Government Approval for AOL/Netscape/Sun Deal
Friday March 12th, 1999
#10 1-800-AOL and the trouble it caused....
Sunday March 14th, 1999 7:22 AM
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I have to say I disagree with you, C.R., on several counts. First, I think you underestimate the business mind of Steve Case.... You don't become a multibillionaire by making extremely stupid business choices (noting that stupid and noncompetitive are two entirely different things). I really doubt AOL will have bought Netscape for the princely sum of $4 billion just to cut off the product that made the company popular. Also, I think that you underestimate the power of standards-compliance to motivate people. IE 4 isn't better than Netscape 4.51 (The difference is like night and day in terms of stability.... IE 4 crashes all the time for me, and Netscape 4.51 hasn't crashed once since I got it). IE 5 is hardly an improvement over IE 4.... Really, IE 5 should be IE 4.5. In any case, I think that developers will wait for full standards-compliance that runs on about 20 platforms. As to the development process, do you monitor Mozilla's newsgroups? The patches newsgroup has been contributed to almost solely by outside developers. The only real reason that it seems that Netscape is doing all the development is because Netscape's developers get paid to do it.... I've contributed by filing bug reports which I've seen get fixed, making Mozilla a better product. And, finally, Stalin WAS necessary to defeat Hitler. It may not seem like it to those people who only look at the Western theater (D-Day, the invasion of Italy, and Northern Africa). But without Stalin, Hitler's armies would have probably had sufficient strength to stop D-Day. Stalin's armies managed to hold off the Germans until the winter finally did them in. Certainly, Yalta and the Cold War weren't good results, but given the alternative (a world largely ruled by the Nazis), I think that allying with Stalin was a good idea.