Fellow teamers:
Thought you all might enjoy the following article from the local paper
here
in Philly. I include it here without further comment at this time.  The
address
of the article on line is:
http://www2.phillynews.com/inquirer/97/Jun/08/business/DUEL08.htm

Philadelphia Inquirer: Business

Software dispute is just one battle in a war for computer dominance

By David E. Kalish
ASSOCIATED PRESS

ATLANTA  -- Microsoft Corp. chairman Bill Gates and the head of IBM's
Lotus
software unit are making rival pitches to technology executives about
what may be
the next big advance in corporate computing.

The dispute is widening an industry rift about the future shape of
corporate
computer networks.

With Microsoft angling to extend the dominance of its Windows operating
system,
Lotus president Jeff Papows argued last week that businesses should take
full
advantage of new technology that lets different systems work together
seamlessly.
He spoke at the spring Comdex computer trade show here.

Both sides are in favor of the run-anywhere Java programming language,
but
Microsoft thinks any software works best when written for a specific
operating
system, particularly its Windows system.

Java, developed by Sun Microsystems Inc., aims to help a company's
hodgepodge
of computers, from desktop PCs to mainframes, work in sync no matter
which
operating system runs the machines.

Because the Java language lets programmers write a single version of
software
that will run on any system, it could threaten the dominance of
Microsoft's
Windows operating system, which runs 90 percent of all personal
computers.

Gates told a Comdex audience that while Microsoft ``certainly'' was
supporting
Java, ``we don't see it as the only computer language,'' because
software should
work with individual operating systems.

``It's a little strange getting religious about this,'' Gates said,
alluding to
his rival's urging of a more purist view one day earlier.

Microsoft licenses Java from Sun, but is thought by many to be creating
specialized versions to make Java software work better on Windows.

For his part, Papows urged software developers to support industrywide
adoption
of the ``100 percent pure'' Java method of writing programs, saying
anything
less would doom ``hopes of a write-once environment.''

The suggestion was that if Microsoft's version of Java prevails, that
would
further the company's dominance of the operating systems that run
desktop and other
business computers, and reduce the technology choices.

``Do not let this hope for an application renaissance pass us by,''
Papows told
several thousand information-system managers, retailers and other
high-tech
players. ``If we screw this up, we are all going to be enormous losers
as a consequence.''

One of those losers if Java isn't accepted as an industrywide standard
could be
Lotus Notes. The IBM ``collaborative'' software enables employees on
different
computers to work on the same project and documents at the same time.
Its
distinguishing feature is the ability to update, or replicate, new
information
so the proper people receive it.

Lotus is trying to remake its Notes to work better with the Internet,
and IBM
is investing heavily in the Java language so it can redesign Notes to do
that.
The idea is to exploit Java's ability to work with all computers and
computer
networks.

For businesses, ``run-anywhere'' software would relieve a costly and
time-
consuming problem: the need to develop and maintain software for a
variety of
machines, to teach employees how to use different programs, and to get
the
mish-mash ofsystems to work together.

Papows and Gates also clashed on another aspect of business computer
networks.
Papows called on technology managers to support IBM's vision of a
slimmed-down
office PC, which would be cheaper to buy and maintain than $2,000 to
$3,000
personal computers. Software for the machines would be downloaded via
the Internet or
corporate networks, instead of requiring costly installation on each
machine.

Gates, while also advocating the so-called network computer, supported
machines
that contain hard drives that continue to give individual users many
advantages
of conventional PCs, such as keeping personal files secure.

The rival visions promoted by IBM and Microsoft left some in the
audience
adopting a wait-and-see attitude. For one thing, Java applications for
businesses
aren't expected to be available in quantity for at least another year.

``It would be nice to have everything work with Java,'' said James Ivey,
head
of lending for First National Bank of Georgia, which uses a mix of IBM
mainframes
and desktops running on Windows 95.

But as far as whose Java vision prevails, Gates ``can probably do it.
He's
certainly got the money and the influence.''


with STANDARD_DISCLAIMER; use STANDARD_DISCLAIMER;
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Allan R. Spurr,   Lead Software Engineer  [log in to unmask]
Lockheed Martin, 1301 Virginia Dr. Suite 305, Fort Washington PA 19034
Voice: (215) 283-3164;  FAX: (215) 283-6970
----------------------------------------------------------------------