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Re: [DotGNU]Sun likely to join Web services group

From: Bill Lance
Subject: Re: [DotGNU]Sun likely to join Web services group
Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2002 08:33:34 -0800 (PST)

--- Norbert Bollow <address@hidden> wrote:
> >
> > I think all this implies a good probability that
> the
> > corporate players will be forced into open
> standards
> > on webservices.
> My impression is that what Microsoft really wants is
> open
> standards for most things (because otherwise the
> interoperability problems that "webservices" promise
> to solve
> are not solved) BUT for the key area of
> _authentication_ (and
> possibly other aspects of "security") they will try
> to sneak in
> a closed protocol that relies on some patented
> algorithm.

Indeed they do.  And so do SUN and AOL have the same
idea.  But that's the point. All of these players are
trying to do the same thing, and it's a zero sum game.
 They also are roughly equal weighted.  MS's existing
OS base doesn't help them directly here.  In fact, it
hinders them, since they have to replace all of the
existing OS base to get XP into the monopoly position
in order for their plan to work.  And that is going to
be very difficult.  One thing, between hardware
upgrades that XP requires and MS's copy protection and
licensing practices, the amount of money that such a
conversion would cost the IT user base is mind
boggeling.  The other thing is, this time, people are

I am convinced that the main reason the MS got their
monopoly in the first place was a the unique
combination of of sudden opportunity, and an act of
corporate board room treachery.  The development of
the low cost microcomputers, and a few productivity
applications, the spreadsheet and the word processor,
created an explosive new market. No one cared about
the OS.  It just needed to be there to run the apps.
There was AppleDOS, TRSDOS, and CP/M.  When IBM
entered the market with the PC, they also needed a OS.
 But at the time, they had a problem.  THEY were the
monopoloist then, and under tremendous pressure to
unbundle software and hardware.  

An IBM board member proposed that they farmout the PC
OS, and by golly, they had just the ideal source to
turn that nasty job of the OS over to.  That source
was a young new company in Washington called
Microsoft.  They were granted a solesource contract to
supply the OS for all of IBM's PC computers.  By the
way, that IBM board members was Bill Gates' mother. (a
little know historical fact)

People were not watching then.  No one thought that
the OS mattered.  The PC market came like a hugh
serfer wave, and few people were in the water waaiting
for it. MS had the first advantage with the IBM deal. 
Then they started lobbing gernades into the water at
the few other people there, primarilay DrDOS.  The
rest is history.

But people ARE watching now, and watching very
closely. And there are other gorillas out there this
time, equally mean and nasty. ( perhaps not quite as
criminally ruthless, but still quite nasty.)

I don't think that a monopoly will be possible this
time.  At least, I sure as hell hope not.

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