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Date:      Wed, 17 Nov 1999 10:28:51 -0500
From:      Greg Lehey <>
To:        David Schwartz <>, Terry Lambert <>, David Scheidt <>
Cc:,, freebsd-chat@FreeBSD.ORG
Subject:   Marketing vs. technical superiority (was: Judge: "Gates Was Main Culprit")
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <000001bf30b5$b82c5470$>; from David Schwartz on Tue, Nov 16, 1999 at 08:39:22PM -0800
References:  <> <000001bf30b5$b82c5470$>

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[Format recovered--see]

On Tuesday, 16 November 1999 at 20:39:22 -0800, David Schwartz wrote:

>>>> 	In fact, that VHS was able to overthrow Beta, the market
>>>> leader, simply because it was better is proof that market power
>>>> can't lock us into inferior technologies.
>>> No, it only proves that market power won't necessarily "lock us into
>>> inferior technologies" not that it can't.  There is a very important
>>> difference.
>> You guys need to look into the relative merits of these two
>> technologies before you argue about them.  Beta is a vastly
>> superior technology when compared to VHS,
> 	How is it superior? Picture quality? If picture quality is so
> all-important, why did SuperVHS fail? Actually, VHS is far superior thanks
> to the larger cassette allowing longer recording times.

Beta wasn't that much smaller.  The current maximum full-quality
recording time is 200 minutes.  Video-8 handles 120 minutes with no
trouble.  A modern Beta tape could easily have handled 200 minutes or
more.  On the other hand, VHS cassettes are particularly bulky.  I
don't think anybody else thought of this as an advantage.

> 	Both VHS and Beta exceed broadcast quality. 

Neither VHS nor Beta attain broadcast quality.  Most recorders cheat
by recording the same half frame twice; try single frame advancing a

> And, in fact, in comparisons of the two formats, about as many
> reviewers preferred Beta as preferred VHS.

References, please.

>> and "VHS vs. Beta" is actually _the_ standard argument put forward
>> during "Why The Best Technology Does Not Always Win" discussions.
> 	Yes, and amusingly, the best standard did win, despite Sony's powerful
> marketing and head start in the market.

Can you specify why you think it to be the best standard?  Do you mean
the "best-marketed" standard, the most reliable standard (figures,
please), the standard with the best definition, the easiest to use
standard, the most economical standard (figures please)?

>> The market _did_ in fact lock us into an inferior standard.
> 	Bullshit. Plain and simple bullshit. This is really an urban legend borne
> out of motivational speakers looking for examples. There is no actual
> research to back it up, and in back the research points the other way.

Your messages are rapidly becoming content free.  If you really want
to continue posting, could you at least bring some fact to back up
your claims?

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