Jamie Zawinski's "Fear and Loathing on the Merger Trail"
Tuesday November 24th, 1998
#24 Re:Jamie Zawinski's
by Guy Honore
Friday November 27th, 1998 2:10 PM
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I agree with both sides of this debate in a balanced view:
Healthy skepticism is well warranted, given the somewhat shady background of AOL in past dealings with both Netscape and Microsoft. And in my experience, when an independent vendor is swallowed up by a proprietary company, its former customers become competitors and drop its product line.
On the other hand, if Sun takes over the development and funding of Mozilla as part of this 3-way deal, and AOL is only a value-added licensee of Mozilla NG, this would reassure the existing customer base. The key word here is independence, even if it means AOL has to sell or spin off the browser division. The world needs open (non-proprietary) standards...
All I can say is: watch AOL and SUN very carefully for their strategy clues. If AOL tries to kill or frankenstein Communicator, lets make Mozilla behave like Apache: a great product, widely supported, beholden to no special interest!