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24 November 1997

Microsoft Windows NT 5.0 is suffering the same fate as so-called Windows 98. It seems that both systems will not be released until 1999. ZDNet has more.

There's a big move in the computer industry. PCs costing under $1000 are the hot item now, comprising 60% of the computers sold in retail stores. This new price competition is going to be putting some interesting pressure on software and OS producers. Less expensive, less powerful hardware will not be able to run cutting edge bloatware as effectively as the latest and greatest technology. Will this herald in a new era of demand for a trim and stable OS? Or a push for network computers?

Caldera, Inc., distributor of commercial a Linux OS, is suing Microsoft for antitrust practices. Microsoft requested a change of venue to Seattle, but a judge ruled that the trial will take place in Salt Lake City. Caldera believes this ruling will "level the playing field."

One of the barriers to Linux's acceptance in the business world has traditionally been the lack of "professional" technical support. Both Caldera and now Red Hat are alleviating this problem by offering support contracts for their Linux distributions.

This quarter, the Mac OS sold more copies than Windows 95, according to Business Wire, making it the best selling OS. Of course, Mac OS 8 is new, while Windows 95 is not, so Microsoft probably isn't worrying too much. System 8's popularity could bode well for several charities, as Apple is donating $10 to them from the sale of every copy sold.

A Bill Gates look-alike hired to promote a Microsoft parody CD from Palladium Interactive was expelled from the Comdex show floor. The look-alike was promoting a product called "Microshaft Winblows 98". This proves that the organizers of Comdex (1) have no sense of humor and (2) know not to bite the hand that feeds them. A company press release has more information. Some of the features of Microshaft Winblows 98 are:

VirtualBill -- Your very own on-screen cyber pet. Nurture him, feed him lots of money and tend to his every need or else he throws a tantrum in this parody spin off of the virtual pet craze!
Bill's Personal Outlook -- Where does He want to go today? Take a satirical sneak peek at "you know who's" to-do list, e-mail and journal and more.
The Roll Ahead -- Players can "Be Like Bill" as they acquire corporations and invest millions in this Microshaft board game!
Winblows Exploder -- Players attempt to shoot their way though a universe of computer bugs, viruses and those annoying fault screens.
And much more.

A group of telephone and computer companies have charged that Microsoft is practicing a kind of "extortion" in its browser war against Netscape.

Mac the Knife, in his almost incomprehensible way, announced that Netscape is working on a Rhapsody version of its web browser.

The big news at Comdex this year was handheld PCs. Microsoft recently announced version 2.0 of its Windows CE operating system. Handhelds are still an arena where multiple OSes coexist equally. CE, Newton, Palm Pilot, and Psion, among others, have yet to fight it out.

We received an email from Omega AG, the producers of the COS Mac-compatible OS that many believe to be mere vaporware:

Until the end we believe that we would be able to present COS at the MacWorld & Publishing Expo 97 in Duesseldorf. COS is coming as soon as the final version, according to our description, will be ready We will inform you personally by e-mail so you will not miss the start. Various questions about details will be answered individually in a few days.
A reader, Joe Barry, forwarded us an email message that they sent him after he inquired about the delay in COS' release:
> Part of the problem is that you're not giving us any details
> regarding your delay. You have not made any public
> announcements. All you've done is say "Sorry" on your web
> page.  Also, why are there all these fake screenshots floating
> around?

Here a detail: 90 % of COS is written in Assembler, without comment. Our developers created all the time two opinions: We are artists and don't need Comments. It's no bug, it's a feature. Well, they are artists, really, but 800.000 lines Assembler without comments? At the other site, I need them, so they are doing, what they are meaning, what is right. (Sorry of my german english)

And the problem with the fake screenshots. I don't know. I think, there are some people in the world with too much time.

Best regards

Manfred Schmitz

OS/2 refuses to die. A group of engineers is working on a way to convert Windows 95/NT applications to run natively in OS/2. OS/2's Open32 API, which was supposed to allow developers to simply recompile their Win 95 creations to run on OS/2, is incomplete, and this group is working to fill in the blanks and then some. This free system will apparently allow end users to convert their own applications. See their web site for more detials. You can't download it yet, and there isn't even a way to know if it's true, but it's certianly exciting.

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