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RE: Opinion

  >MS did not trample on 'net technology as much as they trampled on the
  >culture. Which is not illegal, but it certainly explains the
  >well-deserved and highly emotional Microsoft-bashing one sees out
  Interesting comment.  I can remember just 10 years ago (pre-WWW) when
  commercial activity on the internet was heavily frowned uppon.  It was
  nearly impossible for a commercial entity to get a presence on the web.
  You had to submit forms that demonstrated an academic need, or similar
  non-commercial reason for being on the internet.  The only way
  individuals could access the net was to have an academic account at
  pointyhead.edu, or to work for the military, a defense-related firm, or
  a networking firm.   The "culture", as you have correctly called it, was
  radically different from today.
  So who changed the culture?  It was all the news years ago that
  Microsoft had missed the boat on the Internet wave and had to put on a
  massive push in order to catch up with companies that were already
  So who changed the culture?  Commercial companies like Compuserve,
  Lexis/Nexis, and eventually America Online and Prodigy were making money
  and thriving by providing "commercial" access to a network and its
  content, not the Internet, but still a network.
  So who changed the culture?  The internet was accessed using obscure
  command-line interfaces, using command-line utilities to encode and
  decode the content.  "Normal" people couldn't use the net, nor did they
  want to.
  So who changed the culture?  Why is everyone now on the net?  How come a
  six-year old can now visit the library of congress or send a letter to
  the president?  How come some company can sell rubber sunglasses over
  the internet?
  You are right, the culture on the 'net has changed radically, and, from
  the culture of acadamic purity of 10 years ago, it certainly has been
  "trampled".  We now have XXX-rated web-sites, porno-gifs and jpegs
  zipping around the world.  And worst of all, we have spam.
  Microsoft did not trample the culture of the internet.  They arrived
  late to this party.  If you want to blame anyone for the change in
  culture of the internet, I would suggest looking at the wonder-boy who
  let loose the browser on the world - Marc Andreessen - and his cohorts.
  Don't missunderstand me.  I'm not complaining about the change in
  culture of the internet.  Everything changes.  The good 'ol days always
  look good in hindsight.  But blaming Microsoft for that change is really
  giving them too much credit.  And too much blame.
  And, by the way, ActiveX is already on the Mac and on UNIX.  All they
  want to do is rule the world.  Scarry, isn't it?  :-)
  Dave Hamilton
  > -----Original Message-----
  > From:	Pieter Nagel [SMTP:pieter.nagel@epiuse.co.za]
  > Sent:	Friday, November 14, 1997 4:54 PM
  > To:	Multiple recipients of list
  > Subject:	Re: Opinion
  > On Fri, 14 Nov 1997, Christopher Pall wrote:
  > > MS would like users to believe that it
  > > must use IE to browse the web.
  > Correction: MS would like it to be *true* that you must use IE to
  > browse the web.
  > That is a radical new aproach to the Internet that we never saw
  > before Microsoft, afaik. Before, we had RFC's carefully expounding
  > the difference between a protocol and implementation. Compatibility.
  > Carefully defining "network byte-order" so any machine can read data
  > off a network stream. But how the heck is a Macintosh supposed to
  > implement ActiveX short of emulating a 80x86 CPU and significant
  > portions of the Win API?
  > There's nothing wring with writing platform-specific protocols, and
  > doing so to reap market share in the ertswhile cross-platform
  > Internet may also not be a legal transgression. But a moral one?
  > We had a community of people living by a dream: communication between
  > anybody. My love for the Internet got started when I founded a
  > newsgroup for the support of people with a certain neurological
  > condition; and I always had the vision of millions of people, "out
  > there", no matter what computer they have, being able to share
  > experiences and discovering "thank god, I'm not weird."
  > In a very real sense, the Internet changed my life; and
  > interoperability made it possible.  Most of my usenet friends were
  > non-computer people without money for expensive systems. If NNTP were
  > Exchange they would never have been part.
  > That vision is now threatened. I am faced with the very real
  > possibility that in a year or two's time, if I want to host an easily
  > accesible FAQ on a web site somewhere, that I must shell out
  > thousands for MS software and extra hardware.
  > MS did not trample on 'net technology as much as they trampled on the
  > culture. Which is not illegal, but it certainly explains the
  > well-deserved and highly emotional Microsoft-bashing one sees out
  > there.
  >      ,_
  >      /_)              /| /
  >     /   i e t e r    / |/ a g e l