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    SubjectRe: Comments on Microsoft Open Source document
    Richard Gooch <> said:
    > Horst von Brand writes:
    > > Anyway, much more disturbing is the idea of "extending" the "too
    > > simple" IETF protocols, and hinting at adding enough complexity and
    > > options that "others" will have a hard time selecting what to
    > > implement first, and how. [...]

    > > [...] I.e., imagine MS-mess but on Internet scale, not just
    > > desktop-scale. If you can.

    > As you said, it's hard enough managing a network with simple and open
    > protocols. For M$ to keep OSS on the back foot, they would have to
    > constantly "upgrade" (read: change in some subtle and incompatible
    > way) their protocols. These upgrades would have to come at a faster
    > rate than the OSS community could cope with.

    That's exactly what they do on the desktop: Office'97 files unreadable by
    Office'95 ring a bell? The stupid crud MSIE uses, so there are websites
    that you _can't_ see with other browsers? I fear it is not just theory,
    they _can_ (and _will_) use those tactics, and (given the overwhelming
    desktop position they have) they even might have a chance. Sure, they tried
    to assimilate the Internet, and failed (for now...).

    > 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.

    Nope. The way is _force_ them forward. More $$$ for M$, as everybody
    upgrades the server to version 107 since 106sp15 has glaring security
    problems, but then the clients don't work, and... People _do_ complain
    loudly than old versions are broken, and that new ones are too. But buy
    anyway... delicate balance, that one: Broken enough so that people get fed
    up and upgrade, but not broken enough that people get fed up for good ;-)
    Dr. Horst H. von Brand
    Departamento de Informatica Fono: +56 32 654431
    Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria +56 32 654239
    Casilla 110-V, Valparaiso, Chile Fax: +56 32 797513

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