Pointcast given no choice in MS Alliance
Copyright © 1996 to Bruce Simpson
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Pointcast, the incredibly successful news-broadcaster who was first
to create the "push" model for Internet content delivery has
forged a deal with Microsoft over the integration of their service
into upcoming versions of MS Windows.
Why did they opt for such a deal when they are already the market-leader?
Simple - they had no choice. If they didn't agree to Microsoft's terms then MS would have simply produced their own tightly integrated equivalent service and blown Pointcast out of the water.
Don't doubt that they could do it either. Their joint venture with NBC, the MSNBC service has strong ties in the news sector and by integrating the client-end software into the Windows desktop they would have left PointCast high and dry.
This type of thing bodes ill for the "small guy" with a good idea when huge megaliths such as Microsoft able to walk in and dictate terms simply by dint of their virtual monopoly in the desktop arena.
Fortunately Sun seems to be sticking to its guns over the importance of keeping Java an open platform while Microsoft seek to hijack it for their own benefit. If Java succeeds in providing the holy grail of hardware/OS independence for applications programmers maybe moves such as the MS/Pointcast one will become a thing of the past as Microsoft itself struggles to retain market share.
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