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Date:      Fri, 19 Nov 1999 12:16:24 -0500 (EST)
From:      Thomas Valentino Crimi <>
To:        "David Schwartz" <>
Subject:   Re: Marketing vs. technical superiority (was: Judge: "Gates Was Main Culprit")
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <000001bf327c$3a115090$>
References:  <000001bf327c$3a115090$>

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[ small snippit ]
Excerpts from FreeBSD-Chat: 19-Nov-99 RE: Marketing vs. technical.. by
"David Schwartz"@webmast 
> >       The rest follow because they HAVE to to maintain the "Fax Machine"
> >       effect (as people like to call it).
>         I don't believe that. Why wouldn't we all just stick with the
> generation? Shouldn't we be just as tied to it? If this was true, wouldn't
> this be an argument why _no_one_ would upgrade? This argument fails under a
> reasoned analysis and has no empirical evidence to support it.

  I believe there is very strong logical support, and empirical evidence
wherever you go:

  It's one thing for me to tell my friends not to send me Word documents
as attachments ("Email me another word doc and I'll email you my
kernel"), but when a potential employer sends me an offer written in the
file format of their choice, I do my best to find the software to read
it - it's rather embarrassing to say "I'm sorry, I can't read your
document, convert it to something leigible and send it again" -
sometimes you have the leverage to do that, sometimes you don't.  If a
large part of the 10% of people who get the "wizz-bangy" new computer
every year installed with the latest software in their office are the
people many want to communicate with, more people upgrade, and
eventually you have to match the majority or be the 'special case' in
everyone's book.  It wastes their time and yours.

  So, yes, compatibility (and therefore having similar systems) is king.
 And so long as someone worth doing buisiness with is upgrading, it may
very often be your requirement to upgrade as well.  In a perfect world,
word processors would use a common file format where features would
degrade gracefully (similar to HTML ignoring tags it doesn't know). 
Obviously, the best thing for a company to do is to make token
improvements every year and make the file formats incompatible. 

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