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Corey Minyard <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Corey Minyard <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 27 Jun 1998 13:51:54 -0500
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"Robert C. Leif, Ph.D." <[log in to unmask]> writes:

> From: Bob Leif, Ph.D.
> To: Dirk Craeynest et al.
> As an owner and user of a Windows CE based Cassiopea hand held PC, I must
> point out a very significant commercial problem with other operating
> systems, such as EPOC, they have no means to exchange information with the
> users' PC. I can exchange Pocket Word and Excel files between my hand held
> and my PC. I even loaded Outlook 98 on my PC in order to be able to move my
> e-mail message from my handheld to my PC. (This has not been tried yet.) I
> will also admit that I greatly prefer FrameMaker to Word and do not like
> much of Excel.

Umm, on my Psion, I regularly exchange Word, Excel, and even Microsoft
Project files.  You can buy an application that will display and edit
Powerpoint files.  You can synchronize schedules with the Microsoft
product for that purpose (forgot the name) and you can exchange emails
with Exchange.

> The solution to this problem is, of course, operating system independent
> standards. There are two organizations in the US that theoretically could
> make it happen: the National Institute of Standards and Technology, NIST,
> and GSA. Since GSA controls the money, it is the only US Governmental
> organization really capable of enforcing a standard. In terms of creating
> software standards, NIST has been replaced by ANSI, the IEEE, and ISO.

In effect, that is what Microsoft has created.  Microsoft formats are a
defacto standard for a whole slew of other applications.  Not that they
are necessarily that great, but can you imagine defining a word processing
format with a committee?  How many decades would it take?  How often would
it have to be changed?

> I still believe that Windows CE makes very good sense for embedded systems
> and that the Ada Marketing Directors should schedule a Windows CE product.
> Also, does EPOC run on any other processor than ARM?

I'm not sure if EPOC runs on anything besides ARM, but Windows CE
doesn't exactly have a plethora of ports either.  My understanding is
that Windows CE is a very large operating system (I have heard reports
of 700,000 LOC, but I'm not sure if it is true).  If so, I would not
even consider it for the embedded applications I do.  I might consider
EPOC, though, if I had a display to worry about.

> However, if the European Economic Community or other group wish to take on
> Microsoft, I would strongly recommend Ada and quality software engineering.
> Customers are drawn to products that actually work and are reliable.
> Unfortunately Sun, IBM, Netscape, et al. are trying to stop a raging
> rhinoceros with a pop-gun (Java).

I don't agree with the scales on the rhinoceros and pop-gun analogy,
but I agree that Java alone is not going to hurt Microsoft.  I don't
agree with that quality software engineering will stop Microsoft.

As an example, IMHO the only real contender to stop Microsoft is
Linux.  Linux is faster, cheaper, and substantially more reliable than
any Windows operating system.  So why don't people use it?  There are
not many commercial application that support it.  The only way to get
commercial applications to support it is to get companies to port them
to Linux.  Unfortunately, that does not seem to be happenning very
fast.  Corporate executives see Linux as a toy, just like they would
view EPOC, etc.  However, anything from Microsoft (or anything Java
related) has to be the best thing around, because it is from Microsoft
(or it is Java).  It is all marketing and perception, the best
products do not always win.

The Java people have succeeded in making executives of companies look
at it.  However, when the realities of the limitations of Java are
seen, Java might fail.

Microsoft, on the other hand, will probably not fail for a while.  The
only way they can fail is to become the victims of their own
arrogance.  But maybe that is happening :-).

Corey Minyard               Internet:  [log in to unmask]
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