We’re now three months and over 50 articles into the Programming Windows series. Here’s another quick progress report.
Recent Programming Windows Stories
When Microsoft announced that the oft-delayed Windows NT 5.0 would be renamed to Windows 2000, it marked the end of an era.
It’s not exactly a road not taken, as each of its constituent parts did come to fruition. But Windows DNA was short-lived as a brand.
With Windows NT 5.0 delayed again and again, Microsoft didn’t notice yet another competitor nipping at its heels.
Two years into its incredible embrace of the Internet, Bill Gates became convinced that the strategy was now threatening Windows from within.
VBScript was best used with the IIS web server and Active Server Pages (ASP) to “activate the Internet” with databases and ActiveX components.
With ActiveX, Microsoft would “activate the Internet” by bringing its COM technologies to the web.
HTML is a simple markup language that describes web documents. But it’s evolved into a powerful platform over the years.
Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson’s Findings of Fact in U.S. v. Microsoft focused largely on Microsoft’s response to the Netscape threat.
In this sidebar, Microsoft once planned three Windows NT versions, called Asteroid, NepTune, and Triton. None came to market.
Microsoft created Internet Explorer to beat back the threat from Netscape Navigator. It would soon dominate the market.
Windows 95 wasn’t as sophisticated as NT, but it ran well on mainstream PCs and offered many advances over its predecessors.
Visual J++ is a historical footnote today, but it’s fascinating to go back and see what Microsoft did with the Java platform.
Microsoft wasted little time usurping the Java platform and creating Windows-only Java technologies that angered Sun Microsystems.
December 7, 1995 was another day that would live in infamy. For Netscape and any other company that got in Microsoft’s way.
After ignoring the Internet threat for years, Bill Gates finally decided to “embrace and extend” the Internet and “exterminate” Netscape.
A boldly innovative startup called Netscape understood that the web was a platform that could unseat the Windows monopoly.
In this sidebar, Microsoft’s planned successor to NT was a challenge that was too complex and ethereal in nature to succeed.
Let's quickly say hello to Java, the programming language and runtime environment that would go on to trigger a major Microsoft strategy shift.
Sun’s Java programming language and runtime environment were perfect for the Internet. And an existential threat to Windows.
Thanks to the stratospheric success of Windows in the 1990s, Microsoft was initially blind to the biggest threat it would ever face.
Inspired by deficiencies in DDE and OLE 1.0, the Component Object Model (COM) was a much more sophisticated platform.
In the early 1990s, Microsoft evolved Windows with inter-process communications capabilities based on OLE.
Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) brought compound document capabilities to Windows, starting in version 3.0.
Using Dynamic Data Exchange was next to impossible unless you were using Visual Basic with a DDE-compatible application.
In another sidebar, the inventors of BASIC had some choice words for Bill Gates, Microsoft, and Microsoft BASIC.