Re: POL: Reaction to Microsoft Ruling

From: Ross A. Finlayson (
Date: Thu Apr 06 2000 - 17:07:49 MDT

Billy Brown wrote:

> David Blenkinsop wrote:
> > Unfortunately for MS, they seem to have been quite unable to be
> > straightforward or forthright about their reasons for managing at least
> > one key issue the way that they have. Specifically, as an actual user of
> > Win98, I can confidently report that it was totally unnecessary for them
> > to insist that a Microsoft web browser be packaged with every copy of
> > Windows98 -- in other words, there was no *technical* necessity for then
> > to market things that way.
> <snip>
> > Maybe this is picky, but I would feel better about MS if they had said
> > all along that including the browser was strictly a case of marketing or
> > packaging, it being their commercial right not to offer anything less
> > than a package deal if they don't want to?
> I believe what they actually said was that it is a competitive necessity for
> any modern OS to come with a bundled web browser. Since I can't think of a
> modern OS that doesn't come with someone's browser, I think this is a
> reasonable claim.
> > As far as saying that Windows won't run without MS Internet Explorer,
> well,
> > if MS does things in a way that unnecessarily restricts its customers,
> > that counts for more than all the complaints of a thousand competing
> > companies, it seems to me.
> Well, this is a good example of the MS approach to system optimization.
> What happened was once they decided they needed to include the a browser
> with every copy of the OS, they started thinking about how to do that
> without generating more complaints about code bloat. So, they basically
> went through the IE feature list, found everything that duplicated
> functionality they wanted to be part of the OS, and started integrating the
> duplicated features.
> The fact that this lets them claim IE is an essential part of the OS was
> probably a factor in their decision, but it makes good technical sense too.
> Why implement multiple systems for things like screen rendering, hyperlink
> navigation, and XML support if you don't have to?
> So, what they have now is a software library that implements almost all of
> the IE functionality, and is also used by Windows wherever it presents a
> similar feature. The IE program itself is just a thin wrapper around this
> functionality. You can remove IE, but you can't get rid of the COM
> components that implement most of its features without breaking the system.
> OTOH, you can also use those components from your own programs, which is a
> nice benefit for ISVs and other sophisticated users of the OS.
> > at some point the presumption of customers' intelligence and freedom to
> choose
> > ought to be placed foremost, don't you think?
> I've never understood why people think this is an issue. You are perfectly
> free to use any browser you want. You can get rid of the IE icon and menu
> item if you want to, and since browsers are free there isn't even a cost
> issue involved. So, how is the fact that MS decided to build an HTML engine
> into their OS hurting anyone other than Netscape?
> Billy Brown

Well, there is Opera, HotJava, any of a variety of web browser manufacturers on
Win32. By the same token, before Windows had TCP/IP stack, there was Trumpet
Winsock. Does the fact that MS decided to build office application support into
the OS hurt anyone other than Lotus, Novell, Corel, etc?

Removing the Internet Explorer "E" icon is not feasible. It is scary for
neophyte users.

As aWindows user, what I want is the ability to add and remove all components of
the operating system and rebuild the kernel fine-tuned to my specifications.
Also, as I am paranoid, I want to verify system security which is not feasible

I want an interface to the registry like "regedit" that has simple features to
collate all of the myriad keys spread throughout the system for a variety of
components and to be able to remove those entries from the active registry into
a holding area to test for breaking something that is actually used, and to
delete these entries when it is determined they are no longer needed. Along
those lines, there are registry profiles for components, system settings, file
types and associations, MIME types and associations, etcetera. Also, basically,
there should be documentation of each and every registry key available.

Basically, I use an actually limited set of functions of the operating system.
In a typical day's use, I will use five to ten applications, sometimes more, one
or two of them Microsoft applications (mostly a compiler), and generally
throughout the lifetime of this PC less than five hundred different
applications, about ten of them from Microsoft, the large majority of which are
installed by me. I simply don't need or particularly want everything else and
it is taking space on my storage and bad for security.

So, an adage is that using Windows (or Macintosh, in this regard) is like buying
a car with the hood welded shut. This is something where, as a very regular
uesr of my PC, I want the option to change these settings, and to get,
essentially, the service manual, so that I know what to change and why.

So, if Microsoft has better business practices and makes money and gains market
share, good for them. As not part of Microsoft, I don't care about that part.
The issue is that there is the operating system to run the PC and provide what
are generally accepted as "system services", that is, hardware interface,
input/output, GUI, network stack, rudimentary file management, anything above
that is application software, where no matter who says what it is not so
difficult to remove the association.

Well, as a user of this software for which money was indirectly tendered to
Microsoft, I am the customer, and thus always right, and so want the source code
to build my own compiler and kernel, and basic operating system services, and to
be able to then pick and choose what operating system enhancements I find
relevant, and then to pick and choose application software that best fits my own
personal requirements.

When that day comes, then I will be able to verify the system security.

Well, that's my shred of verbiage for today. Good day.

Ross F.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:09:06 MDT