SUN'S JAVA: THE THREAT TO MICROSOFT IS REAL

SUN'S JAVA: THE THREAT TO MICROSOFT IS REAL

Post by John Bay » Wed, 20 Nov 1996 04:00:00






>>>I think it's a bit soon to mock Microsoft on this.  Microsoft *does*
>>>have 90% of the desktops, and many developers *will* be happy to
>>>use Microsoft's extensions even if those extensions only run on
>>>Win32 platforms.

>>    Microsoft doesn't 'have' 90% of desktops, they have 90% of *new*
>>desktop systems.

>I'm a little confused at your point here.  They had, at worst, 80% of
>*old* desktop systems.  Most estimates peg their total market
>penetration at somewhere near 85%.

    You can get technical about this - it was the original poster who
came up with the 90% estimate, I didn't think it was important to
correct him as it doesn't really change anything.

Quote:>>    The (real) point is, much of Microsoft's 'control' is an illusion
>>caused by market momentum.

>Actually market momentum is controlled by Microsoft, witness the rapid
>changeover from Win3.1 to Win95 and, previously, the rapid penetratino
>of Win3.1 on previously DOS-only systems.  Microsoft controls the way
>the market goes by controlling the major OS distribution channels.

    What I wrote, and you failed to read, was that there has *not*
been a rapid changeover from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95 on actual
desktop compuers, only in *new* systems. Corel experienced big problems
when new versions of its software would not work under Windows 3.1,
since they had been counting on a switch that never occurred. Windows
3.1 is still a bigger influence than Windows 95, and distributers are
still offering 3.1 as a preinstalled option on new systems.
    Microsoft is not in control of this. Nobody's in control. It's
nothing more than a case of users taking what they get, and becoming
so used to it that whether there's anything better available is
irrelevant. They assume that what they become used to is just how it's
supposed be, and don't have any reason to think about it beyond that.
    Nothin' more profound than that. And not even Microsoft can change
it.

--
John Bayko (Tau).

http://www.cs.uregina.ca/~bayko

 
 
 

SUN'S JAVA: THE THREAT TO MICROSOFT IS REAL

Post by Michael Herma » Thu, 21 Nov 1996 04:00:00


|> >
|> > I like Java as a programming language, but I would not be so quick
|> > to assume that Microsoft is stupid.  It wasn't all that long ago
|> > that people were crowing that Netscape had dethroned Microsoft
|> > thanks to the idea of web browsers, but MSIE is making major
|> > inroads there.  Microsoft can do the same with Java.
|>
|> Front page of Computer Reseller news about a week
|> or two ago wrote that Microsoft is writing the
|> new JAVA standard. The article stated that JAVA
|> could end up like UNIX with several different versions.

Sun controls Java, if MS writes its own version it is neither THE new Java
standard nor A Java at all, it is a similar language at best.

Of course this still could put pressure on Java.

|> rk> But MS is losing mindshare.  It is becoming obvious that MS is in
|> rk> panic mode trying to catch up: NetPC ? hah.  If a Windows/PC is the
|> rk> problem then how can a Windows/PC be the solution ?; Java ? MS said
|> rk> it wouldn't, now it will.
|>
|> Same news magazine wrote that Microsoft is releasing
|> JAVA support for Windows 3.1 <G> This is after
|> they (MS) made the big deal about it (W3.1)
|> never getting JAVA support. Of course, we all
|> know that IBM released the JAVA developers kit
|> for Windows 3.1 several months ago, looks like
|> Microsoft is going to do it too. I wonder
|> how much of the IBM JAVA developers kit
|> for Windows 3.1 is being used by Microsoft.

I wonder too

|> Looks like Microsoft's greatest original idea
|> remains to be Microsoft Bob, the rest is copy
|> and buy. This is ok as long as there are better
|> ideas coming out they can copy, the real problem
|> comes after all they are the only player in town,
|> then people will have to settle for their
|> Microsoft Bob type of new ideas <G>.

Exactly, MS never was very innovative and I certainly they never get
in the position of being the sole provider for new features, they will
be late, bloated, buggy and mediocre (but nice looking)

 -Mike

 
 
 

SUN'S JAVA: THE THREAT TO MICROSOFT IS REAL

Post by rj friedm » Thu, 21 Nov 1996 04:00:00



Quote:10:50:27 GMT writes:

>> I like Java as a programming language, but I would not be so quick
>> to assume that Microsoft is stupid.  It wasn't all that long ago
>> that people were crowing that Netscape had dethroned Microsoft
>> thanks to the idea of web browsers, but MSIE is making major
>> inroads there.  Microsoft can do the same with Java.
>Front page of Computer Reseller news about a week
>or two ago wrote that Microsoft is writing the
>new JAVA standard. The article stated that JAVA
>could end up like UNIX with several different versions.

MS can try it - but they aren't the king of the hill in this
environment as they are on the desktop. Every time they've tried to
pull their desktop antics in this environment, they've gotten their
*kicked (MSN and Blackbird, to name two instances).

They'll either have to learn how play nice in the sandbox along with
all the other kids, or they will find that nobody wants to play with
them.

Quote:>   joe

________________________________________________________

[RJ]                 OS/2 - Live it, or live with it.
rj friedman          Team ABW              

________________________________________________________

 
 
 

SUN'S JAVA: THE THREAT TO MICROSOFT IS REAL

Post by jim fro » Thu, 21 Nov 1996 04:00:00



Quote:>>Actually market momentum is controlled by Microsoft, witness the rapid
>>changeover from Win3.1 to Win95 and, previously, the rapid penetratino
>>of Win3.1 on previously DOS-only systems.  Microsoft controls the way
>>the market goes by controlling the major OS distribution channels.
>    What I wrote, and you failed to read, was that there has *not*
>been a rapid changeover from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95 on actual
>desktop compuers, only in *new* systems.

Oh sure, I even predicted this before Win95 shipped.  Nobody ever sees
more than 10% upgrade rates outside of new hardware sales unless what
they have already simply doesn't work (and if it didn't they would
have been using something else a long time ago).

But you weren't talking about upgrades, you were talking about market
momentum -- and the only momentum in the market occurs in new machine
sales, where Win95 is doing astoundingly well (certainly better than
it deserves!).

Quote:>    Microsoft is not in control of this. Nobody's in control. It's
>nothing more than a case of users taking what they get, and becoming
>so used to it that whether there's anything better available is
>irrelevant.

Microsoft certainly was in control of the changeover of new systems
shipping with Win95 versus Win3.1 -- they mandated it in their
licensing agreements with the vendors: a minimum of 50% of new systems
had to ship with Win95 to get the best price.  And for the first few
months Win95 sold on, surprise surprise, 50% of new systems.  That
kickstarted market momentum and it has steamrolled from there.

This is nothing new.  They did the same thing with Windows 3.x.

Quote:>They assume that what they become used to is just how it's
>supposed be, and don't have any reason to think about it beyond that.
>    Nothin' more profound than that. And not even Microsoft can change
>it.

It seems to me that Microsoft has been using this factor to their
benefit for about a decade.

jim frost

--
http://world.std.com/~jimf

 
 
 

SUN'S JAVA: THE THREAT TO MICROSOFT IS REAL

Post by Karl Thom » Thu, 21 Nov 1996 04:00:00






>>>    FORTUNE MAGAZINE FEATURE ARTICLE
>>>                              November 11, 1996,
>[...]
>>>    critics, note that only Windows PCs can take full advantage
>>>    of ActiveX. That's why they mockingly call Microsoft's
>>>    technology CaptiveX.

>>I think it's a bit soon to mock Microsoft on this.  Microsoft *does*
>>have 90% of the desktops, and many developers *will* be happy to
>>use Microsoft's extensions even if those extensions only run on
>>Win32 platforms.

That's true.  ActiveX is being ported to the MacOS but I would still
rather use Java.

Quote:>    Microsoft doesn't 'have' 90% of desktops, they have 90% of *new*
>desktop systems. The vast majority of Windows users only use windows
>because they never realised there are alternatives - they're computer
>naive, and Windows just happens to be what came with their systems.

Do you really believe that most Windows users would use Linux or OS/2 or
some alternative OS if they had a choice?  What do these other OS's offer
most people that would get them to give up the large software base of
wWindows apps?  Even IBM sells most of it's computers with just Windows
95 on it.  I use to sell Aptivas while in college and many people wold
call and ask how could they de-install OS/2 and just keep Win95 on the
computers.  Do you think all of the IT professionals are also "naive" by
choosing Windows?
>    The point being that most of them haven't upgraded from 3.1 and
>probably won't for a long time (if ever), which explains the rather
>dismal sales performance of Windows 95 compared to expectations which
>depended heavily on people upgrading.
>    The (real) point is, much of Microsoft's 'control' is an illusion
>caused by market momentum.
>>Apple had the lead in GUI's, and Microsoft has pretty much taken
>>over that field too.  So much so that some people actually think
>>Microsoft invented the idea.
>    Again, that's the momentum thing happening. I certainly wouldn't
>say Microsoft has taken the lead in GUIs, as Windows 95 still sucks (I
>only say that from the perspective of someone who only occasionally
>uses Macintosh, OS/2, Windows 3.1, Windows 95, but not enough to become
>familiar with the idiosyncracies of each, so I have to depend on the
>easy-to-use-ness of each. As a result, I find that the Macintosh sucks
>the far least. Just my opinion, not important ot the thread).
>--
>John Bayko (Tau).

>http://www.cs.uregina.ca/~bayko

 
 
 

SUN'S JAVA: THE THREAT TO MICROSOFT IS REAL

Post by Reinout van Schouw » Thu, 21 Nov 1996 04:00:00



Quote:10:50:27 GMT writes:

Hi,

:>or two ago wrote that Microsoft is writing the
:>new JAVA standard. The article stated that JAVA
:>could end up like UNIX with several different versions.

That wouldn't surprise me at all.
The simple fact that M$ tries to harm JAVA with ActiveX on the one hand, and
is releasing a Visual J++ and Win3.1 VM at the same time, tells me that they
want to get a hold on JAVA and then change some things to make it incompatible
with anything other than M$ platforms. That's how they can attack JAVA from
two sides.

See it like this. IBM writes a 16-bit JAVA VM for win3.1. Win3.1 is still
being used by an awful lot of people. And if M$ doesn't write a 16-bit VM,
then chances are that IBM's will become the defacto standard. Idem for the
development environment. And that doesn't fit in Redmonds plan. M$ wants to
tie developers to them by releasing Visual J++. Developers using another
product from the "Visual" product range will probably prefer M$' offering
above other JDK's. So imagine Visual J++ 2.0 or 3.0. You can wait for the 'M$
Java Xtensions' or something like that, adding very little but making it
incompatible with standard JAVA.

:>rk> panic mode trying to catch up: NetPC ? hah.  If a Windows/PC is the
:>rk> problem then how can a Windows/PC be the solution ?; Java ? MS said
:>rk> it wouldn't, now it will.

It's ridiculous indeed.

Groeten / Regards,

-=-Reinout

[Team OS/2 NL]

 
 
 

SUN'S JAVA: THE THREAT TO MICROSOFT IS REAL

Post by James Seymo » Thu, 21 Nov 1996 04:00:00




[snip]

>>    The (real) point is, much of Microsoft's 'control' is an illusion
>>caused by market momentum.

>Actually market momentum is controlled by Microsoft, witness the rapid
>changeover from Win3.1 to Win95 and, previously, the rapid penetratino
>of Win3.1 on previously DOS-only systems.  Microsoft controls the way
>the market goes by controlling the major OS distribution channels.

Wow!  More like "witness the power of overwhelming marketing hype".
(You are getting verrrrry sleeeeeepy.)

While I think John's statement one of wishful thinking rather than
reality, I also think Jim's been reading far too much MS and pro-Wintel
propaganda.

The truth of the matter is that while Ms-Win95, like Ms-Win3.x, *sold*
like crazy, the number of people actually *using* it has been
comparatively low.

I recall reading somewhere an industry survey that said that only
about 20+% of users that had Ms-Win3.x installed were actually *using*
it on any kind of regular basis.  I believe this was just a year or so
prior to the release of Ms-Win95!

And within the first year of its release, Ms-Win95 had *still* not
penetrated the business desktop very well.  (Other than the
engineering group that develops product for it, we've very little
Ms-Win95 installed ourselves.)  And of the penetration that has
occurred, many of these are "dual-boot" installs.  (I believe I
recently read that some VARs are even installing it that way as a
result of customer complaints.  But I'm not sure enough of that to
stand on it--so caveat emptor.)

I've culled all of this from various and sundry industry publications.
Pubs that have no particular axe to grind.  (As a matter-of-fact, they
carry *heavy* MS advertising.)

I do *not* bother with Wintel propaganda rags.  I get enough attempts
to wash my brain from the * non-computer media as it is.

Regards,
Jim "ah, the power of marketing hype" Seymour
--
Jim Seymour                     | "With [Microsoft's] ActiveX, you just need a

Systems & Network Administrator |  OLE server running.  But you get what you
Medar, Inc., 38700 Grand River  |  pay for." -- Albert Eng, Dir. of Financial
Ave., Farmington Hills, MI.     |  Technology, Canadian Imp. Bank of Commerce.

 
 
 

SUN'S JAVA: THE THREAT TO MICROSOFT IS REAL

Post by jim fro » Fri, 22 Nov 1996 04:00:00



>>Actually market momentum is controlled by Microsoft, witness the rapid
>>changeover from Win3.1 to Win95 and, previously, the rapid penetratino
>>of Win3.1 on previously DOS-only systems.  Microsoft controls the way
>>the market goes by controlling the major OS distribution channels.
>Wow!  More like "witness the power of overwhelming marketing hype".
>(You are getting verrrrry sleeeeeepy.)
>While I think John's statement one of wishful thinking rather than
>reality, I also think Jim's been reading far too much MS and pro-Wintel
>propaganda.

Actually I approach this from a business perspective; I pay little
attention to the hype because I know it's mostly lies.  In any case
the hype had little to do with whether or not Win95 would sell; even
without the hype they would have sold tens of millions of copies.

The way to get people to buy your stuff rather than somebody else's is
to make sure you're the easiest, or the cheapest, or the first they
see.

Microsoft got into the market by being the cheapest by far (75% less
expensive than the nearest competitor, with very similar
capabilities).  They're *still* the cheapest by far, and that makes
them attractive to budget-conscious customers as well as vendors
operating on razor-thin margins.  Vendors push it, so customers see it
first, hear about it the most, and get it by default.  This is all
independent of Microsoft-sponsored marketing hype.

Microsoft gets first-crack at about 90% of all OS sales (virtually
100% of all Intel PC OS sales); that's a huge advantage over the
competition.  Does that translate into sales?  Sure does: about fifty
million of them last year alone, close to ten times as many as the
nearest competitor.

Volumes like that give Microsoft an incredible advantage; if they want
to push another product, like Win95, into the mainstream they can do
it by manipulating the OEM price structure.  Even small manipulations
translate into millions of dollars' difference at the volumes the
larger OEMs ship.  That's how they got Win3.1 out there in large
numbers: they sold DOS+Windows for less than DOS alone.  An OEM would
have had to be out of their mind not to take that deal, and as a
result Windows sold about 40 million copies that first year alone.
They did a similar thing with Win95: to qualify for the cheapest price
at least 50% of the Windows sales made by an OEM had to be Win95.  The
result?  More than 30 million copies in the first year, despite an
ambivalent market.

Microsoft does not dominate by hype, they dominate by having a very
strong core business model and using that strength to leverage other
products.

It astounds me that so many people fail to see this when it should be
obvious to even a first-year business student.

Quote:>The truth of the matter is that while Ms-Win95, like Ms-Win3.x, *sold*
>like crazy, the number of people actually *using* it has been
>comparatively low.

The numbers I've seen vary so much that the only thing we can be sure
of is that most of them must be wrong.  I believe what I see with my
own eyes, and what I see is Win95 popping up all over the place.

Quote:>I recall reading somewhere an industry survey that said that only
>about 20+% of users that had Ms-Win3.x installed were actually *using*
>it on any kind of regular basis.  I believe this was just a year or so
>prior to the release of Ms-Win95!

Does that number sound realistic to you?  By looking at sales figures
prior to Win95 we can easily estimate the upper bound of machines that
aren't running Windows or MS-DOS at maybe ten million total (OS/2 sold
about 6M copies prior to Win95; PC UNIX variants sold fewer than 2M;
everything else is lost in the noise but we'll be generous and say
they got 2M copies).  The total Windows OEM sales base was circa 150M
copies, so you're talking about fewer than 7% of machines that *might*
be running something other than MS-DOS or Windows.

The only way that 80% of all Windows owners could be avoiding Windows
is by running DOS as their primary OS.  Yet that doesn't jive either;
if it were the case then MS Office would have saturated the total
Windows user base a couple of times over, to say nothing of the
competition.

I don't know the source of your figure, but assuming it wasn't a total
fabrication I think you must have misread or misremembered it.
Application and competitive OS sales suggest that the number applies
to the fraction of Windows copies that aren't being used rather than
those that are.

Quote:>And within the first year of its release, Ms-Win95 had *still* not
>penetrated the business desktop very well.

That's certainly true, and it's another thing I told people to expect.
There's too little added value and too high a cost.  Even so, they
managed to sell more than 30M copies through OEMs in the first year --
better than one copy for every two machines that shipped.

I see two interesting things from this: First, even with poor business
penetration Win95 sold more copies to businesses than did any other
operating system.  Second, Microsoft doesn't exactly lose when one of
their products loses to another one of their products.

Quote:>I do *not* bother with Wintel propaganda rags.

Neither do I.

jim frost

--
http://world.std.com/~jimf

 
 
 

SUN'S JAVA: THE THREAT TO MICROSOFT IS REAL

Post by jim fro » Fri, 22 Nov 1996 04:00:00



Quote:>See it like this. IBM writes a 16-bit JAVA VM for win3.1. Win3.1 is still
>being used by an awful lot of people. And if M$ doesn't write a 16-bit VM,
>then chances are that IBM's will become the defacto standard.

Well, one problem with this is that Microsoft has a JVM for Win3.1 in
progress; it's scheduled to go beta real soon.  Netscape will probably
beat Microsoft to market (I think they went to beta this week).  IBM's
isn't due out for quite some time and from what I hear it depends on a
few other technologies that you have to preinstall.

In any case Win3.1 will be swimming in JVMs within six months.

jim frost

--
http://world.std.com/~jimf