Re: [unrev-II] Slashdot thread; License type

From: Eric Armstrong (
Date: Wed May 10 2000 - 14:49:39 PDT

  • Next message: Eric Armstrong: "[unrev-II] Q: Relations and Interfaces"

    John \"sb\" Werneken wrote:
    > Microsoft in my opinion got where they are by doing three things
    > better than others did. And better than others do now:
    > 1. The concept of the application suite (and, later, the OS) gaining a
    > semi-common user interface.
    Yes, yes, yes, and yes. They were the FIRST and often the ONLY company
    to really "get it", to understand that a person's *time* is the most
    valuable commodity on the planet, and that wasting even a millisecond of
    it was essentially immoral, and ultimately ineffective. There are Unix
    hackers today who *still* don't get it, but many fewer of them now that
    MS has beat their brains into mush. (My own moral imperative: If you
    take enough time from enough people, it is the moral equivalent of
    killing someone. Any software that is intended for wide, general use
    *must* be as ergonomically efficient as possible.)

    > 2. The concept of embrace, extend, engulf:
    Here, we part company. If Lotus (an application vendor) had managed to
    do so, I would say great. If MS-app (the soon to be independent app
    division of MS) does so, that will also be fine. But MS abused its OS
    monopoly to carry out that policy. I'm a fan of the standard interface,
    and I only buy software that meets those standards. But a lot of
    competition has vaporized that probably would still be in business.
    There were companies making all kinds of add ons, all competing with one
    another. But once MS took one, the rest vanished overnight.

    > 3. The care, feeding, and management of third part developers. The VBA
    > world for example.
    > So they try to be accessible to ordinary people; comprehensive in what
    > they deliver; and thrive by remaining valuable themselves to maybe a
    > million or so more minor-league developers. Not bad concepts to emulate.
    They do work hard at it. What they deliver is not always the best. It
    can take a long time to search their knowledge base CDs for example, but
    they work hard at getting whatever they have out the door. They
    understood better than everyone that you have to get the developers on
    board. They write the apps that bring the customers. It was a lesson
    lost on nearly everyone in the industry until Java came along and
    demonstrated their thorough understanding of the facts of life -- the
    battle is for developer mindshare. Developers will then battle for
    customer mindshare, amplifying your message many-fold.

    Remember four years of good friends, bad clothes, explosive chemistry

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