Bill Gates finds new ways to be unpleasant
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 95 18:48:01 -0800
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: Bill Gates finds new ways to be unpleasant
From: email@example.com (Tom Parmenter)
Well, Windows95 is installed with only minor but profoundly annoying
problems, which leave me still unable to do a proper Desperado from
home. In the meantime, from risks via silent-tristero, a pretty bald
revelation of the Gates mind.
Not his bdy,
Subject: Bug-free code!
From: "Lee S. Kilpatrick" (Mr. Breeze) <leekil@BBN.COM>
From: Klaus Brunnstein <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Mr.Bill Gates: MS software essentially bug-free
In an interview for German weekly magazine FOCUS (nr.43, October 23,1995,
pages 206-212), Microsoft`s Mr. Bill Gates has made some statements about
software quality of MS products. After lengthy inquiries about how PCs
should and could be used (including some angry comments on some questions
which Mr. Gates evidently did not like), the interviewer comes to storage
requirements of MS products; it ends with the following dispute (translated
by submitter; at some interesting points, I added the German phrase):
Focus: But it is a fact: if you buy a new version of a program to
overcome faults of an old one, you unavoidably get more features
and need more storage.
Gates: We have strong competitors and produce only products which we
believe to be able to sell. New versions are not offered to
cure faults. I have never heard of a less relevant reason to
bring a new version on the market.
Focus: There are always bugs in programs.
Gates: No. There are no essential bugs ("keine bedeutenden fehler") in
our software which a significant number of users might wish to
Focus: Hey? I get always crazy when my Macintosh Word 5.1 hides
page numbers under my text.
Gates: Maybe you make errors, have you ever thought about that? It
often appears that machine addicts ("Maschinenstuermer") cannot
use software properly. We install new features because we were
asked to. Nobody would buy a new software because of bugs
in an old one.
Focus: If I call a hotline or a dealer and complain about a problem, I
have to hear: `Get the update to version 6`. Everybody has such
experiences. This is how the system works.
Gates: We pay 500 million $ a year for telephone advice. Less than 1% of
calls which we get has to do with software bugs. Most callers wish
advice. You are kindly invited to listen to the millions of calls.
You must wait for weeks until one complains about a bug.
Focus: But where does this feeling of frustration come from which unites
PC users? Everybody is confronted every day that programs do not
work as they should?
Gates: That is talking, following the motto: `yes, I also know about this
bug`. I understand this as sociological phenomenon, not as
The RISK? While there is NO risk that experienced users believe Mr. Gates,
there are 2 serious ones: first, that politicians (who rarely experience the
lowlands of PCs but develop their "political visions" from their
unexperience) may believe him. Second and worst: that Mr. Gates and his
enterprise believe what he is saying, and act accordingly :-)
Maybe someone can inform Mr. Gates that it was HIS enterprise which recently
distributed the first Macro virus WordMacro.Concept on a CD-ROM to OEM
customers, in July, and to participants of a Windows 95 seminar in Germany,
in September); but indeed, this is NOT a BUG BUT an ATTACK on unaware users:-)
According to a German saying those whose reputation is corrupted may live free
and easy ("Ist der Ruf erst ruiniert, lebt sich's doppelt ungeniert!")
Klaus Brunnstein (October 27,1995)
[... und nicht ingeniert (which is not pronounced engineert!) PGN]
[And while we're on this subject... -psl]
Forwarded-by: email@example.com (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: Todd Kover <kovert@umiacs.UMD.EDU>
Forwarded-by: Omar Siddique <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Forwarded-by: email@example.com (Timothy Finin)
29 October 1995 [Image]
Microsoft bids to monopolize Web software
A SHOWDOWN in cyberspace is about to occur between Bill Gates's
Microsoft and the Internet software firm Netscape. The battle is over
the future publishing standard of the Internet's World Wide Web, used
all over the world, writes Mark Prigg.
The Web uses a publishing system called Hypertext Mark-up Language
(HTML), which Netscape supports in its new browser, Navigator 2.0. But
next year Microsoft is planning to introduce Blackbird, a completely
new standard for Web publishing, supported at present only by
Microsoft. The company claims this will allow far better Web designs
than is possible with HTML.
Blackbird was thought to be a publishing standard for use only with
the Microsoft Network, introduced with the launch of Windows 95 in
August. However, The Sunday Times can now reveal that Blackbird is
being developed to become a rival standard to HTML for use on the
"Blackbird could well be come a threat to HTML in the future," says
John Wood, on-line director of Prince, an information-technology
consultancy and a user of the beta (test) version of Blackbird.
"Once users see how much better content is when created and viewed in
Blackbird, HTML's dominance of the Internet may well end." To get
Blackbird to work, completely new software must be installed on the
server computers that publish Web pages and on PCs used to browse the
Microsoft now says it plans to have software (running Windows NT)
that allow servers to use both Blackbird and HTML on the Internet and
the Micro soft Network before the end of this year, in readiness for
Blackbird's launch in January, when Blackbird-compatible browser
software for PCs will be distributed.
Blackbird means that both Internet and Microsoft Network users will
find themselves in need of new software. Neither existing Internet
browser soft ware (such as Netscape Navigator) nor Microsoft Network
software (part of Windows 95) is compatible with Blackbird.
Microsoft says it "hasn't yet decided" how the new Black bird browsing
software is to be distributed. "We may even charge for it," says
Jeremy Gittins, UK product manager for Microsoft Network.
But Internet experts warn of blood on the floor as the two systems
slug it out for dominance. Microsoft could also face howls of protests
if it decides to charge for its Blackbird browser.
"Blackbird could cause huge problems for users," says Shan Sood, a
research analyst at Dataquest. "If Microsoft decides to charge any
more than a nominal fee for it, they could be in trouble. The whole
reason many people bought Windows 95 was because of the inbuilt access
to Microsoft Network and the Internet. If that is no longer the case
in January, they may think `why did I buy this?'.
"What seems strange is that Microsoft has kept this quiet from users,"
Microsoft also plans to use Blackbird to produce on-line services,
CD-Roms and even a series of interactive television programmes.
Those who have run the beta version of Blackbird are quick to point
out that the big advantage of Blackbird is its ease of
use. "Blackbird will allow de signers to create on-line services,
rather than programmers," says Wood.
Microsoft claims that Blackbird will "change the nature of on-line
services completely", and Gittins goes so far as to say "it will be
the next revolution in on-line services".
However, Netscape also has a new suite of application dev elopment
tools, called Live Wire!, waiting in the wings. The inclusion of Sun's
Java, an on-line multimedia application programming language, means
that Microsoft may not have an easy ride establishing Black bird as a
Blackbird forms part of a complete rethink of Microsoft's on-line
service strategy. Many believe this was forced on the company by the
poor take-up of Microsoft Network. The fledgling service has been
criticised for its lack of content and poor performance, with many
users experiencing long delays in connecting.
© 1995 Peter Langston