(NB: I am moving some years-old writings into Due Diligence for future reference. This piece originally appeared in early 1997 on Howard Rheingold's old Electric Minds site. Little or no effort has been expended on cleaning up links broken in the intervening decade.)
The Way It Was Supposed to BeA Microsoft strategy statement in the early nineties could have gone something like this:
"We have achieved dominance in desktop operating systems, and a large share in the associated programming tools and user applications. We need to keep growing the business, and to anticipate threats to our current market. Moore's law shows that 'desktop' machinery will soon have the power necessary to fill the roles of workstations and servers. The dominant operating system in these markets is UNIX, and the network capability implied by servers is supplied by TCP/IP. Collision is inevitable. We need a platform that we control, which has similar or superior capabilities, and is leveraged from our current competitive position."