Where do you want to be tomorrow?

Where do you want to be tomorrow?

Post by br.. » Tue, 18 Mar 1997 04:00:00



     A few thoughts of Microsoft's place in the market, from someone
more concerned with the market than with Microsoft...

                             **********

     Most everywhere we turn on this wonder our tax dollars built
there are the warning signs, barbed wire fences and armband wearing
thugs of an electronic new world order.  They're a one party, one
platform bunch for whom a rainbow is 'too much color for your own
good' but a thousand shades of red is 'the freedom to choose.'
They're a Borg-like 'resistance is futile' army too enthralled with
the spoils of war to see all that's wrong with their homogenous,
single source, one-size-fits-all approach to personal computing.
With blind loyalty they carry out their leader's 'final software
solution,' slaughtering entire races of brainchildren for the sake of
their 'Master OS.'  And now that they've assimilated or destroyed most
of the resistance, now that there are precious few choices left for us
to make, now that there are so many fewer places for us to go that
they have the nerve to ask "Where do you want to go today?"

                             **********

     At some point you're going to have to do something about the
'race to the bottom' or suffer for it.  We CANNOT be a country of
middle-managers.  There simply isn't enough middle-management work
to go around.  Besides, plenty of our countrymen don't want to be in
management at all, and neither will plenty of our children.

                             **********

     No, Bill Gates isn't the only guy whose company has a history of
despicable business practices, but neither was Hitler the only guy
whose government had a history of despicable social practices.  It
just doesn't make any sense to keep forgiving one criminal because
there are still other criminals.  If you're going to stop rewarding
criminals for their criminal behavior, a good place to start is with
the biggest criminal.  And no, I'm not suggesting that Bill Gates has
been or will be responsible for causing as much pain and suffering in
this century as was Hitler.  But in that race, and as far as the US is
concerned, I wouldn't make any bets about him taking a distant second
place...

                             **********

     Someone asked me if I knew what it would mean for the PC OS
market to become equally divided between twenty competitors.  For one,
it would mean that no single virus, trojan, worm or other malicious
program could do damage to more than five percent of PC systems on
which a growing number of businesses depend.  Eighty percent Windows
means eighty percent susceptible to malicious programs written for
Windows.  With record numbers of Windows machines connecting to the
Internet there's a virus epidemic of horrifyingly enormous scale just
waiting to happen.  What might it be if eighty percent of the machines
*running* the Internet were running Windows?

                             **********

     Money doesn't grow on trees, but even if it did the supply would
still be finite.  In order for anyone to have more, someone else must
have less, or you have to make more and that makes it all worth less.
$30,000,000,000 could be just that for one person, $30,000,000 for one
thousand people, or $30,000 for one million people.  Which does your
brain tell you would be better for your economy?  Which does your
heart tell you would be better for your society?  Which does your
faith tell you would be better for your soul?  So why give even more
money to a man who already has $30,000,000,000?  I can see how one man
might be valued by his community ten times as much as another, but
ten-thousand times?  Or a million times?  Personally, I think that
anyone who has tens of millions of dollars and still wants more is
mentally ill and spiritually bankrupt.  And I put it to you that for
you to become a billionaire, children somewhere must die.  Statistical
*.  You may well have killed someone with that credit card.
<singing> It's * by numbers, one, two, three...

                             **********

     Remove all error checking from a program and it will be faster
than it was.  Where software is concerned, 'slower' doesn't
necessarily mean 'more stable,' but 'more stable' does mean 'slower.'
Similarly, 'slower' doesn't mean 'safer,' 'more feature rich' or
'easier to use,' but all these things do mean 'slower.'  If you want
to beat the competition for speed, you've got to sacrifice features,
safety, stability, or ease of use.  Of course none of those traits
means nearly as much if you don't have any competition.

                             **********

      If a market is stable or growing, fewer companies competing in
that market means fewer jobs.  If the available work force for that
market is stable or growing, fewer jobs means lower wages.  If a
market and its work force are both stable and growing, fewer companies
competing in that market means fewer jobs and lower wages.  One way to
beat your competition is to reduce your costs.  One way to reduce your
costs is to farm out jobs to countries with lower wages.  The Internet
is already helping many US based corporations reduce their labor costs
by allowing them to move programming, technical support and sales
positions overseas, just as so many have moved manufacturing and
packaging jobs overseas.  What's that that Microsoft is funding in
India?  And for what purpose?  Perhaps the reason that Microsoft is
asking you "where do you want to go today" is that they don't want you
to think about where you're going to be tomorrow.

                             **********

 
 
 

Where do you want to be tomorrow?

Post by Rajat Dat » Fri, 21 Mar 1997 04:00:00



Quote:

>     A few thoughts of Microsoft's place in the market, from someone
>more concerned with the market than with Microsoft...

.... Lots and lots of stuff deleted ...

Quite frankly, bullshit.

The market has never been more competitive than it is today.  Yes, there
are * players, but there have always been * players, and far
fewer with greater control than we have today.

Microsoft is nowhere near as * today as IBM was 15 years ago.
Microsoft can be beaten by companies in their own niche (where is Money
today?).  Microsoft faces real threates from Java, Oracle, etc. etc.

What we don't need are people crying and wringing their hands about the
big bad boogie man.  We need people to do things, to turn out more and
better and innovative products.  If you've given up, then get out of the
way.  If you haven't given up, then start your own company, write your
own product, do something for Linux, whatever.

rajat

 
 
 

Where do you want to be tomorrow?

Post by br.. » Fri, 21 Mar 1997 04:00:00



(Rajat Datta) writes:

>>     A few thoughts of Microsoft's place in the market, from someone
>>more concerned with the market than with Microsoft...

>..... Lots and lots of stuff deleted ...

>Quite frankly, bullshit.

     You did notice that I wrote 'thoughts' didn't you?  "Hey," I said
"that cloud looks like my fifth grade math teacher."  "Bullshit" said
Rajat, unaware of the uncanny resemblance...

Quote:

>The market has never been more competitive than it is today.

     Some segments of the industry have never been more competitive,
but others have been much more competitive than they are today.  The
PC OS market is so far from competitive it isn't funny.  The hard
drive market isn't near as competitive as it has been in the past. The
LAN server market, while more competitive than in the past, isn't
particularly competitive.  What troubles me is that so many of the
markets in the industry are split between a major player with 60-80%
market share and two or three less major players divvying up the
remaining 20-40%.  Too many just aren't that competitive.

Quote:>Yes, there are * players, but there have always been *
>players, and far fewer with greater control than we have today.

     Again, in some areas.  How many PC OSes do you count?  How about
web browsers?  How many hard disk manufacturers?  How many network
adapter manufacturers?  At most of the outlets I visit I can count ten
or more brands of modems, but only a brand -sometimes two- of OSes,
and one or two brands of hard disks or network adapters.

Quote:>Microsoft is nowhere near as * today as IBM was 15 years ago.

     Or 25 years ago for that matter, but the landscape has changed
dramatically.  There weren't any where near as many microcomputers
then and they weren't playing so many important roles.

Quote:>Microsoft can be beaten by companies in their own niche (where is Money
>today?).  Microsoft faces real threates from Java, Oracle, etc. etc.

     So since other companies can still reasonably compete against
Microsoft in niche markets we should forget about where they can't
reasonably compete?  Relegate them to the niche markets and forget
about it?

Quote:

>What we don't need are people crying and wringing their hands about the
>big bad boogie man.  We need people to do things, to turn out more and
>better and innovative products.  If you've given up, then get out of the
>way.  If you haven't given up, then start your own company, write your
>own product, do something for Linux, whatever.

     Neither do we need people to pretend that there aren't any bad
guys, or that outfits like Microsoft have our mutual long-term
interests at heart.  Yes, we need people to do things, like creating
innovative new products *including* OSes.  In order to make sure that
people will bother, though, we need to make sure that no one else can
keep them out of markets by virtue of leverage from market share.  Can
you honestly say that you don't see any areas in the industry where
this is a problem?

     By the way, the fact that I'm bothering to express thoughts on
the subject is proof that I haven't given up.  If I had I wouldn't
bother.  As for business in general, though, whether or not I'll play
says nothing about the state of the playing field, but the state of
the playing field says much about whether or not I can play.  While
all sorts of people are making a big fuss about the growing number of
home based businesses, few seem to be noticing how many fewer are
willing or able to start other than a home based business.

 
 
 

1. Tomorrow, Tomorrow, Tomorrow

In a c-script I require tomorrow's date in YYMMDD format.

data -u +%y%m%d  gives me today.  I require tomorrow (without building
arrays or elaborate scripts)

Are there date operators?  I DO NOT HAVE GNU, so I can't use thier
 data --date '1 days' '+%y%m%d'         command.

Any quick answers ? ? ?
Thank-You

***************************
Peter Huizinga

Ft. McMurray, Alberta
CANADA

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