Tugger the SLUGger!SLUG Mailing List Archives

Re: [SLUG] the way of the future


On 5 Aug 2001, at 22:36, Rick Welykochy wrote about:
Re: [SLUG] the way of the future
<snip>
> 
> My observations:
> 
> - there would be a great inertia preventing the uptake of TCP/MS in routers and
>   Internet software
> 
> - if TCP/MS were introduced, it will not be secure, for there is scant "reserved" space
>   in the IP and TCP for much "identification", and the headers would not provide any
>   "originator ID" information that could not easily be spoofed, just like IP addresses
>   are currently spoofed; if TCP/MS used extended length headers, TCP/MS still could easily
>   be embraced by the open source community if required
> 
> - recent history shows that MS's repeated attempts to subvert basic Internet protocols
>   such HTTP, HTTPS, SMTP, HTTP proxy, etc. into propriety have, in the main, failed.
>   Why? Because their market share of 95% desktop only translates to maybe 60% of connected
>   machines (servers, clients, desktops, etc), and interoperability is the basic requirement
>   of the Innernet; thus any further attempts to proprietise Internet protocols will be
>   met with great resistance from the majority of routers, servers and software that run
>   the Internet ... MS controls surprisingly little of this part of the 'Net :)

This observation overlooks the fact of intercompany relationships.  

There is ample evidence to suggest that Microsoft, Cisco and 
Compaq in particular, along with others, joint market.  Companies 
such as these have an investment in obsolescence.  If they cannot 
convince the corporate buyers and the public to purchase a 
"newer", "greater", "more secure" operating system, router, pc or 
server, their massive infrastructures would implode.  

The imperative is to market, and above all, to convert the marketing 
"hype" into actual sales.  It is becoming almost impossible for a 
single company (of itself) to continue to seduce the world's 
corporates to continuously upgrade their operating systems and 
application software, especially where the corporate world may be 
reasonably content with the systems that are in place at the 
moment.  From the point of view of these marketing giants, 
something must be done to "force" the upgrade issue onto the 
corporate world.  In this context, the many versions of MS Word, 
MS Project, MS Powerpoint, the list goes on..., that have been 
released in the past have served the purpose as has the Y2K bug.  

It is therefore, within the realms of possibility that Microsoft and 
Cisco have a marketing plan to "upgrade" the Internet and get 
control of the underlying protocols.  Imagine, should the Internet 
become TCP/MS, not only would all users have to pay a licensing 
fee, but Microsoft could add "features" forcing a continuous series 
of (costly) upgrades.  Such a plan would translate into $billions of 
sales, as every ISP would have to purchase router upgrades to 
facilitate the "new", "secure" protocol and each "upgrade".  

The marketing machines of Cisco and Microsoft would combine 
and focus on the corporate world.  No doubt Compaq would develop 
some interesting "hooks" to allow their server products to be 
remotely booted or their server and workstation products to be 
remotely managed over this "secure" new protocol.

To my mind, having seen this scenario played out over and over 
again over the past twenty years, the outcome is likely to be a 
laydown mazere.

But this leaves out the most important players in this scenario.  
These are the many thousands of Microsoft Partners, Cisco 
Partners, Compaq Gold, Platignum etc dealers.  Each one of these 
companies has a vested interest in "pushing" this marketing line.  
Their very existence is related to the sales of "new" products they 
can sell to dwindling and increasingly sceptical client base.  

In fact, anyone remotely technical who has ever worked in one of 
these "partner" company's (used to be called dealers) would be 
able to attest to the amount of "technical" info that is bombarded 
onto the sales arms of these organisations, and which is gleefully 
picked up by a (generally) technically illiterate sales force and 
eventually sold on to DP management and the end-user 
environment.

To summarise:
1) Although there may be some initial "inertia preventing the uptake 
of TCP/MS in routers and Internet software", It would be 
dangerously naive to speculate that Microsoft and Cisco could not 
force the issue and cause a reasonably fast incorporation of the 
new "secure" protocols on the Internet.

If TCP/MS was introduced and used extended length headers, 
"TCP/MS still could easily be embraced by the open source 
community if required".  It most certainly would be required.  And 
over time, Microsoft would gain control of the communications 
features of all Open Source software.  It could and most likely 
would extract license fees from all users.

Don't be mistaken, the only reason "MS's repeated attempts to 
subvert basic Internet protocols such HTTP, HTTPS, SMTP, HTTP 
proxy, etc. into propriety have, in the main, failed" is due not in 
small part to the ongoing Microsoft anti-trust case.  Now that 
Microsoft has successfully appealed, stand by for attempt 2.

Russell Ashdown