granular updates?

CobraBoy! (
Thu, 2 Oct 1997 08:10:10 -0700

Gates pushes Windows publishing prowess

By Joanna Pearlstein (

San Francisco -- Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates

promoted Windows strengths in both online and print

publishing in a keynote address today at Seybold San

Francisco. He also talked about Microsoft's work on the

Macintosh and spoke extensively about his vision of the

future of the World Wide Web.

Speaking to a crowd of about 3,000 at Moscone Center, the

Microsoft chief said of Web authoring on Windows: "There

are issues that simply come with the platform. Some of

these areas Microsoft is definitely playing catch-up, and

other ones I think we're moving up front."

Gates said Windows 98 and Windows NT 5.0, both due in the

first half of 1998, "are a big step forward in our

authoring development." Two key publishing technologies

that will be incorporated in the operating systems,

Microsoft said, are color management and OpenType, the

company's font initiative co-developed with Adobe Systems


Gates invited Kevin Connor, product marketing manager of

Adobe, to demonstrate the new publishing capabilities of

Windows NT 5. "Everybody who has ever doubted that

plug-and-play can be a reality on Windows, this demo is

for you," Connor said. He plugged a scanner into the USB

port of a Intel-standard PC, and the operating system

recognized the new hardware device and automatically

installed the device driver and color profile. Then, when

Connor hit the device's scan button, the system

automatically launched Adobe Photoshop and brought in the


Despite the usefulness of Web sites, Gates said, they also

pose "a huge information management problem. It's no

longer good enough to just have a high-speed HTTP server"

-- noting that Microsoft's Internet Information Server is

integrated into NT. Users now want electronic commerce,

credit card transactions and security features for Web

sites, he said, and he commended those companies offering

database tools for those purposes. Yet content management

remains a critical issue, Gates said. "Although it's

improved a lot, there's still a lot to be done."

Gates said cross-platform issues remain important, and he

said the company continues to work to integrate Mac OS

systems into NT environments: "That's a piece of code

we're constantly getting input on." He said Microsoft

believes in supporting mixed environments, and "that's an

area where we'll continue to add features."

Microsoft is pleased to be working collaboratively with

Apple again, he said, and pointed out that in the early

1980s Microsoft had more people working on Mac

applications than Apple had people working on the


"That was a very great collaboration," he said, "and it's

great to see -- with the new agreement and the investment

included as part of that -- some of that spirit and

collaboration coming back into the work between the two


Specifically, Gates cited the team of developers working

on Internet Explorer for the Macintosh as well as

Microsoft Office.

"With Microsoft Office, the last release there didn't do a

great job of taking advantage of the Macintosh," he said.

The next release, which Gates said will be available by

the end of the year, "will certainly reverse any notion

that we're not doing a really first-class job on the

Office environment on the Macintosh platform."

Microsoft Group Product Manager Tom Johnston demonstrated

dynamic HTML running on a beta version of Internet

Explorer 4.0 for the Macintosh, and he said the final

version will ship by the end of the year. Johnston also

showed a version of Internet Explorer 4 for Windows using

the emerging Extensible Markup Language (XML) standard,

which he said will provide "granular updates" without

requiring content providers to refresh an entire page when

data changes. "I think XML is really a breakthrough,"

Gates said.

In a question-and-answer session following the address,

Seybold Seminars founder Jonathan Seybold asked if the

absence of any discussion of Java during Gates' address

was an accident. "Well, I didn't mention C, VisualBasic,

Cobol or Pascal," Gates joked. "I'm a programmer; I love

programming languages."

He said Java is a great language, "but when you look at

serious applications, we think users want applications

that exploit their operating system. People care about

their platforms; they want the platforms exploited." Gates

said Java is nice for developers, "but how do users feel?

We doubt that successful applications will go down that



The eyes are the whores of the senses,

they'll go to anything. Keith Richards

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