Friday, August 15, 1997 by Dave Winer.
Yesterday Microsoft and Marimba made an announcement that they have been working together to develop and now to promote a new specification for software updating called OSD. It builds on existing Internet standards, in this case a text-based format called XML, which we'll be hearing a lot more about in the future.
This is a loop-close. I asked, in Steve Wozniak and the Garage, 7/25/97, that Marimba open up and show us how they propose to do software updating. They're doing that now.
We'll take a close look at the proposal, and you can too:
We'll see how this can integrate with our format for Fat Web Pages which we published the spec for back in April of this year.
It's important to acknowledge progress. Thank you Marimba for taking the chance on being open.
One obvious interpretation, which I'm sure will get wide play, is that Marimba just gave up their main advantage, the secrecy of the spec they were promoting. Now that Microsoft has co-authorship of the way forward, maybe Marimba will have no say in the future.
I think it's not necessary. Choosing partners creatively now will make the difference for Marimba. I suggest that they look far afield from the usual big names in the software business and look for people with intelligence, passion and drive, who don't work for Microsoft, who can work with them to find new relevance for their product and company.
Win-wins are what's important, not prestige. See Sucking Sideways, 6/16/97, for a perspective on this.
Now maybe we all have a stake in Marimba's success. That's their challenge, to get other powerful people to care if they win.
I'm taking a writing holiday, and won't publish again until 8/25/97.
Before taking off I'll put together a page of pointers for good summer reading and link it into the top of Scripting News.
Have a great week!