Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft: don't mention putting the browser in the OS

Date: February 1998


The full exhibit text and analysis is now available ("Comes: Microsoft’s Push-Polling in Order to Exclude Rival Web Browsers from Windows"). --User:Schestowitz|Schestowitz 13:45, 29 October 2009 (UTC)


From: Nathan Myhrvold Sent Sunday February 15, 1998 12:37 PM To: Bill Gates; Tod Nielsen; Brad Chase; David Cole; Joe Belfiore; Mich Mathews; Greg Shaw Corp. PR gregshaw); Tom Pilla; Alison Obrien; Bill Neukom (LCA); David Heiner (LCA); Steve Ballmer; Mitch Mathews; Eric Rudder; Yusuf Mehdi; Steve Ballmer; Paul Martz; Jim Allchin; (Exchange) Subject: RE: browser in the OS


Saying "put the browser in the OS" is already a statement that is prejudicial to us. The name "Browser" suggests a separate thing. I would NOT phrase the survey, or other things only in terms of "put the browser in the OS".

Instead you need to ask a more neutral question about how the internet technology needs to merge with local computing. I have been pretty successful in trying this on various journalists and industry people.


Responses given if pressed

Microsoft has a vision to integrate local computing with Internet computing. This means building the fundemental Internet protocols into the operating system.

Netscape is on a different strategy. They are NOT attempting to make local data, or local PC computing mesh smoothly with the Internet. Instead their strategy is to replace local computing by integrating more and more functionality into their software. They are creating new APIs to turn their browser into a high level operating system, which will obviate use of a local operating system, like Windows.

They feel that the Browser is the platform.


Microsoft is telling its millions of existing users that their is a path for them to use the Internet metaphor both locally and remotely. Netscape is telling people to put with the difference between their local PC and the Internet and that over time you will throw out your old software in favor of new software and services which operate on top of the Netscape platform.


From: Bill Gates Sent: Saturday, Febuary 14, 1998 10:42 AM To: Tod Nielsen; Brad Chase; David Cole Cc: Bill Neukom (LCA); David Heiner (LCA); Steve Ballmer; Mitch Mathews; Eric Rudder; Yusuf Mehdi; Steve Ballmer; Nathan Myhrvold; Paul Martz; Jim Allchin; (Exchange) Subject: Browser in the OS


Only by doing a document that EXPLAINS why we are putting the browser into the operating system will people start to have more sympathy for why this makes sense and understand that the government shouldn't be blocking this.


It would HELP ME IMMENSELY to have a survey showing that 90% of developers believe that putting the browser into the OS makes sense .. Ideally we would have a survey like this done before I appear at the Senate on March 3rd.

Full Exhibit