Byte and the Merc
Wednesday, June 9, 1999 by Dave Winer.
Lots of mail from yesterday's piece about Microsoft Office 2000.
I also met with usability pundit Jakob Nielsen to demo our new software, and to schmooze about the web, the industry and where all this stuff is going. I like Jakob. We have rapport. I suggested we do a radio show together. What do you think?
Jakob said many interesting and provocative things. Like this one. "If you're an Internet user you have to have Office."
"Why?" I asked. "You have to have Office because you'll get Word documents or Excel spreadsheets or PowerPoint presentations as email enclosures, and how will you read them if you don't have the apps that created them?" he asked.
I knew that! So, far from a last gasp it seems like these apps are here to stay. Maybe the web is smaller than Microsoft? Maybe it is, and I don't like it. I want the web and the world to be much much larger.
So, in the spirit of Linus, "I don't care, we'll just keep making our software better."
On Monday, our XML-RPC distributed computing protocol got a major writeup at Byte.Com.
And on Tuesday, our new Manila product, which we've been briefing analysts on, got a writeup in Dan Gillmor's San Jose Mercury-News column.
Both pieces are love-fests! Written by smart guys who Get It. If you want an independent appraisal of what we're doing, I couldn't think of two articles I'd rather have you read.
PS: I took Jakob over to Buck's to meet Jamis. We took pictures, they should be on the web at BucksWoodside.Com, later today. And it turns out that his consultancy with Don Norman was started at Buck's! I didn't know that..
PPS: Of course I've been getting requests for betas of Manila. At this point we're still in the private demos only stage of this offering. It will not be like other UserLand releases over the last few years. For now, there is no public information about this product, other than what you read on the web that people we've briefed have written. It's a loopback to an old way of doing things. Get feedback and gain a consensus, and then roll out the product. In other words, aim before you shoot. It's more meaningful this way.