TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Feb 96 Crabbs Apple
Volume Number:12
Issue Number:2
Column Tag:Crabb’s Apple

Putting the Moves on the Internet

By Don Crabb

Well, we’ve all wondered, of course. Wondered when Microsoft would get serious about the Internet. Serious about leading its development. Serious about co-opting it as another market in the Microsoft hegemony. Serious about making the Internet and the World Wide Web the The Next Big Thing.

Well, on December 7, 1995 (is it just me, or does that date send shivers up your spine, too?), Microsoft stopped our wondering and let us have it - right between the Web pages, if you will.

To wit, Microsoft has decided to stop fooling around with its Internet science project (Microsoft Network) and to start making “every effort” towards “dominating” the World Wide Web, according to Microsoft co-founder and chairman, William Gates III. As such, Microsoft plans to integrate Internet components that it is developing, as well as those it will license from others, along with communications links, into every Microsoft product, including Windows 95 and NT, Microsoft Office, Visual Basic, Access, and all of its development tools, including SQL Server and other big ticket items. I suppose it will even get into an upcoming release of Microsoft Bob!

The Microsoft Effect

Whether Microsoft can come in and repeat its 800-pound-gorilla act among Internet and Web vendors remains unclear, however, thanks, in no small part, to the current Web hegemony of NetScape Communications Corp. and the heavy Web bandwagon that Apple has successfully pulled down the road for most of 1995.

But just the mere mention of that 800-pounder stomping around the Web caused NetScape’s stock to drop 18 percent in a single day of trading - down $28.75 to $132.50 on December 7. Another Microsoft Net competitor, Netcom On-Line, lost $8.75 to close at $54.75 that day. Ouch, that hurt!

Showing the ripples that the big hairy beast makes no matter where it treads these days, shares of Microsoft partner Spyglass also fell that same day, dropping $14.75 to $95.25 - despite the fact that Microsoft’s new Internet presence will make it heavily dependent on technology that Spyglass is developing for its Internet Explorer browser.

Meanwhile Microsoft’s own stock slid a piddling 12.5 cents to close at $90.50.

Besides partnering more heavily with Spyglass (watch your backs, guys), Microsoft has embraced Sun Microsystem’s Java and JavaScript, a mere week after every other computer company on the planet already declared JavaScript the new lingua franca of the multimedia Web. Apparently, even Microsoft is mortal.

Although we can certainly expect them to figure some way to co-opt Java to their own market aspirations - no matter how “open” Sun insists it will remain (just ask CI Labs how much Microsoft has embraced OpenDoc if you doubt their comfort factor at dealing with standards they don’t own and control) - with Java already being supported by all the other computer bigshots (including Apple), Java’s probably too big for even Uncle Bill to kill. No matter how much he’d like to, since it poses a big threat to the growth of Visual Basic as the choice for Web creation.

In the same set of announcements, Microsoft’s Gates said that “the Internet is the primary driver of all new work we are doing throughout the product line.” Gates also said, “We are hard-core about the Internet.” As if any of us needed to be reminded. I can’t imagine any Mac developer actually believing Microsoft would attempt anything less with the Net than it’s done on the desktop - near-total hegemony.

So, there we have it. Microsoft is going to try to kill NetScape and as many other Net rivals as it can (IBM’s Lotus Notes division, America Online, and Unix companies including Sun Microsystems - no matter what they say about Java). And those it cannot kill, it will try to absorb, like Spyglass.

What does this all mean for Mac developers?

The Mac and The Web and Mr. Bill

Well, make no mistake about it, Microsoft is psyched to chomp up the Net. According to Roger B. McNamee of venture capital firm Integral Capital Partners of Palo Alto, CA, “It was really fun to see Bill Gates so pumped up. He had the same kind of fire in his eyes that I suspect he had 20 years ago when he started the company.

“I imagine he has been wrestling with the approaching maturity of his core business, and wondering what to do with it,” McNamee continued. “The Internet offers the right scale of business opportunity at just the right time.”

But just because Bill and Microsoft are jazzed about devouring the Internet, does that mean they will pull it off? Not by a long shot. The differences between having a good plan and executing it flawlessly have slain bigger dragons than Microsoft. And with the Internet, where part of every successful software vendor’s strategy to date has been free software, Microsoft has little practice.

Still, Microsoft has promised to give away its Internet Explorer and Web server software for most platforms - Unix, Windows 95, Windows NT, and even the Mac OS - in an effort to blow away NetScape and gain the lion’s share of the market.

No matter how successful or unsuccessful Microsoft is at its Web hegemony strategy, Microsoft’s move into the mainstream of the Net and the Web is good news for Mac developers. But only as long as Apple can continue to try to push the Mac OS into all the expanding corners of these markets (by getting us Cyberdog and OpenDoc, and by partnering with NetScape to provide us with a browser construction kit that can easily be incorporated into our own applications). If Apple can maintain its thrust, having Microsoft help out by pushing its own browser onto the Mac OS is a win for us.

The key here, though, is not what Microsoft does, but what Apple does (and what we do with it), as well as its major development partners. With Metrowerks cranking out a Codewarrior for JavaScript, we’ll have one of the core tools we need to accelerate Web product development beyong the HTML and CGI state, but we need others that do not require C and C++ expertise.

For Apple to help us carve out the Web high ground, we need tools that let AppleScripters (borrowing from Cyberdog in some ways?) build Web objects that work with the other tools they use each day, be they multimedia, or database, or spreadsheet, or decision support. In short, we have a real opportunity here, now that Microsoft has joined the Web party (and before they can choke it into proprietary conformity), to spawn a new generation of object tools for Mac users and managers that can be used without programming experience to build sophisticated query and information delivery systems on top of their Web servers, while also being able to build ad hoc looks into other Web sites. But they need the solid Mac tools to do this; HTML and CGI and even JavaScript are at once too limited, too complicated, and too tweaky.

Maybe Apple ought to reconsider Apple Dylan as the core for such a group of Web tools. Maybe SK8 could have a second coming as the engine behind such a tool package. Or maybe even a new version of HyperCard, strengthened with AppleScript, Cyberdog, and OpenDoc, and with an easy way to add Java applets, could fill the bill. I just hope that the bill gets a close examination while we still have this golden opportunity.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

NeoFinder 7.4.1 - Catalog your external...
NeoFinder (formerly CDFinder) rapidly organizes your data, either on external or internal disks, or any other volumes. It catalogs and manages all your data, so you stay in control of your data... Read more
Tunnelblick 3.8.0 - GUI for OpenVPN.
Tunnelblick is a free, open source graphic user interface for OpenVPN on OS X. It provides easy control of OpenVPN client and/or server connections. It comes as a ready-to-use application with all... Read more
Tweetbot 3 for Twitter 3.3.1 - Popular T...
Tweetbot is a full-featured OS X Twitter client with a lot of personality. Whether it's the meticulously-crafted interface, sounds and animation, or features like multiple timelines and column views... Read more
Monosnap 3.5.9 - Versatile screenshot ut...
Monosnap lets you capture screenshots, share files, and record video and .gifs. Features Capture Capture full screen, just part of the screen, or a selected window Make your crop area pixel... Read more
Monosnap 3.5.9 - Versatile screenshot ut...
Monosnap lets you capture screenshots, share files, and record video and .gifs. Features Capture Capture full screen, just part of the screen, or a selected window Make your crop area pixel... Read more
Tweetbot 3 for Twitter 3.3.1 - Popular T...
Tweetbot is a full-featured OS X Twitter client with a lot of personality. Whether it's the meticulously-crafted interface, sounds and animation, or features like multiple timelines and column views... Read more
Tunnelblick 3.8.0 - GUI for OpenVPN.
Tunnelblick is a free, open source graphic user interface for OpenVPN on OS X. It provides easy control of OpenVPN client and/or server connections. It comes as a ready-to-use application with all... Read more
Bookends 13.2.5 - Reference management a...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Bookends uses the cloud to sync reference libraries on all the Macs you use.... Read more
Quicken 2019 5.11.2 - Complete personal...
Quicken makes managing your money easier than ever. Whether paying bills, upgrading from Windows, enjoying more reliable downloads, or getting expert product help, Quicken's new and improved features... Read more
Bookends 13.2.5 - Reference management a...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Bookends uses the cloud to sync reference libraries on all the Macs you use.... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Void Tyrant guide - Tips and tricks for...
Void Tyrant continues to get a lot of play in these parts. Probably because the game is just so deep and varied. The next stop on our guide series for Void Tyrant is class-specific guides. First up is the Knight, as it’s the first class anyone has... | Read more »
Summon beasts and battle evil in epic re...
Imagine a tale of conlict between factions of good and evil, where rogueish heroes summon beasts to aid them in them in warfare and courageously battle dragons over fields of scorched earth and brimstone - that's exactly the essence of epic fantasy... | Read more »
Upcoming visual novel Arranged shines a...
If you’re in the market for a new type of visual novel designed to inform and make you think deeply about its subject matter, then Arranged by Kabuk Games could be exactly what you’re looking for. It’s a wholly unique take on marital traditions in... | Read more »
TEPPEN guide - The three best decks in T...
TEPPEN’s unique take on the collectible card game genre is exciting. It’s just over a week old, but that isn’t stopping lots of folks from speculating about the long-term viability of the game, as well as changes and additions that will happen over... | Read more »
Intergalactic puzzler Silly Memory serve...
Recently released matching puzzler Silly Memory is helping its fans with their intergalactic journeys this month with some very special offers on in-app purchases. In case you missed it, Silly Memory is the debut title of French based indie... | Read more »
TEPPEN guide - Tips and tricks for new p...
TEPPEN is a wild game that nobody asked for, but I’m sure glad it exists. Who would’ve thought that a CCG featuring Capcom characters could be so cool and weird? In case you’re not completely sure what TEPPEN is, make sure to check out our review... | Read more »
Dr. Mario World guide - Other games that...
We now live in a post-Dr. Mario World world, and I gotta say, things don’t feel too different. Nintendo continues to squirt out bad games on phones, causing all but the most stalwart fans of mobile games to question why they even bother... | Read more »
Strategy RPG Brown Dust introduces its b...
Epic turn-based RPG Brown Dust is set to turn 500 days old next week, and to celebrate, Neowiz has just unveiled its biggest and most exciting update yet, offering a host of new rewards, increased gacha rates, and a brand new feature that will... | Read more »
Dr. Mario World is yet another disappoin...
As soon as I booted up Dr. Mario World, I knew I wasn’t going to have fun with it. Nintendo’s record on phones thus far has been pretty spotty, with things trending downward as of late. [Read more] | Read more »
Retro Space Shooter P.3 is now available...
Shoot-em-ups tend to be a dime a dozen on the App Store, but every so often you come across one gem that aims to shake up the genre in a unique way. Developer Devjgame’s P.3 is the latest game seeking to do so this, working as a love letter to the... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple’s $1489 clearance price on refurbished...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2018 13″ 2.3GHz 4-Core Touch Bar MacBook Pros available starting at $1489. Apple’s one-year warranty is included, shipping is free, and each MacBook has a new outer... Read more
New 2019 13″ 2.4GHz 4-Core MacBook Pros on sa...
Apple resellers B&H Photo and Amazon are offering the new 2019 13″ 2.4GHz 4-Core Touch Bar MacBook Pros for $150 off Apple’s MSRP. These are the same MacBook Pros sold by Apple in its retail and... Read more
B&H drops prices another $50 on clearance...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on clearance 2018 13″ MacBook Airs by a further $50 with models now available for $250 off Apple’s original MSRP. Overnight shipping, or expedited shipping, is free... Read more
Find the best sales & lowest prices on Ap...
Our Apple award-winning price trackers are the best place to look for the best sales and lowest prices on Apple gear. Scan our price trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and... Read more
Apple has clearance 2018 13″ MacBook Airs now...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2018 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at only $849. Each MacBook features a new outer case, comes with a standard Apple one-year warranty, and is shipped free. The... Read more
Save $400 on the 8-Core iMac Pro today at Ama...
Amazon has the base 8-core iMac Pro on sale today for $4599 including free shipping. Their price is $400 off Apple’s MSRP, and it’s the currently lowest price available for an iMac Pro. For the... Read more
Flash sale! New 11″ 1TB WiFi iPad Pros for th...
Amazon has the 11″ 1TB WiFi iPad Pro on sale today for only $1199.99 including free shipping. Their price is $350 off Apple’s MSRP for this model, and it’s the lowest price ever for a 1TB 11″ iPad... Read more
Weekend Deal: 2018 13″ MacBook Airs starting...
B&H Photo has clearance 2018 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at only $999 with all models now available for $200 off Apple’s original MSRP. Overnight shipping, or expedited shipping, is free... Read more
Apple has clearance 10.5″ iPad Pros available...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2017 10.5″ iPad Pros available starting at $469. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each iPad, outer shells are new, and shipping is free: – 64GB 10″ iPad Pro... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished iPad mini 4 models...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished 32GB iPad mini 4 WiFi models for $229 shipped. That’s $70 off original MSRP for the iPad mini 4. Space Gray, Silver, and Gold colors are available. Read more

Jobs Board

Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**711495BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Store Associates **Location Number:** 000882-Waterfront-Store **Job Description:** The Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**711597BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Sales **Location Number:** 000873-Colma CA-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**711346BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Store Associates **Location Number:** 001095-Chesterfield-Store **Job Description:** Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**704899BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Sales **Location Number:** 000135-Pleasant Hill-Store **Job Description:** **What does Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**707083BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Sales **Location Number:** 000045-Rockford-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.