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Embracing Digital Photography 271

MBCook writes: "This story at ZDNet seems to be an omen of things to come. It describes how Kodak discovered that when their software is installed on XP and someone plugs in a Kodak camera, Microsoft's software is always the one that comes up. The article also mentions that it is also quite a effort to make the Kodak software come up ever time." Yet another software maker finds that the maker of the OS gets first dibs...
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Embracing Digital Photography

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  • It works just fine. IE to Word. IE To StarOffice. Mozilla to Word. Mozilla to Star Office.

    In fact, when pasting from either browser to Word 2002 (Office XP Trial edition), you get a (gasp!) Smart Tag asking (if you click on it):

    Keep Source Formatting

    Match Destination Formatting

    Keep Text Only

    Apply Style or Formatting...

    Are the system calls that perform this cut and paste even available to non-MS developers? Yes.

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url= /library/en-us/ipc/hh/winbase/clipbrd_3a43.asp

    There are plenty of things to worry about related to MS without imagining new conspiracies where they don't exist. I'd be more worried that the Anti-OSS license from that Moble Internet Toolkit gets applied to all future MS SDKs. Worried more for MS, but worried nonetheless.

  • Actually, I think you managed to be +5 insightful without even noticing it. Your comment that "the culture expects the software to be [F]ree" was spot-on. As in, even if this software were available to me in $FAVOURITE_OS under the same terms as the DOS version, I wouldn't likely use it. I'd guess a lot of others feel the same way. The inclination is to produce our own software, using our own development practices and our own licenses.

    There's an even deeper conclusion to be reached here - instead of putting together a costly porting effort, they could do something that makes everyone happy - publish the programmer's manual to the device. DOS users get their software - subject to approval by their OS vendor - and everyone else gets to write their own, including the necessary low-level code. Who loses? In a commodity market, nobody. Digital camera interfaces are hardly revolutionary - the improvements are all inside the box - so a competitor would not likely find the documentation valuable. In short, there is a solution to this project that places the cost of development right where it belongs - on the users.

    Of course, in that scenario, people who use Microsoft-unapproved operating systems will end up winning, because they will have freedom to choose which of the 71 apps they downloaded and built they will use at any given time. Meanwhile, the Microsofties will be using whatever they're told to use. Which is just the way they like it.

  • by The Man ( 684 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @08:53AM (#110921) Homepage
    I'm beyond trying to understand how this is relevant. Everyone already *knows* Microsoft does these things, and most people already believe that it's evil. And as long as you continue to buy their products, Microsoft will continue these practices.

    Fucking put up or shut up, folks. Don't like Microsoft's evil business practices? Then it's so simple: don't buy their products. So much righteous indignation, and yet so little sense... It's hard to argue with Mr. Gates when he says his customers like his products...after all, you keep buying them, don't you?

  • Nice theory the problem is that most of the people that they hope to sell to will. And lets face if if Kodak does not support XP and Fuji does most people will just buy a fuji.
  • The question comes down to when you install the Kodak software, does it do everything it needs to do to let it be the one notified when a camera is plugged in?

    Yes, they worked with MS to develop a standard, and now this standard is in Whislter. So, since the user may have Whistler/XP, a camera but no software, MS has included some default software to deal with the camera - same way Media Player can play MP3's but is not the best task for the job.

    So, did Kodak do everything possible to make their software be the application on XP that does this? It sounds, from the article, that someone just decided to try it on XP on a whim.

    I would be interested to know what those nine-clicks were that are required to change the settings. Why doesn't their install program do that - or was it only designed for 9x?

    Hell, I upgraded to HPUX 11 recently and it comes with CIFS. Should I be suing HP saying they are trying to shut out Samba by having that installed on port 139, or be happy they are adding a feature?

    As for the whole charge-for-pictures thing, bummer, but they didn't have to sign the contract. Interesting revenue streams though.

  • So you think that Fuji will have an easier time getting XP to not use the MicroSoft version than Kodak has? It's not like MicroSoft has anything specifically against Kodak that they don't have against other makers.

    Of course, the camera should work with XP-- it would probably be practically impossible to prevent that. But the software need not, and the software presumably comes with the camera.
  • I'm still seeing new boxes with '98. If OEMs aren't switching over to 2000 yet, it'll be a long time before they go to XP. The people who are getting free upgrades with their boxes will probably not take them, since upgrading a windows box is too difficult for your average user and XP seems to offer fewer features and an unfamiliar interface.

    Kodak will have plenty of time to produce a version that works with XP if XP gets adopted. For now, it's probably better to tell customers not to get XP and ask for 2000 or before when they buy a computer. No point in making it easier for MicroSoft to get XP adopted if they're not going to be nice to developers.
  • by iabervon ( 1971 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @09:01AM (#110926) Homepage Journal
    Kodak still controls their own packaging. They could probably simply say on it that the software and camera don't work with Windows XP. Considering how much trouble MS is going to have getting people to switch to XP, it might be best to simply discourage the use of XP if MS is going to do this sort of thing.

    If people have the impression that, if they switch to XP, they'll have to go through a complicated process to get their computer to work with their camera, plus pay extra to get prints, it's only to MS's disadvantage.
  • I donno about you guys, but I don't know if I really want to use Microsoft's software anymore... Can anyone suggest any alternatives?



  • I have USB reader for my digital camera. It doesn't work half the time. Some kind of conflict. It causes the system to crash on startup if you have it plugged in while booting the system. It causes the system to crash if you are using it while using anything else except copying the files from the card.

    I use my handheld (and the CF slot) to copy the files over.

    The manufactorer knows of the problem but basically said tough.

    If it works from Kodak, I would use it.
  • My IS department is properly cynical about many Microsoft things, but as long as our accounting system runs under Windows, we really don't have much choice for the bulk of our desktops.

    We could shift some workstations to iMacs or Linux, but it would mean more stuff for the IS fellow to learn, and that would make things a lot more difficult. As long as everyone uses the same crummy product, he only has to learn, well, the same crummy product. And I can see his point, surely.

    In short, I don't think the IS department feels it has much choice, even though Office runs just fine on a Macintosh, and an iMac would cost about the same as the cheap "network computer-style" systems he bought for our low-level people. It's a simple matter of not wanting to ascend another learning curve; no secret bribes or anything from are needed from Microsoft to keep him there.


  • Everyone that has been watching knows that Microsoft XP is not an OS. It's a operating suite. Microsoft has been working on this for a really long time, They could care less about being the OS, they want to be everything you use. They want the Browser (and got it basically) They want to control the audio and video media, espically streaming media... and dont be suprised if a new replacement for bmp or jpg pictures that has "better compression" comes out soon after XP is released. Microsoft is scrambling now to take it to the next level. Corperate and home are not upgrading as instructed by Microsoft so they need to start forcing the issue. I almost wonder when we will start seeing incompatable software hitting the shelves... New Office XP2000 requires Windows XP, MoneyXP, SQLserver XP requires Windows XP server.... etc..

    Too many of us are putting along sucessfully with the older stuff and that really pisses off microsoft marketing. (I use successfully loosely.. If it wasn't for the Linux servers here we'd be dead many times.)
  • Right after that, the article says:

    "But Microsoft hasn't backed down on plans to charge a per-photo fee for images that are sent through Windows to Microsoft's partners, others in the industry say. One of those partners is likely to be Kodak rival Fuji, which already works with Microsoft in an alliance with its MSN Internet service. Microsoft says terms of its contracts with photo-finishers aren't final; it won't comment on how these companies will be charged."

    As Mr. Gerskovitch said, "Together, we built a highway that everyone could travel, and Microsoft put up a tollbooth". This is not an isolated problem, this seems to be what MS wants -- they want a cut every time anyone running their software buys anything via the net. If you buy your wallet from me, is it reasonable for me to charge you a nickle everytime you take it out to buy anything? Especially if you didn't know that's what the deal would be?

  • so it doesn't really become a matter of choice. you work for a company, they put an M$ box on your desk. you eat the dogfood they feed you.

    This is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    You want to take away Microsoft's right to make their products suck, antagonize 3rd party developers, and channel their customers and users into new monopolies where they will get gouged further. If you do this (in the name of regulation because "everyone has to use Windows") then Windows will be the only choice, forever. It will be implicitly endorsed by society itself.

    If you let Microsoft suck and allow them to use their platform to create a total application monopoly within that particular platform, then at least there is the hope that someday, the pointy haired bosses will say "enough is enough" and stop using that platform. Why would they do it? Because they will be at competitive disadvantage. Because they will be hemmoraging money to Microsoft instead of keeping that money for themselves and buying blowjobs and Ferraris.

    That path at least leads to hope. Your defeatist path leads to no hope at all.

  • by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @09:49AM (#110947) Homepage Journal

    The Kodak team felt double-crossed. They had worked with Microsoft and the camera industry for a year

    Same old story, how many times have we heard it? In the early 90s, I was still able to feel sympathy whenever a story came out about a Windows developer getting backstabbed by Microsoft. Then after a dozen or so instances over a few years, where idiots still didn't learn from the mistakes of those who preceeded them, I stopped feeling sorry for them, and started laughing at them. Whenever someone makes a deal with the devil, it always ends the same way: with a pitchfork rammed up their ass. It gets to be a classic punchline, the same every time. Instead of the joke getting old, it becomes anticipated and expected. When the Church Lady says, "Who could it be? Oh, I don't know. Could it be..." it's built up and you know what's coming next, but it's still funny.

    But just as sympathy had given way to sadistic pleasure at the lemmings' misfortune, there finally came a point [wisc.edu] where my pleasure was replaced by anger at the victims themselves. "We were legitimizing NT as a Web server platform," Tim O'Reilly said. The victims weren't just screwing themselves, they were making the world a worse place in the process, by increasing Microsoft's power.

    And that's why now, I can only say: Fuck you, Kodak. Your loss is Microsoft's gain. Your loss isn't nearly as important as the fact that you, like O'Reilly, have helped to "legitimize" them, which helps to insure that you will not be the last lemming. You've helped to pave the way for future victims, with one more bullet item on the feature list in Microsoft brochures.

  • by sethg ( 15187 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @09:16AM (#110948) Homepage
    Before the antitrust trial, Microsoft used its muscle against its suppliers and distributors (who need Microsoft's favor in order to stay afloat) and small high-tech companies (who didn't have the resources to take Microsoft on).

    But now, many "old economy" companies, like Kodak, want to get their fingers into Net services. These companies can afford their own antitrust lawyers, they have their own image of respectability, and they don't depend on Microsoft's goodwill for short-term revenue or stock price. Therefore, they have more to gain by playing hardball with Microsoft than by meekly cooperating with Microsoft's business plans.

    The 800-pound gorrilla has to start playing with the 1500-pound tigers.

  • There have been cases where companies with as little as 10% were declared a monopoly. Or something close. A merger between two companies in (IIRC) the shoe business was denied because together they controlled 10% of the market.
  • The article also mentions that the software redirects users to sites that have paid Microsoft to point them there. Kodak was furious about this but now farther down in the article it says
    "The company's plan is to use the Internet to drive its digital-camera customers directly to Kodak picture labs to buy their prints"
    Now how is this any different than what Microsoft is doing?
    I'm not fan of Microsoft by any stretch of the imagination but it seems rather hipocritical.
    The problem really only boils down to Microsoft no longer letting software set preferences. And that sucks.
  • The digital camera software that comes with any camera I have seen so far is garbage. The most I use it for is copying the images to the computer, and I don't realy care who's software it is.

    Kodak does not make money selling software for their cameras, they make money selling cameras!

    Heck, if windows supported them all, they could avoid the software altogether and just provide drivers.

    Personally, I'll stick with my vaio, my cybershot, and my 'proprietary' memory stick that just looks like a drive when I plug it in.
  • by mindstrm ( 20013 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @09:04AM (#110954)
    Right.. because they are providing a 'service' in acting as a conduit between the user and the .com photo printing site.
    That, combined with passport, and it really can be that simple.

    So, as much as *I* don't like the idea of MS-centralized everything, I can see where they are going, and I can see why it will be popular.

    Besides, it's up to that same .com whether to go the microsoft way or another way, no? Of course, that's where antitrust comes in.. because there may be no other choice.

  • I don't buy their products. However, for every one of me, there's a zillion other people who DO. That's what monopoly means.
  • The reason lawyers make so much money is because there's more to the terms they use than the dictionary definition. Monopolies are companies who exercise a large amount of control over a given market. Now, if you were paying attention in that little lawsuit thing with Microsoft, you'd remember that MS was trying to define their "market" as "personal computers", ideally including everything from mainframes to your car's ECU. In that definition of the market, MS certainly doesn't have a monopoly. However, in the market where they ACTUALLY compete (that is, Intel-based home and business computers), they control upwards of 80% of the market. And they can and do exercise their monopoly power in illegal, anticompetitive ways.

    Keep your ad hominem attacks on the playground. If you want to have a discussion, feel free to continue. If you want to act like a dick, don't think I'm going to trouble myself to respond further.
  • by Matt2000 ( 29624 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @09:01AM (#110958) Homepage

    I don't know about you guys, but I think that MS is pushing things at a time when they aren't as strong as they used to be.

    Sure, the anti-trust ruling was recently overturned in part, but that whole process sent an important message to the industry - that MS really is prepared to do almost anything to win, and that there are large companies that oppose them.

    Microsoft still dominates the desktop, but important mindshare is being lost as Windows loses ground on the sever market. This doesn't matter for users of digital cameras yet, but the decision makers in companies are beginning to consider alternatives, something they haven't done in a while.

    That, coupled with the fact that no one really wants a new version of Office, means that their revenue is under pressure. So they try to insert themselves in other people's revenue streams. This might be just the exact wrong time to be attempting all this.

    I know MS still looks as strong as ever, but something like 40-60% of it's revenue comes from Office upgrades, of which a large percentage is bulk corporate purchasing. If any of this drys up, or slows down (as it did with the introduction of Win2k), then any kind of revolt on behalf of the companies providing supporting programs to Windows (like Kodak) could really be trouble for MS.
  • So will Kodak now start looking to expand their software onto other platforms? Someone should inform their execs that when you lay with the devil you often get burned.

    Seriously, I predict an increasing groundswell of support for Linux over the next few years. Kodak making their software for Windows actually helps Microsoft. Microsoft needs Kodak to make their software for Windows, as much as Kodak needs to make their software for Windows. But as Microsoft burns one partner after another, their behavior will begin to show up in corporate spreadsheets as a risk factor. A neutral playing field will start looking much better.

    Right now, Microsoft has the market lead and so companies feel that they have to support the platform. Microsoft's executives feel secure that they can use their market lead to crush competitors and partners alike. Eventually companies will start to quietly support Linux (the 'up-and-coming' platform). The overbearing hubris that the companies top executives have always displayed will not let them change their behavior, since they believe they own the PC market, and so more and more companies will look to support other platforms. As the network effect dies out, Windows will have less of a stranglehold on the market, and, in the end, it will be the world against Microsoft.

    I'm siding with the world.

  • They produce good software right up to the point where they can force competitors out. Remember, the first edition of Gate's book barely mentioned the Internet. Then they saw how the WWW could be used as a platform to deliver applications. All of a sudden, they become the 'Internet Company', and then steal someone else's browser until they can throw enough monopoly-generated money at developers to create their own.

    For all the hoopla M$ gets, I would just appreciate an intelligent, system-level application of my third mouse button, maybe having it paste highlighted text, for instance. That way I would have to go searching through menus or those damn, real-estate eating icons that they like to line their applications with.
  • Read the WHOLE story with a little history in mind. Microsoft sent up a trial balloon that got shot down by a powerful corporation. We've seen throughout this particular round of betas all sorts of ridiculous action where Windows defaults to behaviour that forces competitors out of the market. Another poster even goes so far to say that this shouldn't even have been posted because it OLD NEWS. Unfortunately, it's obvious that Microsoft will dominate a lot of new markets unless each and every case is shouted down one-by-one. So, they changed this one anti-trust law breaking, monopoly extending behaviour. How many more mines have they sewn into the OS to blow up your desktop when you install a competitors product?

    Like it or not, Windows is a defacto standard, and a lot of companies must interact with it if they want to stay in business. If we don't want the entire country to be owned by Bill Gates, then we must make sure that the computing environment is open to all. My advice to companies that choose compete with Microsoft on Microsoft's turf would be to die quietly, except that Microsoft controls nearly all the farmable turf.

  • Wrong.

    In 1996 I was hired to relocate a division of a large company (about 512 on the Fortune list at that time) from New York to Orlando, FL.

    One of the tasks was to purchase and configure new PCs -- about 60 of them. Dell was the vendor we eventually settled on, but the others had the same policies.


    Me: How much for the PC?

    Dell: $1,500

    Me: We are debating between Office 95, Office 97 and WordPerfect Office? How much for each.

    Dell: Well, we no longer offer Office 95 and Office 97 is included with the price of the PC.

    [NOTE: Office 97 has been release only a month before, yet even though I had 5,000 PCs currently running Office 95 I couldn't get more copies from the vendor. Remember the "bug" in 97 that botched Word 95 backward compatibility? That made my life hell for a year.]

    Me: Okay, how much for the PC with Wordperfect Office?

    Dell: That's $1,949 each.

    Me: Um, okay. How much for the PC WITHOUT MS Office?

    Dell: $1,500

    Me: So, MS Office is free?

    Dell: No, our contract with Microsoft REQUIRES a copy of Office 97 WITH EVERY PC WE SELL TO A BUSINESS. If you were a home user you would have the choice of MS Works, though.


    So, explain that to the bean counters. To use WordPerfect it would have cost us $29,700 ($495 * 60).

    What choice is THAT? EVERY major vendor had the same deal. We couldn't go elsewhere other than to build my own PCs -- and I damn well didn't have the time for THAT.

    THAT is a monopoly. They took away my choice. That is why estimates put MS Office at 95%+ of the Office Suite market in the U.S. & Canada.

    Charles E. Hill
  • Now, does anyone really *need* to upgrade to XP? Come on!

    Today, no. In a few years, maybe. When all the new games only look good and run properly with Active X 10 (Active X X?) and wouldn't you know, dispite M$'s best efforts, it can only be supported on Win XP or "better" OSes (really, they tried, honest.). Or when a new HW bus comes out that makes FireWire look like USB and makes USB look like the parallel port and the new standard simply can't be ported to Win 9X or NT.

    I can see it now ... "Fine, don't upgrade to XP (or YQ or ZR)! Have fun downloading your 10 Gigapixel photos over a USB line, and playing Quake 7 at 3 fps, suckers."

    Or how about when you buy a new machine? If you don't build your own system you'll probably pay for XP or W2K whether you like it or not. And then what? Retire your old Win box to use the old licence on your new machine? It's a retail licence, right? Oh, well no worries, I'm sure that retail copies of NT and 98 will be available forever.

    (note to the flamers, I'm not saying that M$ dosen't have a right to behave this way)
  • And you can say whatever you want about the OS costing them money, but when you weigh that cost against the cost of training users in a new system, and then converting legacy data, it's not even comparable.

    Except that with Windows you can easily wind up with both costs.
    Since the new version of office dosn't work quite the same as the old one, etc...
  • How can one company such as Microsoft control a nearly all computing resources when this is a nearly intangible idea? They /do/ practice shitty business but thats something different.

    Only a monopoly could get away with these kind of business practices though.
  • NOTE: Office 97 has been release only a month before, yet even though I had 5,000 PCs currently running Office 95 I couldn't get more copies from the vendor.

    A nice example of Microsoft's "viral" update forcing....
  • Kodak hasn't ported their software to other platforms because, other than the Mac, they'll sell maybe 6 of them

    Chicken and egg...
    The probelm from the open source POV is that often hardware companies will not even supply the information to have someone else write software...
  • I agree. It's Microsoft's OS, and they can do whatever they want. But it's not just consumers who keep buying Microsoft products that allow these practices to continue. Did anyone see any mention in the article that Kodak is porting their software to MacOS, BeOS, BSD, or Linux? Me neither. Let's face it, Kodak is partially responsible for this, and I don't really feel all that sorry for them.
  • You can go one step past the digital camera software altogether if you have something like a SanDisk compact flash card reader(via USB). I just drag files in Explorer to my hard drive effortlessly.
  • IE has a way of insinuating itself into Mac OS X, so much so that I had to delete the whole fucking thing to keep it from constantly getting re-set as both my default browser and the default app to open .htm and .html files.

    It's not surprising that MicroSquish makes life difficult for Kodak engineers. I'll bet they're planing to charge camera manufaturers a royalty to be able to make their cameras talk to windoze machines at all.

  • by 1010011010 ( 53039 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @08:58AM (#110975) Homepage
    It is valuable to complain about and publicise each event, so that no one gets the idea that Microsoft has reformed.

    - - - - -
  • > The other automatic thing I found really annoying about ME is the low disk space notification.

    MS Knowledgebase Q188074 - Low Disk Space Notification Received When Drive Is[NOT!] Full [microsoft.com]

    Works on 98 and 98SE. Oughta work on WinME.

  • >Besides, it's up to that same .com whether to go the microsoft way or another way, no?

    oh, not all printing services are MS only.. a http-upload and some server-side processing works fine, and is as platform-independant as it gets. Interesting too is the higher number of users with a mac in the graphics business, which made platform-independance a requirement, especially now that we're starting to see PDA and digital cams getting combined. hook up your GSM, and upload your pictures anywhere. I would give a link, but I'm slightly biased here, since I wrote the scripts.. but it's there, it works, and is platform-independant.

  • accounting, sales, marketing, execs - they all use winblows. they're forced to - they have no choice - the i/s department usually only supports M$ on the desktop.

    And the real MS customer - the i/s department - is usually very happy with the products they buy from MS. I think the greatness of MS is in how they realise who the customer is (i/s) and who they can ignore (the end users).

    I'd like to read more about how MS does this. I suspect there is plenty of dirty tricks going on here.
  • Hey

    speak for yourself. I DO like using windows. I DO hate when it crashes. I DO install workarounds for when MS tries for force stuff down my throat. I DO hate programming oracle forms in solaris. I DO wish Macs were cheaper and more software was available for them. But until then, I DO choose of my free will to use Windows as my main environment.

    I don't like MS's marketing dept, or their strategy planners. But until unix can give a consistent set of widgets to build with, and all apps have a similar look and feel (I know some lamers are skinning everything in every OS now) and until unix can let me do all my tasks with my keyboard and not my mouse - like all the keyboard access in windows, I will keep using windows as my preferred platform.

    Anyway, what's more likely to succeed? Getting a bunch of paying customers and whining to MS to stop fucking around? Or trying to get millions of part time open source volunteers to give up their differences and work on a common goal? Face it. Volunteers only want to work on the 'cool' stuff. Only paid workers can be forced to do the boring but necessary work.

  • True, but Kodak obviously wants to make sure hteir stuff will work 1st go when the final product arrives.

    Otherwise they'll lose millions of clueless customers b4 they learn about whatever patch they create.

  • after all, you keep buying them, don't you?

    nope, never by choice - I've paid the microsoft tax a couple of times when buying laptops for linux - and wiped as much of it as possible as quickly as I could - but I've never walked into a store and bought a MS product.

    The reason why it's relavent is because MS IS evil ... at least from an anti-trust, donations-for-politicians-in-your-pocket sort of sense. And since we open-source coders are currently directly under attack from Uncle Bill's evile-empire (tm) it's important to both remind ourselves and the rest of the world just what MS's all about.

    Besides have you read the RICO statutes ... pretty soon MS will make those 3 little mistakes ... :-)

  • One bit, 'tho, is that Kodak isn't exactly a monopoly in the digital-camera market. If they *were*, and they were trying to leverage this hypothetical monopoly into generating business for their picture labs, *and* they took measures to ensure that you wouldn't (due to inconvenience, say) use non-Kodak software, then there might be a problem.

    But that's hypothetical; Microsoft's monopoly on the PC operating systems market is not, at least according to the Findings of Fact. Ergo, they're legally constrained when it comes to exploiting that market share to spread into other markets (such as digital photography).
  • This looks like a real shame. Kodak's software features described in the article sounds like photo software I'd actually enjoy using. I especially like the 'digital negative' to retain unedited copies. I know, i can make that myself, but I know my family members don't remember to do that most of the time. Which leads to a lot of griping.

    It probably doesn't help Kodak's cause though to laugh at MS's window-box warnings, it might make them mad. And whats this about miscommunication?? Is that translated as "We ignored kodak until it was too late for them to stop us?"
  • Half these problems are with other software, not Microsoft, and you miss my point completely. Yes, MS is not perfect. Did I ever say they were? Uh, no, I'm not stupid.

    You have all these complaints about MS software, about advanced features not working, but other software doesn't even attempt some of them.

    REGARDLESS, MS removes the choice of the best product, at least partially. I don't defend MS, but I won't blindly shoot them down either.

  • by jhoffoss ( 73895 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @09:03AM (#110992) Journal
    The problem with this, is sometimes M$ manages to put out the best product, regardless of whether it's stolen from someone else or not. GNU/Linux is awesome and I run it half the time, but there are simple things that it can't come close to. Things like the clipboard? I can copy something from IE and paste it into Word and it's formatted the same way, be it a table or whatever. Just to name one thing. There are many others too, but I'm not here to nitpick Linux. My point is for some things, M$ deserves some credit. But either way, I should not be forced to use IE for a web browser, or their photo software for my camera. For that, I must (must, by choice) use inferior products, which just pisses me off.
  • by szcx ( 81006 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @08:59AM (#110997)
    It seems that Kodak's installer isn't registering itself with the system correctly. The software that comes with the Powershot S100 (from Canon) runs fine under XP.

    Additionally, XP is beta code (insert "Duh!" here). It's not exactly unheard-of for software designed for previous versions of any operating system to have problems on new, beta versions. Isn't it just a little disturbing that Kodak is threatening to unleash lawyers before the XP now? Shouldn't they wait for the release, then if it still overrides their settings and they're absolutely sure its not a malfunction in their install process, then they should consider legal action.

  • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
    Anything they can potentially charge you for, they will eventially charge you for, once they've eradicated all competition. That's why Linux pisses them off so much. They just get into the swing of things after eliminating OS/2 and all off a sudden this upstart comes along and offers the public a way out. A way out that is becoming increasingly viable despite the company's best efforts.
  • We should approach Kodak about implementing the standard on Linux and making that their preferred platform. We won't ever try to embrace and extend their stuff, no sir!
  • So, I plug my digital camera into my computer running my (pirated / OEM) copy of XP. The photos are downloaded with nary a button click, and I get the option of having the photos printed and sent to me. I choose a company and receive the photos a couple of days later.

    Microsoft has now made money from me without me paying them directly. The kickback from the printer to MS increases the price of the photos a little, but not enough to make me change companies. It's only a short step to the point where any transaction made with MS software may involve such a scheme. Then how do you know MS is not getting a kickback, even if you made the choice yourself?

    You and I may have the sense to realise this and boycott it, or we may help make software for Linux which does the same thing. But even the average people who don't like MS and always pirate their copies of windows are going to fall for this.

  • by Grab and Choke ;-)

  • That clause would most likely backfire, and wouldn't be as effective as some might think. Many, many movies are already using Linux for special effects, so that wouldn't impact Kodak. Those that use Windows might just decide to succumb to the digital camera technology that is being used for the next Star Wars movie, and a few TV shows now. Kodak is already in trouble on the movie front, since film-free digital cameras are on the way. I think their best bet is to develop these digital cameras and help build them to work with the special effects software currently available on MacOS and Linux. That could help swing the big Hollywood players against Microsoft. Studios don't have a lot of political and financial power, but some of their parent companies do. (Have you heard of Viacom, Vivendi, General Electric...?)
  • So you plug in your camera and WindowsXP sends you to this thing to get prints mailed to you.. Kodak is saying that this denys the user of a choice to who they get to send the pics to in order to get real prints mailed to them..

    But the kodak software forces you to use kodaks service for the same thing.. so you still don't really get a choice.


  • apple has been doing this with mp3 players since iTunes came out. Which is pretty nice since you dont have to worry about installing drivers from a cd then loosing the cd and having the original company charge you for the drivers. (this never made sense to me)

    The problem, in my opinion is that microsoft is charging a tax on the photo.

  • especially like the 'digital negative' to retain unedited copies

    Yeah I like that idea too. I especially liked it the first time I saw it in The Gimp.

  • Ah that would explain the outburst, I have friends that are helpdesk weenies . Everyone runs Linux because it's cool. They question is why each person thinks it's cool. For the trendy who cares, but most of us run it and have been running it for years, because it is technically superior and we can change it however we want.

    Of course I can understand your canned reaction to what appears to be a standard /. elitism post. I feel the same when I post about other topics that run contrary to popular opinion on /..

    (That's not to say that I don't have a little elitism running in me, Windows is a toy, Linux is for real work. Of course I can back that up, I can get ten times as much done in (U|Li)nux than others can get done in windows.)

  • Microsoft continued to send out versions of Windows XP. Three weeks ago, Kodak got the latest, numbered "build 2481." Kodak engineers say this version has a new, simpler way to launch photo software after a camera is plugged in. Instead of a nine-click process of setting non-Microsoft photo software as the default, it lists competitors' programs alphabetically in a pop-up box, along with Microsoft's.

    Whats wrong with that? Methinks this article submission is just another pathetic excuse to trot out the "Billy-as-Borg" logo...

  • No, I believe him. They've never tried to hide the fact that they want to make as much money as they can, any way that they can.
  • From the linked article:

    Microsoft continued to send out versions of Windows XP. Three weeks ago, Kodak got the latest, numbered "build 2481." Kodak engineers say this version has a new, simpler way to launch photo software after a camera is plugged in. Instead of a nine-click process of setting non-Microsoft photo software as the default, it lists competitors' programs alphabetically in a pop-up box, along with Microsoft's.

    It isn't all they want, Kodak engineers say, but it's a big improvement. Instead of a roadblock, "it's just a speed bump," Mr. Gerskovich says.

    [ 8< ]

    In a letter to Microsoft after tensions began to ease last month, Mr. Gerskovich sought assurances that the pop-up box allowing users to choose their photo software will be in the final version Windows XP. "Our business plans depend on this, and its absence would wreak havoc on our digital camera strategy," he wrote. Microsoft says the box will be there, and that Kodak's software will launch easily, just as it has in past versions of Windows.

  • by bons ( 119581 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @09:31AM (#111026) Homepage Journal
    [i]More troubling, the Kodak team found that the new program steered orders for picture prints to companies that would have to pay to be listed in Windows, and that these companies also would be asked to pay Microsoft a fee on every photo sent through Windows.

    "We were being frozen out," says Mr. Gerskovich, a 44-year-old Kodak vice president. "Consumers were effectively being denied a choice of which photo software they could use. More important, they should be able to send photos to any Internet printing service they choose--without paying a tax to Microsoft."

    Ok, fine.
    Now explain this to me.

    Kodak so far has been unable to create digital products or services that could replace film in the all-important consumer market. Mr. Gerskovich's camera and its allied software are seen as the best hope. The company's plan is to use the Internet to drive its digital-camera customers directly to Kodak picture labs to buy their prints.

    Are they upset simply because Microsoft beat them to the punch with the same business model? Kodak is trying to use their software to steer customers to use their products. Microsoft is trying to use their softwarwe to steer customers to use their products. What the heck is the difference?

  • Kodak's problem is that their profits come from photographic film, not cameras. And photo film is on the way out. After a century of industry dominance, the end is in sight for Kodak.
  • Well, if we consider XP to be Windows 2001, then it looks like it's assuming that two years later, there will be an 'XP-2' or 'Windows 2003', and it's giving you the option of purchasing an upgrade, including, probably, a streaming install. The horror...making it convenient and easy for end users to upgrade their OS. Those Micro$$$$oft BASTARDS!
  • by Dlugar ( 124619 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @08:47AM (#111032) Homepage

    Anyone ever see that Dilbert cartoon where Dogbert makes a billion dollars with his software company? They go out walking and Dilbert says, "Yeah, but money can't buy a sunset, Dogbert."

    To which Dogbert replies, "No, but I licensed the digital rights."

  • If they wait then it is too late. The whole point of beta programs is to identify problems.
  • They produce good software right up to the point where they can force competitors out. Remember, the first edition of Gate's book barely mentioned the Internet. Then they saw how the WWW could be used as a platform to deliver applications. All of a sudden, they become the 'Internet Company', and then steal someone else's browser until they can throw enough monopoly-generated money at developers to create their own.
    I was developing OLE (and earlier VBXs) when the internet hit Microsoft totally flatfooted. But, in my opinion, through the sheer force of will of Bill Gates, the Microsoft behemoth turned like a dainty ballerina, and suddenly was all over the internet. I was suddenly developing ActiveXs, and making sure they behaved properly in IE.

    So what happens when Bill Gates dies or retires? Will Microsoft continue as the evil empire, or will they fade to become just another big tech company? It happened to IBM in the "last generation." (Of course, if Bill Gates has a grievious head injury and miraculously recovers, then we are all screwed. ;-)

  • Yeah I agree 100% with what you are saying.

    It's funny, when I scan through the finance news on yahoo, I'll often see stories like 'Company X just signed a deal with M$, blah blah blah, Company X's stock just went up 500%', and I'll think to myself 'Why the hell does the share price of these companies shoot up ? In two or three years Company X will be sucked dry and their shares will be worth 0'.

    I guess the moral is to buy shares before a company signs a deal with M$, and then get out as quickly as you can afterwards.

  • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @09:04AM (#111047)
    get out of dreamworld and into the real world.

    you and I both understand and hate M$. but we're NOT the typical user.

    at every company I've been at in the last 10 yrs or so (I'm a software engineer), winblows has been on the desktop of all employees except for us software guys.

    accounting, sales, marketing, execs - they all use winblows. they're forced to - they have no choice - the i/s department usually only supports M$ on the desktop.

    so it doesn't really become a matter of choice. you work for a company, they put an M$ box on your desk. you eat the dogfood they feed you.

    knowing that M$ owns the corporate desktop (and most home desktops as well), its easy to see how M$ wants a cut of each chargable action. and by placing their apps ahead of others in the default selection gives them unfair advantage. and even though kodak seems to have tried their best to work with M$ on this, M$ turned a cold shoulder and only after a bit of publicity did they consider changing XP to be more vendor neutral.

    It's hard to argue with Mr. Gates when he says his customers like his products...after all, you keep buying them, don't you?

    total flamebait. like I said, in corp america, there's no choice; you must use M$ or the i/s dept. won't support you. its a well known monopoly at the corp level, whether you think you have a choice or not (and you don't).


  • IE was developed by a third party company: Spyglass. Microsoft licensed the code from them for IE 1.0. I think they eventually bought the rights to the code. But, IE was not initially created by Microsoft, that's my point.

  • IMHO, it seems that you are on the extreme opposite side of the spectrum on this issue. You counter those with righteous indignation; essentially those who bitch about MS products yet still buy them. And you ask people not to buy MS products if they have problems with the software or their business practices.

    Let's be realistic here. The entire subset of the population that isn't completely satisfied with MS products is not going to outright boycott Microsoft. If that were the case, this would not even be an issue to argue about. Some people have to use Microsoft products (jobs, educational institutions, lack of technical expertise, etc.).

    I use Microsoft products (I have to for my job like a lot of people out there). I am not completely happy with every 'feature/bug' with the products, but as a user, I feel I have a right to voice my opinion without people tossing it aside and telling me to use something else
  • At the risk of Karma whoring, this article by Leslie Walker said it best...http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/washte ch/techthursday/columns/dotcom/A55090-2001Jun27.ht ml [washingtonpost.com]

    The problem is, I don't know if I can see a real problem with this. I mean, by pushing the ability to have users easily be able to print photos online, they'll find that their revenue is increased, and Microsoft benefits from the 'tippage' from this usage. I would imagine that those companies that work with Microsoft would do better than those that don't...But then again, who is MS to dictate to other industries how competition is going to be handled...The companies pay for the convenience of Microsoft pushing users to their site. Who knows, only time will tell how succesful this is..For all we know, this could backfire horribly in MS's face when it comes time for the companies to pay their dues. I'm sure extortion, which is pretty similar to what Microsoft is doing, is illegal in at least SOME areas in the world ;)

  • Why the fuck should ms get money for redirecting users to the kodak site? Especially considering that kodak's software, which is given to the user to use when they buy a digital camera, will do that automatically.
    I can understand if there is no software (for transmitting pics over the net) in place - fine, then it is a convienience (though I think charging it is kind of low), but defeating whatever the customer paid for (the SW) is ludicrious and really overstepping your bounds.

    In the future, I see that Kodak and some other camera makers will have to encrypt the pictures to protect them - after all, once this system is in place, what's to stop MS from increasing the price per picture 400%, or even saying "fuck kodak" and transmitting all pictures to msn shutterbug (or something).

    Any way you cut it, this is a very hostile action towards Kodak's profit margins.

    And kodak isn't exectly doing too well. In fact, they are doing kinda shitty right now.

    The slashdot 2 minute between postings limit:
    Pissing off coffee drinking /.'ers since Spring 2001.

  • ...because everyone knows how terrible Kodak's software is, anyway!
  • BTW, do folks here remember what made opened Dell's eyes for Linux: A lot of people searched their site about it. So folks, head over to Kodak [kodak.com] and search for Linux, maybe it works... :-)
  • This is actually another example of future microprofit billing, which is here to stay. I think that eventually all transactions through APIs in the OS will eventually have a 'toll' associated with them, and that giant servers behind the scenes will route the funds into the proper accounts of microsoft's partners. it wouldn't surprise me if microsoft added a micropayment billing API to directX, like DirectBill or something, which monitors all types of traffic through a GUID which the backend servers use to adjust micropayments to the partners.

    Hm. I should probably patent that before it gets out to the public.


    And I love it when monopolies whine about other monopolies taking away their monopoly.

  • Notwithstanding the fact that it may not be that lucrative to produce alternative versions of their software, drivers, etc, I totally concur. They have no right to complain if they aren't going to work with those of us who would like to use their products without having to provide a Windows platform to do so. I, for one, am tired of device manufacturers boosting the monopoly by restricting their wares to a single platform.
  • by ichimunki ( 194887 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @09:38AM (#111069)
    So my question is, does the cut and paste still work if you go from Netscape to Word? How about Opera to Word? How about from WordPerfect to Word?

    Are the system calls that perform this cut and paste even available to non-MS developers? If I want to, can I write my web browser so that it does this correctly? And most importantly, can I do it without paying MS a whole boat load of money to license that piece of the library? And what's to stop them from completely breaking this in the next "upgrade"? They wouldn't do that, would they?

    FWIW, the cut and paste functionality between browser and word processor works just as well in KDE (between Konqueror and KWord) as it did for me on my corporate Windows desktop between Netscape and Word. To me, this is just another indication that the main success of Windows and Office (together, not separate) is that they present a homogenous interface and application space. This precludes other software manufacturers from even having a realistic chance to compete in any arena where MS has decided it should dominate.
  • Windows ME does a similar thing to XP. [kodak.com] I first noticed this when I installed a beta of Windows ME. I have a kodak DC 280 camera, and I assumed that somehow installing ME over 98 overwrote my Kodak software. I reinstalled the Kodak software, but there was no way to access it. As soon as I plugged the camera in, a Microsoft "Digital Photo Wizard" would pop up in my face and start asking questions. As far as I could tell there was no way to turn it off!

    And, in my opinion, while the Kodak software wasn't anything special, it didn't have all the annoying "Are you sure? Y/N" features of Microsoft Wizards.

    The other automatic thing I found really annoying about ME is the low disk space notification. While using my laptop, which only has a four gig drive, I'll often have only 200 megs or so free. On the taskbar, a hard drive icon with a big word bubble would appear warning me to correct the situation, and there was NO WAY to turn it off short of deleting stuff. I seems to me that a gentle reminder would have done the trick.
  • This indeed would be quite a nasty thing to do. Unfortunately, the article neglects to mention a crucial fact until the end:

    Three weeks ago, Kodak got the latest, numbered "build 2481." Kodak engineers say this version has a new, simpler way to launch photo software after a camera is plugged in. Instead of a nine-click process of setting non-Microsoft photo software as the default, it lists competitors' programs alphabetically in a pop-up box, along with Microsoft's.

    Seems more fair to me.

  • That's one of the downfalls of our capitalist system (not that I know of a clearly better alternative). If there aren't many stories to print, make something into a story. Try to get the words "sex" and "scandal" in the headline if you can. Or "Microsoft" and "opress" or "abuse". Then you'll sell papers, regardless of the facts. Better yet, set up a web site where people read a headline, then write big, long comments about it, and then moderators, who also only read the headlines choose comments that most agree with their political philosophies. Go ahead, mod me down.
  • It's not the "bundling" of IE with the OS that bothers me most about Microsoft, it's this kind of behaviour - making it hard to use any alternatives - that really burns me.

    If I was Kodak, I'd be furious. They're big, but are they big enough to take on Microsoft?

    It won't really affect geeks, though. No one i know with a digital camera uses the manufacturers software, they just copy the pics from the card to the hard drive and then go to Photoshop.

  • I suspect Kodak wants to grab this market as badly as Microsoft: they simply want to make sure that as many people as possible are automatically sent to their partner companies, rather than Microsoft's

    Kodak is not saying every digital print must flow through Kodak. They are only saying that after you install a Kodak camera + software, and plug it in, the Kodak software you just installed should come up, and I agree.

    Kodak is BETTING THE COMPANY on digital cameras/film/prints. Do you really think their team of engineers couldn't solve a 'minor technical issue' over the course of a year? Of course they could. Microsoft is making it hard for them.

  • by jchristopher ( 198929 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @08:53AM (#111079)
    Read the article, it's actually WORSE than it seems at first glance! Microsoft wants their software to popup when the camera is plugged in, because they plan to charge the .com photo print sites PER PHOTO that passes through their OS.

    Example: Joe Sixpack plugs in his Kodak camera, MS's software pops up, along with a button that says "order a 5x7 of this picture". He clicks it, orders, and Photoprinter.com or whatever owes Microsoft a nickel. Jesus.

  • sethg understands what I've argued before: that Microsoft's monopoly in the OS will remain unchallenged until other corporate superpowers, not just newcomers like Netscape, become threatened. It's clear that the MS legal team (and a newer, friendlier Republican administration) is the main reason Microsoft's been able to stave off the label "monopoly" for this long. Only other corporations with equally large legal teams will be able to beat them at their own game.
  • by mblase ( 200735 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @10:26AM (#111081)
    Shouldn't they wait for the release, then if it still overrides their settings and they're absolutely sure its not a malfunction in their install process, then they should consider legal action.

    No, because by then it'll be too late -- Microsoft's software will be purchased, users will be using MS software and not Kodak's, and MS will only have it fixed in the next service pack a few months later, which most users won't know to download anyways.

    Kodak tried to work things out, couldn't do it, made threats, and finally (according to the article) got things worked out in the latest beta build. They only threatened when it appeared that MS was refusing to listen and going ahead with their own plans for the rest of the beta cycle.

  • And I don't suppose that could be because of the 180 day trial period of the beta, could it?
  • Now, does anyone really *need* to upgrade to XP? Come on!

    Steve Magruder

  • by sdo1 ( 213835 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @10:07AM (#111092) Journal
    In every Microsoft thread, there's always someone who will complain about the Bill Gates as Borg icon that Slashdot uses. I haven't seen him/her show up yet, but when they do, I hereby give you a virtual slap upside the head.

    But issues like this aren't Microsoft specific. There's lots of evil software companies that do lots of evil things. How many times have you installed software on a Win machine only to find out that it took over file extension associations without asking first?

    I'm finally fed up with MS myself and I'm weaning myself off their products. I've put together a RH Linux system at home and am learning what I can. And being the "PC guy" for many friends and family, I'm recommending to them all that they avoid XP like the plague (I can't possibly recommend Linux to them because these are people who can't set the clock on their VCR).

    Thankfully, I'm seeing more and more articles like this, and with any luck Joe Public will start to take notice. Circuit City learned a harsh lesson in pissing of the public with their DIVX scams. If we keep up the pressure, MS will learn the same lessons.

  • Microsoft charges a fee to be on the list, and makes money off of each print that is printed from this referal

    It's amusing that Kodak actually referred to this as taxation (which is about right), thus playing the same game that Microsoft has played with using words with negative connotations to describe the enemy (cf. viral software)

  • by Darth RadaR ( 221648 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @09:27AM (#111095) Journal
    I think that the engineers at Kodak should apply a little LART. Have their software work great with Win98 & Win2K, but have the program bugger-up at random times when used on WinXP. :P
  • So, what if i buy a digital camera and don't purchase Kodak's software? Me being a normal end-user, i'd rather SOMETHING pop up than nothing, leaving me sitting there thinking I did something wrong.

    Ever notice that a plain vanilla install of Redhat, if you click on a URL it launches Netscape? Who said i wanted that?

    My point (yes, i have a point) is that for certain things, software developers everywhere (not just OS developers at M$) have to make assumptions for "general use".

    For those of us that need to change it, we can. If this post is more of an outcry of bad business practices, well, we already know that microsoft is guilty of that.

    You can't assume that everyone wants to tweak the hell out of their OS and make it run exactly the way THEY want it too. Most end users are happy with the fact that they don't need a PHD to turn things on. The assumptions that software developers make contribute to that fact.

    Perfect example, pop open netscape, IE, mozilla, what have you, and just type "google" without quotes in the address bar. The browser assumes that you actually want to append www. and prepend .com onto what you typed, and does it for you.

    Software developers making assumptions about their end-users habits has been happening for years. I don't see why it's earth-shattering that M$ does it.
  • "They say it took nine mouse clicks--through a series of Windows instructions and folders--to get Kodak's software installed as the default after a camera was plugged in"

    Now, I'm no expert, but doesn't Windows offer a descent scripting service for installers or or Kodaks programmers just so inept, they can't script those 9 mouse clicks. I ask seriously since being a Mac person, these kind of issues don't come up...

  • The Wall Street Journal had this yesterday. Great read on the way to work. What can you expect from MS though? It's their lifeline. Here is my theory. Windows isn't the future, but it's a step to get to the future. The future is MS in control of a huge portal collecting fees for any transaction that takes place. Maybe even stock trading. If you run a virtual store you'll have to go through MS because they have all the eye balls. Doesn't matter if you use Windows, Linux or any other OS. If you want to get any business transacted on the Internet you'll have to go thru Passport. That's Microsoft's vision.

    To get ther they'll have to use Windows as a stepping stone. Throw all of their Internet properties into the user's face when they first boot up. Try to get as many users to sign on until they become as big as AOL. It worked for AOL with their CD's.

  • I love it. Microsoft decided that instead if selling off windows desktop space (like they have in the past to the likes of AOL and software vendors such as Quicken), which is a limited comodity since it had dimentions defined by screen resolution, they would be better off preferred connectivity options, which represents a residual revenue stream. This represents a more or less unlimited resource that Microsoft can license repeatedly, and more importantly, can alter in realtime on internet-connected desktops, for eample, if one vendor wished to terminate it's agreement with Microsoft, the company can (in realtime) pull that vendor's listing from within Windows, much as a web publisher would pull the vendor's ads from a website. On one level it's vary sleezy. On another, it's just good business.

    It's a characteristic of the new and ever-changing marketplace that Kodak could not have foreseen such a thing and explicitly forbidden it within their written partnership agreement. On the other hand, it has bacome a hallmark of Microsoft to actively seek out cuch loopholes and make extensive use of them in business dealings with partners.


  • by bmongar ( 230600 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @09:04AM (#111102)
    Kodak does not make money selling software for their cameras, they make money selling cameras!

    But they do make money selling prints. Microsoft would also automatically connect you to their approved printsellers list. Microsoft charges a fee to be on the list, and makes money off of each pring that is printed from this referal

  • They're big, but are they big enough to take on Microsoft?

    Sure they are. They just need a license clause with their studio film: By using this film you agree not to reproduce it using any product created by Microsoft. Most motion pictures use kodak film in their camaras, and MS wan't a piece of Holywood.

    But Kodak has had antitrust lawsuits agnist them, and this might not help. Then again, MS isn't making film so they aren't a competitor to Kodak (in that area anyway.)

    In any case, it would be an amusing clause.
  • Shame they pulled out those smart tags for the time being, i think the more stupid steps MS takes , the more software developers will look at alternate OS's which i think is a good thing, when the time comes microsoft will be alone with its perfect OS that noone wants too use, cause like they said it will get worse with these anti-trust actions and more expensive cause of the same reason.

    Where is this years MS license burning party ? i still got a couple at home i dont use ;)
  • First point: It's relevant because you don't often see people outside the software industry (though Kodak is heading there) with such glaring examples of monopoly abuses.

    Second point: You say "...it's so simple: don't buy their products."

    Well, it's not that simple, when almost all PCs come pre-loaded with the stuff. And while it's one thing to tell the /. crowd to stay away from Windows, it's quite another to try and teach my Aunt Maxine how to use Linux. Or to get my PHB to abandon MS Everything.

    Here's a quick tip you might want to remember (taken right from the article): MOST USERS ARE AVERAGE! They don't have degrees in CS, they don't know what DLL Hell is, and they don't care.

    It's not important what we buy today -- we only buy a few thousand machines anyway. The really important battle is to give my Aunt Maxine and my PHB a decent alternative to Windows. If you want to put your money where your mouth is, then help the people who are working on these projects.

    If you're going to call the community to arms, at least get the argument right.
  • by lseltzer ( 311306 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @09:07AM (#111139)
    They put this at the end of the story: >p> Microsoft continued to send out versions of Windows XP. Three weeks ago, Kodak got the latest, numbered "build 2481." Kodak engineers say this version has a new, simpler way to launch photo software after a camera is plugged in. Instead of a nine-click process of setting non-Microsoft photo software as the default, it lists competitors' programs alphabetically in a pop-up box, along with Microsoft's.

    It isn't all they want, Kodak engineers say, but it's a big improvement. Instead of a roadblock, "it's just a speed bump," Mr. Gerskovich says.

    IOW, later builds address Kodak's issues. Amazing that the WSJ chose to bury this fact.

  • by janpod66 ( 323734 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @08:58AM (#111150)
    I suspect Kodak wants to grab this market as badly as Microsoft: they simply want to make sure that as many people as possible are automatically sent to their partner companies, rather than Microsoft's. Kodak's record in this area is prety poor, with numerous attempts at using their market dominance in film photography to push through proprietary digital image formats and digital imaging standards.

    Of course, the defense "we want to make it simpler" does have a kernel of truth: ultimate pushbutton simplicity means relieving the user of the choice of a company to send their prints to. But average consumers face that choice in the real world, so they are probably capable of making it on-line as well, without being infantilized by either Kodak or Microsoft.

  • by Snootch ( 453246 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @09:21AM (#111166)
    ...and now I'm about to get modded down for doing so. Or possibly up, as I'm deviating from the news item's point of view and that seems to be a surefire way to get modded up nowadays. Or possibly both. What the hell, moderate me how you want. That's not my point. This is:

    Why are Kodak whining? Because Microsoft themselves are doing with their software exactly what Kodak wanted to do with theirs. See the article:

    Mr. Gerskovich's camera and its allied software are seen as the best hope. The company's plan is to use the Internet to drive its digital-camera customers directly to Kodak picture labs to buy their prints. Any Microsoft obstacle would be a critical strategic blow to Kodak

    You see? It's not that they are driving customers to certain printers by default, without their choice, but rather that they get to do this rather than Kodak themselves! You may argue that Kodak, as the people who sold the camera, have a right to do this more than MS, but from where I'm standing this is a distinct case of the pot calling the kettle black.

    43rd Law of Computing:

New crypt. See /usr/news/crypt.