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MS and help files

  This was an interesting note, posted to a discussion on
  intellectualcapital.com, which concerns Microsoft's integration of MSIE
  and help files.  
  11/25/97 Steven Jong SteveFJong@AOL.com
  Here's another example of Microsoft forcing IE down the throats of the
  desktop community. Until now, the universal means of providing online
  help for Windows applications has been the Windows Help display engine,
  because it's included with Windows 3.1/95/NT and because it's free.
  Microsoft does not document or support its Help compiler, but a whole
  industry has arisen to create tools for creating help source files
  for that compiler. Now, Microsoft has announced that its new model for
  displaying help is HTML-based. Further, it's moving to an HTML help
  display engine, and dropping the Help display engine. But it gets
  better--the HTML isn't vanilla HTML, but HTML extended for use
  with (you guessed it!) Internet Explorer. The effects are (1)
  third-party help tools have to be redone; (2) third-party applications
  developers are coerced into providing HTML help; (3) if they do, they're
  coerced into providing Internet Explorer as the display engine. I think
  is as blatant an example of illegally tying a Microsoft application to
  Windows as any I've read about.
  James Packard Love
  Consumer Project on Technology
  P.O. Box 19367 | Washington, DC 20036 
  voice 202.387.8030  | fax 202.234.5176 
  love@cptech.org | http://www.cptech.org