Date: Wed, 28 Jan 1998 16:00:44 +0100 (MET)
From: Andreas Kotes <email@example.com>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: A-M$: Microsoft Future (fwd)
-- Andreas Kotes - mailto:email@example.com - If you need any help, just ask! -= Software is like sex; it's better when it's free - Linus Torvalds =- -= Commercial use of my email adress NOT allowed. PGP key available. =-
---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Tue, 27 Jan 1998 20:54:48 -0600 From: "J. S. Baughn" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Reply-To: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: A-M$: Microsoft Future
I've been thinking lately, what is going to happen to Microsoft in the future?
Will Bill Gates die and the Microsoft Empire crumble? Will Microsoft gain so much power over the media that they'll be able to set up a political machine that will rig elections? Will Bill Gates become President? What about Bob? Will there be a Bob 2.0, or some other kind of asinine "smart agent" program? Will Microsoft and Intel combine to form a huge Wintel Corporation? Will Netscape still be in business next year? Will the Year 2000 problem affect Microsoft? Will the DOJ investigate real anti-competitive issues regarding MS instead of picayune details (IE bundling) as it is now? Will Microsoft split into Microsoft OS(R), Microsoft Media(R), and Microsoft Software(R) corporations? Will IBM finally get off its big blue butt and finally do something about Microsoft? Will Linux continue to eat more and more Windows market share? Will PC makers give an option to consumers to have Linux pre-installed instead of Windoze? Will Microsoft release the source code to IE? Will Netscape's gamble with releasing the NS 5.0 source code pay off, or back fire? Will people upgrade to Win98 and then WinNT 5.0, or will they become so fed up with upgrading that they'll continue to use Win3.x or 95? How many companies will Microsoft acquire this year? ...or buy stock in? ...or steal ideas from? ...or hire good employees from? ...or file lawsuits against? ...or try to drive out of business by releasing a competing product for free? Will the Freedows 98 Project ever get off the ground? Will toasters/TVs/Segas/whatever running Windows CE crash with GPFs every five minutes? Will people accept this behavior as normal? Will Bill Gates have a $50billion Net Worth before New Years? Will Gates' popularity rise or decline as more and more people use Win9x/NT and release just how bad it is? Will entire websites running NT crash, causing businesses to lose millions of dollars? Will these businesses continue to use NT? Will CD-ROMs of IE or other MS products be packaged in breakfast cereals? Will Intel's new chips have built-in logic to detect the presence of Linux or OpenDOS and lock up if the user tries to run them? Will Microsoft try to hijaak the Internet 2 project and try to assert dominance over this new network? Will Microsoft's and Gates' greed ever be quenched? Will Microsoft release a version of Office without annoying dancing paper clips, or a version of Windows without the insulting "Click here to start message? Will Microsoft still be in business in the year 2020? ...or will it turn become next IBM or Digital Research? Will some company produce a computer system that so damned good that business will abandone their current legacy software and install it, even if it's not Wintel? Will the Microsoft Boycott Campaign ever be updated? Will their be a whole generation of children named Bill G., Steve B., or Bob? Will somebody release a browser that has all the features of Netscape/IE without the bloat? Will somebody release an office suite without bloat? ...Hell, will somebody release any piece of software that isn't bloated?!?! Will somebody create an alt.microsoft.general.protection.fault newsgroup? Will there be a week in 1998 where another security hole/bug isn't found in IE? ...or Windows? Will Apple still be in business in 1998, or will Microsoft just go ahead an buy it? How many fake Microsoft press releases will find their way across the Net this year? How many billions of man-hours will be wasted while Windows boots...and reboots? What will computer users in 2030 think? Will they think we were all gullible and stupid for using Windows? Will the name Bill Gates be treated as Adolf Hitler is today? ...Or will Gates be a saint? ...Or will Linus Torvalds be treated as a saint? Will millions of accidents take place when cars equipped with WinCE crash and stall in the middle of busy highways? Will anyone figure out why the Shutdown command is under the Start Menu in Win95? Will anyone discover a way to run Win9x/NT for more than a day without a GPF, BSoD, or crash? Will a virus embedded in Windows by a disgruntled MS employee activate on a certain date in the future, causing world wide catastrophe? Will somebody say something bad about MS on TV or in a major newspaper? Will IE become an integral part of Win98, or will Win98 become an integral part of IE? ...Or will it be Win99? What will Microsoft call the 2000 release of Windows? Windows Zero Zero? Will English change so much under MS domination that nobody uses the word "bug" in the year 2020? How many times will MSN crash this year? ...Or www.microsoft.com? Will Hotmail changing over to WinNT have any effect on quality? Or will Hotmail set it up so that it's really running Linux, but looks like it's running NT just to make Microsoft look good? Will Microsoft's tech support division earn more revenue from toll calls than all other divisions combined? Will Microsoft ever fully understand the KISS principle in product design? Will Bill Gates be assasinated by a disgruntled Windows 95 driven insane by dancing paperclips and BSoD's? Will a religion form around worshipping Microsoft and Gates? Will Windows CE be used in graphing calculators? Toasters? Toilets? Doorbells? Lightbulbs? Will companies go back to using slide rules and solar calculators after realizing all the billions of man-hours lost trying maintain Windows NT? Will Microsoft ever have an original idea? Will the Gates' mansion burn to the ground after a freak accident involving Windows 95 crashing and causing the gas main to kick on? Will Microsoft acquire a major religion?
Why am I asking? Well, it seems this is something nobody wants to discuss. No one wants to say, "Microsoft will dominate the Internet" and "become more powerful than the US government" -- simply because it could happen!
One of the projects I'm working on is writing a paper from the point of view of a historian in 2030 describing the rise and fall of the Microsoft Empire. My current thinking shows that these events could happen: 1. MS hijaaks the Internet 2 project. Users are encouraged to upgrade their ISP connection to Net2, and use IE -- because Netscape won't work with Net2 (MS rigged it that way). 2. Microsoft will have control over everything on Net2 via various sneaky manipulations -- like domain name registration denials, and poor service for sites MS "doesn't agree with" (like www.vcnet.com/bms). Anti-MS opinions are squelched by MS's heavy-handed tactics. 3. Ordinary computer users are brainwashed by TV, radio, newspaper (many of which are directly or indirectly controlled by MS by 2010) to think Bill Gates is a hero, and MS is the best company in existence. "All hail Chairman Bill!" 4. This immense power allows MS to set up a "political machine". Candidates endorsed by MS (pro-Capitalism, anti-free software) win because of MS's control of the media. 5. Bill Gates wins the Presidency in 2012. "A nerd and his money are soon elected" 6. Microsoft's power peaks ca. 2016, starts to decline under its own weight and the decreasing health of Gates. 7. Second American Revolution -- Microsoft is destroyed by angry US citizens who feel they were duped (many didn't know Microsoft had as much power as it did). The Great Computer Burning of 2023 -- all Wintel PCs are destroyed. 8. Linus Torvalds and other anti-MS people from the 90s are considered heros. Linux 12.0.0 running on 4 terahertz Torvalds processors become the standard for computing.
OKAY, OKAY, I don't really think this series of events is going to happen. But, then again, every day that passes, it seems we're headed closer and closer to this dystopia future.
What do you think is going to happen? If we can figure out what Microsoft is planning, maybe we can have a (albeit small) chance of changing things.
Just something to think about while you reboot your Win95 computers after a BSoD, or try to access an IE-only site with Netscape.
James S. Baughn email@example.com
Founder of the Support Group for People Used by Microsoft, http://antims.home.ml.org "Have you been used by Microsoft today?"
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