ISVs Voice Overwhelming Support for Browser-Operating System Integration
REDMOND, Wash., March 2, 1998 — In a survey of 200 randomly selected independent software vendors (ISVs) released today, 85 percent indicated that the integration of Web-browsing technology into the Microsoft® Windows® operating systems would help their company. In addition, 83 percent said that the integration of Microsoft Internet Explorer would have a positive impact on end users, while 80 percent said blending browser technology with the operating system should have a positive impact on the software industry as a whole.
The survey was conducted on behalf of Microsoft Corp. by Telecommunications Research Group (TRG)*, an independent market research firm in Los Angeles that specializes in telecommunications, Internet and computer industry research. TRG researchers questioned 200 ISVs randomly selected from a list of 4,000 software vendors. Before asking them their opinion, TRG read each company a description of Microsoft’s rationale for integrating browser technology into its Windows family of operating systems.
Here are the exact questions TRG researchers asked and the answers provided by the 200 ISVs:
Overall, how beneficial would having these capabilities be to your business as a software company?
Eighty-five percent said this integration would have a positive impact on their company.
What impact, if any, would integrating browser and HTML technology into the operating system have on end users and the applications they can work with?
Eighty-three percent said there would be positive impacts for end users.
What impact do you feel these new capabilities will have on the independent software vendor community as a whole in its effort to develop new applications?
Eighty percent said there would be positive impacts for the software industry as a whole.
Do you feel that having these capabilities will make it easier for you as a software company to develop new applications and bring new capabilities to your customers?
Seventy-nine percent said it would be easier to create new applications and bring new capabilities to their customers as a result of the integration.
The Rationale for Integration Presented to Survey ISVs
This is the rationale that was presented to ISVs participating in the survey:
One of the reasons Microsoft cites for integrating browsing technology into the operating system is the benefits to independent software vendors from having a larger standard set of system services included in the operating system, just as when other network protocols such as TCP/IP were integrated into Windows.
In the case of integrated browser technologies, ISVs could develop applications knowing there was a standard set of user services that was on their machine (PC). ISVs would not have to worry about whether a browser was present, or about inconsistency in users’ installed software. For example, ISVs can ship help files as standard HTML files, knowing browser technology is there in the OS, thus eliminating the need for proprietary help formats and tools. This integration allows ISVs to use standard protocols in their applications, including HTML, FTP and Gopher, to retrieve data from the Internet or other sources. Other new built-in services would resolve URL addresses that are passed into an application or give you the ability to retrieve URLs and
bring the data into your application. These are just some of the examples of the new standard services added with browser integration.
Other Survey Results
The survey showed that not only do ISVs believe this integration will improve business, but that business is booming already:
Eighty-six percent of ISVs surveyed said sales are increasing; only 2 percent said sales are declining.
Ninety-three percent said the Internet is having a positive impact on their company.
Ninety-one percent said Windows has had a positive impact on their business.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.
*Date of study February 1998. Sampling variability for these responses at the 90 percent confidence level is +/- 4.5 percent.
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