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masters of the schema ..

>From Eric Rudder
Sent: Thursday, July 15, 1999 9:56 AM
To: Bill Gates
Subject: latest draft, just to have

The Next Wave.doc

The Next Wave


3 Establishing the Windows Schema

The idea of a schema is straightforward: it allows us to make
intelligent use of data, so that greater integration is possible, data
can be put to more uses more easily and more data becomes accessable
(through late binding). Once we know that data exists, we want to use
it. If we know nothing about that data, we're pretty much hamstrung.
If, on the other hand, that data has an identifiable schema, then we
can make intelligent use of it. For many of the kinds of data we would
store on the typical Windows machine, we'd also have the appropriate
set of schema definitions stored as a part of Windows. There will be
standard schema for a number of common things; where these things are
truly generic, we should define the standard. But each standard must
also be extensible, and we must make many of these extensions.

We ensure our ability to add value by ensuring that we are masters of
the schema. We can move away from complex object models, complex APIs
and proprietary formats, replacing them all by schema, but we only get
value in doing so if we effectivly own the schema.

Of course, we'll publish these schema, and perhaps some will be
totally standard, totally available for general use. On the other
hand, many schema will be private to us, legally owned by us and
indubitably controlled by us. That way, there is a serious of natural
leverage points for our products: if you have Windows, you'll want to
get Office; if you have Office, you'll want to use our services; if
you use our services, you'll want to run a CE-based PDA, etc.

We have a strong tradition of owning the platform by owning the ISV's,
because they write to our API. Now that API advantage is being eroed,
and it's actually highly unlikely that another foray into the API
world (c.f. WFC) will win us any more customers. On the other hand, if
we show customers, developers and system integrators the brave new
world of developing, deploying and using WIndows systems where
applications make use of the standard set of schema we provide in
Windows, we effectivly move theAPI battle to a different front - the
schema is the API. Don't be fooled - we still have competitors, as
both IBM and Oracle understand this point. But it is not clear yet
that everyone does, and of course it flies in the face of Sun's JAva
strategy - hence Sun's constant scrambling to tie XML and JAva

In the long term, then, we must ensure that we have defined schema for
all objects and events of generic use - our systems (this ranges from
schema for cards in a PC through schema for UI generation and schema
formanagement events, to  schema for system calls), our applications
(so that Word's object model, for example, is supplanted by its schema
- one can always get to the OM from the schema, if necessary), and our
services (we'll define a name, an address, a hotmail user, a credit
card, etc.)


We have along way to go and a short time to get there ...



court documents in the case of Comes v Microsoft.

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