[kwlug-disc] Is MS humbling down?

john at netdirect.ca john at netdirect.ca
Fri Aug 14 11:46:46 EDT 2009

kwlug-disc-bounces at kwlug.org wrote on 08/14/2009 12:33:25 AM:
> From: unsolicited <unsolicited at swiz.ca>
> I don't remember for sure. I believe you are right. Mmmm. Maybe not. I 
> was going to say I remember 123 being used on an Apple II(c? e?), but 
> it might have been Visicalc. I remember using CP/M, but I don't recall 
> seeing WP, with any certainty, on anything other than DOS.

Wikipedia to the rescue! I'm wrong 123 started on DOS in x86 assembler 
language. That pretty much ties it to the IBM systems. It actually came 
out after MS Multiplan. It was visicalc I was thinking of.

Word Perfect was originally programmed for mini-compters and later ported 
to multiple platforms including MS-DOS.

Microsoft really made headway with Word and Excel when they created 
Windows versions of those products. I'm sure their familiarity with the 
APIs gave them distinct advantage over Lotus and WordPerfect Corp who 
seemed to take years to produce a Windows version. They may have been 
waiting for the GUI competition to decide on a winner.

> And don't forget that pc makers have been kicking up a storm about 
> exclusive MS OEM restrictions. Can't offer Linux, etc.

I think their beef is really the Microsoft tax, it was too high when PC 
prices were shrinking so much that this tax became a big factor. The Linux 
beef was grassroots. 
> (Apple didn't help itself either - shutting down hardware alternatives 
> for their OS.)

Choice of hardware was a big thing back in the early days of MS and Apple, 
but it was centred around midrange systems. Unix was supposed to give 
people options. I think people have forgotten about hardware lock-in now 
and don't have a problem with Apple's proprietary hardware. I know I don't 
have a problem, but that's only because we have PCs providing the 
necessary competition and Linux that can run on anything.
> I did mean Linux the defacto desktop standard, in my lifetime. Not 
> eternity. (-:

I would prefer to see standards based not on desktops, but on the 
application or data layer. Why can't one choose between Windows, Linux, 
BSD, and Mac OS and get all the common functionality they want? The 
standards can be formats, like HTML, or APIs like Java. With enough robust 
standards users are free to choose different programs or choose to run 
their programs on a variety of operating systems.

John Van Ostrand
Net Direct Inc.
564 Weber St. N. Unit 12
Waterloo, ON N2L 5C6
john at netdirect.ca
Ph: 866-883-1172
Linux Solutions / IBM Hardware
Fx: 519-883-8533
> Fair enough, but my impression has been that Linux has / had such a 
> plethora of mutually equivalent API's that companies like game makers 
> can't come up with a 'single' code base to cover across a sufficiently 
> large number of home machines to make the investment make money.
> To points you've made in the past, imagine what would happen if all 
> governments mandated FOSS, especially in schools. Students coming out 
> of schools would think Kontact / Evolution / Open Office is the norm, 
> not MS Office. In ~20 years ...
> >  >Perhaps an example to look at for "Where goeth MS?" is Palm?
> > 
> > Thanks for reminding me. Palm was the 400kg gorilla  of the handheld 
> > market. They it bottom and still didn't change much. They should be 
> > competing in the smart phone or netbook market.
> They are in the smart phone market (Treo's), but real innovation has 
> been stalled for too many years, and eventually the Blackberry, 
> iPhone, and soon Android, have come along.
> Part of Palm's problem was a realization by the buying public that 
> carrying both a PDA and a cell made no sense, and stopped buying. 
> Along came the others and not carrying both a PDA and a cell became 
> viable. Had they been successful with a smartphone earlier, the 
> landscape might look a little different today.
> >  >They certainly have the examples of the GM execs to follow.
> >  >
> >  >I do wonder ... particularly for the execs - who was smarter, GM or 
> >  >Ford? For is still viable, but GM execs got big bucks, and got the 
> >  >government to bail them out.
> > 
> > Good example of short-term thinking in business owners. I think more 
> > afoot there though. I still don't know why the simple almost cost-free 

> > options like cup holders took so long to appear in North American 
> To your point, insufficient market pressure. They could continue to 
> make SUVs, not have to redesign and retool, and still make oodles of 
> money. They did not have to change anything. This was true for decades 
> before the bailout.
> I do wonder, given this thread, whether MS and GM are more similar 
> than I thought.
> >  >If an earlier thread on service
> >  >contracts 
> > was correct, and big companies always get them, if government stopped
> >  >getting MS service contracts (which presumably they get) - would 
> >  >>instantly kill MS? So is continuing to get contracts the equivalent
> >  >to a GM bailout?
> > 
> > I think that would be a marketing problem. Most of MS revenue (like 
> > companies) comes from small business.  Loss of those contracts would 
> > grow competitors and give credence to alternatives. Other business 
> > follow. It would be a slow death.
> > 
> >  >If this were true, and MS Office a factor, Mac Office development 
> >  >would have kept up. i.e. You seem to suggest an MS without Windows 
> >  >viable, or comprehensible. vs. say 'breaking up the company.'
> > 
> > If it happens naturally it will wither and die slowly and MS would 
> > continue to fight for market share losing money along the way. The 
> > break-up idea is the best for investors and the company in the long 
> > Imagine a three company split: Windows, Applications, and Servers, let 

> > XBox, hardware, search etc. fall someone in the mess or be shed. If an 

> > exec was compensated on Office sales but not bound to keep it on 
> > Windows. Mac Office would be better and eventually we'd see a 
> > version. And what would a Windows exec do if he couldn't count on 
> > Directory support. Would we see standard LDAP authentication, NIS, 
> Interesting. Very interesting.
> > Those three divisions of software previously were intentionally 
> > interwoven and I think they were also intentionally designed to 
> > better integration with other technologies (try using IMAP with 
> > or the constant struggle in having Windows authenticate with Netware.
> But, given what you've said, why not make Netware authentication more 
> seamless? If you're not going to seriously hurt a marginal server 
> market and you can keep your desktop users longer.
> It does seem that what you said is true - unless the board mandated 
> better inter-operation, slow death.
> Interesting message. Thank you.

John Van Ostrand
Net Direct Inc.
564 Weber St. N. Unit 12
Waterloo, ON N2L 5C6
john at netdirect.ca
Ph: 866-883-1172
Linux Solutions / IBM Hardware
Fx: 519-883-8533

More information about the kwlug-disc mailing list