7 y ago in Blog

Standards, Choices and Doublethink

Evangelism Is War

Our mission is to establish Microsoft's platforms as the de-facto standards throughout the computer industry. Our enemies are the vendors of platforms that compete with ours; Netscape, Sun, IBM, Oracle, Lotus, etc. The field of battle is the software industry. Success is measured in shipping applications. Every line of code that is written to our standards is a small victory; every line of code that is written to any other standard, is a small defeat. Total victory, for DRG, is the universal adoption of our standards by developers, as this is an important step towards total victory for Microsoft itself: "A computer on every desk and in every home, running Microsoft software".

Our weapons are psychological, economic, and political - not military. No one is forced to adopt our standards at the barrel of a gun. We can only convince, not compel. Those who adopt our standards to so as a rational decision to serve their own ends, whetever those may be. It is our job to ensure that those choosing an operating system are presented with an overwhelming abundance of evidence and reasoned argument in favor of our standards - so overwhelming that the choice of our standards seems obvious, or (ideally) that the developer is not even aware that a decision was faced, and a choice made.

We do this by understanding the barriers that might otherwise prevent a developer from adopting our standards, and removing them; by understanding the inducements that might facilitate the developer's adoption of our standards, and providing them; by understanding the arguments of our competiton, and countering them.

How one would make a "rational decision" without being aware of that is anyone's guess.