Is Microsoft Doing Wrong in Tying Products Together?

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Postposted on Tue Mar 05, 2002 4:26 pm

Good afternoon everybody...

Despite the title, I'm not trying to start a flame war here. I'm interested in people's opinions on the worth of Microsoft's technological innovation (a tricky word to use these days, I know).

More specifically... What exactly is Microsoft doing wrong, in a technical sense, by tying their products together? Coming from an object-oriented point of view, I can see a lot of worth in doing this.

Let's say you're a Microsoft engineer. Your buddy is working on IE, and he's just put something in for browsing remote directories as if they were local. You think, hey, that would be really useful for your module of code. So you write code that uses his IE code. This is tying products and makes it difficult to remove IE from windows. But from a technical standpoint, you're getting reuse of code. Isn't that worth something?

I certainly think Microsoft has done a lot of nasty things and deserves very strong punishment for making technological innovations and not exposing them, instead only using them to give their applications (IE, Office, etc.) a leg up on the competition. That's despicable. But actually making the innovations... I don't see anything wrong with typing products in.

Opinions? Comments? Please don't just reply saying "Microsoft is evil! Tying products is evil! You're a big smelly monkey!". At least give your reasoning on why tying products is a bad thing in a technical sense, not a commercial sense. I know it's bad for the free market and all that, but I'm trying for a technical standpoint here.

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Postposted on Tue Mar 05, 2002 4:31 pm

From a technical point-of-view there's probably no problem. Unless you happen to be writing libraries and you write crap code that leads to remotely-exploitable buffer overflows in several server components, or something like that. But of course Microsoft developers don't write slopp^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H dang, sorry folks, I promised I wasn't going to do that.

I don't see anything wrong with typing products in

I do - it's slow, and I'd rather use an OCR package. :razz:

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Postposted on Tue Mar 05, 2002 4:41 pm

I think it's a very good idea to tie products into one another as a way to streamline the whole process and make programs work better together, but I think Microsoft is using it as a way to muscle everyone else out of each prospective market that Microsoft goes after. I think that it much more damaging than the benefits that can be gained by product tie-ins.
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