Nick Simicich wrote:
> If a product is designed to be used by the "unwashed masses" it should
> make them appear washed. It should also protect them. Outrage, in
> particular, was actively bad in all these regards. Microsoft could have
> produced a product that worked and played well with other programs and
> protected naive users from the dangers of the Internet.
Well, lots of people believe it's the job of the criminal justice system
and of their service providers or IT departments to protect them from
danger, and will choose simplicity over security every time.
As for working with other products, they did the same thing Lotus and
Novell did, as well as AOL and Compuserve: develop a closed,
highly-featured system that then had to get on the net without giving up
all the things it did better than any standards-based tool.
> The early
> versions were actively awful - if you were not talking to another
> Outskirts program, you sent large uuencoded sections, and it was hard to
> figure out how to turn them off since all of the "high function" stuff
> (i.e., only seemed like a good idea if you were high) seemed to be the
> default since Outset seemed to be assuming an all Microsoft world.
Yes, but 95+% of the people who ever saw it *lived* in an all-Microsoft
world. It depresses me how much integrated functionality I need to give
up to deal with standards-based tools.
> Microsoft was a large company, designing a program to be used by many
> users - they could have done a good job.
They designed a product to be used by Microsoft users, just as Novell
(or one of its acquisitions) developed GroupWise to be used by
all-Novell users and Lotus developed Notes to be used by all-Lotus users.