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SubjectRe: Comments on Microsoft Open Source document
> This is a two-edged sword. If M$ pushes a new protocol or "extension"
> onto the Internet (or even into a corporate LAN/WAN), they will
> *break* that network. It will break because it is simply not possible
> to upgrade all components of a network at once, and older components
> will not understand the new extensions. The result is that the new
> servers will have to be put back the way they were.
Alas, I have to disagree. Just for instance, let's take a look at a
"extension" that is all around, and has been for years: SMTP gateways.
Notes and, say, Exchange both offer SMTP and POP services, IN ADDITION to
"cool" stuff that they do that non-Notes/Exchange users can't take
advantage of (such as meeting scheduling). Does this break the server?
No. Does it stop other SMTP servers from communicating with it? No. It
works just peachy... but it works BETTER if you've got compatible client
software. Using, of course, the proprietary protocols. So, no -- I do
think that proprietary extensions, ESPECIALLY if they start to become
de-facto adopted, could become quite threatening. Because, if a de-facto
standard is adopted, what's to prevent Bill from changing the standard at
some point, and only letting folks he likes in on how the new
protocol/service works? Hell -- make it an umbrella, private committee
(MSITF, anyone?), with membership open to those who sign NDAs and the
like. No, this could be a Bad Thing.

Just my $.02 worth...

Ken D'Ambrosio
Sr. SysAdmin,
Summa Four, Inc. (until acquisition, 11/13/98) (after 11/13/98)

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