RE: Bill Gates mentions Linux

Dan Kohn (
Tue, 10 Mar 1998 19:13:32 -0800

Your information and argument are incorrect.

Microsoft's file change strategy, especially their Office 97 file
changes, has been crazy and annoying. But they do the file changes only
when needed to support new functionality. (Note that file formats
didn't change with Office 95, which included almost no new features
other than 32-bit compatibility.) And, they always come out with
converters to let old versions read new files.

111> If you're using Word 5.1 or 6.0 for the Macintosh and need to work
with documents created in Word 97, download and install this new free
converter. With it, you can easily share your works with Windows users.
Other converters are at

- dan

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Seth Golub
> Sent: Tuesday, March 10, 1998 3:37 PM
> To: Dan Kohn
> Cc: Fork
> Subject: Re: Bill Gates mentions Linux
> Bill Gates writes:
> > In other words, Microsoft gets no revenue except for innovation that
> > goes so far beyond what they already have that it's worth the
> > trouble to switch.
> That's a good story. I bet a lot of people swallow that.
> But most people I know who upgrade MS Word do so because they can no
> longer read the files given to them by people who use the latest
> version. As long as there are people setting up new systems, there
> will be a market for whatever version MS chooses to sell.
> They can play that game as long as don't piss off their customers too
> much (compared to the value of the software). I wouldn't call planned
> incompatibility criminal, but neither would I call it innovation.
> People just shouldn't expect the data sharing features of their
> software to function longer than a year or two.
> It's good to see him mention Linux though.