Dave Winer's essay Sharon Must Go
Debunking Six Common Israeli Myths.
Microsoft right to innovation
If Microsoft's thinks that they can only innovate if they integrate third party products into the operating system, that tells you a lot about how little they know about innovation.
It seems more like they are closing their eyes to innovation. I understand that innovation might not be as profitable if you can not drive competitors out of the market, or if you do not bundle the products with the OS.
Everybody else (but the convicted monopolist) has to ship products which are not bundled with the OS. Why should Microsoft be given special treatment? Specially when two courts have found Microsoft guilty of abusing its monopoly.
Microsoft next step should be to strip out the OS from all the extra middle ware and sell those components separately. This is how the industry works today. Each component then has to be tested against the operating system, and cross-company and cross-product testing will have to happen.
Microsoft is one of the proponents of interface-based programming (as part of COM and now .NET) in which the implementation details are not relevant provided that the individual "components" follow the contract specified.
So everyone will have to develop using these contracts (Microsoft and third party people), and a chance for software to compete on the operating system level will happen: if you get a bare-bones operating system, where you purchase the extra components, we might get some competition in there, and people might be able to get different options.
Right now, Microsoft bundled products (CD burning, Media Player, Internet Explorer, the Movie software, MSN, WordPad, DVD playing (that does not work)) are 50% to 70% of what people need, not really worth spending the extra 69 dollars to get the full product.
Why dont we get a discount on that, and let people build their own solutions using the best components?
I consider myself a savvy user, but when it comes to using the "consumer XP", I have found that XP has all sorts of troubles playing my DVDs or having an intuitive interface (or even providing the options) to burn CDs.
I bought my XP machine so I could read the .NET documentation at home while I hack on my Linux laptop. After trying to use the XP machine for something more than a document browser, I was really dissapointed by how poor this OS is.
They got better icons now (of far lower quality than MacOS X and GNOME) and their file manager has some neat features, but I had to install Linux on the machine to play DVDs and burn CDs.
It was easier to find the device drivers on the net and recompile my kernel and try various DVD players than trying to get a coherent answer from my PC and DVD manufacturer and the Windows consumer OS.
No movies will ever be made of this account by reporters for the UK Independent on the Jenin massacre (which right now is being spinned quickly as `It did not happen')