Utterly, utterly cool.
Found on slashdot.
Utterly, utterly cool.
Found on slashdot.
We received this strong rebuke from Windows 2000 Mag news editor Paul Therrott to Kurt Cagle’s perspective on Hailstorm. A good read.
To whom it may concern,
How could you publish the claptrap at the following URL?
Have you no standards? Every point this guy makes is incorrect. Every
single one. Let’s take a look:
1. Microsoft has never had much success with creating a paid service.
Unless of course, you consider a decade of constant upgrades to Windows
and Office a paid service, in which case it becomes the most successful
paid services company in the history of the planet earth. Besides, past
failure does not equate to future failure (the reverse is also true).
Microsoft is often successful after repeated failures in a given market.
There are many examples.
2. With Windows, if you wanted to write applications, you had no choice but to write to the Windows APIs.
This is true of any platform, no?
Vendors that produced third-party
products had to cooperate with Microsoft to stay on top of the latest
changes in the OS or risk having products that would die on the next
Indeed, one of the ways that Microsoft leveraged its OS was to
keep critical APIs evolving internally until fairly late in the cycle,
giving its developers an automatic window of opportunity of several
months to develop into a new niche before a competitor could.
This is not true. Microsoft opens up the APIs very early in the
development cycle; thus the Platform SDK for Windows with every Beta 1
release, and updates all along the way. It’s fantastical to accuse
Microsoft of withholding APIs: The distribution of code to developers is
one of the company’s primary strengths.
The Internet, on the other hand, has a strong set of
standards bodies that do not automatically bow before Microsoft and
that have been working to keep the critical components of the Web as
simple as possible. Given that these bodies are made up in great part
from Microsoft’s competitors, it is unlikely that they will cede the
power to API, especially as Microsoft has a reputation for playing
poorly in shared API arenas.
Microsoft is putting Hailstorm and .NET through the standards body known
as ECMA. In fact, in the past few years, Microsoft has been more
standards-friendly than *any* of its competitors, especially including
Sun, which steadfastly refuses to open up Java, despite repeated “carrot
and stick” promises to do so.
3. HailStorm is partially designed to place Microsoft between the
consumers and the banks and credit card services that authorize payment (and consequently perform a certain level of user authorization as
well). The last time that Microsoft tried to do that — with its
Microsoft Money fiasco that tried to do an end run around the banking
and credit industries — the industry as a whole closed ranks and
adopted Quicken instead.
Again, not true. Two points: As I said previously, past failure does not
indicate future failure; in fact, most Microsoft products take a few
revisions to become successful. Secondly, Quicken did not become
successful because of some Microsoft mistake. Quicken was always the
market leader; Money only exists because of Quicken. This guy needs a
4. The highly centrallized nature of the Web-services approach makes
HailStorm incredibly susceptible to denial-of-service attacks.
Kindly explain to me why this makes Hailstorm uniquely vulnerable. This
is true of all Web properties.
Virtually every major software company today agrees that Web services
are the future. It should come as no surprise that the most successful
of these companies–Microsoft–would be the furthest along in its goal
of delivering on that vision. What’s most upsetting about Hailstorm?
That they have a concrete plan that they’ve communicated to users and
developers, or that none of their competitors do?
5. Back in the mid-1990s, when Internet hype was first starting to
really move into overdrive, an idea that was in vogue for about six
months was the Internet Mall, where several businesses would band
together to form a virtual shopping portal. They all failed . They
failed because there was a confusion between physical and virtual
Time for another history lesson. They all failed because there weren’t
enough people on the Web. Maybe this guy never heard of Amazon.com,
which is, of course, the realization of the Internet Mall he said never
6. Finally, HailStorm is emblematic of both Microsoft’s vision and its
It sure is. And that “myopia” has made it the most successful software
company on earth, with over $30 billion in cash reserves, with $40
billion expected by the end of the year. Sorry, but Microsoft will be
successful with Hailstorm, and nothing this clueless author thinks can
You should be ashamed of yourselves for publishing that article,
unedited, and full of such obvious factual errors. We’re all entitled to
opinion, but opinion without basis in fact is useless to any reader.
Windows 2000 Magazine
Microsoft apologist, or informed history lesson? Insert your opinion here.
The problem with AOL going after GAIM isn’t that GAIM has a right to keep their name. It was always a bad idea for GAIM to use AIM in the name: of course AOL was going to get pissed. The problem is that alienating third-party developers is exactly the wrong thing for AOL to do, because it creates an opening for Microsoft.
Microsoft is working hard to netscape AOL; i.e. to take the vast majority of the IM market away, leaving AIM a distant #2. What Microsoft gets that AOL doesn’t is that the user ID database and the IM message stream can be put to good use by applications aside from IM. The only thing really stopping Microsoft from taking over the presence and identity markets and reselling access to third party developers is AOL.
First panel of imaginary cartoon: fat kid with big lolly. Second panel: fatter kid bops fat kid over the head and takes the lolly. third panel: fatter kid sells licks to all the runts on the playground.
What AOL thinks it needs to do is to keep Microsoft away from its assets. What AOL really needs to do is to give away its assets — let everybody who wants to to access the AIM presence and identity services — because that is the only way to preserve AIM’s marketshare. This doesn’t have to be profitless: Gracenote’s model of charging a per-user fee to commercial projects and nothing at all to non-commercial projects would probably work for AOL.
First panel: fat kid with big lolly. Second panel: fat kid sells licks to all the runts on the playground. Third panel: fatter kid tries to bop fat kid over the head, but can’t get through all the runts crowded around for licks.
From time to time AOL has realized this, which is why things like GAIM exist: at one point AOL released an open protocol to access AIM, as well as a GPL’d client with which to do it, thereby encouraging open source developers to build compatible clients. But AOL having what are at heart feudal social values, it also thinks that it needs to keep AIM under tight control.
AOL is veering back and forth between trying to protect its ISP business, which is held up by AIM, and trying to protect AIM. If users can get AIM without AOL, the thinking goes, why would they use AOL as their ISP? That’s not an easy problem, but they have to find a solution that doesn’t involve closing AIM, because IM users are going to switch to MS Messenger otherwise. Either AIM opens up or it goes away. The old days are gone.
Times are changing whether Time-Warner likes it or not. AOL needs to get software vendors to adopt, and hence protect, its presence stream and identity database. If AOL doesn’t find a way to create revenues from an open AIM, even to the degree of licensing it to Microsoft, Microsoft is going to take the IM market away.
This is why going after GAIM is such a bad idea: AOL should be giving it a medal instead.
Gates has caught Joy fast asleep.
Jxta is a late entrant that Sun only started thinking about in late summer of 2000. .NET was obviously on the burner at least a year before that. Jxta is far from shippable, even as a beta. .NET will be shipping soon. Jxta’s business plan is utterly obscure. .NET’s business plan is painfully clear.
Sun has no plausible counter-threat against Microsoft at present, and I don’t believe that they will in the near future. According to CNET, iPlanet — the enterprise software alliance between Sun and AOL property Netscape — does have products or product plans that involve AIM. That leaves AOL on the line of fire in Sun’s place.
The score for now: Gates inflicts major damage in the first conflict, with credit going to (1) creativity and (2) a head start made possible by (3) absolute stealth.
Other players are likely to create a credible threat before Sun.
Does Sun have more than I realize? Is Jxta anywhere near a threat?
I ran across several patents on P2P, specifically in P2P content delivery.
Chaincast seems to have US Patent #6249810 - “Method and system for implementing an internet radio device for receiving and/or transmitting media information”. Here is their tech page: Chaincast Networks
I wonder how much this affects the competive space and if it has any broader ramifications for restricting P2P applications.
There’s a Gabriel Garcia Marquez character in One Hundred Years of Solitude, The General, who disappears into the jungle as a teen and spends the rest of his life fighting a guerilla war against the government. He just doesn’t have any other ideas for what to do with all those years between puberty and senility.
In their own endless conflict, Microsoft and Sun have both arrived at next-generation strategies that give ground to gain ground. Hailstorm is built around XML, which Sun initially underwrote. Jxta uses the default Microsoft JVM, which is version 1.1 of Java. For both sides this kind of thinking would have been anathema a couple years ago. Anybody remember Microsoft Blackbird, the network that was better than the Internet? Anybody remember Sun fighting to the death in court to control minutiae of the JVM?
Neither side was aware of their limitations until the smoke cleared from the web boom of the 90s. At that point they looked around, saw the other guy still standing, and decided to give sneakiness a try.
At the core the fight is about a couple guys — Bill Joy and Bill Gates — growing old together. Year after year shooting at each other in the jungle, and, once in a rare while, learning a little.
Viva la revolución!
After years of dot-coms falsely assuming that a limitless supply of advertising dollars attached to traffic would keep them profitable, many leading sites will begin experimenting with turning themselves into subscription-only packages. This article on ZDNet brings up many interesting issues with the problems using today’s “New Economy” ideals as it applies to content-driven sites.
That free sites may start charging subscriptions shouldn’t come as a shock to anybody, as the internet porn industry has shown that this business model can work, given the supplier is giving the consumer something they feel is worth giving over their charge card numbers for. Most likely we will see a change from totally free content sites to a mix of free and pay-for-view models, as seen in Salon.com’s new model of generating revenue from both consumers and advertising.
We also can’t forget Microsoft’s .NET strategy, a plan to turn its software from a PC-based product into a network-based subscription service, which will have a tremendous impact on what we think of as “the free web”
As an avid surfer of content-driven sites, I can’t help but hang my head at the coming trend, as I won’t pay for the countless sites I visit each week. As somebody working in the free content website business, I can’t help but applaud the trend, as the constant push to garner more page views in order to make more revenue from advertising has become a constant battle with no end in site. The “free years” sure were great though, weren’t they?
Should content on the web remain free, or have we been spoiled for too long and it’s time to pay the piper? Post your thoughts here.
Related link: http://www.magusaptus.com/seti/setires1.html
Rearchers recently found that SETI@Home performs best on Windows NT with the command-line client. Next came Linux with the command-line client. In last place is Windows 98SE with the graphical client.
The New York Times has an article on distributing computing companies paying users for running their clients.