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DaveNet 1997: Microsoft

The Borg is a mythical civilization on Star Trek. They assimilate other civilizations! A collection of assimilated civilizations. We assume they're not nice people, but the Hugh episode showed that even the Borg can be individuals and good friends if we're open to the possibility. 1/10/97

Steve [Capps] works at Microsoft now. He says there are no user interface standards for websites. He's right! Every site is a new learning experience. Designers and reviewers are too focused on glitz -- single-visit prettiness that doesn't serve the frequent user well. 1/23/97

Standards bodies and the narrow competition between Netscape and Microsoft make progress happen very very slowly. If neither company is willing to open their browser, then neither company has to. How quickly the web world has become just like the old software world. Slow slow slow say the browser guys. 1/31/97

The two browser companies have their hands full trying to blow each other out of the water. 2/3/97

There are a ton of compelling applications for an open browser. I find myself scanning the net now for other browsers. Waiting and waiting. I'm bored with Microsoft and Netscape. It's time for something more. 2/3/97

They ask if I fear Microsoft. That's not the point. Clearly they fear Microsoft. But I fear them much more. When my fear is the primary thing, I stay way. I hope! 4/3/97

Microsoft is a brick wall. Like so many in the past, Sun has decided to throw itself against the wall as hard as it can, hoping to break it. 4/5/97

I think it's ironic, being a Mac developer, that I'm going to meet up with my potential Unix brothers and sisters on Bill Gates's operating system. 4/10/97

It's kind of nolo contendre watching the spinmasters at Microsoft dismiss Netscape and Sun. Too bad because Netscape could be the poster child for the web generation. Even the young people at Microsoft would dig this. What a missed opportunity. The software is so damned boring! Ohhh. If only... 5/22/97

Microsoft gets it. The web browser is what OpenDoc was trying to be. The key was in getting the apps to wire in without having to rewrite the apps. They did it the lowest-cost way, and delivered it where it counts, in the web browser. 5/25/97

I don't choose to compete with Windows or Word or PowerPoint or MSIE. I took my own advice -- I headed for the hills, a long time ago! Run run run. There goes Dave. 5/25/97

Given the turn of events I can't blame Microsoft for having defended the web as if it were their own. Re-reading the pieces I wrote about Java in April of this year, it's clear that even if Microsoft hadn't invaded, Sun probably would have, on its own, linked the value of its stock to the growth of the net using Java as the vehicle, and used it as a weapon to undermine and defeat Microsoft. 6/11/97

Netscape has gone from being the darling of the web generation to being the servant of the client-server world. We've been there and done that, there's only so much innovation possible there and little in the way of inspiration. 6/11/97

Netscape is only three years old. Their culture developed quickly, they borrowed lots of ideas from previous Silicon Valley phenomena, some successful, others not. They need to be lead as much as we need them to lead. If we all have to do deals with Netscape to win, very few of us will be winners. 6/16/97

What's the killer app of Windows? I think there's a clue. No single app made Windows happen. 6/18/97

If you want to understand why Microsoft sings a different song than Sun re Java, understand that because Sun is selling Java as a broad brand-name, and Windows is the leading broad brand-name, Microsoft is simply defending its position with a flanking move. 6/30/97

If you want to be crazy, Bill can be even crazier! He proved it with pen-based computing, web browsers (where there was substance coinciding with the hype) and he's doing it again with Java. 6/30/97

Drinking the Kool Aid doesn't work anymore. Nichemanship is a good idea, watching for the real opportunity that Microsoft can't exploit. Zig when they have to zag to establish a defensible position. 6/30/97

Kool Aid is a cheap soft drink. Remember The People's Temple and Jim Jones? The people who drank the poisoned Kool Aid and all died. And Ken Kesey and his merry pranksters mixed it with LSD.

It may be possible for new standards to come out of left field, but you have to always be thinking of Bill Gates as you move. Eventually he's going to look at what you're doing and if your strategy undermines his power, they'll build the standard right around you. 7/7/97

It's funny that Microsoft seems to want us to ignore their power, but at the same time, if you're in the technology business, you can't avoid it. 7/7/97

The rest of the industry, in my opinion, isn't victimized by Gates. Those of us outside Microsoft can only win by leveraging off each other's strengths and by taking big tranformational risks. 7/7/97

It's a tricky situation for Netscape and Marimba. The quiet period for Internet standards is long over. Now proposed standards must have a proprietary incubation period. That's why "proprietary" is no longer a dirty word. In a world without Microsoft, it would be. 7/25/97

So, who listens to you the best? Good competitors. They can teach you so much. Being open is being open to competition. It forces us and our software to be better, more creative, more subtle and more aggressive. 7/26/97

Microsoft's $150 million could have been used to capitalize an independent Mac OS development company. 8/9/97

As boys grow older and become men our view of the world changes. We learn that we are not the greatest primate in the jungle, that other people have greatness too. And if our youth was productive, we learn that we have a stake in the bigger picture. We learn to love the jungle, we want it to survive, we develop an appreciation for chaos. 8/12/97

How much money does Bill Gates want and why does he want so much? 10/10/97

If both Gates and McNealy had a true desire to get out of the stalemate, it would be easy to do. With their resources, options, they could clear the way for a great new generation of software. Instead, they've made themselves the issue, and until we learn more, they just aren't that interesting. 10/10/97

Microsoft is here to stay. So a win-win pretty much means they win too. 10/20/97

I urge Microsoft to learn restraint. 10/21/97

Microsoft is making a bet that users want the web experience deeply integrated with all aspects of their computer use. Maybe they're wrong? 10/22/97

Netscape hasn't exhausted all their options. The trust-busting approach should be a last resort. 10/22/97

Microsoft isn't revealing a contradiction, they're clarifying. We're seeing their power more clearly because the licenses and contracts and depositions are becoming public. The history we're seeing goes back quite a few years. The power was always there, it's just being exposed now, and it's stunning. 10/23/97

Netscape had options. It was clear two years ago that Microsoft was going to deeply integrate HTML in the OS. You have to think like your competitor to be successful in a software world containing Microsoft. That's good! There was a way to zig to their zag. A win-win could have happened. You can't stand by while your competitor moves forward, you have to move too. 10/28/97

Silicon Valley has gotten a reputation for being anti-Microsoft. That doesn't serve our interests. To win, we must be good at diversity. We can't make it work without respecting Microsoft. And it can't work until we respect each other. 10/30/97

I've become a full-time Windows user. 11/3/97

We'll work with anyone who's doing excellent stuff and is willing to invest alongside us in compatibility and moving each other forward. In other words, I don't mind empowering Microsoft if they're willing to empower me. 11/25/97

Earlier today we released the first public alpha of Frontier 5 for Windows 95 and Windows NT. 12/6/97

Developers have to be smart. We have to look at what's being offered and have the guts to say no. Success requires enormous creativity! There's no forgiveness in business. If you make a stupid decision, you always pay for it. Microsoft could learn to trust this. 12/17/97

It's time for Microsoft to navigate. I just had to do it. Everyone does it. Life forces change. Bill Gates is more than a competitor now. What's his vision for us? What's his vision for his company and for himself? 12/17/97

Some people would like a kinder, more generous Microsoft; one that embraces the big picture without trying to own it, without trying to be it. It's time for Microsoft to make a choice -- to lead, to become a great company; or continue to struggle and put off the growth. 12/22/97

© Copyright 1997 Dave Winer. This page was created on 12/28/97; 7:53:24 AM and last built on 8/22/99; 10:44:56 PM. Mailto: