[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Opinion

  Routing note from: Edmond Jane <ejane@panama.phoenix.net> 11/11/97 01:24pm 
  ** Reply to note from moonwolf@earthling.net Tue, 11 Nov 1997 10:12:17 -0500 (EST)
  Mr. Mortimer,
  My compliments to you on what is the best piece I have seen yet on the
  issues we are supposed to be addressing in Appraising Microsoft. You
  have, in this article, expressed precisely what I think. I only wish I
  could say it as well.
  Unfortunately, I do not think that Mr. Gates will be influenced in the
  least by your logic, because the open status of personal computing you
  describe in your piece does not allow for Microsoft to eventually own
  the entire software industry, and that is the only outcome that is
  acceptable to Microsoft for the long run. They have already stated it
  many times: Windows everywhere. The thought of "Windows everywhere" is
  as frightening to me as the thought of having the entire world taken
  over by aliens from outer space, as was depicted in the movie
  "Independence Day". Okay, so the aliens bit is far-fetched, wildly
  imaginative science fiction, and likely will never happen outside of
  the movie theatre. But the Microsoft threat is not far fetched. It is
  happening to us already, and it is no less unpleasant.
  My family used to use Microsoft products. But we no longer buy anything
  which has the Microsoft logo on it. NOTHING. We stopped at Windows
  3.11, because we consider Microsoft to be a positive threat to world
  civilization in the long run. It does not take much of a leap of
  imagination to see what an evil place a world completely dominated by
  Microsoft will be like. And if nothing is done now to stop Microsoft,
  the world WILL be dominated by Microsoft in a little as ten or twenty
  years. Bill Gates is a megalomaniac who will stop at nothing to see his
  company dominate every computer in the world.
  The power of the personal computer has not even begun to be accessed
  yet. We have not even scratched the surface of its potential. From
  where we stand today, we cannot even begin to conceive what the PC will
  mean to civilization as little as twenty-five years hence. It is not
  inconceivable to think that the PC will be as ubiquitous as the
  telephone, or even printed media. And it is not inconceivable to
  think that eventually it will become the only inexpensive way to
  access the entire wealth of all of the world's knowledge.
  Now imagine that every human being everywhere is totally at the mercy
  of Microsoft if they want to use a computer. Imagine that Microsoft
  controls every possible means of accessing the entirety of the world's
  storehouse of knowledge. It is a most frightening concept. For this I
  am ready to *FIGHT NOW* to stop Microsoft from dominating my computer
  first, the internet second, and ultimately all of mankind's access to
  all of the world's knowledge and information.
  There is no room in the civilized world for a company with the greedy
  motives, self-serving values, immense financial power, and TOTAL LACK
  of ethics that Microsoft displays in everything they do. 
  > Don't be alarmed. This is just my opinion. If this had been anything
  > other than opinion you would have been told to tune in to my web site
  > for more information. 
  > ***** 
  > I agree with the stated purpose of Ralph Nader, that what we need to
  > do is bring Microsoft back into the fold. I interpret that as meaning
  > that Microsoft has to  cease inventing, installing and perpetuating
  > proprietary formats that exclude  every person that uses a product
  > that is not MS-Approved. This not only includes  software, but also
  > hardware. No more Windows-only devices. No more  Windows-specific
  > "enhancements" that make the devices inoperable in other  operating
  > environments and systems. Microsoft needs to accept a
  > non-totalitarian  position in the computer industry. Microsoft needs
  > to accept competition as  healthy for all involved (especially the
  > consumer), and to stay within the bounds  of accepted industry-wide
  > standards. 
  > Now there's the problem -- "industry-wide standards." Microsoft
  > interprets that  phrase to mean "Windows Compatible" (whatever that
  > means this month). Other  companies, like Apple, IBM, Netscape, et
  > al, also play dirty with the  "industry-wide standards" phrase --
  > though none (not even Apple) to as  detrimental effect as Microsoft.
  > All the companies need to interpret the same  set of rules the same
  > way. 
  > To bring the computer industry into line with "industry-wide
  > standards," there  has to be some sort of Standards Counsel. This
  > Counsel has to have teeth. It  needs to have clear focus on enforcing
  > compatibility across all platforms --  Access for All must be their
  > governing motto (not Access for All Who Use . . .).  This Access must
  > mean more than just Internet access. It must also include 
  > established formats for swapping files between programs from
  > different companies,  between programs that operate on different
  > platforms, between programs that run  on different hardware, etc.
  > This is not a pie-in-the-sky dream. It is a  reality. Example: this
  > e-mail is being written at work on a PowerMac 6100/66.  I will send
  > it to the list from home on my custom built PC running OS/2. There 
  > is no magic or high tech knowledge involved in the transfer of the
  > data from the  Macintosh to the PC. I do not go on-line to transfer
  > the data either. I use  only the universally-accessible "sneaker-net"
  > approach. No costly programs are  necessary to transfer the data from
  > Apple format on a Macintosh HFS-formatted  hard drive, to a
  > Macintosh-formatted diskette, to the PC format on my OS/2 
  > HPFS-formatted hard drive, to the Internet, to your computer --
  > whatever it is  you are running. In fact, it was harder to write that
  > last sentence than to  bring the data from the Mac to the PC to you.
  > If you are interested in the  details, check out
  > http://www.trailerpark.com/moonwalk/moonwolf/hfsutils.html 
  > That type of easy access between computers ought to be encouraged and
  > rewarded.  Easy access is what it should be about. Sharing
  > information should be a  no-brainer. Sharing information between
  > computers should not be difficult.  Sharing information between
  > computers running different programs should not be  complex. The
  > oft-stated goal I hear from all corners is to bring information to 
  > the masses. You can't do that by donating proprietary MS software to
  > schools,  libraries and governments. Electronic information needs to
  > remain freely  accessible by anyone with a computer. "Freely
  > accessible" means there are no  proprietary requirements to meet --
  > that no matter what operating system or  hardware a person uses they
  > will not be excluded. That means poor school  children everywhere
  > using an 8086 w/ 1 MB RAM and DOS should be able to use their  DOS
  > browser to access the information they need on the Internet --
  > without  running into the roadblock of "Best Viewed with Internet
  > Explorer" Yes, that IS  entirely possible, and is happening right
  > now. 
  > Why the bit about the "roadblock?" Because the ÒBest Viewed with . .
  > ." part is  rapidly becoming "Only Viewable with . . .Ó That is
  > unacceptable, and it is  exactly what Microsoft wants -- to make
  > _THEIR_ Internet ("microsoft.com" &  "colonies") accessible only with
  > Internet Explorer. Don't blindly accept my word  for it, go out there
  > yourself, download a DOS browser (or comparable  non-mainstream,
  > non-ActiveX, non-MS-Approved, HTML-Compliant browser for your 
  > platform -- check http://www.fdisk.com for DOS browsers) and go surf
  > through  microsoft.com and report back what happens. For added
  > adventure, set the browser  to not accept cookies, or pick a browser
  > that doesn't do cookies. 
  > Note that I do not pardon Netscape from their own attempt to wrangle
  > control of  the Internet. The "fight fire with fire" mentality does
  > not help the consumer.  We need to pull Netscape into line also. The
  > W3C also needs a big kick in their  collective pants to get off their
  > duffs and publish good standards in an  acceptable time frame. IBM,
  > Sun, Borland, et al have to do penance for their  transgressions as
  > well. Microsoft is not the only one at fault for the current  state
  > of affairs. 
  > Just think, what if The Gutenberg Project had decided to use MS-Word
  > format  instead of ASCII? What would be the ramifications? Would
  > everyone have  unfettered access to the world's great literature? No.
  > Well, under MS control  ASCII would give way to MS-Word 97 format as
  > the "common universal format" (and  then that would be "upgraded" to
  > another format a year later, . . . ad  infinitum). We cannot afford
  > to let that happen. 
  > In conclusion, I will take my opinion to its logical conclusion: The
  > computer  industry will follow one set of industry-wide compatibility
  > standards.  Proprietary formats will become a laughable kludge of the
  > past. A neutral  Counsel protecting the welfare of The People will
  > govern the Industry Standards.  The Counsel will be accessible and
  > responsive to the common citizen and the  industry giant alike.
  > Cross-compatibility will be the ultimate goal. The  Counsel will have
  > the power to enforce the standards. The Counsel will be quick  to act
  > to set standards, and to enforce them. The Counsel will consist of 
  > unaffiliated computer scientists from around the world (from the
  > academic  community), not industry spokespeople. 
  > Footnote <g>: I really don't care if Microsoft sells 800f any
  > particular  software type in the world, as long as they don't
  > incapacitate the other 20 
  > -- Ed --
  > Team OS/2 MoonWolf Enterprises Edward R. Mortimer
  > moonwolf@earthling.net The Land of Beyond
  > http://www.trailerpark.com/moonwalk/moonwolf/index.html
  > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
  > -----
  Captain Edmond Jane
  Panama Canal Pilot
  Panama Linux Users Group (P.L.U.G.)
  Edmond Jane