win2k Kerberos, there's just no excuse.

    You can innovate and still play nice with standards, or at least try to make your innovations into standards.

  • How many of you seriously think the Micro$oft suit will continue past Shrub's inauguration? The Justice Department, under the corporatist John Ashcroft's direction, will most likely quietly drop the case. Some states may choose to continue their cases, but any breakup remedy will be dead in the water.

    If ever there were a case for a corporate death penalty, this is it. We all know they've murdered enough innocent technologies and companies...

  • .NET is the name for Microsoft's next range of projects. First there was '95, then '98, then 2000, and now .NET:

    Visual Studio 7 = Visual Studio.NET
    Windows 7 = Windows.NET
    Office 11 = Office.NET
    etc, etc..

  • I don't know enough about the law to really comment on this, but if the federal lawsuit is killed by either the court of appeals or the supreme court (which after their election ruling would be unsurprising; unfortunately the court seems to have become totally politicized), the states' chances would probably be weakened.

    This is a different issue. If the courts destroy the case it is no longer an issue of Bush affecting it.

    But still, the states will press onward. Bush's best bet if he wants the case dropped is to do a poor job in court (it will be tough to do worse than Microsoft though based on the first trial), and try to lose or convince the states to back off.

    In all likelihood he will let the case run its course, since he doesn't have a strong hand in guiding it anyway.
  • Render a MS-Breakup irrelevant? Is there anybody out there who thinks that the prosecution of MS is going to continue under Bush?

    It is really simple.

    Orrin Hatch (R) is head of the Senate Judiciary committee. Caldera is from his home state of Utah, and they just won a lawsuit about DrDOS, and view themselves as competitors in software with Microsoft. Orrin Hatch is one of the most outspoken persons in the nation against Microsoft as a monopolist.

    Now, what are the odds that a Senate Judiciary Committee can block ANY appointment Bush tries to make if it is 50% Democrat and the Chairman takes an anti-Bush stance because of his actions against Microsoft ??

    Also, the other party in the antitrust action is the states, and they will continue anyway. Really, Bush has nothing to do with it. Microsoft is going to have to fight their own fight in court.

  • No, the point was deeper than that.

    First, Bush would risk looking like a complete idiot. The justice department scored a resounding victory. How does it look if he stops the prosecution when he is three touchdowns ahead at halftime ?? He looks the fool.

    Second, there is the Orrin Hatch factor. Don't forget the judiciary committee's power in judicial appointments. Jesse Helms has blocked appointments of black justices on racial grounds over and over again, not to be overridden during Clinton's tenure. It is a farce. Bush cannot risk losing a Republican on the Judicary Committee, especially the chair. Come to think of it, Bush cannot risk losing any Senate Republicans for two years (until the Democrats take over).

    Third, even if Ashcroft (another racist, BTW) offers a deal after the appeal, the states do not have to agree. The federal government has only the power of suggestion to the state's attorney generals, and many of them are pursuing the case as is their duty - to win, and to win as big as possible, and then to consider whatever punishment/settlement is in the public's (and in this case the consumer's) best interests.

    For all these reasons the case will ride unperturbed through the appeal. At that point expect Ashcroft to try to soften the settlement. In doing so he HAS to keep the states on board, so he cannot go too far.

    Bush as President means almost nothing to the Microsoft case.
  • While the author makes a good point about MS's .NET strategy, he seems to be so caught up with the idea that ".NET becomes the center of Microsoft" and this is not the case. .NET is the way that Microsoft wants user to deploy so that people will buy WIndows. From the lack of Microsoft Office 2000 upgrade to disappointing rate of adoption of Windows 2000, I think it's clear that people think they don't need all that stuff and now Microsoft wants people to buy Windows again. And I think the author hints that Microsoft doesn't tie itself to Windows. I think he's plain WRONG in that regard: Microsoft==Windows. Period. Listen to what Steve Ballmer, BG, and other people at MS said and believe in what they said. The last thing Microsoft will do is writing a Linux version of .NET Visual Studio. Furthermore, the author really doesn't understand why Microsoft needs to develop .NET: It's a way of making money. All they want is to use the subscription services and selling of powerful W2k data center edition to generate new revenue. And .NET provides the incentives. .NET is basically Visual Basic for Internet. So you can build highly intereactive and communicate with clients easily without writing Winsock, or DCOM that drive people nuts. But really the question becomes will .NET services talk a common protocol. My answer is a definite no because .NET drives revenue for Win2K, and Win2K is the bread and butter of M$. If Joe and Jane can run a .NET services on a linux box, then BillG is helping everyone making money but himself. Really the point for .NET is to provides services that only "Windows" server can provide so Microsoft can again lock everyone in their wonderful M$ land. .NET's stuff might be open-standard, but M$ can treak their services to make it non-openstandard. There's nothing stop them from doing that. Finally, the author seems so ignorant about Microsoft's direction. He thinks that legal battle accerlate Microsoft's determination to develop the .NET platform and this is just WRONG. Microsoft develops .NET platform because of the lack of developer commit to M$ tools and the declining revenue. Nowadays you are lucky to make half of what a java programmer makes if you are writing Visual Basic (I am a Java programmer ;-) the deal is that Microsoft understands if their platform is not the platform for Internet, like Solaris or Linux, then basically people really won't care about what kind of friggin ActiveX control you are making. Again, declining revenue comes from the fact that no serious web site runs on Win2k platform (our company tried and nothing but shit happens, we switched back to Sun in 3 days after spending millions of dollars in writing a bunch of useless DCOM services). And Microsoft needs to whip something out so that people will use easy ways to create Internet App.

    This is my 2 cents and my latest IE 5.5 128-bit browser is going to crash in a minute. FYI I am running Win2k and I got so many problems it's just scary.
  • He has very cogent definitions in his findings of fact of OS, middleware, and application.

    I can't imagien him lettign one peice walk away with ownership of both the .net infrastructure AND the applications software.

    As long as the infrastructure group is forced to deal with other development groups in exactly the same way that they must deal with the ex-MS applciatiosn groups, the split up will have doen its job by fully opening up the platform in an equal way to other developers.
  • Yet another thing to consider - since Microsoft is providing the software over a digital link for a subscription of whatever kind (which means you REALLY don't own your software anymore), what does that let them do? Especially in light of the DMCA and the (now seemingly mostly dead) UCITA. At the very least, it gives them most of the powers they were pushing for in the UCITA with little or no overhead.


    -RickHunter
  • The first problem is you don't rent word every time you use it. That's just an outright lie.
    I believe the point he was making that the .NET version of Office 10 is going to be subscription based -- you want it, you pay the per-month/year/whatever fee for it. Microsoft's trying to avoid the situation they're in now with many companies still running Win95 and Office 95 with no intention of upgrading now, or perhaps ever. This way they get to extort money out of any company that adopts this on a subscription basis. It's the same basic idea as some of Microsoft's more recent licensing schemes, that involves 'renting' of the software instead of an outright purchase.

    This shouldn't be too hard since vs.net is fantastic. It has all the nice things from Delphi from a company powerful enough to get it done. Delphi always had a "not quite finished" feel to it. Its version of intelisense made me cringe.
    Delphi was too late to the Windows RAD party. It never managed to produce a critical mass or enough income for Borland/Imprise to ever make it a completely finished product. Part of the reason it continually failed to catch on was the fact it still to this day, carries legacy from the Borland products of olde, such as Turbo C/Pascal, particularily in the methods it requires to get things done. Few will debate that in the days of DOS, Borland's compilers were for the most part, king. Borland's Turbo C generally beat the pants off Microsoft's Quick C, however, Borland had two strikes against them for Windows compilers... One was the fact that Microsoft continually extends the Win32 API at their sole discretion, and guess what, Visual C++ is always the first to get the new capabilities. Second was that Borland got off to a slow start with their Windows products.

  • There are many things you can call Microsoft: cocky, criminal, ruthless. But there are a few things Microsoft isn't: They're not stupid, and they're not a company that's going to release products that aren't attractive to conusumers. Yes, there will be Microsoft Bobs, but the fact is MS got where they are by offering people what they want, not by shoving things down people's throats.

    Not that they haven't tried. They tried to shove IE and WindowsMedia down people's throats, but they didn't catch on until they were truly better than their competitors. Look at AOL IM, Quicken, and Apache. It's not like Microsoft isn't trying to compete with these pieces of software, and they still have their big ol' operating system to tie things to. But they're not gaining ground because their software can't really compete.

    So accuse Microsoft of breaking the law, but Microsoft knows people won't buy something they don't want--they know that *very* well.

    -Erik
  • I've heard statements like this quite frequently (Bush will stop the MS trial), but I haven't heard any reason why. I'm not saying that he will leave it alone, but I haven't heard anything to say that he will do anything one way or another. Has he or his campaign spoken out against the trial? Are his appointees "pro-Microsoft" or "anti-antitrust?"

    I dunno really, and I don't want to turn this into a political thing, I just haven't heard anything about this.

    --
  • As a public traded company, they have the fudicial responsibility to generate returns on shareholders investment. Modifying standards and adding their own extensions is one way of doing it. As long as they don't go and rewrite the standards, I don't see any harm in it.

    There is a long-term harm to customers, both in higher costs associated with using products with poor interoperatibility (conformance with open standards). Consider the sorry state of affairs that web page authors must deal with, as one small example.

    Because MS is in a monopoly position, there is also a clear harm to consumers when intentional interoperability crosses the line into anti-competitive practice. They have been found guilty, you know. The FTC and DoJ overlook much and usually just warn (witness the recent "just don't do it again" to the RIAA over nearly 10 years of price fixing). If the findings of fact in this case don't spell out the harm to you, probably nothing will.

    If you can't see the harm that MS has done, you certainly haven't looked... or perhaps you have a value system, saddly, which leads you to believe that nearly any behaviour is acceptable in persuit of the almighty dollar.

  • Or are we hellbent on 'punishing' Microsoft?

    That's probably the case.

    If they in fact has a massive stockpile of cash as a result of monopoly overcharging (windows/office price remaining fixed when everything else about a new PC because 1/5th the price), morally, it's similar to having stolen property. The ill-gotten money should be returned and they should be prevented from doing it again. The other extreme should certainly be prevented.... allowing them to leverage their very strong position and massive cahce of cash to overtake other industrties and extract even more monopoly power and excessing monopoly overcharges.

  • The problem is I don't think Orrin Hatch would oppose judicial appointments (such as Ashcroft) simply because they're pro-Microsoft; he has substantial clout in the Republican party, and I don't think he'd risk it in a fight like that, especially considering there are a fair number of Democrats who seem to support MS. On the other hand, I doubt Bush would end the prosecution, but he'd definitely have them ease up on it I think.
    --
  • How does it look if he stops the prosecution when he is three touchdowns ahead at halftime ?? He looks the fool.

    The question is just how far to the right the Bush administration will go. The Reagan administration was sufficiently reactionary that they didn't even seem to care how their actions looked.

    Second, there is the Orrin Hatch factor. Don't forget the judiciary committee's power in judicial appointments. Jesse Helms has blocked appointments of black justices on racial grounds over and over again, not to be overridden during Clinton's tenure. It is a farce.

    Normally I would agree, but the new power sharing rules they've worked out might mean an end to this; tie votes in committee now apparently bring the matter to the Senate floor, so it should be much harder to block. Which in a lot of ways is a good thing, especially in the case of Helms, who (in addition to the blocking of judicial/diplomatic appointments) has been allowed to set U.S. foreign policy this way.

    Third, even if Ashcroft (another racist, BTW) offers a deal after the appeal, the states do not have to agree. The federal government has only the power of suggestion to the state's attorney generals, and many of them are pursuing the case as is their duty - to win, and to win as big as possible, and then to consider whatever punishment/settlement is in the public's (and in this case the consumer's) best interests.

    I don't know enough about the law to really comment on this, but if the federal lawsuit is killed by either the court of appeals or the supreme court (which after their election ruling would be unsurprising; unfortunately the court seems to have become totally politicized), the states' chances would probably be weakened. Bush cannot risk losing a Republican on the Judicary Committee, especially the chair. Come to think of it, Bush cannot risk losing any Senate Republicans for two years
    On the other hand, Hatch can't risk losing influence in the new administration, so I don't know how far his loyalty to Caldera will stretch...

    (until the Democrats take over).

    Amen.
    --
  • IMO, Kuro5hin is lame. I keep the K5 Slashbox up, and still read the titles semi-regularly. Most of them are drivel.

    It should be noted that K5 is mostly a discussion site. Slashdot & K5 are not in direct competition with each other, and I browse both sites regularly. Those who just want the news (and additional facts that are usually supplied by the readers) should go to Slashdot.

    Whether the discussions on K5 are of any value, everyone must decide for themselves. They are certainly not for close-minded people.

    --

  • Well, I'm not really sure I like the terms "karma whore" or "troll". But if you mean with a) people who write interesting comments to contribute to the community (and possibly be rewarded by being rated high or receiving high comments), and with b) people who write comments that elicit a lot of responses, then you're right ;-).

    The human brain looks for rewards & avoids punishments, and this fact will inevitably reflect in all online communities.

    The "problem", if there is such is not really in "karma" or "mojo" or whatever, if you don't have these, people will do it manually by posting "Thank you! Well said" or "TROLL *plonk*" (see Usenet). No real difference except for the little number that shows up in the account info (I believe it's wrong to show it, that only creates challenges, K5 doesn't show it).

    The real question is what behavior is rewarded. I think that by making all users effectively moderators, K5 avoids the kind of behavior that many may find annoying on /. ("Oh, look, I've looked up the link [goatse.cx], mod me up!") On /., you have more a selection of posts, where on K5, you have an election :)

    The only kind of behavior I find annoying is posting an opinion different from your own just to get a lot of feedback. I have never understood where the reward in this lies, and I like to know what the people I talk to really think. Ah, and those goatsex links. They suck.

    --

  • The osr2 number differences are due to the various download-updates for USB patches.
    there was a 1212b release as well as a 1311(?) level, and they all came about from USB fixes for win95.

    A host is a host from coast to coast, but no one uses a host that's close
  • Readmond, WA, 02.02.02;Microsoft CEO Bill Gates has announced to the World that his firm has won their suit heard by the World Trade Organization & World Intellectual Property Organization to trademark and copywrite the term ".NET". This recent move by Microsoft would see the Redmonton giant gain control of over 12312312 domain names presently on the internet.

    "We are clearly the rightfull owners of the ".NET" trademark -- all current users of the ".NET" TLD are obviously infringing on our rightfull property." said Mr. Gates in a recent interview. "At Microsoft, our IP is our most valuable asset. This is the reason we have seen a shift from sales revenue to licenses occur so dramatically in the last few years. No longer will our company sell products, we now find our innovative ".NET" infrastructure to be much more suited to the 'service' type model." he continued.

    Free Software advocates, the communist, anarchistsic, anti-American users of the GNU/Linux software were heard speaking various grumbles at one of their recent Cult-Gatherings; known as "LUGS". Some of the self proclaimed "Hackers" (Ed. A hacker is someone who uses his mastery of computer skills to devestate American infrastructure.) interviewed for comment.

    "You cant trademark a TLD -- their are 123123123 sites displaying prior art. This is absurd." said one Hacker. "VV1N|>0WW$ suX0R$ d00d - |_1NuX i$ 31337" added another Hacker. (Ed. We are not sure what drugs these cultists take -- we only hope that man finds help.)

    The legal world made comment at the decision. Law Professor from a local University added "This is not necessarily a precendent. It is the first of its kind in the Auto-Matic Tabulating (Computer Ed.) industry. We find it interesting that they have succesfully made a trademark of commonly used terms and general language. It is not surprising though; the recent victories by McDonalds to tradmark the word "Food" and "Meal" and Ford Motor Company to trademark the word "Car" and "Travel" show the direction of IP law. It is an exciting prospect for my profession - it will surely gaurantee great amounts of spending as industry leaders claim their rightfull IP. As none of these terms were previously Trademarked there is no reason they should not be, belonging to the 'Public Domain' is a death sentance because this 'Public' does not have any lawyers.. maybe they should hire some. Id be willing to represent their 'best interests' also for the proper fee."

    In related news; Sun Microsystems sent shockwaves through the internet as they filed there own suit to claim ".COM" as their Intellectual Property. "We obviously own .COM -- after all we did put the 'dot' in the 'dot' COM you know - what the @#*&@*# do you think that meant biatch? Move aside asshole, that shits is ours!" added giddy Mr. McNally.

  • .. put every MSFT employee under house arrest, and block Internet access. That would really put these evil devils in their place!
  • Where in my post does it say anything about people "flocking to open source stuff"? Now given, I'm a Linux user, and I think that Linux rocks, but that doesn't meant people will go running to Linux to save them. Same goes for Apple, FreeBSD, and anything else you want to throw in. The point is not that people will go running to a certain area, the point is that people will have to find something else to use when (and if) MS shoots itself in the foot with this strategy. What they'll find, however, I won't venture to say...

    CAP THAT KARMA!
    Moderators: -1, nested, oldest first!
  • Oh, reason has every place in software industry analysis. I can't comment, on Amiga because I don't know it, but MacOS failed because it runs on a more costly architecture. Be is trying to charge people to use a *nix system when there are several more available that are better. AppleWorks is, well Apple and experiences the same problems as MacOS. Linux had the userbase for ID to make a profit, but they had problems offering support on Q3A because X configurations have yet to become standardized enough. Hell, they actually DID make a profit on Q3A - just with too much hassle.

    Now, I'll most certainly agree with your second paragraph. People, sadly enough, need Windows - it will become hard to move away from and take much time so it might as well stay because it suits the purpose it fills. It'd be much better to let MS continue as-is, but have to come up with their own future ideas. They'll phase themselves out that way without the catastrophe associated with a split.

    CAP THAT KARMA!
    Moderators: -1, nested, oldest first!

  • Finally someone that sees through all the Slashdot bullsh*t, and tells it like it is.

    Kudos...

    I agree that any attempt to talk maturely regarding any issue about Microsoft vs. Linux turns into an immature "My OS is better than your OS" junior high school bashfest.

    I like and use both Linux(Slackware) and Windows(2000 Pro). Both have their uses, and it makes no sense to me to be that narrowminded to advocate something so blindly without actually having an honest opinion based on real world experience.
    I am a programmer by trade, and I choose to use Microsoft technologies purely for the fact that I get more done in less code, and less time. And the performance is comparable. I don't expect anyone to agree with me...

    This is MY opinion... NOT YOURS!!!
  • Finally, someone who is starting to grasp the point! You see, what Microsoft is doing now is the same thing they did with DOS, and Windows 3.x, and Windows 9x, and most recently with activeX/COM. What are 90% of the world's components written in? COM. What OS runs 90% of the world's computers? Windows.

    Do you honestly think Apple, IBM, or anyone else saw what was coming down the road? The same arguments that have been used against .NET were used against previous Microsoft movements, and this one is no different. They are getting ready to pull the rug out from under everyone and usher in a new era, and nobody here can see beyond the idea of renting applications (which is not what .NET is about).

    I would seriously ask everyone to reconsider what they think they know about .NET and examine it based on the code and apps that have already been released, and what Microsoft has said about it.

    You can see more info at http://www.microsoft.com/net/

    -
    The IHA Forums [ihateapple.com]
  • puh-LEASE yourself, Mr. Devil's advocate. Having a different opinion from the majority of slashdot folks doesn't make you erudite.

    If you have to ask why people are afraid of Microsoft, you simply haven't been paying attention. MS would attract about the same level of animosity as Apple, except for one thing: when Microsoft sets its sights on a market, there's a strong chance that they'll try to destroy everything else in it. Consumer choice goes down. Choice about what we get to use to do our jobs disappears. This isn't alarmism -- this was the world that I worked in for a couple of years.

    I'm really happy to say that Microsoft products and technology hardly matter at all to me right now. I work with technologies of MY choice right now, and the people I work for actually listen to me instead of MS marketeering. This is largely because I work in the Web App development world and I choose employers who don't list Visual Basic as a required skill.

    But I have no illusions about Microsoft being in their death throes -- the amount of market power they have is incredible, and the amount of money they can just throw at things is equally incredible, and they've demonstrated they're not shy about using it to stomp out alternatives. So when I see them trying to "embrace and extend" the internet, I'm a little afraid, yes. And you think we're overreacting?



    Cut the crap, already. You know that both yourselves and the majority of your readers are scrappy Linux-hacker wannabes. Why not post stories about things they can have intellgent discussions? Here are a few suggesstions:

    * "Ask Slashdot: What is the l337est GNOME skin?"
    * "Interview: A Non-virgin"
    * "The coolest TI-83 games to play during English class"
    * "Science: Stealth masturbation"
    * "BSD: Not as l337 as LUN1X!!"
    * "Book review: O'Reilly's Acne Prevention in a Nutshell"


    Oh, boy, NOW you've really raised the level of dialogue on slashdot. Good work. :|

    --
  • ...because some of us have grown tired of Microsoft's tactics in the marketplace, have decided not to support such tactics with our dollars, and have systematically eliminated all Microsoft software from our lives.

    It's a refreshing feeling knowing that I can do a search of my hard disk and know that the string "Microsoft" will not appear in any of my files. It's also a refreshing feeling knowing that Microsoft can huff and puff all they want about .NET or Win2K but it has no relevance to my life or chance of ever showing up on a machine I own.

    'Subscribe to Office.NET? No thanks, no need for the stuff.'

    Microsoft -- Just Say No.
    ________________

  • Wow, what an unnecessarily snide comment. My post was appropriate for the context, and hardly indicative of how I spend my time or what my life is like. Which you knew, but said what you said anyway...
    ________________
  • Will somebody remind us here on /. how many branched versions of unix today exist from the original K&R ?

    Of course, you as a vendor, you will want to add additional functionality that you think will differentiate you from your competitors and increase sales. People here seem to forget that it is business that drive technology, not vice-versa. As a public traded company, they have the fudicial responsibility to generate returns on shareholders investment. Modifying standards and adding their own extensions is one way of doing it. As long as they don't go and rewrite the standards, I don't see any harm in it.

    Why have so many distros of Linux. Why can't all the distro companies come together and work towards 1 standard way of distributing Linux?

    People, there is a choice. You don't want to use Windows, install Linux/BSD/SolarisX86. Use apache. Use XPCOM. Use CORBA. Use LaTeX/StarOffice. Use Netscape instead of IE. Make your choice and stop bashing Microsoft.
    --

  • Can we imagine Oracle without Ellison? How about Sun without McNealy? But is there really a Microsoft without Gates and Ballmer?
    --
  • Microsofts idea of cross platform is win9x/win2k/NT/ME... so they arent lying.. its just marketing..
  • Java does have pointers. However, Java disallows "stupid pointer tricks" that C and C++ support in favor of ease-of-use. Observe... this Java code
    public static void main (String args[])
    {
    &nbspThing t = new Thing();
    manipThing (t);
    return;
    }
    is functionally and conceptually equivalent to this C++
    int main (int argc, char ** argv)
    {
    Thing* t = new Thing ();
    manip_thing (t);
    return 0;
    }
    In both cases, "t" is a reference to an object of type "Thing", and the so any changes made through dereferencing "t" in the function manipThing affect the object in main. By making pointer work automatic, Java lets the programmer think of "t" as a reference to a Thing, while a C++ programmer is forced to think of "t" as a reference to the memory where the Thing is stored. The difference is subtle but speeds up development more than you might think.

    Attempt to access an instance method via a Java reference which has not been initialized (or for C++ programmers, a pointer which has not been allocated memory). The result is a run-time NullPointerException. The "Java has not pointers" complaint is bunk. Usually what is meant is, "Java doesn't let me access memory direclty", which in a garbage-collected environment such as Java's, is an exceedingly stupid thing to do. So bitch about garbage collection, but not about pointers.

    The unpleasant side effect is that programmers whose first language is Java never learn proper memory management, and when they start working on large projects, write leaky code (it's harder in Java, but is possible) because of a fundamental misunderstanding about how Java works. I disagree with Java being used as a teaching language because of this. I feel it should be seen more as a "power tool" for those of us who know what we're doing but work in rapid-development environments where C++ work really is too slow. It's a happy coincidence that Java is especially well-suited for server-side WWW work, which is often extremely rapidly developed.

    I am upset with Sun for not supporting a Java standard, but if you do any WWW work on UNIX, you know that the industry Java infrastructure is pervasive. C# will not change this, and I predict it will remain a language used by Microsofties. Why? Well, even though IBM competes with Sun in the high-end UNIX server market, they would be more likely to support Java than C#, because C# is being seen as a .NET language, and AIX of course will not support .NET as well as NT. Sun (obviously), IBM, HP, Oracle, and countless other industry giants have a lot invested in Java, and aren't going to switch to a new C++-Lite language just because Redmond says so.

    All of you ranting about how much Java "sucks" should open your eyes. Java has become the language for enterprise-level UNIX Internet work, because of its excellent design, enhanced programmer productivity, portability, countless "real world" features, et cetera. Anyone doubting Java's power obviously knows nothing about is RMI, database interfaces, or networking API. You may think that Java "sucks" because Java applets are slow and crash your crappy Netscape browser, but for the e-commerce backends on our RS/6000 farms, nothing else is really an option.

    While I do yearn for a standardized Java, I understand that Sun's complete control is what has allowed Java to evolve so quickly. Standardization, sadly, stagnates language development, and Java is not yet mature enough to be hinered so.

    Two more points about standardization, then I'm done... first, look at how long it took C and C++ to obtain ISO standards; Java is still very young... secondly, is there a Perl ISO standard? How come I never hear Perl usage discouraged because its controlled soley by Larry Wall?

    Perhaps I'm posting out of character. Er, I agree, C# rocks.


    See you in hell,
    Bill Fuckin' Gates®.

  • The article seems to focus and dwindle on summing up whats been happening in a more digestable format. I would have liked to see more about how Microsoft will convert shrink-wrap into on-tap delivery and how, since it controls the tap, buisness could be crippled if Microsoft decides that they should be (rasing the level of entry bar).

    Well, the problem is that as of right now nobody is sure of how Microsoft is going to make this move. It is clear that Microsoft plans to get into the 'ASP' application business in a big way, and that they are also creating a set of standards for others to get into this space along-side them, but its not clear what their exact plans for, say, Office .Net are and what kind of upgrade path their might be, etc, etc.

    Its not just Microsoft who is salivating at this subscription-based software model, just about every other big software company is chomping at the bit for this as well...And most industry analysts (for whatever their opinion is worth...) agree that this will be the model for software in the future...

    It will be interesting to see how it all plays out, especially in light of other subscription-type service plays (like DIVX -- the DVD-based format, not the MPEG4 beta codec) which consumers totally rejected.

  • By cross-platform, Microsoft has generally meant 'the specs are available and other companies/groups are free to port it'. A number of people ported COM/DCOM (or at least parts of it useful for their own software) to non-MS platforms.

    With .NET, what Microsoft means is that their MSIL (their Java byte-code like language), C# and some other technologies are being submitted to the ECMA standards organization (Note: This is more than Sun ever did with Java).

    It is very unlikely that Microsoft will release a Linux version of the .Net platform in the future..But, since it will be standardized, nothing is stopping another company or Open Source developers from doing it.

  • XML and its predecessors has been around for double-digit years

    Oh, this is cute. Show me anything that doesn't have some kind of predecessors that old.

  • by Chris Johnson ( 580 ) on Saturday January 06, 2001 @02:07PM (#526597) Homepage Journal
    All Bush can and will do is speak out against the trial. Expect a lot of "Ya know, if _I'd_ been running this show this never would have happened!". Expect it to be really upfront and overt- and expect it to strictly stick to just words, empty words.

    Bush needs to woo tech people (who can be gullible) by _talking_ big, but there is no chance he is going to blow vital political capital interceding for Microsoft. It's ridiculous to expect that- he stands to benefit more by interceding for AOL/Time Warner, or Texas oil billionaires etc. Interceding for Microsoft would be political suicide.

    He can, and will, _talk_ all he likes- expect to see the word 'tragic'. "This tragic and senseless destruction of America's great technological resource." Here's the deal: Microsoft is worth more to Bush dead than alive. If they are seriously damaged by the court's actions started _before_ Bush was 'running the show' (note: riiiight. Dubya? Figurehead), then it is a very effective example. It's a way to marshal public opinion and soften them up for _other_ big-business friendly moves, and it's a way to put a big scare into the businesses and make them willing to bribe Bush's government hugely so they don't suffer the same fate. Win/win situation for the Bush camp. No-brainer.

    In fact it could be tougher for MS with Bush than if Gore had won. Ever heard the saying, "Only Nixon could go to China"? Only Gore could intercede for MS without _seriously_ blowing political capital in the process. Bush just has way too much to gain from making sure Microsoft ends up being the bad example of what happens when those commie socialist antitrust weenies get their way. Watch for the backstab. Bush will say many things supportive of Microsoft, but watch for the backstab. He'll quietly make sure Microsoft go _down_. They're worth more dead.

  • by Uruk ( 4907 ) on Saturday January 06, 2001 @12:23PM (#526598)
    Render a MS-Breakup irrelevant? Is there anybody out there who thinks that the prosecution of MS is going to continue under Bush?

    Of course they're hedging their bets, but as of inauguration day, I doubt they have much to worry about.

  • by SteveX ( 5640 ) on Saturday January 06, 2001 @12:52PM (#526599) Homepage
    It's like Java - when you critize Java, what are you critizing? The bytecode? The language? The virtual machine?

    .NET is a lot of things. It's a bytecode interpreter as well, and a a language, and a class library, and a bunch of other stuff. It's a replacement for Win32 (Microsoft makes that statement in one of their MSDN articles - that .NET is basically the sequel to Win32).

    It's not about renting software online - it makes renting software easier, but hey so does Java. I wish they'd given each piece a name and not chosen to wrap the whole bundle with the .NET name.

    DirectX is an example of where a bunch of technologies are living under one name fairly happily... but ActiveX is another Microsoft example of a name that, well, nobody really knows what it means (COM? OCX? OLE? JavaScript? They're all part of ActiveX).

    - Steve
  • by verbatim ( 18390 ) on Saturday January 06, 2001 @12:07PM (#526600) Homepage
    The article seems to focus and dwindle on summing up whats been happening in a more digestable format. I would have liked to see more about how Microsoft will convert shrink-wrap into on-tap delivery and how, since it controls the tap, buisness could be crippled if Microsoft decides that they should be (rasing the level of entry bar).

    What I don't like is the attitude of Microsoft of embracing and extending the _standard_ internet protocols into their own proprietary formats. This is already happening with IE, Kerbos, and Java and soon they will ensure that the "Internet" only works with Windows clients.

    I think it is a good summation about what the current situation is but I would like a bit more of an editorial from this person. Especially with that hint at the end about it helping projects like Linux (how? why? etc).

    Oh well. ;)
  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Saturday January 06, 2001 @03:14PM (#526601)
    > But it's getting more and more difficult to come here expecting anything intelligent, when there are so many more mature, interesting webboards out there

    IMO, Kuro5hin is lame. I keep the K5 Slashbox up, and still read the titles semi-regularly. Most of them are drivel. Now and then an interesting one comes up, but if I decide to drop by I almost always find that the discussion is drivel too.

    Sure, there's lots of trolls and clubies on Slashdot. And lots of martyrs like you, who pretend to be a tiny minority with penetrating insight, whereas in fact you're a large plurality who pretty much conform to the caricature you accuse others of.

    But if you browse at 1 most of the time, and mentally tune out the remaining drek, you can still actually learn a lot on Slashdot. A lot about technology, and a lot about what's going on in the social world too.

    And sometimes you'll hear opinions that you don't agree with, and people will bring you around to their side if you participate in the discussion intelligently.

    Forgive my rant; I just get tired of all the self-righteous bashers of Linux and Slashdot. If you don't like an article, don't read it. If you don't like Linux, don't use it. But don't pretend to be a clearsighted sage who rises above the ambient bullshit, when you're just bitching the same bitch that dozens of other morons post in response to every fuckin' article we get here.

    --
  • by marxmarv ( 30295 ) on Saturday January 06, 2001 @01:32PM (#526602) Homepage
    despite comments from the zealots here at /. MS is actually moving towards using standards and open APIs.
    Who writes your paychecks, boy?

    One, MSFT has been tooting the standards horn for a LONG time. It's been at least two years since I heard them use the carefully-constructed, meaningless term "open, standards-based". Open means that you don't unnecessarily constrain data semantics, and standards-based could imply any number of closed standards.

    Two, the term "open API's" does not imply that MSFT will not, as is "standard" operating procedure, attempt to gain control of the platform by using secret, undocumented API's in its own code and by "tumbling" wire protocols as frequently as they can get away with (see Samba and Windows NT service packs).

    The core of .NET is truly Visual Studio.NET, the .NET framework, the .NET enterprise servers (such as Exchange 2000, SQL Server 2000 and BizTalk Server), and Whistler (probably Windows.NET 1.0).
    Chirped like a professional marketer who apparently can't look at a system and recognize a "core", unless they're talking about "core products". I'll save the design discussions for another day.

    These core applications and services will have a high degree of interoperability (with themselves AND with 3rd party applications).

    "High degree of interoperability" is another meaningless statement, at least without context. To a manager type, this might mean that people can use JavaStations to read their email. To a coder type, this might mean that I could write once and run anywhere. To a user type, this could mean that I can send email to virtually anyone. Without defining "high degree" and "interoperability", this says nothing.

    Once again, what's more interesting is what's left unsaid. It's almost a certainty that the barriers against duplication or reimplementation of the .NET infrastructure are high (some or all of: patents, trade secrets, cryptography, binding EULA's, obfuscated code). One should not expect to run Office.NET on a free reimplementation of the .NET foundation, even if the intellectual property censors didn't find it first.

    The basic idea is to have a standardized way of communicating between these applications and services, in order to create a better experience for the developer, business, end user, et al.
    "Better experience" is crodocile tears, a standard trick of besieged organizations. Being a besieged organization, MSFT's motives are nowhere near so pristine. The basic idea really is to control ("standardize") distributed IPC and ensure that the largest possible part of that infrastructure is MSFT intellectual property, in order to create a better experience for MSFT shareholders.

    XML and its predecessors has been around for double-digit years

    So, buried in this handwaving is much feeble misdirection that Microsoft is interested in providing anything at all to the computing community besides another epoxy-potted, magnesium-encased "solution" to a problem already solved.

    -jhp

  • by Alien54 ( 180860 ) on Saturday January 06, 2001 @02:42PM (#526603) Journal
    What I get out of reading about all of this, is that maybe MS is trying to duplicate the success of AOL, but to do it in the business sector. The vision of all of those dollars dedicated to Microsofts' future must be pretty tempting.

    The end result is probably something like:

    • AOL Quality with Microsoft ethics
    • MS Quality with MS Ethics
    Waitaminute. We have the second one already.

    The only counter I can imagine to this right now comes out of those occasional rumors of AOL developing their own OS. I am sure everyone is just thrilled by that prospect.

    We seem to be walking in a directions where the internet is being divided into large areas of fenced in territory owned by large corporations and other entities, with small time operators getting the left overs.

    What makes this all the more believable are little details like this AP news story [austin360.com] about mainland China's announcement that they are building their own information superhighway. To quote from the story:

    ``In the new century, the Chinese people will build our very own information superhighway,'' the Xinhua report declared. ``The current one by itself has too many faults and is incapable of satisfying the needs of the Chinese government and companies as they enter the digital age.''
    We are walking in the direction of fragmented segmented internet. The glacial slow destruction of the internet as we know it for profit.

    The .net as proposed by Microsoft is selling this to us. But maybe it is still only one fence on the wild frontier. Or maybe Microsoft is the fence company, selling us the barbed wire.

  • by Auckerman ( 223266 ) on Saturday January 06, 2001 @01:06PM (#526604)
    With all due respect, reason has no place in the software industry analysis. Amiga failed, despite it's superiority. MacOS never really gained for than a small continual base of customers. Be couldn't even GIVE BeOS away. AppleWorks is $99, Office is $300 (at a the lowest). Linux ships with every application known to mankind, yet can't get a large enough base in the User Space for ID to make a profite selling Q3A.

    There is NO room for reason in how one looks at the Microsoft probelm. WIth that said, I would do what Larry Ellison reccomends. Don't split up Microsoft and instead not allow them to EVER purchase a SINGLE piece of technology, company, patent, software code, from anyone else and force them to develop it in house. Let them have their "right to innovate" and watch them fall on their face.

  • by Petrophile ( 253809 ) on Saturday January 06, 2001 @03:25PM (#526605) Homepage
    Some people here understand what .NET is, since it's largely a warmed over version of Java, with the primary feature being the removal of the language dependancy (which allows the VB legion to get in on the act with out being stymied by curly braces)

    Of course, if people don't understand what .NET is all about, that's largely Microsoft's fault. They are already spreading BS that Exchange is part of .NET (how?), Whistler is Windows.NET 1.0 (not in the betas it isn't) and so on. So, when everything is part of .NET, obviously the really important changes are going to be overlooked.

    If MS is lucky the only people that will overlook the core of .NET will be Apple and IBM. However, I have a feeling that this will go to the same marketing doom as "Windows DNA", which was their way of pushing DCOM but eventually devolved down to a justification for crappy Access apps and so on and ultimately did not sell in the enterprise.
  • by Schnedt Microne ( 264752 ) on Saturday January 06, 2001 @12:11PM (#526606) Homepage
    Is the court's action meant to be a 'corrective action' to even the playing field, or a 'punishment'?

    If Microsoft's .NET initiative corrects the things the court is pursuing to the point where it nullifies the court's action, haven't they taken the 'corrective action' themselves?

    Or are we hellbent on 'punishing' Microsoft?
  • by kastaverious ( 267363 ) on Saturday January 06, 2001 @12:09PM (#526607) Homepage
    but that would cause a netsplit

    *disclaimer: I apologise for what was without doubt the crappest attempt of humour ever ventured on /. *

  • by Alex Belits ( 437 ) on Saturday January 06, 2001 @12:40PM (#526608) Homepage
    Really, all that ".NET" is a marketing campaign for DCOM, with protocol changed from whatever bullshit it used before to SOAP. What basically is yet another RPC. So far all technologies incorporated into .NET except COM and XML, are complete failures - RPC in all of its incarnations is most hated protocol ever, DCOM is a bitch to write for, and ActiveX never took off (except as calling anything that uses COM "ActiveX"). COM wasn't a complete failure because Microsoft was pushing it for more than a decade, and XML is a "technology" in the same way as comma-separated list is a "technology".
  • by smallpaul ( 65919 ) <paul&prescod,net> on Saturday January 06, 2001 @01:34PM (#526609)
    Microsoft likes to bundle mostly unrelated technologies under a single banner in order to "simplify the message."

    The ".NET Framework" is a virtual machine and standard library similar to the JVM. .NET bytecodes are not tied to any particular hardware so in a few years shrinkwrapped software may not be specific to Intel or Alpha.

    The primary difference between the .NET framework and the JVM is that .NET is supposed to be multi-language whereas Sun unashamedly promotes Java as the "One True Programming Language." Multi-language applications written for .NET can be a lot more integrated than COM or CORBA. There is a single exception architecture, a well-defined debugging architecture etc.

    ASP.NET is Microsoft's Web development platform. It has a concept of "web services" which is basically distributed computing re-invented based on Web-ish technologies.

    The win32 GUI APIs have been replaced with "Windows Forms".

    There isn't really a lot in .NET that points to "a future where people rent rather than buy applications." Obviously applications have been moving to the desktop to the Web for years and .NET has additional features that will allow developers to take that a few steps farther. But the new .NET features are useful in traditional applications also.

    "Rent" versus "buy" is basically a marketing and distribution decision. You could do the same thing with Java bytecodes or even Active-X controls.
  • by witz ( 79173 ) on Saturday January 06, 2001 @12:11PM (#526610)
    .NET is hard to define...it's quite a large umbrella. MS is even having a hard time defining it.
    It's truly a platform move...despite comments from the zealots here at /. MS is actually moving towards using standards and open APIs. .NET is that direction. The core of .NET is truly Visual Studio.NET, the .NET framework, the .NET enterprise servers (such as Exchange 2000, SQL Server 2000 and BizTalk Server), and Whistler (probably Windows.NET 1.0). These core applications and services will have a high degree of interoperability (with themselves AND with 3rd party applications).
    The basic idea is to have a standardized way of communicating between these applications and services, in order to create a better experience for the developer, business, end user, et al.
    Yes, it sounds fuzzy, because it still is. The core is there, however. Almost all of the .NET enterprise servers are out (or RTM'd) and VS.NET is now in public beta.
    You can download the .NET Framework SDK here [microsoft.com].
  • by goingware ( 85213 ) on Saturday January 06, 2001 @03:35PM (#526611) Homepage
    The following article is pretty relevant to this discussion:

    Even with a proprietary closed-source program, you at least still have the distribution media so you can still reinstall your application if the original publisher stops selling the program.

    But with a web-based application, the publisher keeps the executable binary, and even with copylefted code, the GPL's source code distribution requirement does not come into play because the binary is never distributed.

    This will ultimately lead to disaster for ordinary users as web applications make the move from news, shopping and entertainment to functions that people depend on in their daily lives or businesses.


    Michael D. Crawford
    GoingWare Inc

  • by rainer_d ( 115765 ) on Saturday January 06, 2001 @12:17PM (#526612) Homepage
    It is ported to other platforms (Unix, GNU/Linux).
    Software AG did it, IIRC.
    It's just a multi-megabyte download [softwareag.com]
    I don't know if many people acutally use it... cheers, Rainer
  • by cduffy ( 652 ) <charles+slashdot@dyfis.net> on Saturday January 06, 2001 @12:56PM (#526613)
    There certainly are plusses to .NET -- indeed, I honestly wish it were developed and controlled by an open project or standards body (or a vendor with more of an interest in cross-platform support). It standardizes calling conventions and data types (removing issues such as the binary compatibility problems between G++ 2.95 and 3.0), permits debugging tools to work with support only for the platform in general rather than the specific language (a great thing for those who happen to like coding in Eiffel or something else off the wall but are interested in using our other debugging tools). And no, it doesn't require its own language.

    I really think .net has a future of some sort. Whether it becomes the new win32 API that everyone else is incompatible with (except for via some rather dodgy ports/reimplimentations), a competitor for Java bytecode or even universally ubiquitous I don't know, though.
  • by cduffy ( 652 ) <charles+slashdot@dyfis.net> on Saturday January 06, 2001 @01:25PM (#526614)
    Howdy. As a software developer (professionally) and sysadmin (on the side) with both win32 and *nix experience, I've got to dispute what you're saying. (Note that my win32 experience is getting increasingly dated; I'd be happy to know if any of my statements are outdated -- for instance, if Windows actually has logical volume management or online filesystem resizing support now).

    Command line OSes are harder to learn than GUI-based administrative systems -- I'll agree with you there. The thing is that us Unix folks distinguish between "hard to learn" and "hard to use". If after scaling that steep learning curve we can then get our work done faster -- and we can -- then by our definition Unix is easier to use. Furthermore, because we've mastered all that (hard to learn) control, we can do our jobs better.

    The current effort is on getting the best of both worlds by putting together GUI-based administrative tools, so that folks can use whatever they choose. For those of us who've already finished the learning curve thing, though, there's no more need; we're there.

    Let me rephrase one of your earlier sentences. MS software is centered around making learning my job easier and saving training time. I'll agree that it does both of those. However, once I'm done with the learning, I can do a better job on a Unix-based system than on Windows. Why? The same reason it's hard to learn -- I've got more control. Can *you* add another hard drive with your machine still running and resize your filesystem online, with all your software still running? As long as my box has hardware and BIOS support (thanks 3ware!), I can. Furthermore, because more of the 'guts' of a Unix system are available for inspection, debugging and postmortem analysis is much easier. Trust me, when you're trying to figure out why your VPN isn't working, it sure helps if you can add a few lines of code to dump the keys on each side out to the syslog for comparison. We also have better filesystems -- ever seen reiserfs and NTFS side-by-side trying to access lots of small files? It's lots of fun.

    While a Windows-based system was initially designed to be controlled by an individual at the console clicking with a mouse, *nix-based systems are controlled in manners more condusive to automation. A skilled sysadmin can automate nearly every task he needs to do with greater ease than on Windows (yes, I know automation support is available there, but it sucks -- I've ported perl scripts for Apache user administration to work on IIS; they got a whoole lot more complicated and slower in the meantime).

    Finally, the documentation depends on what you're trying to do. Frequently the man pages aren't the best source -- that's why there are info pages, HOWTOs, mailing lists and (of course) the actual code. Having to go to the source sucks, of course (it's happened to me very rarely), but it's better than not having any source to go to at all, no?

    "Where is the standardization in their IDE"? Since when were Windows IDEs standardized? As for the windowing API, X is about as much a standard as one can get. The widget sets on top of it are admittedly quite varied, but many of them are much (much!) more fun to code for than either MFC or the win32 API.

    Anyhow, if you want to continue ranting, just email me. The address given is real.
  • by Detritus ( 11846 ) on Saturday January 06, 2001 @12:08PM (#526615) Homepage
    The article talks about the possibility of cross-platform support for .NET. Didn't Microsoft also say that DCOM was a cross-platform standard? It was supposed to be ported to other operating systems. I've never seen it running on anything other than Windows.
  • by gmp ( 155289 ) on Saturday January 06, 2001 @12:29PM (#526616) Homepage
    Here is a paper that I wrote about a month ago on this topic -- Microsoft .NET (an antitrust perspective) [nyu.edu]

    ---

    gmp

  • by autocracy ( 192714 ) <slashdot2007@@@storyinmemo...com> on Saturday January 06, 2001 @12:20PM (#526617) Homepage
    Look at Microsoft's plan from this point of view. You've got two typewriters (one called Star which represents StarOffice, and one called Word, which represents MS Office/Word). The Star typewriter doesn't cost anything to put in your house, and costs very little for a business to put into place. Meanwhile, the Word typewriter has to be rented every time you use it. It's like having a payphone in your house. Also, the Word typewriter doesn't support the Star typewriter's native format, while the Star typewriter supports both the Word and Star typewriter formats (wierd typewriters, eh?).

    Now, I am treating the software like something physical (a typewriter), but it's essentially physical anyway (or at least tangible - you've got it or you don't). Tell me, do you want to have to rent a typewriter everytime you want to make a letter? I'm pretty sure your don't. I think that you can figure out the rest from here...

    Now here's where the REAL fun begins: Microsoft has to not only convince consumers to use .NET software, but it's got to convince programmers to write .NET software - which has its own programming language.

    The article that this story is in reference to also states that Microsoft is planning to use the .NET server software to boost Win 2K sales. The infers that .NET server software will only be made for the Win 2K platform. That leaves some people on the other side of the wall.

    Frankly, I can't find any real pluses to this strategy, either for Microsoft or consumers. And despite what the article says about this move helping to preserve Microsoft in the face of a breakup, I doubt it. If the person heading up the application side of the newly broken empire is business-minded, they won't restrict the .NET system to the Windows OS, thus shooting the whole plan to sell the Win 2K OS for .NET server software in the heart. And of course, .NET won't work out for the reason's mentioned above. I guess the question now is what will be the next dominant Desktop OS? Will it be Linux, a BSD, or perhaps Mac OS X? We'll see...

    CAP THAT KARMA!
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