Re: Someone to blame the Web on?

I Find Karma (
Sat, 7 Sep 96 00:51:40 PDT

The Andreeeeesssseen article at goes on for pages and pages and
pages. Somewhere near the end he lays his cards on the table: he wants
Navigator to "take over the whole desktop." Reminds me of the end of
George Orwell's book _Animal Farm_, where the animals are looking back
and forth at the humans and pigs and can't figure out which are which.
So much for all animals being equal.

And yet, there's something in there we can sink our teeth into:
> So the stuff that you need to do that's not in Navigator right now is
> like manage your local files. Maybe run spreadsheets. That's about it.

Well, why SHOULDN'T a browser manage local files? If the next
generation of HTTP is a Universal Transport Protocol, *TP, then
managing a distributed file system is tantamount to managing a
distributed ANYTHING. Shoot, I should type in the memo to myself
from last night. Mebbe I'll do that NeXT.

-- Adam

> What's the future of Navigator?

More and more of the things that people do on the network can just
happen inside Navigator. We're going to expand Navigator to be a
desktop, and that will work with all these different platforms exactly
in the same way. It will take over the screen if you want. You could
even replace the Windows start-up screen. Navigator will be able to take
over the whole desktop. In fact, you'll be able to boot directly into it.

As far as size and complexity goes, more and more of it's going to be
downloaded on the fly. Navigator is turning more and more into a
subscription-based service. You're going to subscribe to Navigator and
your subscription may actually be subsidized by content providers or
advertisers or whatever. But you'll subscribe to the Navigator and in
the middle of the night, a new module will get downloaded and then
you'll get asked the next morning, "Would you like to install this?" If
you click yes, boom, it will be right there. If you click no, it will be
erased from your system. With Java, we can do all that safely and do it
broadly and across platforms.

> It seems like it's the same thinking that's motivating IE 4.0.

The difference is we don't have to run the OS. There's pros and cons on
both sides. There's a certain advantage to owning the OS; there's a
certain advantage to not having to worry about an operating system
revenue. So people will get to choose.

There are an increasing number of users who are spending more and more
of their day in the Navigator. What do you do on a PC? You do email, you
surf the Web, and if you're creating documents or content you're
probably creating them in space to post online. Navigator does that. So
the stuff that you need to do that's not in Navigator right now is like
manage your local files. Maybe run spreadsheets. That's about it.

> In what time frame do you foresee this happening?

Six to 12 months.

> Do you feel like the pace forces you to make decisions you'd rather
> not make?

No, well the pace forces people to make decisions period. CNET has the
option, for example, to wait for ActiveX or wait for the next great
authoring tool, whatever it is. You can't, you don't. You'll be creamed
by your competitors if you do.

Most companies, a lot of internal corporate IS people, are under the gun
to deliver stuff right now, and they can't wait. So I think the pace
has accelerated permanently. These technologies are only feeding it. But
it's the way things always would have been done. We're only able to move
as fast as we are because we're benefiting from a lot of stuff that's
happened in the last 10 or 15 years. There are ways to communicate
extremely effectively with the press just through email. Software
distribution: It's just painless and transparent now. That's never been
the case before. The feedback from customers is instantaneous. Sales
channels: We were able to get Navigator Personal Edition into 80,000
stores in a matter of a few weeks because the distribution channels are
there that weren't there 10 years ago.

> Microsoft has so many resources, it's easy for them to amplify their
> message. Has it become more difficult for you to articulate your message?

It hasn't gotten more difficult to articulate; it's gotten more
difficult to broadcast it. And the reason is we're dealing with a
company that has 1,000 working on PR in the Internet space and we have
300 people working with standards bodies. They have 2,000 or 3,000
marketing people ... some ungodly number like this, in the developer
organization. That's where the resource differential comes in. I think
we may still have more programmers on it than they do. But on the
marketing side, there's no question theirs is an enormous marketing

> Do you think it would take a decree from the Department of Justice to
> stop Microsoft, or pure competitive forces in the marketplace can
> determine what will happen?

On the DOJ thing, there's a fairly straightforward set of rules for the
ways that different companies, including those of monopolies, can
compete: They're either legal or not. So those are sort of a separate
set of issues. But more broadly, we think we've got a pretty decent
story, got a pretty decent appeal. In many cases, it's different than
Microsoft's. So we're just going to keep on going.

> Microsoft has been good at freezing the market with vaporware
> announcements.

Sure. They've been good at freezing traditional markets. They haven't
been so good at freezing the Internet yet.


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