Re: MS vs NS over NT TCP Limits

Rohit Khare (
Sat, 10 Aug 1996 23:43:45 -0400 (EDT)

I'm crossing the streams here a bit with an internal discussion of
the NT limit brouhaha... Phill's quite a character, and not too far off
the mark on this one...



Subject: Re: MS vs NS over NT TCP Limits (Re: From The Weber Grop)
Date: Sat, 10 Aug 96 15:28:15 -0400

I think it important to distinguish the question of crippling hardware
so one can sell a perfomance upgrade and crippling software. I have just paid
out $1200 to have some UNIX licenses upgraded from two user to multiuser.
The limitation on the number of users has been a feature of that
manufacturers O/Ss for fifteen years. I don't see a significant
distinction between number of users and number of TCP/IP connections.

The entire basis of intellectual property law is rooted in monopoly
law. The principle is that the state grants a limited term monopoly
in the use of intellectual property in order to encourage its
creation and in some cases disemination. It is not a fine tuned
legal argument to claim that Microsoft is exercising monopoly
privileges with respect to its software, it has a right to sell its
software at different functional levels. After all the marginal cost
of a WNT package is probably bellow $5, less for license bundles.

The part I find somewhat suprising about this is that the assumption
is made that MS are selling the Web server with the Workstation product
as the main attraction or whether the additional number of users to be
served is the main atteraction. I think that the Web server is bundled
with the server edition because the workstation one cannot cope with

Long term I expect NT workstation to come with the machine in the same
way that 95 does and for a similar price (practically nothing). The server
upgrade will be the main revenue operation for MS and it may well be as
simple as buying an additional key to upgrade the system.

If MS get serious stick I would expect that they would provide their
server free with both versions of the O/S. They already bundle source
code with their C++ development kit.

Apart from the fact that Netscape has built a business plan arround
the mistaken assumption that Web servers are not comodity products
that will sell at low cost in a highly competative market I don't
see any problem here. The Web has always been about free or cheap
software. Netscape gained their market position by effectively giving
away the navigator hoping to be able to control the server market
through their leverage in browsers. They stuck a bunch of junk in the
specs as they hastened to pile in every feature they could think of
and now they are whinging because their plan failed. I have very little

I just downloaded Internet Exporer 3 yesterday, I'm likely to use it
despite the slighlty clunkier interface. At least IE keeps running without
crashing every hour.