Re: Common carriers, not actually afflicted.

Jeff Bone (
Tue, 19 May 1998 14:14:16 -0500

re: Prozac

> Jeff - you've been warned.

Okay, *reset.* I have *no* idea what button I pushed, but Joe, Ron, and
Tom most esp., that's just my sense of humor, sorry, *absolutely* no
offense intended. I mock *everything,* most especially myself.

re: defining the OS... Ron sez:

> I agree and disagree with bits & pieces of what Jeff's written
> over the last few days, but I pretty certainly disagree with the
> above. Both in specifics and in intent (tactics & strategy).

Look, here's the problem. The goal here is to permit 3rd-party
application vendors to compete on an even playing field with Microsoft's
app people. After the last round of anti-MS stuff when MS got slapped
on the wrist, they went full-bore at Netscape and started claiming that
a browser was an essential OS utility, not an app.

How do you prevent MS from eventually claiming that every single
interesting piece of functionality is not app-world, but OS-world? If
they are allowed to define the term however they see fit, then where
will the room be for 3rd parties? I shudder at the idea of the gov't
trying to mandate some definition of OS. OTOH, I find it hard to think
of any other solution that adequately limits MS's ability to arbitrarily
draw the OS / application line to suit their anticompetitive needs.

I'm *not* against building tight web integration into the fundamental OS
services. Libraries, fine, etc. I'm not opposed to having a browser
user interface *bundled* in the box, either. But that should be the
OEM's decision as to which browser to bundle --- NOT Microsoft's.

> If MS is actually trying to build what we actually want in a
technology future

Explain to me what we want. I would understand a web-integrated
distributed filesystem, and so on, but WTF does that have to do with the
browser? It's clear to me there there is some very heavy long-term
strategic / architectural think going on at MS, evident in their
standards participation... but kids, that has nothing at all to do with
the browser being in the box. The latter is a tactic *solely* to erode
Netscape's marketshare and prevent Netscape from going out and building
direct relationships with all of MS's OEMs.

Here's what I want: I want a networked window system. I want a
web-integrated globally distributed filesystem. I want transparent
remote execution and distributed computation. I want a single,
consistent namespace with powerful operations on them and simple
semantics. I want mobile code. I want process migration. I want a
user-selectable user environment, from shell to windowing stuff. To me,
putting the browser UI in the OS box accomplishes none of those things,
doesn't even put us on the road to those things. Active Desktop?
HTML-ized Explorer windows. C'mon. This is BillyBoy's innovation he's
pleading for so passionately? Whatever.