MS VP Ludwig supports W3C, slams Netscape

Rohit Khare (
Fri, 20 Dec 1996 05:29:37 -0500

Ludwig: Marc loves to cast this as a titanic struggle between good and
evil. In fact it is classic business competition between two strong
competitors. There is nothing more "open" about Netscape's approach to the
market than any other approach--and in fact in many ways Netscape is more
closed in its current business approach. Consider architectural
frameworks--ActiveX vs. Netscape One. We are ceding control of ActiveX on
October 1 to an open industry group; we think that multiple vendor
involvement and ownership is a great thing for acceptance and growth. Is
Netscape doing this with Netscape One? How do other vendors participate in
Netscape One's success?

>> Very gracious of him to ask to participate in ONE's success :-)

Or consider cross-platform. Netscape delivers Navigator 3 on all platforms,
yet the Mac and Win 3.1 clients lag far behind the Win 95 and NT versions
in features--Java, Cooltalk, Live3d, plug-ins, etc. are all far behind on
the other platforms. Microsoft also has better Win 95 and NT versions than
we have Win 3.1 and Mac versions today. What is the real difference?

>> About a dozen other UNIXes, for what it's worth.

Or again consider HTML support--Microsoft is inarguably moving faster to
support W3C innovations in HTML, while Netscape has spent its time rolling
out proprietary extensions like Multicol and Spacer. Again, which vendor is
more open?

>> <HAT TYPE=W3C>No Comment</HAT>

Or consider script languages--we make specs and source freely available for
both our VBScript implementation and our Javascript-compatible JScript
language. Netscape has promised Javascript source and specs for a long
time, but has it delivered yet?

>> The ECMA Script boondoggle is going to be a lot of fun; NS and MS have
BOTH promised to make proprietary extensions already.

The debate is not about formats. It is not about perceived openness. The
competition is really about creating the best tools for end users.