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Re: Too late! Window hasta la vista 5308 is now fully operational.

From: Erik Funkenbusch
Subject: Re: Too late! Window hasta la vista 5308 is now fully operational.
Date: Sun, 26 Feb 2006 15:28:19 -0600
User-agent: 40tude_Dialog/

On 25 Feb 2006 20:01:43 -0800, Rex Ballard wrote:

>> Microsoft won with Win95, because it was easier to produce eye-catching
>> graphical application, than it was with Win3.1 or any of the Unix
>> variants. In fact, I was doing a SCADA Master Controller in 95 on SunOS.
>> The project ended up working very well and being very reliable, but it was
>> an absolute horror to program the GUI.
> The irony is that Linux actually had easier to use tools.  Tools like
> Python, Perl/TK, GTK, and Java AWT made it really easy to create really
> simple and effective GUI interfaces to Linux applications.

Oh, here we go again.  When Windows 95 was releaed, most of those tools
didn't even exist.  Java didn't exist, and evne when it did, Sun didn't
povide an "official" port until 1999.  GTK didn't exist.  Python didn't
exist.  Perl did, but I don't believe it had any X support.

> On the
> other hand, coding GUI interfaces in C or C++ with core toolkits was a
> bit more challenging.  Microsoft was also really promoting the
> dailights out of Visual Basic as the primary interface - partly to make
> sure that applications could not be easily ported to Linux.

Rex, that's just insane.  Certified insanity.

>> The Borland Graphics Library or MFC made it a lot easier to program GUIs.
> There were some fishy things going on with Borland.  Several
> applications written using Borland's compilers and libraries began
> acting strangely when Windows 95B was released.

Wrong.  I used borland tools at the time, and they worked just fine on
Windows 95B.  My guess is that, if the above actually happened (unlikely,
given your penchant for fabrication) it was likely some error in the
application that was exposed by some change in the code.

> I think the real win for Microsoft was that they did a really good job
> of making sure that they had all of the 32 bit applications from
> Microsoft, AND provided excellent support 16 bit applications,
> including some much better multitasking of "Command" Windows.
> Ironically, this was largely due to the virtual machine licensed from
> Quarterdeck.

Microsoft did not license any virtual machine technology from quarterdeck,
Rex.  Stop fabricating stuff.

> As for the look and feel, or the programming models, it wasn't that
> much harder to write code for Linux than it was to write code for
> Linux.  It did however take a very different type of engineering.  Most
> Windows applications were written for "busy-wait" multitasking and
> depended heavily on threads and shared libararies with shared buffers
> as a means of interprocess communication.  This is actually why so many
> Windows 3.1 applications would not run on Windows NT 3.1.

No, Rex.  Windows 3.1 didn't have threads.  At all.  And the Windows model
was always event driven, rather than "busy wait" driven.  Occasionally,
some misbenaving app would lock up the system by either going into an
infinite loop or doing some long bit of processing, but this isn't the same
as busy waiting.  You have to really work to busy wait in Windows, since
doing so makes it difficult to receive events.

> Many players were hedging their bets, they
> were prepared to consider staying with Windows 3.1, flipping to OS/2,
> Solaris, UnixWare, or Linux.

Which is one reason why so many of them were so late with 32 bit Windows
products.  They took a "wait and see" approach, giving Microsoft the
opportunity to get to their customers first.

> The OEMs didn't like OS/2 because that would give IBM an advantage.

Something I've been saying for YEARS.  Nice of you to finally climb on the

> They didn't like Solaris/86 because that
> would give Sun the advantage.  They didn't like UnixWare because this
> would just be giving Novell the same monopoly previously held by
> Microsoft.  Besides, Microsoft had negotiated a deal with Novell that
> suckered Novell into withdrawing from the Workstation market.

This is another one of those fabrications you keep repeating, but is
patently untrue.  In fact, Microsoft *BEGGED* Novell to support Windows NT,
but they steadfastly refused to do so.  Finally, Microsoft was forced to
write their own redirector.  (it worked, but wasn't very featureful).

> When Windows NT 3.1 flopped

Not really.  It was never expected to be a big success, for a number of
reasons.  Compatibility was the biggest one.  3.1 didn't have OLE or a
number of other technologies necessary to make it a viable platform for
many.  Microsoft knew that NT adoption would be  a multi-year and
multi-version strategy.  Some estimates were that Microsoft was prepared to
spend 10 years propping up NT financially before it would make a profit,
but it started doing so after 4.

> and 3.5 still didn't take off, Bill Gates
> announced Chicago, and promised it within a year (Early 1995?).  But
> unlike NT, Microsoft really had to scramble and come up with something
> that could compete with *nix.

Chicago was announced in 1993, and it was expected to ship in late 1994.
It slipped to August 1995.  Windows 95 was not meant to compete with Unix.
It was meant to move people to 32 bit, so that the transition to NT would
be less painful down the road.  This was the exact same tact that Microsoft
took for OS/2.  Windows 3.1 was designed as a gateway from DOS to OS/2, and
probably would have been successful if IBM had not grown jealous of the
success of Windows and sabotaged OS/2 at every turn.

> The irony is that most people thought that Windows 95 was going to be
> as powerful as Windows NT, but fully compatible with Windows 3.1.

In many ways, it was.  

> The problem was that Microsoft was only willing to give out information
> about NT to those who promised to commit virtually all of their
> programming talent to Win32 application development.  In many cases,
> they even had to sign nondisclosure agreements which prevented anyone
> working on Windows projects from writing *nix or OS/2 applications.

This is simply not true.  I had an NT 3.1 developer kit given to me at
Comdex in 1993.  No non-disclosure, hell I didn't even have to sign
anything at all.  I walked up to the booth and they were giving them out,
along with the early MSDN beta's.

There were non-disclosures involved if you wanted to be a part of the
pre-pre-beta programs, such as for Windows 95, where you got access to
Alpha versions of the OS, but this was dropped sometime around mid-1994
when the "public" beta's were released, and you could order free (for cost
of shipping) versions of the SDK.  I remember onwing a copy of Symantec C++
in 1994 and getting the offer for the kit.

> The problem was that many companies had been investing over 3 years of
> nearly all of their programming talent into Winows NT, and their only
> chance of getting ANYTHING back was to get something out for Windows
> 95.  Many software companies died on the vine.

Not really.  Most companies did not support NT at all, and lots of
companies, such as Wordperfect and Lotus took a wait and see approach to
see if Windows would take off before devoting resources ot 32 bit

> Ironically, the big winner was Java.  Because so many software
> developers were "bumped out" by Microsoft Bundleware and competitor
> products, many turned to Java for the promise of "Write Once - run
> Anywhere.  But again, Microsoft trumped Java by offering J++ and
> bundling direct calls to Windows library functions.

Direct calls are not prohibited by Java, so long as they're in their own
unique namespace.  Sun never complained about J/Direct, but they did
complain about Microsoft's own native interface RMI which wasn't compatible
with JNI.  But all this came later.  You have this habit of mixing things
that happened years apart as if they all happened at the same time.

> One of the critical elements in taking this strategy was excellent
> intelligence.  By controlling the web browser, offering MSN, and having
> Windows 95 provide certain information via internet, Microsoft was able
> to identify the cash flow opportunities, and leverage them.  In
> regulated industries, Microsoft found strategic partners who provided a
> combination of cash and intelligence.  At one point, Microsoft was
> getting roughly 20% of the commissions from numerous agencies ranging
> from real-estate and cars to morgage, insurance, and banking.  Most
> people were unaware of this because 20% of a 7% commission is still
> just over 1%.  Microsoft's insider information gave them huge
> advantages in the arena of investments and corporate partnerships.

More fabrication, Rex.  Even if the above were true, which I can find no
evidence of, there is no way in HELL that you would know the details of it.

Why is it that only YOU seem to be privy to all the inside financial
details of things that are kept secret?

> The irony is...

You use that word all the time, and I don't think you really understand
what it means.

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