Mozilla Article at News.com; MS Trips Up in Messaging War
Friday August 13th, 1999
Paul Festa of News.com takes another shot at summarizing the state of the browser war.
Also, in other news on the MS/AOL fistfight, it appears MS has tripped up (free subscription required at the N.Y. Times site). Someone from MS apparently posed as an independent programmer, and wrote a letter to Richard Smith, a computer security expert with significant clout with the press, detailing supposed security issues raised by AOL's blocking of MSN Messenger clients.
Smith traced the mail back to Microsoft. Microsoft apparently hasn't found the culprit, but they used the opportunity to state the same attack on AOL seen in the forged letter - "It's unfortunate they're putting user security at risk."
#37 Instant messenger is proprietary - don't use it
Tuesday August 17th, 1999 1:50 AM
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It is AOLs service. It's up to them to decide the terms for gaining access. If that include using only software authorized by AOL, it's their right to demand that.
However, what makes MS the baddy, is that they are trying to coopt the AOL service by adding support for it in their client without asking AOL if it was ok (or ignoring the answer), and their phony cries for opening up a messaging format when they won't open up their own, and with their long track records of proprietary standards.
If Microsoft had published thorough documentation on their important file formats and protocols, then they'd had some credibility to put behind this.
But with their current track record it is all to clear that this has nothing to do about making consumers happy, and everything to do about trying to crush your competition.
Also, I don't see what this has to do with Mozilla at all. If AOL does something wrong, that doesn't mean the developers they pay suddenly become tainted - it's the results that count here.