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Re: Gates Patents Flipping a Light Switch

From: paul cooke
Subject: Re: Gates Patents Flipping a Light Switch
Date: Thu, 13 May 2004 11:00:12 GMT

Amused wrote:

> theodp wrote:
>> Bill Gates is the assignee of a patent issued Tuesday for a 'Method
>> and system for generating a user interface for distributed devices'
>> [1], which can be used to control lighting systems, heating systems,
>> elevators, and various electronic systems (e.g., monitors, cameras,
>> and CD players) in a large environment, such as a large building, a
>> factory, or a large house.
>> [1],734,879
> has been building devices and interfaces since 1977.
> In fact, they have a pop-up window that seems to hint at a hate of M$ too,
> so I suspect there is a bit of "bad blood" involved there too.
> If you search the internet for x10 software, there is software that runs
> under DOS, OS/2, Windows and even Linux.
> In terms of "large environments" such as building automation, there are
> companies already geared towards that segment using several methods
> (including the x10 protocol above) and other protocols varying from
> hard-wired to signals over powerlines, coax, or several other RS232, RSxxx
> methods.

It's bad enough that lots of building management software already runs on
top of ms-windows... but the prospect of Microsoft muscling in on the
BMS/home automation front must fill those companies already in this market
with despair as their market share will evaporate... cos dollars to
doughnuts, the basic software will be bundled in on Microsoft's media/home
automation platform... and like all Microsoft software that comes with the
default system, will be basic but just about do the job well enough so that
owners will not be tempted to go and actually find software that does the
job properly... witness the hordes of users still using outlook express and
internet explorer despite all their problems and the wealth of better
software out there to do the job.

if you're wondering why I'm in on this it's because I've actually got
experience of building services commissioning and have "driven" the systems
of a very large building from a win2000 PC in the control room whilst
taking them through their design envelope to get the building certified and
accepted by the customer.

That building has got to last thirty years minimum in service and is running

At least the source code for the Building Management Software was part of
the deliverables so the owners of the building can get it patched if
necessary if the company that wrote the BMS go belly up... just hope
Microsoft are going to keep win2k supported for that long...

Use Linux - Computer power for the people: Down with cybercrud...

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