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Positive Energy

Friday, February 3, 1995 by Dave Winer.

Negative Energy Permalink to Negative Energy

Is it just me or does there seem to be a lot of negative energy at and around Apple Computer these days?

Voyager files a lawsuit saying that they're being censored by Apple. It hits a nerve in the press. [The problem is with the press, they always bought Sculley's hype. They should have been more skeptical. Apple never was that hip, even when Steve was the frontman. If they looked more carefully, they might have noticed sooner. Apple is a company, not a second coming.]

Then Apple sues Microsoft and Intel over video software. Mac developers got an email from Dave Nagel a few days ago. I guess I understand why they had to do this, but it still makes my heart beat fast thinking -- what if I had to worry about this? Brrrrr. [Only developers who make video software for Windows need-be concerned, the email seemed to say.]

Microsoft throws negative energy at Apple, and Apple throws more back.

Analysts say this is Apple's answer to Windows 95.

It's getting nasty out there!

Makes me want to stay inside.

Positive Energy Permalink to Positive Energy

That isn't Apple's answer to Windows 95.

Here's Apple's answer. [Not the official one, that can only come from Apple. Technically speaking, this is a developer speaking. It's what I imagine Apple would say if someone asked "What about Windows 95?"]

Plug and Play is nice, but we've had that for years.

Long filenames are nice, but we've had that for years.

We still have ubiquituous standard networking.

The "we've had that for years" argument is more persuasive than it may seem at first. In networking, for example, it means that every Mac can be networked with every other Mac. In practice, this makes the machine more useful for normal people who don't like dip switches, or even opening up their computers. Artists can set up Mac networks. Only rocket scientists can set up Windows networks.

The long file name thing is interesting because while Windows users are about to get them, none of them know how to use them! Speaking from my own experience, I noticed just recently, for the first time in over 11 years of Mac use, I'm just starting to hit the 31-character limit. Most of my file names are between 15 and 25 characters. You can't reprogram all those minds in one shot. And what about all the 8.3 files already out there? 70 million users, with (conservatively) 100 files per user. That's 7 billion files with 8 character file names. It could take a while to convert all those files.

Maybe Windows has arrived at parity with the Mac system from a feature standpoint. We won't know until Win 95 ships. But the user base has years to go before absorbing the new features.

Moral of the story (repeating something I've mentioned before): The investment of the users totally swamps the investment of the platform vendor. Microsoft caught up, maybe, but the race is really being run by the users. Mac users are much more powerful, and will remain so for quite some time.

Dave Winer

PS: It seems that there is No Deal between No Hands and Netscape. Did they fall out of the tree? What was Coursey talking about? Strange! And Netscape sure is doing a lot of deals these days!

PPS: It seems like there are five new web browsers announced every week. Guess what? They're all differentiating on "features." Every font maker has their own browser. Every DTP vendor gets a browser. Hmmm. Is HTML in trouble?

PPPS: As always, if you aren't interested in this kind of stuff, send me email and I'll happily delete your name from the list. And it's OK to forward it or repost it anywhere you like. The list is expanding -- I'm always happy to add new names.

© Copyright 1994-2004 Dave Winer. Last update: 2/5/07; 10:50:05 AM Pacific. "There's no time like now."