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RE: Microsoft And Windows 98

  On Thu, 18 Dec 1997, Etchison, Michael wrote:
  > 	The IE option appears to be, not central to, but tightly tied with, a 
  > number of normally-used activities in Office97 products.  All of them 
  > could in theory, I suppose, be accomplished without that option, but it 
  > appears to me to be useful, and efficient in several ways.  
  The reason IE is tied to Windows functions is that MS spent many hours
  and many dollars writing the software to do exactly that.  IE is in no
  way necessary or even ideal as a menu system.  There are a number of
  better system management interfaces and have been as far back as 1991.
  Sun's Admintool, IBM's SMIT, and HP's SAM are just 3.  None of them use
  the HTML protocol today though some features are being recoded to do
  so.  I'm sure none of these 3 companies however, would write an HTML
  system management interface that only worked with their own HTML
  > 	But why?  IE appears to be "tied" to the current crop of apps (and 
  > apparently even more tightly tied to Win98 and its apps) not just in the 
  > antitrust sense to which DOJ/FTC objected, but also in a functional 
  > sense.  Breaking that tie would seem to be inefficient from both MS's and 
  > the user's point of view.  
  The dependency is designed-in for monopoly building purposes only and
  not related to any functional requirement.
  As a company with 10 years of system and network integration experience
  it never ceases to amaze us how much people will put up with in the MS
  Windows environment: the incompatibilities, DLL shortcomings,
  installation and de-installation headaches, poor networkability, and
  the lack of remote management capabilities being but a few.  The
  reason, of course, is that they have no choice.  They have no choice
  because MS designed the software that way.  From the hundreds of
  undocumented hooks that MS exploits to the disadvantage of 3rd part
  developers (the bane of Netmanage, GO, and others) to the lack of
  cross-platform APIs.  Microsoft's bully development pulpit has stifled
  software development in many areas.  
  Only 2 things can change this sad state of affairs, 1) the Justice
  Department's long overdue breakup of MS into separate businesses, or 2)
  the advent of "thin" clients such as the java-station, which do not tie
  consumers into such utterly unethical monopolies.
  Roger Marquis