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Re: A mighty challenge for Microsoft

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Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> espoused:
> __/ [Mark Kent] on Sunday 05 February 2006 08:35 \__
>> begin  oe_protect.scr
>> Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> espoused:
>>> __/ [Mark Kent] on Saturday 04 February 2006 07:29 \__
>>>> begin  oe_protect.scr
>>>> nessuno@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <nessuno@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> espoused:
>>>>> "...For 25 years, Microsoft has defined the computer industry. Its
>>>>> MS-DOS operating system powered the first IBM PC in 1981, and its
>>>>> successor, Windows, has become even more dominant....
>>>>> "Microsoft has on occasion overstepped the boundary between sharp
>>>>> marketing practices and illegality. It has used its dominant market
>>>>> position to bully competitors and resellers.  Various anti-trust
>>>>> actions have exposed it as an ethically challenged company that will do
>>>>> whatever it takes to improve its market position...
>>>>> "...we could say that there are two big threats to the Microsoft model
>>>>> - the open-source model and the Google model....
>>>>> "Open-source software, as exemplified by the Linux operating system and
>>>>> the Apache web server, is everywhere. Major vendors such as IBM and Sun
>>>>> have embraced it, on the basis that the pie will be bigger, and revenue
>>>>> will come from other areas...
>>>>> "But perhaps an even bigger threat to the Microsoft way of doing things
>>>>> comes from Google and other internet-based outfits.
>>>>> "In many ways Google is proving to be the Microsoft of the 21st
>>>>> century, growing at an astounding rate by adopting technologies and
>>>>> business models suited to an online world light- years away from the
>>>>> environment that nurtured Microsoft and other conventional software
>>>>> companies.
>>>>> "Bill Gates famously missed the importance of the internet, believing
>>>>> until the mid-'90s that a proprietary Microsoft network could compete
>>>>> (Apple made the same mistake).
>>>> I'm not sure that he missed it per se, I think he believed that MS's own
>>>> networking stuff would beat it (not compete, eliminate).  This failed
>>>> miserably because the internet was global, so real innovation (ie., not
>>>> the copying stuff) was taking place everywhere.  Who could've predicted
>>>> gopher, or a year later, the www evolving on Microsoft's proprietary
>>>> stuff?
>>> Firefox is changing much of that, especially with vendors like Dell that
>>> ship Windows with Firefox as the default browser (only in the UK, as yet).
>>> I still install Firefox on merely many Windows computers that come my way.
>>> It's the least an individual can do to prevent the Net from becoming .NET.
>>> Also see: http://lxer.com/module/newswire/view/53126/index.html
>> Firefox's flexibility is phenomenal.  Whilst I expected the extensions
>> to be interesting, I don't think I had any clue about just how many
>> different things people would find to do.  We are, once again, heading
>> to a position where the browser could really become a usable shell of
>> itself for many uses.  I'm sure google see things this way.
> I agree. Firefox has been far more than a Web browser to me (arbitrary
> example at  http://schestowitz.com/temp/chembuddy_xmas.jpg ) and I continue
> to extend it further, all for practical reasons, not for flash. Almost a
> dozen plug-ins are used at the moment and my profile directory contains all
> that I ever need (including passwords, cookies and history). I can run
> Firefox via SSH from virtually anywhere. Duplicating its complete state and
> putting it on another machine is a drag-and-drop job, which is
> platform-independent.
> Peer-to-peer is coming to Firefox too.

I've been trying different extensions, like the dictionary one, the
document tree viewer (good for messy sites), the speedup one, the proxy
manager (great for moving between networks), as well as my favourite -
the tabbrowser extensions, and several others too.

>>>>> Microsoft may have won the browser wars
>>>>> - with inferior technology and dubious marketing practices - but
>>>>> it's a relatively small internet player. If it weren't for the fact the
>>>>> MSN is the default home page on the default browser on most PCs shipped
>>>>> - courtesy of Microsoft's near- monopoly of PC operating systems -
>>>>> it would be even further behind...."
>>> Very true. Let us not forget Outlook's (Express) inclination to refer its
>>> users to Hotmail (MSN).
>> The advantages conveyed by Microsoft's desktop monopoly are difficult to
>> fully quantify, but it's clear that the only competition which has been
>> effective has been free software, which avoids the barriers to
>> marketplace entry by making a technical change which shifts the market
>> in an unexpected direction.
> Awareness has become as important as (if not more than) the costlessness.
> More Joes are beginning to distinguish between an application/package and
> its underlying formats. More Joes finally understand the power of choice and
> come to realise that products from the (un)trusted monoloy (a "Big Brother")
> is not the holy grail of all.

It's also interesting how many sites now support Firefox  and Firefox on
Linux that a couple of years ago were IE/MS Windows only.  Just done
some internet shopping on Sainsbury and on Waitrose (Ocado) - both were
just fine.

| Mark Kent   --   mark at ellandroad dot demon dot co dot uk  |
Crime does not pay ... as well as politics.
		-- Alfred E. Newman

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