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Permanent link to archive for Thursday, June 15, 2000. Thursday, June 15, 2000

What should Microsoft do?

MSNBC: Microsoft seeks swift appeals ruling. "Unless those conditions are put on hold, Microsoft said, it immediately must begin to prepare for a court-ordered 'nightmare scenario' that would gut its product pipeline, disrupt routine business and compromise trade secrets."

Wired: Reno says beware of technology. "At the event, the institute honored Assistant Attorney General Joel Klein with its first annual 'Level Playing Field Award' for his work on antitrust cases over the past five years, including his ongoing pursuit of Microsoft."

I had a long talk this morning with Brent Schlender, an editor at Fortune, and a longtime friend. He spent eight days at Microsoft this month seeing the NGWS software from lots of different angles. The picture he paints of Microsoft is consistent with the one I see. They are shaken by the Jackson judgment. It's not business as usual at Microsoft.

Reno and Klein gloating over their victory makes me feel sick. We should have been able to solve this problem ourselves. I believe, having read yet another interview with Jackson (in Newsweek) that there's still time to settle.

I wrote a too-long piece last week detailing a resolution that I felt Microsoft and the plaintiffs should be able to accept. I'm going to put some time this evening into editing it down, I'll make it much shorter, and leave out the motivations and appeals to Bill Gates's charity. I strongly believe there's a way to resolve the dispute, leaving Microsoft strong, and leaving the rest of the industry with a lot of new opportunity.

I believe in the NGWS vision, insofar as it's open to all players and as long as users have choice. HTML browsers are here to stay, as are HTTP servers. Desktop computers will play an increasing role in the Internet, if desktop software that's Internet-aware and easy to use comes into existence. I had a strong feeling as we launched the SOAP project over two years ago that we would reach this point, where Microsoft needed a new strategic direction to take after being penalized for screwing around with the market. Listening to Schlender this morning gave me goosebumps. It's shaking out that way.

I do not want to see Microsoft destroyed.

But they're going to have to give up something that matters to them to keep that from happening.

What should Napster do?

WSJ: Napster says sharing is legal. "Mr. Barry’s comments mark a new public-relations effort on the part of the embattled Napster, but are not likely to gain much acceptance among legal experts, most of whom say that sharing unauthorized copies of music files, as happens routinely on Napster, is a cut-and-dried violation of copyright laws."

I imagine Napster is walking a pretty interesting line. If I were them, I'd want Metallica off the net asap. Same with any artist that's deeply in bed with the music companies. But to keep users on their side, they probably have to wait until they're forced to do it. I sure hope they don't sell out to the music companies as MP3.Com did.


Bob Bierman wants to compile WINE.

Scott Sweeney wanted a base64 decoder in a web page, so David Carter-Tod did one.

I wanted a new preference for UserLand.Com, so I implemented it.

Dave Luebbert

Dave Luebbert introduces himself.

Now permit me to introduce him. Dave was at the dinner on Tuesday, we spent a lot of time talking, and some amount of time reminiscing about the work we did together when he was leading the Mac Word team at Microsoft. I like Dave a lot, but I didn't recognize him at first. I thought he was Jeff Raikes. Dave being Dave, he had a story to go with that. He said that Raikes was from Nebraska, and it turns out, so is Dave.

Here's an out of focus picture of Dave.

Nice guy!

Pre-coffee notes

Thankfully it's in the 60s this morning! It's actually chilly. When I got into my car at the airport yesterday the temperature was 109. "No problem, once I get going that will go down." It didn't. The only relief was going into the shade. Where it was 104.

The Courtney Love speech was incredible. If I ever do a conference I want her as a speaker. She knows music, but her story is the same one that all creative people tell. It's another version the Cluetrain. Just as customers are not eyeballs, artists aren't content developers. I totally support the idea of the artists taking control of the medium and eliminating the middlemen. Distribution is not a problem anymore.

We have the same problem in Silicon Valley. The people who run the show aren't really into what we do. You can waste a lot of effort trying to get them interested. Or, perhaps the Internet allows us to combine media, and route around the middlemen. It could happen!

And congrats to Salon for running the Courtney Love speech. How did they find it? What's the story behind the story? (Lawrence Lee has some clues.)

One more pre-coffee note. The baby eagle story, while it appears to be children's story, is not. Do not read it to a child. It's not a bed-time story for kids. It'll freak them out, rightly so. Children need their parents, they're not ready to fly on their own, that's what it means to be a kid. It's actually a story for the kid inside every adult. A reminder that freedom is giving up. I really wrote it for Bill Gates, but I strongly doubt if he would get it, yet. Eventually we all get it, because as comfortable as the nest is, we have to give it up. That's one of the lessons of life. "You can't take it with you" or "It's not like anyone gets out of this alive." Now it's time for some coffee!


Last update: Thursday, June 15, 2000 at 5:17 PM Eastern.

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