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AOL vs. Microsoft in Desktop War?

michael posted more than 13 years ago | from the clash-of-the-titans dept.

America Online 170

loki29 was one of several people to submit this story at Betanews based on a supposedly leaked memo. Even if the memo is fake, the strategies outlined seem quite real and accurate - AOL/Time-Warner most assuredly is worried about Microsoft usurping their role in the "online experience" by presenting Windows XP users with lots of defaults set to "Use .NET".

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Re:Tag Team! (2)

HeUnique (187) | more than 13 years ago | (#242935)

They do, but it's for Internet Appliances like Gateway sold and Intel's one (both of them running Linux)

Re:Tons on AOLinux CDs (1)

drsoran (979) | more than 13 years ago | (#242937)

No, you'd get tons of CD's with AOL for Linux on them. Probably just an RPM at that. They make interesting coasters though but I wish they were more absorbent. Now, if they shipped CDRW discs to the Linux people that'd be useful.

Re:Programming tools vs. sites (2)

sheldon (2322) | more than 13 years ago | (#242938)

"I think most see Java as a server technology at this point. VB always sucked at this. "

Out of curiousity, on what basis do you say this? I have a feeling you've no knowledge of COM, much less VB so how can you intelligently make such a comment?

As far as your little tirade about interoperability, that's what .Net is all about.

Just because you haven't taken the time to learn and understand something, doesn't mean it sucks.

Re:Programming tools vs. sites (2)

sheldon (2322) | more than 13 years ago | (#242939)

Honestly, so far you are one of the few people I've seen posting to /. who actually get it.

I'm by no means an expert on .Net. I've read what I can and attended some of our local .Net user group meetings.

It's really quite cool, and like you say is more than just C#. It's a whole new development paradigm.

As far as tightening up .Net. From the people I've talked to(mostly Developmentor instructors), the .Net framework is pretty tight as it is right now. It's being tweaked with enhanced capabilities prior to release, but there are whole production web sites running off the Betas today.

No, what will be the problem is training developers on how to properly use it. Most Microsoft developers still don't even understand MTS completely and that's been out for 4 years.

From the .Net user group meetings you can see a lot of people actually somewhat terrified that what they know now will just go away.

It's that training, learning... attitude that will be .Net's greatest problem.

Re:Programming tools vs. sites (3)

sheldon (2322) | more than 13 years ago | (#242943)

C# is a language which is part of the .Net framework.

.Net is a development framework which includes CLR and all it's various languages, SOAP, etc.

Hailstorm is Microsofts strategy of subscription based content.

The original poster has a better understand than you do. :(

By continuing to innovate? (1)

kondrag (3980) | more than 13 years ago | (#242944)

By continuing to innovate, Microsoft is effectively phasing out the need for third party applications.

Innovate? I think it should say integrate!

Re:Who says this is lying? (1)

luge (4808) | more than 13 years ago | (#242945)

More or less, but if Hailstorm (which is a huge threat to personal control of information, IMHO) is part of .Net, then my (admittedly poor) logic training suggest that that makes .Net a huge threat to personal control of information. I'm also not entirely sure that your characterization of Hailstorm as "one tiny piece" of .NET is correct. Hailstorm is how MS is going to make their money off of .NET- which means that, as much as they want to downplay it right now, it will become the most important part of .NET in the long term.

Re:Who says this is lying? (2)

luge (4808) | more than 13 years ago | (#242946)

Well, it would collect all your personal information (addresses, credit cards, etc.) in one place so that you could then use that one location to buy or rent things all over the net. So, instead of the current situation, where you have to enter personal information repeatedly at different sites, making it more difficult to track you, one site will know everything about you and your personal preferences. If that one site is hacked (and MS does get hacked) then everything about you is known to the hackers. The current decentralized model of data storage can be a PITA, but at least it obscures and (to a certain extent) protects your personal data.

Re:Programming tools vs. sites (2)

luge (4808) | more than 13 years ago | (#242947)

The thing is that MS intends for those tools to give developers easy ways to connect to and use MS services. So, say, if you build your site with .Net libraries/servers, you could make it such that all people who have registered with MS have the equivalent of Amazon's one click shopping at any site that uses .Net. (I'm just pulling this example out of my ass, but you get the point.)
.Net has been, from day one, about far more than C#- it has been about integrating the entire Web with the desktop (which is a noble goal) and specifically with the MS desktop (not so noble.) So don't limit yourself to thinking "this will help people build web sites, so what does AOL have to worry about." Think ".Net will help people build apps that use the internet but bypass the web (and AOL) completely, and use MS servers and services instead of their own." And that is the kind of thing that AOL is worried about.

Re:Who says this is lying? (2)

luge (4808) | more than 13 years ago | (#242948)

No. If all major websites start using Hailstorm to "make the buying experience easier", MS gets a cut of every purchase. Sales of servers and such is miniscule compared to what that could be, especially when (as the other poster has noted) MS can tie the desktop into Hailstorm.

Cola War (1)

bstadil (7110) | more than 13 years ago | (#242950)

Quote: we look at coke and pepsi ragging on eachother and pulling stunts and it seems normal
FYI, The ragging you are refering to was at one point called "The Cola War". Whole books were written on the subjects. Make a Google search and you will be surprised at retoric used at the time mid 80's if I remember.

Programming tools vs. sites (3)

astrashe (7452) | more than 13 years ago | (#242951)

I don't understand this.

.NET is still a vague concept to me, but one of the main guys behind it said that C# was analagous to Java the language, while .NET was analagous to Java the platform. I took that to mean the JVM and things like the EJB and Servelet standards.

My impression is that .NET is about tools to build and deploy sites. I don't think it's going to be a series of portals and content sites like MSN. I think that MS will use .NET to build new generations of MSN, but that other people can use .NET to build competing services if they want.

Again, I have only a fuzzy picture of .NET, so this could be off base, but I think that MS is trying to rebuild Java with a couple of key differences.

First of all, they're trying to duplicate their VB control model across languages and in a distributed fashion. I believe that .NET controls will be much easier to work with than EJB objects.

Second of all, I think they're going to really go to town with visual RAD tools. They want to make developing Web applications to be much easier.

Third of all, they want to put less of an emphasis on supporting multiple platforms (although I think they will -- at least things like XBox and WinCE, and probably OS X as well), and more of an emphasis on supporting multiple language syntaxes.

I wish an MS guy would post here or email me to clear this up, but I doubt it will happen.

I think the problem they have is that it's going to take years to tighten up .NET. There will inevitably be lots of loose ends after the early releases. And Java is here and reasonably solid now.

But MS is betting that they can manage a platform better than Sun. Java people complain bitterly about Swing vs. MFC, and about seemingly small things like printing support. So there's room for improvement. And presumably .NET will be tweaked for Wintel boxes, and will run much faster than JVM stuff.

I'm intrigued by the scope of .NET. They certainly did a lot of pimping of the word "innovation" during the anti-trust trial, but this seems to be genuinely innovative stuff to me. I'm not saying it will work well or that it will win, but it is a big vision, and it is a gutsy thing to try to roll it out. And I give them credit for it. And yes, I know that it's all about trying to keep their leverage. But it's still interesting technology.

Re:*yawn* (1)

Cid Highwind (9258) | more than 13 years ago | (#242953)

There is an old proverb (Swahili, I think) that says "when elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers". We, the users of the internet are the grass, and we're going to get trampled by both sides as they grapple for total domination of the net. Brace yourself, it's going to get ugly.

(Ob. off-topic Isreal rant)
Terrorism n. The use of force or threats, etc. esp. as a political policy. (Webster's New World Dictionary)

It sounds like it would be hard to be pro-Iseralerrorism, since their domestic policy toward the Palstinians is terrorism. Piss us off and we'll bulldoze some civillian's house? WTF tactical genius came up with that strategy? All Isreal is doing is ensuing that it will have another generation of Palestinian terrorists to justify the existence of their police state.

Turner has finally pulled his head out and realized that our mindless support of Isreal is unjustified. Now colorizing "Casablanca" - that was unforgivable! :)

Re:*yawn* (1)

Cid Highwind (9258) | more than 13 years ago | (#242954)

ugh, that was supposed to be "pro-Isreal and anti-terrorism", but slashdot ate my "&"

Re:*yawn* (1)

um... Lucas (13147) | more than 13 years ago | (#242956)

I think i'm going to revert to AOL... I don't really see much point to not do it. Yes, i've a cable modem, (, but at the rate things have been going with high speed access (DSL companies going belly up left and right, media one just raised thier rates a bit this month) and the fact that there isn't a nationwide strong nationwide ISP aside from AOL makes me think that AOL is probably the safest place to create a permanent email addres... Yes, i've a domain registered, but that's just extra cost in the end.

I haven't yet converted, but i'm not seeing much reason not to... you can run all TCP/IP applications through AOL, just not any servers, etc...

I don't know. It's a consideration i've been toying with. And i think i'd much rather AOL/Time Warner be our "ruler" than Microsoft. At least that then provest that the ruler can be toppled, which means if AOL/TW screws around too much, they too can go by the wayside.

Re:If the memo is fake, then it is NOT NEWS. (1)

um... Lucas (13147) | more than 13 years ago | (#242957)

Every piece of correspondence at the company i work for is conducted via email on the intranet. Employee reviews, communications with vendors and managers, etc... And we're a "small company" (an 80 employee subsidiary of a multibillion dollar company, though left to our own mostly). Email is just more efficient for communicating with fellow employees on important stuff, and a bit more accountable than talking by the coffee pots. I wouldn't see why a larger company wouldn't want to use interoffice email to communicate things like corporate strategy. A paper memo can be leaked just as easily as an emailed memo, afterall...

wait for the war (2)

NMerriam (15122) | more than 13 years ago | (#242960)

I wonder, how long until AOL and Sony get together, and develop the Playstation 2 America Online edition? You can play all your games, get on AOL, maybe it'll even come with a docking station for your Palm pilot. This could be a REAL war -- a company/group that can really stand toe-to-toe with MS in terms of name recognition and brand loyalty.

MS has made a situation where "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" sounds like a viable solution to pretty much every other company on Earth.

How long until Roadrunner installation is free, with a free Playstation 2 (AOL edition), with just the $60/month AOL fee to pay? make it $100/month, and get 20 "free" game/DVD rentals a month from Blockbuster...


Re:Battlegrounds (3)

Surak (18578) | more than 13 years ago | (#242962)

Perhaps the memo is faked and perhaps it isn't. But you have to admit this is a reasonable stance for AOL to take.

If the memo is true to the attitude of AOL/TW, faked or not, it seems like a good opportunity for somebody like Red Hat to step in and talk to AOL about moving things along for a "Linux XP" or something on that order where an AOL-focused Linux distribution is created.

There are tons of users who use their computers only to access America Online. They don't know what the other pretty icons on their computer are for. If you launch something else, like even a spreadsheet program, they will insist that you "hacked" something on their computer. I'm deadly serious, this is no joke.

Those users could be the key to bringing in people to the Linux desktop. Make it easy for those users and they will flock...and this will seriously burn into Microsoft's share of the home desktop market.

It's something to think about.

Ahh the tables turn....SLOTING FEES! (1)

Hangtime (19526) | more than 13 years ago | (#242965)

With the recent price wars for consumer PCs, most of the OEMs have taken a bath in red ink thanks to Dell. Well well well what's the best thing that can happen, an all out OS war between two large titans with DEEP pockets.

In the next three years look for AOL to release its own OS based upon Linux or BeOS. While there wouldn't be any applications avaliable for it, for those individuals like my Grandmother who use AOL and thats all, its all they would need. Now consider you have two giants trying to get their product on the desktop. The AOL camp knows that its average user cannot reformat and reinstall an operating system so they leaves one place they can turn, the OEMs. Now you have a battle of who wants to pay the most to be on the desktop which would be something a kin to a slotting fee for supermarkets.

Ahh, now lightbulbs start coming on at Dell, Gateway, etc. If there willing to pay us to get in the box, what can we do with this power. In the AOL case, Dell says OK will make it an option, but we want some real estate to sell. AOL knowing that if they don't get into OEMs says sure why not. Now the OEM starts pimping out real estate on the desktop and everywhere else in the OS. Bill and the boys say "why the heck are you doing that", Michael Dell responds "Because Steve Case just dropped a few hundred million to do it". Bill and the boys go back to Redmond and match AOL. Suddenly, the OEM is getting paid for its marketshare and PC prices begin dropping again because its how many operating systems can you install, not how many boxes you can build.

If AOL creates its own OS that runs only its programs
1. There will be a lot of systems bought with just AOL, I will sign my Grandmother up for one
2. The battle will be on to get the "newest" consumer gadgets ported to it read "digital cameras, Palms, anything that is making its way into the mainstream, and is cool"
3. All holy hell is gonna break loose and make that Mac vs. MS, OS/Warp vs. MS, look like pansy ass loser stuff
One man's vision of what's to come.

I would use Linux, but Office, Panorama Factory, Acrobat (want a little more functionality in my PDF creation), my Nikon 880, my Palm, Outlook, Nero Burning ROM, a stable browser and Lynx doesn't count, Quicken, Photoshop 6.0 (the GIMP is pretty cool though) and Goldmine do not come with, run, or will be ported to Linux. Until that time I am a very happy Windows 2000 user and don't need to change.


war? or maybe... (2)

ywwg (20925) | more than 13 years ago | (#242966)

Just some god damn competition in the industry! It's funny, we look at coke and pepsi ragging on eachother and pulling stunts and it seems normal, but when the computer industry actually starts to compete we think it's war! It just shows how little competition there has actually been for the past 6 years.

I like this one (1)

NeoMage (29426) | more than 13 years ago | (#242968)

"8) Get "Designed for Microsoft Windows" logo program exemption for AOL.
Microsoft pays the OEM significant rebates to have their software bundles
compliant with Microsoft specifications. The AOL client will likely not
meet Microsoft's standards, resulting in OEM PC's being out of compliance
with the logo program and jeopardizing the rebates.

Why would Microsoft come up with the Logo Program if they are just going to hand out exemptions?

Perfect Opportunity for Linux Community (1)

Barbaq (31353) | more than 13 years ago | (#242969)

If one of the distros (i'm thinking Mandrake) can convince AOL that they should be partners then i think it would be a win win situation for Linux in general.

Think about it, Mandrake loses nothing because AOL can't demand all versions of Linux come with AOL or possibly even that all version of Mandrake come with AOL fully integrated.

Mandrake has become the easiest to use Linux in my opinion and is prime for the AOL market. It offers much of the usability of a Windows box with the added bonus of stabillity.

I'm just hoping someone at AOL reads this post. :D
or even better a good moderator.

Maybe AOL *is* wrong. (1)

generic-man (33649) | more than 13 years ago | (#242970)

AOL wants, allegedly, OEM's and users not to upgrade to Windows XP. Microsoft's new interface is too .NET-centric, they claim, even though most of the .NET features originally promised have been cut from XP. AOL wants its programs to be positioned as defaults, and to "take control of the desktop."

There's a very simple reason why AOL's programs will not receive certification by Microsoft. It's because they are crap. Pure, unadulterated crap unfit for any Windows operating system.

AOL has had the same dreadful MDI interface for its dial-up service since it premiered on Windows. Why? Because the AOL software was originally developed for the Mac, where a running application has the entire screen to itself with other applications pushed to the background but still visible. Of course, AOL for Windows doesn't use this "visible" concept, instead hiding everything else behind a solid grey background. You have to run AOL maximized to be able to get anything done with it, and AOL knows this. It means that you'll need to expend extra effort to do anything outside the AOL program, and so you won't do it.

POP3 and PPP are standards older than dirt in the Internet world. Yet AOL still doesn't support them, instead using its own mail client and the abhorrent "AOL Adapter" in networking. Why? Because otherwise you could use other dialers, other mail programs, and other ways to get around their control.

The worst part about AOL is that they set a precedent: people are, in fact, stupid enough to willingly pay $22.00 for mediocre-quality on-line services. AT&T Worldnet, among other providers, has been able to raise their unlimited-usage rates without a fight.

Microsoft may "embrace and extend" standards, but that's much better than AOL's process of ignoring them. AOL can make its own damn OS if it wants to exert its own control. (And yes, I already know that they're starting to.)

Re:AOHell (1)

evilquaker (35963) | more than 13 years ago | (#242971)

why would an OS integrate email, IM, chat, calendar, address book, web browsing and media players?

Because they (MS) are trying to eliminate their competition by leveraging their desktop monopoly. Did you think it was for the consumers? Hahahahaha.

Suddenly an OS is bad just because it integrates everything needed for the web in a user friendly environment?

Repeat after me: One size does not fit all. Why should an OS integrate an email client? What if I don't like that email client (or I'm worried about security issues)?

Ask yourself this: why do companies sell only underwear? Shouldn't they integrate everything (shirt, pants, etc.) necessary to go out in public with? You can bet your ass that they would if some company had a monopoly on underwear... and you as a consumer would be much worse off....

'I'm all right Jack' (was Re:Battlegrounds) (3)

Simon Brooke (45012) | more than 13 years ago | (#242978)

So why worry about all the other users. I just worry about myself. I don't use MS products heavily, so this won't affect me.

Don't be so sure.

The Web - and the 'Net - exist as they are today because they started life as open systems. Microsoft (MSN) and AQL both started off with closed systems for distributed content. They would both prefer closed systems. But the unexpected growth of the Net has persuaded them - probably temporarily - that they have to pay lip-service to open systems.

Currently, Microsoft controls the majority browser out there, and AOL control the other browser that most users have heard of. Netscape has a long history of inventing 'enhancements' to published standards which make documents written for their software work more poorly (or not at all) with other people's. Microsoft are also past masters of that art.

One of the quite possible outcomes of this is that the Web breaks up into a Microsoft-only space and an AOL only space, with no one browser able to access all the information, and, in the worst scenario, with open source browsers unable to access any of it. If methods of accessing the next generation Web servers from Microsoft and AOL are subject to software patents, this could become a reality, at least for users in the US.

Don't get me wrong - I think the best case outcomes from this battle could be very good for the open source movement, with many users seeking refuge in platforms on which they can't

be messed around by corporate interests... but this is a very unstable situation, and the difference between the best-case outcome and the worst is quite dramatic

Posted with Konqueror 2.1.1

Re:Battlegrounds (4)

Dwonis (52652) | more than 13 years ago | (#242980)


Red Hat: Millions of AOL users can't be wrong.
I'm a C++ guru ... What's STL?

Re:Programming tools vs. sites (1)

bubbha (61990) | more than 13 years ago | (#242981)

If this were true, Active Directory would be 100% LDAP compliant and any other vendor's software that needed to read/write/modify an Active Directory would be able to do so as long as they were using standard LDAP. Is this likely to be the case?

Re:Programming tools vs. sites (2)

bubbha (61990) | more than 13 years ago | (#242982)

I think most see Java as a server technology at this point. VB always sucked at this.

Visual RAD tools generally apply to fat-client user interface development. HTML and browser-based user interfaces have eaten into the "easy apps" you are referring to. The hard apps were never made easy by visual tools. Read "No Silver Bullets."

The whole issue of "multiple languages" is an attack on Java on the server side since Java has a big jump on them in providing an alternative to C and C++ for building server-side enterprise objects.

As far as .NET running fast on Wintel remember that the situation on servers is not the same as it is on the desktop. That's what MS is attempting to accomplish. Here, their strategy does not seem to be to build interoperable components that get selected by IT management for their superior performance but rather to construct systems so that if you use any one piece of (presumably high-quality) MS software, they hook you on the rest of their other less than high quality components. This flies in the face of traditional server (Unix) strategies which revolve around the notion of interoperating tools running on a standard public infrastructure. Unix people are tool builders. MS people are empire builders.

As far as .NET being gutsy - to me its that they are reacting to the changing nature of this business. The battle is moving to the server side where their old strategy used to control the desktop has a much less probability of success. Also, the industry has seen how MS works and is not likely to be cooperative this time. Look at the "Prisoner's Dilemma" WRT biological and Social evolution for a good overview as to what will probably happen here. Tit for Tat.

Re:*yawn* (2)

PurpleBob (63566) | more than 13 years ago | (#242983)

My internet service is provided by AOL/Time Warner. No, I don't use AOL. I use RoadRunner.

The fact is that they're by far the best internet service around. They've even changed some things to make their service work better on Linux.

Even if it weren't for that, for broadband it's a choice between them and Verizon DSL [] . Yuck.

IMO this might not be all that bad (1)

haggar (72771) | more than 13 years ago | (#242984)

Why I htink there are good sides (or could be, we don't kow whether the doc is genuine):

MS has a stronghold on the desktop. Yes, Linux made an inroad worth appreciation, but MS still has 90+ % of the desktops. In USA it might be less, due to the popularity of Apple, but in EMEA it's way higher percentage for MS.

So, here we have AOL, the only player who has the power and the motivation (!) to take on MS for control of the desktop market. Will AOL take over this market (always keeping in mind that the doc might be fake etc.)? Well, I think not, but AOL could upset this stronghold. I believe this would present a chance for alternative OS. And mind you, WindowsXP with .NET is more than just a desktop OS, it could hurt Linux and the other alternative OS' in more than one way.

This is just how I see it, I mightbe wrong but I sort of wish AOL was really pissed at MS, and did something about it.

Re:Winamp (1)

dregoth (84089) | more than 13 years ago | (#242986)

AOL bought Nullsoft a while ago. Nullsoft is the "company" that makes WinAMP.

Eeh... (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 13 years ago | (#242988)

Even if it's a fake, MS and AOL have been increasingly unfriendly in recent days.

Let 'em fight and finish off the winner, that's what I say...

Strategy takes advantage of user habits (3)

blakestah (91866) | more than 13 years ago | (#242989)

These proposed strategies take advantage of known user habits (and although the memo is likely a fraud, I bet most of the items have some basis in truth).

Most computer users use EXACTLY what the computer installation places in front of them. Most users NEVER remove items from the default desktop, generally thinking that they may be useful someday and they will not be able to find them. So, if you own the default desktop and the default app settings, you own the computer business of the user.

Microsoft's .NET strategy is set to take advantage of this as well. Each six months or year you will need to update your .NET subscription for Microsoft's .NET services, like Microsoft Word and the operating system itself. They will take advantage of this at every step to push Microsoft and Microsoft only items, like MSN, like Microsoft Media player, etc...

The sad thing is, as the computer age matures, AOL's business model only looks stronger. Everyone believes that they will always be paying for ISP service, the same way they pay for phone service, electrical service... This revenue model stands in contrast to Microsoft, most of whose software could be replaced out of the box with Free Software without loss in functionality (excepting compatibility). Microsoft is trying to save their future, and AOL will own the world. As if they didn't already.

Unless Microsoft can break into the ISP market with substantial share, they will be reduced to a second tier player over the next decade.

The new desktop order (1)

drnomad (99183) | more than 13 years ago | (#242991)

I'm not too sure about AOL, as I'm not a US citizen. But I just upgraded my RedHat 6.1 installation to a 7.1 installation. I just worked with new versions Gnome (sawfish) and KDE. I was stunned, this-is-cool-breathless, and I'm usually very low on complements. What I mean to say is that AOL might worry about this .NET strategy.

The company I work for studies (among other techniques) the .NET technique. The things I hear, Microsoft is again playing on shiny/flashy tools (I heard they even washed cars at a seminar - clean-slate-policy). The .NET strategy is to persuade developers for using it in the first year (ie now) and after that, anything will be compatible with anything else.

Storing your data at a site is another .NET strategy, but this has some practical problems:

1. Non US citizens do not have easy access to broadband - you'll need this - ever seen the size of a Word document
2. The average user is not as stupid as he looks like, he knows his documents are somewhere else, if security fails, then we might see the same effect which happened to creditcard payments over the net. People walk away.
3. Other operating systems and windows managers like Gnome, KDE, Beos and Apple become userfriendly enough for them to become serious competitors

I think Microsoft is taking on the rest of the world. I heard a lot of promises, but one chooses to upgrade from an Chinese prison to a new location in Alcatrez. People (average users) are getting sick of paying all the time. I think we have another desktop ware on our way.

.NET means different things to developers &. users (3)

Carnage4Life (106069) | more than 13 years ago | (#242992)

.NET is still a vague concept to me, but one of the main guys behind it said that C# was analagous to Java the language, while .NET was analagous to Java the platform. I took that to mean the JVM and things like the EJB and Servelet standards.

Developer View:
.NET is the next generation of Microsoft's component technologies (COM, COM+, DCOM) which incorporates lessons learned from Java. COM is a technology that allows you to interact with components written in different languages transparently and is descended from OLE (Object Linking and Embedding which is the technology that was developed to allow being able to drag an Excel spreadsheet into a Word document) and . The languages that support COM are the Visual Studio languages as well as Object Pascal (Delphi). COM has its own binary format and while works almost transparently from Javascript, VB, and VBScript is a bitch to work with from C++. DCOM is the same as COM but it adds being able to do RPC (remote method invokation for the Java heads) from components irrespective of what language they are written in, kinda like CORBA without the ORBs.

.NET simplifies this by having a Common Language Runtime which is analogous to the Java JVM. COMable languages simply compile to the CLR format instead of to assembly code or a weird binary format. So this should lead to the best of both worlds by giving you all the functionality you have come to expect from the Java platform with the added benefit of using languages other than Java (C++, C#, VB, Javascript, VBScript, Perl and a few others) and transparently interact with objects written in these languages. Because all .NET languages have access to the CLR they can utilize it to extend themselves, e.g. Visual C++ has "managed extensions" that allows for garbage collection via the CLR.

The major goal is then to use this technology to build XML based web services.

Marketting View:
Microsoft .NET is Microsoft's XML Web services platform. This is the next generation of Internet computing, using XML to communicate among loosely coupled XML Web services that are collaborating to perform a particular task. Microsoft's .NET strategy delivers a software platform to build new .NET experiences, a programming model and tools to build and integrate XML Web services, and a set of programmable Web interfaces. []


Re:Battlegrounds (1)

jmd! (111669) | more than 13 years ago | (#242993)

> So why worry about all the other users. I just
> worry about myself.

Because, unfortunatly, other users choices affect me. I'm constantly sent MSExcel and MSWord documents that I end up viewing half-assed in Gnumeric and AbiWord. If I can't retrieve all the information I need out of the files with these tools, I'll have to pay $100s for MSWord and MSExcel, or be fired from my job.

Without open data formats, each of the 6 billion people on this planet choices affect me.

> A war between MS and AOL can only be benefical
> to the end-user in the long run.

Not true at all. A "war" could make them more protective of their technologies with such a major competitor after them. Look what AOL did with AIM, with the buffer overflow stuff.

And if there is an all out war for the PC sector, this is definatly bad. It means there will be a single winner, with total control of everything.

Re:*yawn* (1)

dvk (118711) | more than 13 years ago | (#242996)

Well, I use WinAMP, for one thing. And used to use ICQ and AIM when i had time to chat (and intend to continue once i get more free time).

However, this is about a larger issue.

M$ wants to controls the means to deliver content, but short of M$-NBC, doesn't get into content itself.
AOL, on the other hand, wants to control content. And given their general trend, <nomex underwear>I'd rather side with M$ in this fight </nomex underwear>

There are a couple of reasons.
For once, AOL actively promotes stupidity (I used their clients at various times - free 1 month IS backup - so I know :)
AOL undermines the rest of Intenet structures - there's zillion examples, of which i'll only list Usenet AOL-ization and AIM incompatibility wars - but this all centers on "AOL ***is*** the Internet, dummy" mentality.
Plus, they now own CNN, which I boycott for their anti-Israel pro-terrorist bias, never mind them being uber-leftist politically. Between Gates and Turner, I hate Turner a lot more.


Re:Um ... (1)

stixman (119688) | more than 13 years ago | (#242998)

I think we need a new name for these guys...just saying AOL or even AOL/TW is not evil enough. It's hard to even comprehend how much these guys have control over now. Hell, if they want they can spread the word through radio, television, internet news, magazines, and every other medium that XP is no good. While that in itself is the truth, the fact that they have the power to do so is frightening.

Re:*yawn* (1)

stixman (119688) | more than 13 years ago | (#242999)

It may surprise you. Do you realize how many Slashdotters use windows? I'd bet it's more than half. Hell, there are probably as many using AOL as there are using Mozilla.

Re:Tons on AOLinux CDs (3)

stixman (119688) | more than 13 years ago | (#243000)

If AOL were to do a Linux distro most likely it wouldn't be recognizable as such. The user interface would be as easy as a set-top internet box, with lots of pretty colors. While undoubtedly hackable, it would almost certainly be geared to the complete newbie. I think this would be a good thing, in that while none of us would take it seriously, it would increase the market share of linux, and hence decrease MS market share. Tschüß,


Re:Battlegrounds (1)

aengblom (123492) | more than 13 years ago | (#243002)

I realize that this "memo" is most likely fake. However, it really made me think; although the memo may be fake, the mentality behind it may not be so far from the truth.

But this is why it's so likely it is false. Wow a memo that perfectly states the outsider's view of the situation. Spectacular!

Re:Battlegrounds (1)

not_cub (133206) | more than 13 years ago | (#243010)

As I read this, I was picking my nose. And reading it made me damn glad I was using linux to do it :)


Re:I like this one (1)

cheezit (133765) | more than 13 years ago | (#243011)

Creating a roadblock and then giving out passes to vendors who "play nice" is MS's way of getting leverage over those vendors. And it clearly works....even if this memo is fake, the certification program does indeed have this effect.

And I think there is a devil's argument for this practice. MS has to support the OS as it ships to consumers, not as it is distributed to Dell, COmpaq, etc. And MS's marketing is based on ease of use.

If Dell et al are busy replacing the file manager and UI components and cutting out MS's default app set, the fact that both boxes have a MS OS is not very meaningful.

Put it this way...if someone branched KDE and made it look and act radically different, and added and removed many components, but still called it KDE, wouldn't that cause static in the Linux world?

What ever happened to the open internet. (1)

paqsys (134767) | more than 13 years ago | (#243012)

I must be missing something here. The last time I checked, no one person or organization owned the internet. Yet here are two huge companies trying desperately to do just that. The internet was meant to be an open standard and a place for people to express and exchange ideas. One does not need proprietary software to connect to the internet. Nor do they need the proprietary software to explore the internet.
These companies should stick with what they well and stay out of the internet.
AOL does have great content and other media. They do not need to have that bloated piece of crap they call an interface for their users to access that content.
Microsoft has always been a thorn in the side of the internet. Granted their browser is one of the better ones on the market. But, do they really need to create this .NET. I have heard great things about .NET and not one is anything that cannot be done openly with XML and other technologies.
Why do these companies continually try to make it difficult for users to enjoy the internet.

But surely (1)

sheriff_p (138609) | more than 13 years ago | (#243015)

Aren't MS going to be specifically trying to avoid any behvaiour that lets them look like they're forcing AOL into a wall? Do they not have enough legal trouble already?

Re:IMO this might not be all that bad (1)

Salsaman (141471) | more than 13 years ago | (#243019)

How can Windows XP and .NET hurt Linux ?

Who wants either? (2)

sowalsky (142308) | more than 13 years ago | (#243020)

Did it ever occur to either Microsoft and AOL that I am perfectly happy with my present LAN connection, and one should be able to customize his computer without having to uninstall all the junk that comes with it? I won a laptop recently, and VOIDED my warranty by removing the 2 GIGS of OS extras and installing a consumer OS on it. I hope to a high degree that the AOL/MSN strife only occurs at the OEM level. If I ever need to upgrade an office full of W2K computers and then get notices from MIS that people are playing with MSN or AIM because they were installed by default, Linux is just a click away.

Virtual Environments (1)

Lathi- (156581) | more than 13 years ago | (#243022)

Seriously though - I know of seniors who boot up their computer, connect to the internet via AOL and don't even know that there's anything else on their computer.
Seriously though - I know of senior developers that boot up their computer, start emacs and don't know that there's anything else on their computer.

Who says this is lying? (1)

TellarHK (159748) | more than 13 years ago | (#243023)

Microsoft products always have bugs, it won't run AOL by definition if AOL doesn't write software that's compatible, XP has been known to have compatibility issues with legacy Windows applications, and .NET seems like it could be the biggest problem for online privacy in ages.

It may not be the most honorable way to deal with this threat to AOL, but it's certainly a method they could legitimately use.

AOL + HP + Compaq + Linux + Wine = Big Win for Us (1)

grendelkhan (168481) | more than 13 years ago | (#243027)

Acccording to The Register [] , AOL, HP and Compaq are in cahoots to derail the whole .NET platform. Now imagine the corporate weight, experience and cash of these three companies getting firmly behind Linux, and more importantly devoting programmers and some of that cash to improving WINE [] , and I think this is a win/win situation for Linux.

More users, and more applications that will run under Linux, this could change things in a big way. As the arabs say: "The enemy of my enemy is my friend".

Re:Programming tools vs. sites (1)

the-banker (169258) | more than 13 years ago | (#243028)

The .NET platform is primarily about distributing data among different devices, applications, operating systems, etc

How many people really believe this? Given my experiences with MS in the past I have a hard time with this concept. If the application is MS certified, and if the OS is an MS OS, and if the device is an OEM under contract, then I beleive the statement. We have empirical evidence of MS behavior vs. marketing hype. What do you want to believe today?

In A.D. 2101, Desktop War was beginning (3)

electricmonk (169355) | more than 13 years ago | (#243029)

Bill Gates: What happen?
Microsoft: Somebody set up us the WinXP.
Microsoft: We get signal.
Bill Gates: What!
Microsoft: Product activation turn on.
Bill Gates: It's You!!
AOL/TW: How are you gentlemen!!
AOL/TW: All your OEM are belong to us.
Bill Gates: What you say!!
AOL/TW: You have no chance to launch make your time.
AOL/TW: Ha Ha Ha Ha....
Bill Gates: Take off every ".NET"
Bill Gates: You know what you doing.
Bill Gates: Move ".NET"
Bill Gates: For great profit.

Sorry, it was just too good an opportunity to pass up...

I see it thusly (1)

lamasquerade (172547) | more than 13 years ago | (#243030) my dreams. Aol being slowly and painfully killed by Microsoft - the very company they sold out to for greed and thereby lobbed off several of Netscape's limbs. Will they see that if they hadn't sold out for the extra $$$ but had stayed with Netscape for the Greater Good, still making ridiculous profits, they would probably not have this problem? Probably not, but it still gives me a warm happy feeling.

Re:.NET means different things to developers &. us (2)

MrBogus (173033) | more than 13 years ago | (#243032)

Very good explaination from a programmer's view (or the point of view of Microsoft Developer Marketing).

Note however that Microsoft is majorly confusing the marketing message. For example, while the developer's .NET hasn't shipped yet, MS is telling the systems people that they can deploy the ".NET Server Family" today. This includes products which have absolutely nothing to do with "Web Services" and the like such as Exchange 2000 (which was originally planned to be Exchange 98) and the new version of Proxy Server.

On another front, Microsoft has started to call their MSN/Internet initiatves ".NET" too. Hotmail became a .NET product while it was still running BSD. This is where the hailstorm/passport strategy comes in, and what AOL obviously dislikes. Some of this might fall back on "web services", but lots of it is the same old MSN portal integration strategy.

The term has also been applied to their software rental model.

So, you can understand the confusion of the average slashdot reader. The term ".NET" is turning into a generic brandname for "Made By Microsoft". I'm trying to do myself a favor by calling the CLR "the CLR", and calling Web Services "SOAP components", and avoid the marketing morass as best as I can.

Re:Fake memo (2)

MrBogus (173033) | more than 13 years ago | (#243033)

"Think Different" is a direct copyright infringement. However, that's exactly the kind of term that a marketing person would use.

Of course, Apple came up with "Think Different" because they were trying to sell an incompatible product to the subset of the market that might like that. AOL can't afford to do that.

I kinda like the idea that "assimilation" to describe Microsoft tactics has worked its way out of the Usenet/Slashdot advocacy lingo and into marketdroid speak. Probably too good to be true.

Re:Who says this is lying? (3)

MrBogus (173033) | more than 13 years ago | (#243034)

The XP screenshots I've seen all have little links such as "Buy Music" embedded directly into the Explorer.

Ignore the confusing marketing message of NET/Hailstorm/Passport. Recall back to Windows 95 -- where Microsoft built the MSN interface directly into the OS GUI. From here, it looks like XP is just another attempt at doing that, just updated for the times.

Microsoft can't grow with its current Windows/Office monopolies. That meanst they've been trying to do two things for some years now:

1) Crack the server market
2) Establish themselves as the consumer services (e-commerce) channel.

The answer to your questions is that if MS is successful, both server products and Hailstorm will be very profitable. They are both equally important to MS's long term future. They don't have a much of a connection, though, except for the magical marketing term of ".NET".

Re:A chilling read... (1)

kz45 (175825) | more than 13 years ago | (#243035)

the thing that scares me about AOL, is the fact that they have such a large percentage of internet users (read: monkey end users). They could start controlling things like e-mail, napster, etc.,etc., and even if we could get around such tactics , many of the end users would just take it, leading the internet into the direction where one company has almost total control (at least in the US).

Fake memo (2)

Fervent (178271) | more than 13 years ago | (#243037)

The memo is obviously fake. I mean come on: "assimilation"? Only Slashdot hippies use phrases like that.

And "Think Different" is probably a direct copyright infringement of Apple's ad campaign. The memo kinda looks like those fake "Survivor 2 memos" that went around before the show started ("Rodger is going to fall off a horse during a challenge").

Re:Who says this is lying? (1)

danheskett (178529) | more than 13 years ago | (#243038)

and .NET seems like it could be the biggest problem for online privacy in ages

Care to explain that for me? I have not heard been called that at all.

Re:Battlegrounds (1)

danheskett (178529) | more than 13 years ago | (#243039)

I think you misunderstood me.

I think its odd when people bash or are concerned about MS and AOLTW and their little desktop wars. I think i overdid my first post.

That is a hotmail account, guilty as charged. No, i am not in Netscape, Netscape products also suck.
So look, I guess I am saying this. The entire attitude of many slashdot readers is one of utter contempt for both MS and AOL. I am very happy that MS and AOL exist - they create a market for people, who are in some senses the "elite" computer users. We fix the computers of those MS and AOL users, we provide them with services, neatop websites, and other things in that category.

My point is though, you showed some concern for what will happen in the MS and AOLTW desktop war, assuming that the original article is true and not a made up document. Even if it were, the truth be told, AOL and MS are already in a desktop war of sorts. This concern you showed is a bit unnecessary, because these people will make the decisions for themselves. There is no need to be concerned when the free market is involved, like it is with MS v. AOLTW - whatever outcome occurs is, by default, the "correct" outcome.

Sory if I pissed you off, I should have my morning coffee before I freak out on people.

Re:Who says this is lying? (1)

danheskett (178529) | more than 13 years ago | (#243040)

Good point. Sig corrected. Thanks.

Re:Who says this is lying? (1)

danheskett (178529) | more than 13 years ago | (#243041)

But actually selling .NET server products, Like, sql, etc etc will produce far more profit than HailStorm, wouldnt you agree?

Re:Who says this is lying? (3)

danheskett (178529) | more than 13 years ago | (#243046)

Okay, you are confusing things.

HailStorm is the MS-centralized DB of stuff. Everything you say in your post is true about HailStorm.

.NET though is much broader than HailStorm. HailStorm is like one tiny piece of .NET. I just read a whole shitload about .NET, and .NET is a set of servers, a set of tols, and a whole concept from MS (good or bad, lets not go there).

HailStorm on the other hand is specifically exactly what you think .NET is.

Do I have it right?
Just curious, thanks for the information.

Re:Battlegrounds (5)

danheskett (178529) | more than 13 years ago | (#243047)

I agree. That's why end-users should exercise their power and choose not to us MS products or AOL products in any way.

Its called choice. But you know what, most MS users actually like MS products. Thats right, they think they are pretty good. Its true. Same with AOL.

We at slashdot moan about AOLTW and "M$" (thats really clever, btw) but the fact is, that the annonance of the problems with both companies isnt great enough to cause most people to switch.

So why worry about all the other users. I just worry about myself. I don't use MS products heavily, so this won't affect me. Do you somehow think you are the guardian for the other lowly "end users"? Are you somehow better than them? Are you a more sophisticated user, ready to battle the earth finding injustice and delivering peace and happiness to the end users?

Seriously, I watch out for myself, and choose not to use MS and AOLTW products. Thats my choice. I imagine you have made the same choice. But why force that on other people? Why would you and I worry about the conscious active choices that others make? Because they are different than yours or mine? It doesnt bother me to see others choose MS and choose AOL. Its a free country,and a free and open Internet. I am glad for them, if they find products they like at prices they are willing to pay.

I guess I am overreacting, but I can't stand the whole miasma of slashdot elitism. It just reeks of a type of paternalism that should have ended years ago. MS and AOL users arent lower forms of life, they aren't "lusers" or retarded in intellect, they just want to find the easiest cheapest way to do what they want to do on the Internet. Thats its. And if thats with MS and AOL products, then bring on the war. A war between MS and AOL can only be benefical to the end-user in the long run.

Re:Who says this is lying? (1)

Suppafly (179830) | more than 13 years ago | (#243048)

why advertise a site in your .sig but then not even work on it?

Re:If the memo is fake ... (2)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 13 years ago | (#243049)

I mean, a faked memo, is it really 'news for nerds'

Well, the question is if unverified memo is news, or should we presume unverified memos as fake until proven otherwise? Of course, presuming all unverified memos as true is lunacy as well.

I find that a lot of this is highly dependant on a person's choice of enemies, etc. Too often, if the unverified blurb is about someone that a person loves to hate, then it must be true. Of Course. and vice versa.

It takes exceptional qualities to step outside the box in this regard, and suspend judgement on someone you hate; and to get all the facts, despite the FUD. The memo itself seems to be semi reasonable from the viewpoint of AOL, and I would not hold anything against them if it was true. MS should expect some people to be working against them.

Check out the Vinny the Vampire [] comic strip

Alternate link for info (5)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 13 years ago | (#243051)

This was reported [] in The Register on Saturday morning. The article there is good, and has all of the juicy bits of the story.

Which is nice if Beta News gets Slashed. (all your hits are belong to us!)

Check out the Vinny the Vampire [] comic strip

Re:AOHell (1)

WildBeast (189336) | more than 13 years ago | (#243052)

Because they (MS) are trying to eliminate their competition by leveraging their desktop monopoly. Did you think it was for the consumers? Hahahahaha.
It's an OS for God's sake, if it doesn't have something as basic as a browser, an address book, a calendar, an email reader and a media player well I would feel as if I had been screwed by buying it.
Ask yourself this: why do companies sell only underwear? Shouldn't they integrate everything (shirt, pants, etc.) necessary to go out in public with? You can bet your ass that they would if some company had a monopoly on underwear... and you as a consumer would be much worse off....
I don't care much about clothes, it wouldn't have made any difference in my life.

AOHell (2)

WildBeast (189336) | more than 13 years ago | (#243053)

Microsoft's (MS) new .Net strategy, coupled with the impending release of XP, presents a significant risk to the AOL franchise. By integrating and embedding traditional AOL functionality (e.g., email, IM, chat, wallet, calendar, address book, web browsing, content aggregation, media players, etc)

why would an OS integrate email, IM, chat, calendar, address book, web browsing and media players? Poor AOL, I sure hope they loose that battle. Suddenly an OS is bad just because it integrates everything needed for the web in a user friendly environment? AOL will fail, their only option is to join forces with MS. But then again, AOL/TW/MS, they would be unstoppable.

Re:Battlegrounds (1)

SlashGeek (192010) | more than 13 years ago | (#243054)

Well, as for the "M$", I really can't take credit, but thanks anyway. As far as what you speak of as "elitism", I happen to be on Win2k right now, FYI. So I do not consider myself an "elitist". I do also often use Linux, and very much enjoy it. I in no way consider myself a "guardian for lowly end users", I'm just addressing a basic consumer rights concern, as is often done here on Slashdot. If you think that just because you havn't chosen to use M$ products, or AOLTW, that they have no affect on your life, think again. Broadband, decreasing hardware and computer costs, PDA's, and many other nice things that we have now have been largely fueled by the surge of users that companies like M$ and AOL have attraced by providing an easy to use, non-threatening interface to both computers and the internet. And I'm sorry that you are such non-elitist that you will not see a TW movie, cartoon, or listen to a TW band, or CD. You wouldn't happen to be on Netscape right now, would you? For someone who "can't stand the whole miasma of slahdot elitism", you do a pretty damn good job of it yourself. And yes, many people actually do like M$ products, as well as Mac, and for good reason. There are many non-elitists who have chosen not to make learning every damn thing about computers a way of life, and find that an easy to use product, although perhaps not as powerful, fulfils their requirements. And many of these people are highly educated in their own right, doctors, engineers, teachers, etc. I for one am damn sure glad that my doctor spends his time learning on the internet, rather than learning how to use the internet.

So if you would be so kind to point out exactly where I became an "eitist", I would appreciate that. Oh, BTW, is that a Microsoft hotmail address you have there?

Battlegrounds (5)

SlashGeek (192010) | more than 13 years ago | (#243055)

I realize that this "memo" is most likely fake. However, it really made me think; although the memo may be fake, the mentality behind it may not be so far from the truth. What truely bothers me is that, with so much at stake, to what lengths will AOL/M$ go to win? And, where will the battle be fought? My guess is that most of it will be fought on the desktop of every AOL/XP user in the world. For those who have ever had the unfortionate privledge of installing AOL, you are all but forced to install Realplayer, Flash players, and all kinds of other crap that you may not want. And if you're not careful about reading all of the "Ok" boxes and check boxes, you will end up with AOL as the default for just about everything except picking your nose. What I'm getting at is will AOL/M$ be batteling it out on users machines for control, and how much control over their own machines will users loose in the process? This doesn't seem very fair to the end user, who's desktop will ultimately become the battleground for corperate power.

A chilling read... (1)

esconsult1 (203878) | more than 13 years ago | (#243058)

The thing that what frightened me most (I hope this is fake!!!), is the amount of power that AOL/TW has.
Their ability to "Stall XP" could actually be carried out.

I'm no Micro$oft fan, but this would be killing the beast to replace it with a slightly nicer beast?

Who has the broadcast rights for the fight? (2)

glebite (206150) | more than 13 years ago | (#243059)

Since Time/Warner owns AOL, would the Home Gardening Channel be the only one who could broadcast this without misrepresenting either side?

Seriously though - I know of seniors who boot up their computer, connect to the internet via AOL and don't even know that there's anything else on their computer.

AOL provides them with chatrooms, discussion groups, web-surfing, email, and they can even send pictures. When I showed a neighbour of mine how to use their CD burning software, they practically freaked! I was running something that she'd never seen before - she even claimed to a friend of hers that I was "hacking" something on her computer.

If there is fear and loathing in the AOL/M$ land, it's going to be interesting...

Personally, I use neither - although those AOL CDs make lovely, and attractive shiny objects for my inlaws to play with.

If the memo is fake, then it is NOT NEWS. (1)

Dan Hayes (212400) | more than 13 years ago | (#243060)

Why does slashdot insist on such low standards of journalistic integrity ? I mean, a faked memo, is it really 'news for nerds' or is it just pro-censorship Michael's attempt to beat the 'trolls' at their own game by crapflooding slashdot with inane rubbish ?

This would never happen on cool sites like kuro5hin []

Re:If the memo is fake ... (2)

update() (217397) | more than 13 years ago | (#243061)

Well, the question is if unverified memo is news, or should we presume unverified memos as fake until proven otherwise? Of course, presuming all unverified memos as true is lunacy as well.

I'd say that if you feel compelled to throw in phrases like "supposedly leaked" and "Even if the memo is fake," you might want to reconsider running the story at all. That goes double if you're Michael Sims and the story is bogus enough to jolt even your unusually low journalistic standards.

I mean, it's one thing if the tip comes from someone like Eric Raymond who, bonehead though he may be, has a track record of receiving real information. But what the hell is Betanews?

It takes exceptional qualities to step outside the box in this regard, and suspend judgement on someone you hate; and to get all the facts, despite the FUD.

Maybe I'm naive, but I'd call that a minimum standard of intellectual honesty and fairness, not "exceptional."

Unsettling MOTD at my ISP.

Linux XP (1)

KarmaBlackballed (222917) | more than 13 years ago | (#243062)

And why doesn't Gnome or another open source Linux desktop project steel the subscription thunder themselves? This would be a good way to bring newbies/non-techs into the Linux fold. Make it easy and they will come.

~~ the real world is much simpler ~~

50-Meter Gorilla Battles Giant Ant (1)

Futurepower(tm) (228467) | more than 13 years ago | (#243064)

When two of the most abusive companies in the U.S. fight, it is like a science fiction film: The 50-meter gorilla battles the giant ant from outer space.

But why? Why can't the gorilla and the ant live together in peace?

Do you ever ask yourself why people devote their lives to fighting?

Microsoft is driven by a powerful conflict of interest. If Microsoft delivers a good operating system, it will be the last operating system most people buy.

But why not just finish the job? Why not deliver a good operating system, and then do something else? Why does a man who has billions of dollars want to devote his life to fighting? Why does a man who has billions of dollars want to devote his life to sneakiness and abusiveness? Why is it necessary to try to take over the world when you already own more than you can possibly use?

It is not as though the price of hamburgers will ever rise so much that Bill Gates won't be able to afford one. He is certainly not defending himself from any real threat.

When the 50-meter gorilla fights the giant ant, it is best to stay as far away from the battle as possible.

The giant ant will probably kill the 50-meter gorilla. Microsoft's income is rapidly disappearing. Most people will stay with the computers they already have. The computers are far from perfect, but they do the job. It is possible to live with having to restart your computer 5 times a day.

The giant ant has fixed monthly income from subscribers, and rapidly lowering monthly costs, because of cheaper, more efficient technology. If AOL bought Time Warner, it can buy other huge companies, also.

But people are rapidly becoming aware that a local Internet service provider is almost always better than AOL. In an educated world, AOL would not exist.

So, after the giant ant kills the 50-meter gorilla, the ant will die of natural causes.

But it is unfortunate that all of us have to suffer because of stupid fighting.

Article Underscores Known MS Strategy (3)

hillct (230132) | more than 13 years ago | (#243065)

This is nothing new. Regardless of weather the memo is fake or legitimate, the article underscores the evolution of Microsoft's known corporate software policies.

Windows 3.1 was provided as an add-on PC productivity tool. Windows 95 was introduced as the primary PC productivity enviroment. Windowd 98 and ME were the frst steps in OS based network integration of the consumer PC.

Windows 3.1 cane with a few weak core apps and depended on 3rd parties for additional apps and services. With the advent on windows95, Bill realized that desktop realestate was a comodity to be sold and bartered with. Windows 98 and ME allowed for network integration which drematically increased the salable realestate using activeDesktop.

Windoes XP gives Microsoft the opportunity to sell internet based 'realestate' which is of course infinately more expansive. If, however a service is available locally, users are far less likely to make use of a remotely hosted or ASP based service (or the .NET services). While it was at one point in Microsoft's interest to sell off desktop realestate, they have now discovered that if they prevent the sale of that realestate, they can sell other realestate much larger, although slightly further away (ASP based services).

Again, this is nothing new. Microsoft realized that it is more profitable to sell extensive resources to users, than it is to sell pieces of a limited resource to vendors.



Re:Think Different (2)

Melantha_Bacchae (232402) | more than 13 years ago | (#243066)

An AC wrote:

> Buy apple...port MacOSX to intel (probably
> in the lab anyhow)

No need to. Apple has already ported Darwin, the open source base of OS X, to x86 and has released it for free. If Apple has any clue, they've already got Quartz and Aqua rigged to move over to x86 with a simple recompile. That's one of the beauties of Unix: portability. It lets them move rapidly in any direction they need to. The G4 chip is nice, but a little too rare for Apple's comfort. Since AOL already runs on Macs, they would only need to produce a carbonized version (it is already in beta now), and recompile it for whatever platform OS X wanders on to.

Mothra: 1961-2001 -- Her heart can reach!

all out war? not today (1)

today97 (236218) | more than 13 years ago | (#243067)

all complaining aside, i think that whatever M$ does in their OS's that other companies like AOL, Earthlink, and so on will just have to deal with it.
it has already been proven that M$ can legally monopolize an industry (Netscape and MSIE and win95) and there is nothing we can do about it (us gov vs. M$). its just a fact of life that we have to deal with. BUT FEAR NOT linux users! none of us are dumb enough to use aol and dont care enough about m$ to give a damn. and even if this battle goes to court and M$ loses, they turn a 180 and the rest of the industry including AOL is screwed.

oh well, thats life.

What has become of this world (1)

stud9920 (236753) | more than 13 years ago | (#243069)

In what kind of world are we living where the only choice for Joe Sixpack is between AOL and Micro$oft ?

Hailstorm services. (1)

GeneOff (238946) | more than 13 years ago | (#243070)

The initial services include myProfile, myAddress, myContacts, myInbox, myWallet, myDocuments, myCalendar, and others.

Hey Microsoft, it's My Wallet. Keep your grubby little hands off it!

Re:A chilling read... (4)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 13 years ago | (#243071)

This assumes that AOL could completely stall XP, rather than reduce its marketshare and allow an opportunity for alternatives to blossom.

I think probably the best thing AOL could do, if they waged an all-out campaign against XP at a time when Microsoft are pushing XP exclusively (remember, the current marketing plan has XP replacing both the NT and DOS series') is open an opportunity for PC manufacturers to ship PCs with operating systems other than Windows, and to do so in response to genuine customer demand. "You mean I can't use my AOL account with XP? Well, give me a PC with Linux", that kind of thing.

This requires AOL gets its house in order though and get their Linux, etc, clients working.

Right now AOL is probably the only company with the wieght to effect Microsoft's ability to make XP a complete success. Personally, partially because XP is probably the slimiest product MS have ever released, but mostly because when I go into a computer shop, I want to see a choice of platforms and choice of different computers to be standard, not frowned upon, I hope they succeed.

(None of this should be construed as meaning I either believe or disbelieve the memo this article is about)

Makes me glad I'm learning to use Linux (1)

dble (242266) | more than 13 years ago | (#243072)

Stories like this, fake or not, that bring to light a very real notion of how these big companies could very well think (and in turn act), makes me glad that I am learning to use Linux. It frightens me to think that in this OS -- which is already so dominating the PC platform -- when I want to run a few select Apps (Web Broswer, Word Processer, and lots of Games : ) I (we) will have to contend with more and more embedded useless crap that I neither want nor need (to use). I continually look forward to the day that I feel fluent enough with Linux and its nuances to replace, completely, my Windows desktop.

Re:A chilling read... (2)

heyetv (248750) | more than 13 years ago | (#243074)

" open an opportunity for PC manufacturers to ship PCs with operating systems other than Windows, and to do so in response to genuine customer demand. "You mean I can't use my AOL account with XP? Well, give me a PC with Linux", that kind of thing."

Um, XP doesn't have AOL so give me Linux instead? From a segment of the population that think AOL has been 'erased' when they accidentally delete the desktop icon?? I think you overestimate the intelligence of our average friendly AOL users... and why just not get Win2k instead, if XP won't be able to use AOL?

Remember, both Microsoft's and AOL's strategies are to keep the end user as uneducated as possible... this makes it 'easier' for the user (less choices to customize and all...) and keeps them unaware of alternatives. Seeing a desktop in the store running Gnome with Enlightenment with all 'features' turned on would appeal to them (ohhh... shiney objects...), especially when sitting next to a winME/2k box with the comparatively bland Microsoft desktop.

Alternative (1)

Fuzzums (250400) | more than 13 years ago | (#243075)

For many applications which are strongly ahem, 'encouraged' by the developers, my first reaction is to find an alternative from companies who are less aggressive.
If a product is good i will install it. If a company really needs to convince me that their product is good, somehow I don't believe them.


Re:An OS for children... (1)

Fuzzums (250400) | more than 13 years ago | (#243076)

It would be more like "my first ____" with nice bright red, yellow and blue color on the screen, large keys for the small kid-hands and stuff ;)

The startup-logo would be a teddybear I think.


"stall" is the operative word (5)

hyrdra (260687) | more than 13 years ago | (#243078)

"6) Stall XP Adoption: Until AOL can develop an appropriate XP solution, message to AOL members and the public that XP is "not ready" for broad adoption (i.e., has bugs, will not run AOL, will not run your existing software, will violate your online privacy, etc...)"

I especially like this one. Lying to consumers to get your product forwarded. I could just see a big Steve Case "Member Community Outreach" regarding the severe online privacy violations with XP, just after AOL parades you with ten sign-on ads and collects data on your web browsing (AOL "proxy") while moderating everything to hell.

Everyone seems to think Microsoft is the worst corporate technology firm with devilish, underhanded practices, but this is just outrageous.

Re:If the memo is fake, then it is NOT NEWS. (1)

Sarcasmooo! (267601) | more than 13 years ago | (#243081)

I agree. Has anyone ever heard of a company that sends out memos by email? Why would they in an office environment? Especially a memo like this one. If it were sent out on paper (which makes more sense) then the person who leaked it would've copied and/or scanned it to give it some hint of validity.

Re:If the memo is fake, then it is NOT NEWS. (1)

Sarcasmooo! (267601) | more than 13 years ago | (#243082)

I'm a college student and I've never worked in an office environment, so that might be why :D

But I do see a lot of scanned memos [] from tobacco companies and such, so I had assumed most companies continued to do it the old fashioned way. Sometimes email seems a lot less secure than an office with a shredder.

get away from M$ (1)

macgorilla (300677) | more than 13 years ago | (#243083)

While I understand the fact that 90% of all PCs run Windblows, it still boggles me why these corporations put up with this crap with M$. AOl may be excluded from XP yet they continue to use IE as their browser. Why don't they concentrate on platforms that are free of over bearing, cut throat monopolists, like Linux, MacOS or Be? I guess the $$$ clouds all judgement.

Winamp (1)

mphillips (316235) | more than 13 years ago | (#243087)

AOL indeed suck big-time, but we knew this before.
In the article, Winamp is mentioned. Is Winamp owned by AOL, or do they just have a tie-in with them?
AOL are huge, a behemoth only eclipsed by M$ for the average user. Between these two companies, what choice do you really have? If all the available free downloads of what appear to be share/free ware tool, are owned by one or the other, can you really be in control of your own computer?
I paid over $2000 for my machine. I want to be in control of it. I want to decide how I run what... not some control freak in Redmond or wherever.
This really is a scary thought... like we never saw it coming...

Re:clash of the titans (1)

capt.Hij (318203) | more than 13 years ago | (#243090)

I don't know what I was thinking. Must've been anticipating the impending cold war between the US and China.

clash of the titans (2)

capt.Hij (318203) | more than 13 years ago | (#243091)

Current Minimum OEM XP Integration Goals


2) Place compatible AOL XP bundle client installer on the machine

I wonder if they have considered the option to flood the entire free world with AOL cd's. The Coaster Producers Association wouldn't like it.

8) Get "Designed for Microsoft Windows" logo program exemption for AOL. Microsoft pays the OEM significant rebates to have their software bundles compliant with Microsoft specifications. The AOL client will likely not meet Microsoft?s standards, resulting in OEM PC?s being out of compliance with the logo program and jeopardizing the rebates.

So corp. A not only supports really scary policy of corp. B but wants to take advantage of it. This is the kind of stuff that makes it impossible to compete. Because of the kinds of margins the harware companies are dealing with and the kind of competition they face, they really have to go along with this stuff, or they are toast.

How about free and open markets instead?

Re:An OS for children... (1)

KeizerHein (324508) | more than 13 years ago | (#243095)

I'm just looking at winXP beta 2, looks like something my mother can use on her own, without the need to call me frequently, because everything complicated is well hidden. It does not look like something designed for geeks though.

M$ might be making a serious mistake with XP. I expect everybode who uses his/her computer for anything else besides word processing/email/internet/games will be forced to use another OS :-)


when walking on thin ice you might as well dance

*yawn* (1)

stew77 (412272) | more than 13 years ago | (#243096)

So what? Who of the Slashdot readers' using AOL anyway?

Re:What has become of this world (1)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 13 years ago | (#243099)

"In what kind of world are we living where the only choice for Joe Sixpack is between AOL and Micro$oft ?"

The world is this way because Joe always has a sixpack and would rather take the easy choice.

Re:By continuing to innovate? (1)

warmiak (444024) | more than 13 years ago | (#243100)

Well, if you look at most newer X based ,open source apps most of them are almost direct copies of what's available on Windows platform.
MIcrosoft might not be the greatest innovator out there but surely, they have following.

Tons on AOLinux CDs (1)

Tachys (445363) | more than 13 years ago | (#243101)

Oh great we will get tons on CDs with Linux on them....Hey this might not be so bad.

The enemy of my enemy... (1)

wabbit2.0 (448840) | more than 13 years ago | (#243103)

Some interesting ideas here, fake or not. A major PR campaign from the Linux community to convince people that XP is little more that a direct 24 hour link betweeen thier computer and Redmond could hurt Microsoft a lot. Remember the online fuss over Prodigy some years back. Make it absolutly clear in every forum you have access to. Coupled with the ever increasing cost of adopting and upgrading, it should be possible to make everyone who counts think twice about deploying XP. Get out there -> spread the word.
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