Microsoft Shoots Down Blackbird

Rohit Khare (
Thu, 8 Feb 96 16:51:40 -0500

Just think, I could have been there -- I could have been Microsoft's *Blackbird Technology Evangelist*!

Even *I* don't have the gumption to spin this a win for Bill....



€Microsoft Shoots Down Blackbird


€Microsoft Corp.€ has decided to abandon development work on the non-HyperText Markup Language version of Internet Studio, formerly known as Blackbird, its on-line publishing tool.

The decision, announced earlier this month, puts an end to one of the on-line industry's most infamous "shadow" products, one that was expected to be the company's secret weapon against on-line services, such as €America Online€, as well as the World Wide Web itself.

But signs of Microsoft's change in direction surfaced at its Internet Strategy day last December, when Microsoft announced it was planning a new version of Blackbird, renamed Internet Studio, that would not output proprietary Blackbird file formats, but rather, standard HTML.

The company also said it would release a "transition" version of the Blackbird viewer as a helper application. But now, the proprietary plan has been scrapped, according to Tom Button, director of marketing for Microsoft's Developer Division.

Beta versions of the Blackbird viewer and several titles were released to the Microsoft Network, but the technology itself was never widely released.