Re: Platform of choice

Subject: Re: Platform of choice
From: Matt Ion <soundy -at- NEXTLEVEL -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 12 Feb 1997 17:40:52 -0800

On Tue, 11 Feb 1997 13:23:44 -0600, Wing, Michael J wrote:

>>I'm not particularly dogmatic about it - my home box uses Win95. But
>>EVERY "groundbreaking" feature in Windows was implemented first in
>>either NeXTStep, OS/2 or MacOS. ActiveX? Gimme a break, they
>>piggybacked on work that Sun's been doing for most of the decade!
>Yet for some unfathomable reason neither NeXtStep, nor OS/2, nor MacOS
>has had nearly the success, market share, or acceptance that Windows has
>had (and still has). This despite their HUGE head start. Please

Would you like to see the figures for the Windows 95 advertising
budget? Remember the giant Windows 95 banner hanging from the CN
Tower? The entire run of a major London paper "sponsored by"
Microsoft? The fact that you couldn't look at the front page of any
major paper in the Western world on August 24th without seeing pictures
of people lining up to buy a dozen copies of Windows 95 at midnight?
(Funny how they never ran pictures of some 60% of those being returned
to the stores).

>If Sun's been doing it for years, shouldn't they be dictating
>the 'de facto' OS standard?

Problem is, for four years it was almost impossible to buy a PC without
DOS and Windows 3.x preloaded. Rather than charge hardware vendors on
a per-installation basis for their operating systems, like everyone
else did, Microsoft suckered most of them into a deal by which they got
all the DOS/Windows licenses free as long as they paid MS a cut of
every CPU they sent out the door. Suddenly it became very attractive
to bundle DOS/Windows for free, rather than ship a computer with some
other OS, pay the license fee for that, AND pay the slice to MS. (BTW,
in case you weren't paying attention, this deal was ruled
"anti-competitive" and struck down by the US Department of Justice and
the Supreme Court shortly before Windows 95 hit the shelves).

When you turn on your PC and an operating system pops up, whether you
asked for it or not, and you don't know enough about computers to
change it... then that operating system becomes the 'de facto'
standard, regardless of how mediocre it is or how many more advanced
systems are available.

>Pioneering a technology is one thing. Developing it and bringing it
>successfully to market is another.

Advertising it is another matter altogether.

>It looks like developing and controlling the market in operating
>systems were IBM's, Sun's, Apple's, and Next's to lose. They did!

They developed and brought to market most of the advances you see in
Win95 today, but did it years ago. Only problem was, they didn't spend
huge bucks advertising it to the masses, and the mass media (PC
Magazine and kin) were completely fixated on Windows... such that
advanced features like object-oriented shells would get little mentions
in "news bytes" columns, then be drowned out by big splashy ads for yet
another Windows virus scanner.

Your friend and mine,
<insert standard disclaimer here>

Master of puppets, I'm pulling your strings
Twisting your mind and smashing your dreams
Blinded by me, you can't see a thing
Just call my name 'cause I'll hear you scream...
-Metallica, "Master of Puppets"

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