geoffster geoff at
Thu Aug 8 21:22:53 EDT 1996

Hello Rob

MS *thouroughly* understand the user's perspective. How many copies of
Windows are out there ? They also understand printers, or rather how
printers SHOULD be.  I know this 'cause I work on their printer stuff for
part of my living.  NT is rather cool, and coming from a confessed Mac and
Linux bigot, this should be illustrative. I am not goint to debate NT vs.
Novell here, 'cause that is a red herring.

They have also encouraged plug and play that should have happened years ago.

MS are welcome. They can bring about a healthy paradigm shift from the
warped perspective I keep seeing in the minds of some - but not all - PWG
members.  It all sounds very disrespectful I know (sorry Jeff D :-)) but I
still maintain that the biggest enemy of printer companies is their own
marketing departments who know shit. They see their goal as making
themselves immovable gatekeepers of information between users and the
engineers (thus guaranteeing their employment as well). This increases the
difficulty of information and feedback being heard, and slows down
innovation and product cycles.

Some companies may eventually figure this out and have the guts to stop
being so lemming like and put some highly visible engineer links out to
userland.  Imagine that. Imagine being able to get a good idea and
implement it without committees and politics. It could mean product
differentiation and closing honing the product to the market.

Could be too profitable. Too easy. Too efficient.  There is something about
large companies that reacts against innovation. I have never understood
this, but I think it has something to do with the "we know best because we
are being paid to know best and therefore must know best because we are
paid to know best". Engineers passively accept this wisdom. They are
intelligent people and I can never understand why this is so.

These are the same engineers that can spend $5 billion for an airport in
Denver with little or no power points for laptops, and where there are
power points they are so close to the groud so that transformers will not
sit in them.

This occurs because decisions are made in offices far removed from userland
and there is no link to userland except for some very stilted and random
questioning. Open up the channels and be suprised at what you are missing
out on !!

I might direct everyone to Paul Reilly (Apple) some months who had the
sense to ask Kinko's "what IF we did blah blah " and see their faces light
up. Kinko's had fallen into the trap of thinking their range of choices
were limited to the whims of printer companies. Though Apple missed the
boat again as usual (story of its life) on doing anything about this, it is
a good point what some intelligent questioning can do.

Asking people for what they would *really* like or dream about  - putting
feasibility obstacles aside- is where all innovation comes from.  MS is
superb at this and owes its success to having a developer program where
ideas can blossom instead of being shot down as soon as they are raised.

The PWG members, by contrast, have the RED light approach to eveything. You
need to GREEN light environment to make innovation happen.

Again my $0.02c worth.  Geoff Slater.

"Argument is an intellectual process, contradiction is the automatic
 gainsaying of anything the other person says"

"No it isn't"

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