Dvorak’s latest rant, this time on the great "IE Blunder" is convenient, revisionist, and ignorant of the facts.
He ignores the fact that Netscape didn’t even exist in the summer of 1994 when the plan to put the browser into the OS was hatched. In the fall of 1994 when the Spyglass deal was done, the company had already examined a bunch of other browsers, and nearly bought Booklink before it was snapped up by AOL. But not Netscape. Why? Nobody knew about them. They didn’t unveil what they were doing until early 1995.
The real motivation was that Microsoft’s competitors had a browser in their products. IBM had WebExplorer, and Apple had Cyberdog. Team OS/2 used two demos over and over again in demonstrations to show that OS/2 was a superior modern OS to Windows. One demo was their multi-tasking capability, and the other was IBM WebExplorer.
Marc and the Netscape boys were confronted with the same conundrum many Web 2.0 companies have today. They were building a feature, not a product. Furthermore, they didn’t have a buyer anymore because all the logical buyers had already bought. When they figured that out, they went on the offensive and declared Netscape a new OS. Hunh? Hubris or stupidity, it doesn’t really matter. The rest is ancient history. They parlayed their albatross into $6 billion and went home winners.
Ya gotta stop eating out of those aluminum pots, John. It’s affecting your memory. 😉