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March 07, 2005

MarkL on Shipping

Ex-MSFTer Mark Lucovsky, now at Google, posted his thoughts on how shipping software has changed. This has been discussed everywhere. I'm not sure what the fuss is about. His basic point (his only point) is that shipping to the web is faster than shipping as packaged software. Yeah, no shit. In fact this point is so obvious that I wonder if it was posted for some other reason. Wierd initiation ritual into Google? We'll see if next week Mark shaves his head and sticks it in a toilet.

Everyone and their brother squawked at this and pointed out that Microsoft ships stuff to the web too, so Mark posted a followup, which said he wasn't trashing Microsoft, just pointing out that shipping has changed.

It would be similar to going to a record company that sells CDs and saying, "you guys don't understand how to sell music anymore, stamping CDs and sending them to stores has a big lead time, I can sell it on the web and get it out there so much faster". It's true, but it ignores the fact that a) lots of people still want to buy CDs and b) the fact that people have been buying CDs for a while is one of the things that enabled you to sell music over the net. In fact it's a bit more direct than that since the software you use to connect to the web (OS, browser, etc) is part of the packaged software that allows for the internet experience -- if all CDs disappeared tomorrow you could still sell music over the net, but if all packaged software was wiped off of people's machines, you couldn't run web-based software.

Posted by AdamBa at March 7, 2005 03:10 PM

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