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The Road to Nowhere
Nov 27, 1995 :: Michael Sippey

Woke up this morning to Bill Gates on the Today show. Instantly groaned, knowing that (1) he got prime booking (the 7:30 am slot with Bryant) because of NBC's involvement in MSN, (2) he's pushing his book The Road Ahead, and (3) I'd have to endure Bryant Gumbel's smugger-than-thou attitude for about five minutes while I listen to the king of the geeks speak about his "vision for the future."

While BillG didn't have anything new or earth-shattering to say, he did confirm what has become apparent over the last several months: Microsoft is hopelessly behind the curve. Lately all we've been hearing from Redmond is the usual hype about how the information superhighway will change our lives. See Bill talk about business using the net. See Bill talk about security. See Bill talk about the high-bandwidth into the home (and how everyone wants Interactive TV). See Bill talk about the wallet PC. See Bill talk about Internet-enabling ALL of Microsoft's applications and development environments.

But it's all just talk.

Where's the MS Word of web authoring? It ain't from Microsoft. Where's the Visual Basic equivalent of script and application building? It ain't from Microsoft either. And how about distributed applications over the net? That surely ain't from Microsoft. Geez, what about a web server that runs on NT? Nope. Not from Microsoft.

But it's coming, they say. We're committed to the web, they say. Well, as witnessed by Internet Explorer, it looks like whatever Microsoft brings to market will be too little, too late.

A couple of pointers:
Check out this week's Business Week, which has a great article about the future of software. Very readable, very exciting. The same issue also has a damning review of The Road Ahead.

Oh, and one more thing. Suck is going corporate. They got bought out by Hotwired, of course. Read Brock Meeks' take on the whole thing. I'm just jealous.



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