Will .NET drive "them" away...

Posted 26 Jul 2000 at 04:25 UTC by tladuca Share This

...from proprietary software? Read a great summary of Microsoft .NET Then read the whitepaper.

You will plainly see that Microsoft is running out of ideas on how to get people to upgrade and has decided it will be easier to get people to just start subscribing to their services(just like magazines). With all the power they have I'm guessing they just might succeed, and pretty soon millions of people will be shelling out money to MS on a monthly basis. I guess they want to be just like your power company or your cable company. I know this has little to do about free software(directly) but I'd really like to hear you opinions on the subscription based software business model. If people are going to pay for software, is this the way to go? Will this help or hurt free software in anyway?

RE: Will .NET drive "them" away... , posted 26 Jul 2000 at 07:11 UTC by nixnut » (Journeyer)

It'll work of course. .NET is just a big marketing-campaign. Of course there's nothing in the white-paper, there's not supposed to be any. Microsoft is just one (although a very very big one) jumping on the ASP-wagon. And a lot of businesses, especially the small ones who'd rather not have an IT-department, will be very happy to pay a periodic fee for whatever IT-services they need. IT is not core-business for them, so if they can lease what they need, so much the better for them.

As for they effect on free source, well not much I guess. The development of software and the selling/leasing/using it are two quite different things. A lot of free software is and will be developed because some people just have too much time or aren't satisfied with available software. And then some businesses will (co-)develop free software because the development-proces works for them. They are of course free to provide whatever services they want using and/or supplying that software.

Aha!, posted 26 Jul 2000 at 08:26 UTC by tladuca » (Apprentice)

I get it now!

A few years ago....

Lerry Ellison: "Hey, hey look, Net PC this Net PC that! Blah Blah Net PC $500 blah blah everything you need Blah blah no troubles blah everything on the server blah.

The World: Uhm, well yeah that would be nice but MS isn't ready for that yet, you'll have to wait.


Microsoft: "hey hey look .NET this .NET that! Blah BLah .NET $$$Subscribe - Low Monthly fee$$$ evrything you need, no support necessary blah blah everything on the server blah.

The world:

Yay! Microsofts ready. We can do it now, thank you MS! Let's go everyone!

OK, so I'm being a little sarcastic but it sure seems that way. We(they) are giving more and more of our(their) money and control away to one big monolithic company. Well, I suppose they *are* being smarter about it and making it an option, i.e. I guess you'll still be able to use your computer the way you want and use thier services a la carte. That can't be so bad, right?

Not so good for others that tried it, posted 26 Jul 2000 at 09:34 UTC by andrewmuck » (Journeyer)

I think M$ may make a reasonable try of it but that it will end up driving more business to open source.

I am sure that Sun likes MS's move the can sell more boxes running star office for an enterprise, my wife is in local gov and they look at it as a lot of extra expense.

This has been tried with fairly negative results by the EDA industry

cya, Andrew...

"Running out of ideas", posted 26 Jul 2000 at 11:23 UTC by effbot » (Master)

Looks like they're implementing a rather old idea:

Redmond, Washington, March 20, 1992.

Transcript of meeting of John Walker and John Forbes of Autodesk and Bill Gates and Todd Needham of Microsoft.

WALKER: So let me see if I understand where you're going with this, Bill. What you'd really like is if in, say, five years, everybody with a computer gets a Microsoft bill every month, just like a telephone bill, for each product they use.

GATES: Precisely.

(from John Walker's Programs Are Programs)

Re: Will .NET drive "them" away...., posted 26 Jul 2000 at 12:49 UTC by dmerrill » (Master)

.NET is going to be good for Free Software. Look at it this way:

Person A owns copies of Windows and MS Office that she paid several hundred dollars for when she bought her computer. Person B pays a flat $25 per month to MS for the "use" of .NET. Who has more incentive to switch? A has already lost her money. B is facing a continual expense, a financial drain easily stanched by ____________ (fill in Gnome Office / KOffice / StarOffice / some other Suite of Choice in 5 years).

It depends on the DOJ, posted 26 Jul 2000 at 12:52 UTC by PaulJohnson » (Journeyer)

The key issue is the extent to which MS can use the ASP concept (which is all .NET actually is) to lock people in to it.

A big point is that with .NET you are effectively outsourcing your IT to MS. So if you later decide you want to change supplier, you have to find another ASP company who can pick up your services where MS left off. MS will not want to make this easy.

In the other corner we have the DOJ, who will want to stop MS doing this. Whether they succeed or not remains to be seen. But for most people IT is a cost centre. If outsourcing it to MS looks cheaper, thats what they will do.


White papers and their meanings, posted 26 Jul 2000 at 15:38 UTC by dtype » (Master)

Remember the days when the term 'white paper' meant that there was some sort of academic value to what the author had to say? When I hear about a white paper, I expect to see an abstract, methodology, supporting evidence and data, conclusions, etc...

Woe be the day when there is no distinction between an academic paper and a marketing 'vision' document.

Customers love to be shown contempt., posted 26 Jul 2000 at 18:17 UTC by murrayc » (Master)

Even Microsoft learn. Mostly they learn that when they show complete contempt for people and shower them with nonsense and Big Lies those people applaud and give them all their money.

I conclude that the void at the hear of .NET will not be of great benefit to Open Source, unless Open Source manages to tell everybody about its own advantages in a clear way.

On second thoughts, we may need to add bugs to our programs so that we can lie about them not existing. Maybe we should also invent some useless functionality that nobody would ever bother to code, just so we can say that it exists.

Elimination of Piracy, posted 27 Jul 2000 at 16:33 UTC by cbbrowne » (Master)

The .NET concept represents perhaps the ultimate way of enforcing the "Microsoft Hegemony," with three major factors:

  • As has been correctly observed by others, once you "buy into" .NET, it will become increasingly expensive over time to move to any other "application platform."

    While Microsoft has some clear expertise in working to "lock" people into their platforms, which hearkens back to the days when IBM played the same game in forcing people to upgrade their mainframes in a "lockstep" fashion, it doesn't take the slightest bit of nefarious intent for it to be expensive to move to a different platform.

  • Another posting correctly observed that this concept leads to Microsoft becoming one of those "utility" bills that you pay each month.

    I just did a transfer of phone service to a new apartment, and it was quite entertaining how many bits of "extra service" the phone company tried to sell me. I could easily have a phone bill of $75/month ignoring any long distance services.

    Microsoft can, if they move towards "utility," in this way, have ample room to have "extra services," such as the .NET Pro that does more cool stuff. And they can strongly encourage sales of this by having the "cheap .NET" offering only provide limited capabilities.

  • Lastly, and most importantly, the process eliminates software piracy.

    Microsoft isn't selling you software, and you can't make copies, because the software never leaves their servers.

    Thus, Microsoft can "grow" on to the $Multi $Trillion level whilst appearing to diminish pricing, because they eliminate all those duplicate copies of MS Office.

It's going to look pretty good to have access to MS .NET Office for only $4.95/month, but the longer term effects are a bit more scary...

Integration, posted 27 Jul 2000 at 22:31 UTC by tetron » (Journeyer)

What this .NET initiative seems to me (among other things) is the sort of holy grail of computing: total interation, eg convergence. Applications not only seemslessly interact, but maybe even also function in an intellegent agent society. This is a really cool idea, but the question really then becomes if the microsoft mindset is appropriate to that.

Microsoft is all about providing their own vertical monopoly for doing things - use MS Office and play MS Age of Empires on your MS Windows PC connected to a MS Windows NT server. Their own stuff more or less plays nice together, and so .NET is just an extension of this. HOWEVER, for this to be useful to the _world at large_, vertical integration totally useless. In the real world, there are vendors besides MS. In a total-integration world, open standards becomes 10x more important; certain application behaviors have to be well-known or cooperation with others (the basis of any agent society) is impossible.

I don't think this can be done by MS, or any other coorperate entity. It will require something like CORBA for the internet, and a standards body to make decisions and publish these sorts of tight-interapplication interface standards. You can have a heterogeneous network, just as long as everyone more or less speaks the same language. That's the model for a little killer app you may have heard of - the web.

CORBA for the Internet, posted 10 Aug 2000 at 22:04 UTC by hexmode » (Journeyer)

This already exists. Look up SOAP.

SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) is XML over HTTP, so it isn't exactly lightweight, but it is my understanding that this is what Microsoft will be using.

Other people have been working with Microsoft on this standard. These include Userland and Developmentor. IIRC, there is a proposal wending its way through the IETF.

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