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03.17.08

Plan B: Acquire to Extinguish Life’s Greatest Projects

Posted in Google, Microsoft, Mono, Patents at 6:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

If you can’t win it, break it

Bad Silverlight

With little doubt in mind, the Internet — and particularly the World Wide Web– is one of humanity’s largest accomplishment. In terms of scale, the Web has grown to be almost as large as the ‘network’, i.e. the capacity of all computers that are connected to the Internet.

“In another embrace-and-extend move, Microsoft thinks it can ‘pull another Netscape’.”What enabled the Web to grow quite so quickly was the encouragement of free and open interchange and exchange of information. It also gave birth to or breathed life into companies which capitalised on the many new possibilities. One such company is Google, which used the platform to disseminate information and applications that are delivered over the Web.

Microsoft was caught outside the network. It very stubbornly focused on the isolated workstation — a legacy cash cow. Moving away from it would be a case of cannibalising cash cows, so there was clearly reluctance. Freezing development on the Web was a better route for increased profits.

Microsoft knew over a decade ago that this reluctance was going to cost it and it never caught up, despite dirty tricks which derailed Netscape.

In another embrace-and-extend move, Microsoft thinks it can ‘pull another Netscape’. By joining forces with Yahoo it believes that it can spread .NET over the Net. Google does not want to mention Silverlight, OOXML and SharePoint by name, but it knows all too well what Microsoft has got planned for Yahoo. It’s already protesting loudly and not for the first time, either.

Google says Microsoft’s Yahoo buy might hurt Internet

[...]

“We would hope that anything they did would be consistent with the openness of the Internet, but I doubt it would be.”

Schmidt pointed to Microsoft’s past history and “the things that it has done that have been so difficult for everyone,” but he did not elaborate.

In other related news, be aware that Microsoft has licensed — whatever that actually means — some of Adobe’s own binary components that are spread over the Web.

Microsoft Corp. has licensed Adobe’s software for viewing online videos and other files on cell phones, the companies said Monday.

GNOME FlashPDF, unlike Flash, is now considered an ISO standard, but there remain gaps. And Microsoft, using the ECMA proxy, has plans for XPS already [1, 2, 3, 4]. It’s the hope of ‘pulling another MOOX’ and leading to further fragmentation. Will Microsoft at some stage (re)try to replace TCP/IP with its own proprietary ‘standards’ as well? Either way, let us keep an eye on things.

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