Re: [Jeff Covey @ Freshmeat] We Are Losing the Browser War

From: Stephen D. Williams (
Date: Thu Mar 29 2001 - 18:42:43 PST

> Josh Cohen wrote:
> It is you who is biased and cant see the truth.
> >They have a fine line to walk and I'm not all that upset about what
> >they've chosen. There a
> Thats becaus you worked there and see why those choices were made
> and attached personally to them. You dont see them as "evilly bent"
> Other people on the outside, lets say gays or lesbian churches
> who were blocked by your silly boy in the bubble filter might
> think otherwise.

They have a mainstream filter for their content areas. Not too
unusual. Of course people outside that mainstream want to be considered
mainstream. In many cases, I agree with them, however I can't fault a
'publisher' as long as they don't make it hard to get to other venues
(i.e. the web).

> >Porn email and "cyber-sex" chatting are huge on AOL. Unless someone
> >complains that child-porn or a crime is involved, or that it
> >was sent to
> >them unsolicited, there is no censorship that I know of.
> I cant have "bigPenis" as my handle/account name.

Because your screen name would show up in chat rooms, email, message
forums, etc. Standard mainstream filter. Name your company 'FuckFace,
Inc.' and try to place a full page ad in the Post...

<Insert long digression into the slide of society into vulgar,
unrefined, and uncivilized tendancies and the relative merits and
problems thereof.>

> >> --]For the most part, I disagree. There are (security)
> >reasons why their
> >> --]client is closed and development reasons why they are
> >Win32 mostly and
> >> --]Mac slightly. I can't say much more than that.
> *snore*, you're constant avoidance of reality or support
> with facts is tiresome.
> Look, Microsoft is better, just trust me. I cant
> tell you why, its a matter of national security.

I didn't say they were better because of that, only that there were less
insidious reasons that I believe they would otherwise be willing to do.

> --]Their only screwup was the .ART format and everything related to
> it,
> --]although it did buy them a bit in caching. Well their other major
> --]screwup was not letting (My) Instant Images go live (bastards!),
> but I
> --]digress.
> How about not letting Instant Messaging work openly, or across
> services?

Yikes, how could I forget to at least mention that??? I have a long
opinion on this subject that I'll spare you. Basically, I think Wall
Street would kill them if they willingly 'gave away' that market

> It was fair to reject MS's attempt to work just like GAIM, but
> now they are clearly clinging to their closed proprietary
> model. I think we all know that IM will be like email;
> you can IM sdw@aol from josh@xyz. I hope you're not going to
> stand up and pathetically defend the company you love so much
> on this one...

I don't love them that much, I just understand them well. Of course IM
will be open.

> So far, their IM expansion is a mockery. They are doing
> deals with Sprint, as an example, which makes sprint
> give up not only its precious subscriber base to AOLs "evil ways"
> but also pushes the AOL brand on to the phone.
> AOL is putting the carriers over a barrel and making
> them bleed.

Yea, and it's useless... The AOL RIM device looks killer however if it
works as demoed.

> --]C) MS practices are intolerable in many ways,
> Really? what "practices" *directly* affect you...
> Please dont count the OEM licensing thing, that was
> your OEMs deciding that it was cheaper not to deal with you..
> >> --]AOL doesn't have the same evil bent as MS as far as I'm
> concerned.
> This is just asinine. You have been drinking the cool aid too much.
> You should stop watching TV so much and stop listening to Scott
> Mcnealy
> and Larry Ellision. It's perfectly reasonable to say that you
> think MS products suck, but evil ?

<Insert long discussion of 'technico/business evil' vs. Evil (tm)>
I just meant that there appears to be open contempt for users,
developers, partners, and the technical community.
Of course, "Don't ascribe to malice what can be explained as
incompetance", however this tendancy is just too prevalent.

> Basically most of your arguments in this thread have come down to
> this. You dont like Microsoft. Fair enough.
> >MS frequently doesn't live up to my standards, regardless of how many
> >billion they could spend to get it right.
> You are a power user. Just the same way that your precious AOL
> is appropriate for your daughter or mother, Microsoft's products
> are targeted at the same group. It happens that those type
> of consumer users are the vast majority of the consumer market.
> In the corporate world, things are no different; the products
> are targeted at the simple professional who doesn't know alot
> about computers, doesnt really want to, and just wants to get
> work done.
> It's natural that these products would frustrate a power user like
> yourself. I feel the same way actually, but I know that Im uncommon
> in the world and I am glad that Microsoft doesn't target customers
> like me.
> If they did, my stock would be worth nothing.

All true.

> >The problem is that their motives are always suspect.
> Microsoft's motive is to make profits.
> My opinion is that Microsoft is about business first, technology
> second.
> Microsoft doesn't give anyone anything unless it makes sense for
> Microsoft.
> Microsoft can be obstinate, aggressive, a ruthless competitor.
> Business isn't necessarily "fair".
> AOL is the fucking same way as Microsoft.

Of course, at some level, but I see differences in strategies, most of
the time. Corporate philosophies, strategies, methods, limits, etc.
vary a lot and this makes some companies much more attractive to me than
others. MCI, for example, is banned for life as far as I'm concerned.
Sprint, who I've had far more dealings with, has been nearly perfect.
Of course they both try to earn money, etc., but how they go about it
gives me, as a consumer, a very distinctly different feeling.

> If these things make you sick, then frankly, I would suggest
> that you never start your own company. I think not doing these
> things would be avoiding your fiduciary duty to your shareholders.

I have started and helped start and run numerous companies. I learned
early on that there are a number of ways to run a business and deal with
customers, suppliers, etc. <Insert long monologue about trust,
short-term vs. long-term, risk management, competition, ethics, etc.>


Stephen D. Williams
43392 Wayside Cir,Ashburn,VA 20147-4622 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax 

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