Critic Sees Flaws in Microsoft's Strategy

[ Sun. Jun. 18. 2000 ]

Mr. Gelernter's argument is spelled out in "The Second Coming -- a Manifesto," an essay published last week in the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and posted on the Edge, a technology forum on he Web (www.edge.org).

As Microsoft prepares to announce its Next Generation Windows Services initiative this week, an influential computer scientist is circulating a thesis that challenges William H. Gates's vision of the future. .......

.Microsoft has based its reputation on refusing to lead and always following, and once again they're behind the wave here," said Mr. Gelernter, a respected Yale University computer scientist. "More and more people are coming to understand that the power of desktop machines is enormous and is largely wasted when you spend your time browsing on the Web.

Mr. Gelernter's argument is spelled out in "The Second Coming -- a Manifesto," an essay published last week in the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and posted on the Edge, a technology forum on he Web (www.edge.org).

Mr. Gelernter's critique has some influential supporters, including including Danny Hillis, a computer scientist who recently left Walt Disney's Imagineering research group to form a new company, Applied Minds; David Ditzel, a computer designer who is the founder of Transmeta Inc., a Silicon Valley microprocessor company; and Rodney

Brooks, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory."David's criticisms of our current computing environments are eloquently stated, and I think widely shared," Mr. Brooks wrote in a recent comment posted on the Internet.

But Microsoft's head of research, Rick Rashid, countered that Mr. Gelernter was taking a long-term view of computing that might have little relevance for the current software market. "It's fairly predictable that David would be saying this," said Mr. Rashid, a Microsoft senior vice president. This has been his mantra throughout his career. ........

Click here for the article on "THE NEW YORK TIMES on the Web"