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From Brian Behlendorf <>
Subject interesting news (fwd)
Date Wed, 07 Aug 1996 17:18:04 GMT

Veddy Intuhrresting.  

My prediction: Netscape will heavily push inexpensive Unix-based solutions on
  Intel hardware, and put lots of effort into Unix/PeeCee integration, perhaps
  in conjunction with SCO or BSDI.  Perhaps even to the point of pushing Linux
  or FreeBSD-based solutions as alternatives.  Just to try and get people away
  from the NT oligarchy.



---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 07 Aug 1996 08:44:51 -0700
From: JD Davids <>
Subject: interesting news

                                      August 7, 1996

               Microsoft, Netscape Lock
               Legal Horns on Web Software

               By DON CLARK 
               Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

               Lawyers for Microsoft Corp. and Netscape
               Communications Corp. have begun an unusual battle over
               one of the Internet's hottest markets, adding a new issue
               to competitors' complaints about Microsoft's business

               The dispute, which has already prompted Netscape to
               complain to the Justice Department, focuses on software
               used to set up World Wide Web sites and some
               controversial Microsoft licensing restrictions on the use of
               its Windows NT operating system. Microsoft, Netscape
               and several other competitors are selling the so-called
               Web server programs that run on computers that use
               Windows NT.

               Disputed Price Comparison

               Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., last week sent a
               letter to Netscape demanding that it stop distributing a
               price comparison between the two companies' Web
               server programs. The letter alleges that the comparison
               suggests that Web servers can be used with a low-end
               version Windows NT designed for workstations,
               potentially violating terms of Microsoft's licensing
               agreement. The license provisions allow only 10
               simultaneous electronic connections to Windows NT
               Workstation, a restriction designed to encourage people
               to use a more-powerful version of the software that
               works on larger computers called servers that tie together
               multiple desktop computers.

               The workstation version of Windows NT sells for about
               $300, compared with about $1,000 for the server
               version. Microsoft's Web server software only works
               with Windows NT Server, and comes bundled with the
               product. Netscape and other competitors argue that
               customers can still pay less by using their Web server
               programs with Windows NT Workstation.

               Though seemingly arcane, the restrictions on Windows
               NT have attracted unusual attention because of the
               industry's growing focus on the Web server market, and
               fears that Microsoft will unfairly shift its dominance from
               personal-computer software to the Web. Microsoft
               originally planned to insert software code that would
               block more than 10 connections from a new workstation
               version of Windows NT, but removed the code last
               month in response to complaints by competitors and
               some customers.

               Flexing Its Legal Muscle

               Microsoft, which doesn't often use its legal muscle in
               responding to competitors' marketing claims, also
               underscored the stakes by the tone of its complaints
               about the Netscape price comparison.

               "Netscape has already caused irreparable harm to
               Microsoft, and further publication of the deceptive
               information will only compound the damage," writes
               Robert Gomulkiewicz, a Microsoft senior attorney, in the
               July 30 letter to Netscape.

               Microsoft's letter was disclosed Tuesday by Gary
               Reback, a prominent Silicon Valley lawyer and longtime
               Microsoft antagonist who represents Netscape. He wrote
               a letter saying Netscape has no plans to change its
               marketing materials, and criticized Microsoft for first
               trying to technically cripple Windows NT Workstation
               and later using licensing restrictions to limit use of the

               "This is their lawyers trying to intimidate a small
               company," Mr. Reback said. "It's just very strange
               conduct by a monopolist."

               Microsoft's letter gives Netscape until Aug. 15 to "cease
               and desist" its pricing comparison, but does not specify
               what it intends to do if Netscape does not comply. A
               spokesman said the letter was mainly designed to start a
               dialogue with Netscape, and make sure consumers
               understand the capabilities of Windows NT.

               A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment
               on the matter, which Mr. Reback said he had raised with
               the agency's attorneys. The department has an open
               antitrust investigation of Microsoft, but it does not appear
               to be very active at the moment.

               A Perennial Complaint

               Windows NT is just one example of a perennial
               complaint by competitors -- that Microsoft uses its
               power in one market to gain advantages in new fields.
               Because of its massive cash flow in PC software, for
               example, Microsoft can afford to give away Web

               But Chairman Bill Gates and other Microsoft executives
               contend the moves lower prices and make software
               products work together better -- both major benefits to
               customers. The company says its license provisions on
               Windows NT Workstation are designed to make sure
               that customers don't surpass the product's technical
               capabilities, which could cause breakdowns that would
               hurt Microsoft's image.

               Competitors, however, contend that Microsoft is setting
               license terms that go well beyond protecting customers,
               and could essentially bar customers from using
               competitors' programs. "They are saying if you want to
               use our operating system, you have to play by our rules,"
               said Tim O'Reilly, president of O'Reilly & Associates
               Inc., a small Web server competitor in Sebastopol, Calif.
               "It's a land grab."
J.D. Davids, CPA
Director of Finance
Organic Online, Inc.
Voice:	415-278-5550
Fax:	415-284-6891
Numeric Page	1-800-SKYTEL2  PIN 8024889
Alpha Page

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