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From Brian Behlendorf <>
Subject Re: wild prediction
Date Mon, 03 Jun 1996 03:47:44 GMT
On Sun, 2 Jun 1996, Rob Hartill wrote:
> off topic and a setuid free mail message..

Oh, I really shouldn't be doing this.

> Okay, Rob McCool's gone, so here's a wild prediction that he might
> not have appreciated..

The archives are readable remember :)

> Within a year, Microsoft will be on at least an equal browser market
> share as Netscape. Netscape's stock price will drop to something realistic
> conisdering their ever-changing business plan, and one of the big boys
> will gobble them up... maybe even Microsoft if the government allow it.

I'd doubt they'd ever allow it.  I could see Netscape and SGI merging 
though, what with SGI coming to realize it's really a software company 
if it weren't for its very lucrative high-end number crunchers (a la 
their purchase of Cray).  SGI is really the only very large software 
company not hitching their future to a new platform.  Look for Apple to 
be a part of this too, and maybe Be.  But yes, consolidation of some form 
will definitely happen.

> MS are currently running some excellent TV commercials that open more
> minds to getting onto the net, and they'll have the MS name tied in with
> the internet.

Yes to the first part, but the second part is still a very large uphill 

> Netscape's downfall (should it occur) will be a result of a bloated
> binary that consumes way too many scarce resources. Microsoft will
> use changes to Windoze to their advantage.

Except Windows is an overbloated binary as well!  

What this stage (late '96, 97, early 98) will all be about is how the 
browser becomes integrated with the desktop/OS (integrated, not just 
bundled), and how the desktop/OS becomes integrated with the internet.  
This is brand new territory, a place with new rules that weren't for one 
reason or another significant before, like security.  I believe the rules 
are so different that existing operating systems will have to change at a 
very deep level to truely live up to the new rules.  The three contenders 
for this new "platform" (which could sit on existing operating systems, 
or even by itself) are:

Microsoft's ActiveX/OLE/COM/whatever
Whatever framework Netscape decides to push (LiveConnect?)

In my view, the winner will be Java.  The reason is not technology alone 
- though in my view the technology is superior - but because JavaSoft is 
making *all*the*right*moves* in getting Java ubiquitous, and an 
environment that can provide solutions for 95% of the world's needs.  
They are forging consensuses with peers in the industry (include MS) - 
they are designing the frameworks within commercial entities can plug in 
interoperable functionality - and even though MS will push using ActiveX 
through Java, I think enough people are going to ask "Why?" that I don't 
see it as a major threat.  I know the dangers inherent in promising a 
technology which could be all things to all people - I also know that no 
one ever got fired for recommending Microsoft.  Given all those things, I 
think Java has a strong chance of really being the solution.  I feel much 
more strongly about this now than I did a week ago, even though nothing 
has changed about my awareness of the technology.  

Go check out and decide for yourself.  The only 
other bias I'll admit to is that this is the solution I *want* to see, 
despite owning zero shares of Sun stock :)

> An Apache prediction?, we'll get to about 40-45% of the 'market' share
> and will stay there for next year or more. 

I think it could go even higher....

> Netscape's server share will
> fall as more NT people move to the MS server. 

Or ApacheNT. :)

> I also have a feeling that
> someone will embed Apache into a UNIX OS to improve efficiency.. one of
> the intel based OSes no doubt. Paul, any sign of this kind of move in
> the FreeBSD camp?

Embedding, as compared to bundling - hmm, interesting.  I could see 
someone doing something like that and selling a hardware/software combo 
claiming to get 3Mhits/day on a pentium 150 or something...

> Oh, and the Pope will die within the year too.

Well, here in SF we're more concerned about Herb Caen's health these days 
(he just found out he has inoperable lung cancer).  It will be a sad day 
(week?) in SF when he passes.  

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