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Intel's software investment strategy (was RE: support for...)

From: James P. Salsman <bovik@best.com>
Date: Sun, 2 Apr 2000 15:52:39 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <200004022252.PAA17860@shell9.ba.best.com>
To: chris.c.pearson@intel.com
Cc: www-html@w3.org
Chris,

Thanks for your message:

> Intel puts significant resources into seeking out and promoting 
> new uses for PCs.

Yes; those resources are significant enough to carefully select 
against such uses that might promote Intel's competitors.  Case 
in point:  the Intel Recognition Primitives Library is available
only in machine language and not the C it's compiled from.  

> Having even a small user community helps take the decision
> out of the realm of speculation....

Take a look at the sales of Dyned, Auralog, Syracuse Language 
Systems, and Edusoft's speech input-based language instruction
software; there's a huge market.  Why would those companies
release only on CD-ROM, without any client-server implementations, 
even though they use network communications to keep track of
student progress and such?  I happen to know that Intel makes a 
big fuss about client-server implementations of projects they 
help fund, and even in projects they don't have a hand in, the 
attitude permeates the industry.

> Certainly, prototypes can be built using existing HTML/browser capability
> (such as the nefarious OBJECT/EMBED, on which I personally receive royalties

Would you please explain what you mean?  Are there some sort of 
intellectual property encumbrances on using those tags?

>... users won't care whether it's implemented in HTML or with a
> non-standard extension -- they'll be using it now!

That's an idealistic belief similar to the efficient market 
hypothesis, but though it is generally true, there are plenty 
of reasons (not all nefarious) that prevent it in this case.  
And it's easy to argue against efficiency of markets; for 
example, dangerous jobs usually pay less than safer jobs, at 
the same skill levels.

In a perfect world, Mosaic would have implemented audio upload 
back in 1993 when Dave Raggett first proposed it, and all 
browsers would have followed.  But even back then when the 
"Multimedia PC" standard already included a sound card with 
microphone input, and there were plenty of microphone-based 
stand-alone apps selling briskly, nobody bothered with it.  

The lack of supply does not necessarily imply a lack of demand.

Cheers,
James
Received on Sunday, 2 April 2000 18:53:09 GMT

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