Microsoft agreement to license Squeak (from the Swiki, dated 4-1-1998)
chb99 at msn.com
Wed Mar 20 00:46:54 UTC 2002
I just came across this page on the Swiki:
Did anything ever become of this, or was it just some kind of twisted April
Microsoft And Disney Conclude Agreement To License Technology For Smalltalk
Microsoft Demonstrates Smalltalk-80-Compatible Browser and Tools
REDMOND, WA - April 1, 1998 - At a press conference today Microsoft Corp.
(Nasdaq: MSFT) announced it has concluded an agreement to license the Squeak
Smalltalk-80 programming language and related technology for inclusion in
Microsoft products. As part of this agreement Microsoft will develop and
maintain the reference implementation of Smalltalk-80 for Windows(r)
platforms, such as the Windows(r)98 and Windows NT(r) operating system.
Also, Microsoft demonstrated a number of Smalltalk-80-compatible
technologies collectively code-named "Orlando." The technologies
demonstrated included Smalltalk-80 support in the Microsoft Internet
Explorer 5.0 Web browser using a built-in, high performance just-in-time
(JIT) compiler; an integrated development tool; and integration of the
Smalltalk-80 language with industry-standard component object model (COM)
objects through Microsoft ActiveX(tm) Technologies for the Internet and PC.
Microsoft further outlined its plans for Smalltalk-80 support, indicating
that future versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer for Windows and Apple(r)
Macintosh(r) will include the ability to run Smalltalk-80 applets
distributed through the World Wide Web. The company also outlined plans to
create a high-productivity development tool for Smalltalk-80, based on its
award-winning Developer Studio technology.
Microsoft is currently being sued by Sun over trademark infringement issues
relating to its licensing of Java technology from Sun. A U.S. District Court
judge granted Sun Microsystems Inc.'s request for a preliminary injunction
that prevents Microsoft from using Sun's Java Compatible(tm) logo to promote
and distribute its Internet Explorer 4.0 and related products. In response,
Microsoft has taken the unprecedented step of completely abandoning Java in
favor of what they consider to be "a vastly superior programming language
technology" in the words of Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
In a project that has been kept under wraps ever since the initial adoption
of Java, a team of Microsoft researchers has prepared an alternative
programming language for use in case of a serious dispute with Sun over the
future of the Java language. After evaluating many programming languages,
the team settled on Smalltalk-80 as being the best alternative to Java.
According to Chris Fraser, a Microsoft research scientist, "Smalltalk-80's
dynamic type system is far superior to the one developed for Java." Also, he
asserts that "pure object-oriented programs are the wave of the future:
hybrid C-based programming has reached a dead end." As other developers
integrated Java into Microsoft products such as the Internet Explorer, this
"shadow team" created secret versions of these same products using
Smalltalk-80 instead of Java. The team leader, Conal Elliott, asserts that
due to the elegance and expressiveness of Smalltalk-80, his team was able to
completely duplicate the work being done with Java using only a tenth of the
manpower. As all tools needed to switch from Java to Smalltalk-80 are
already in place, Microsoft expects to completely purge its products of Java
within a period of less than two months.
"The Squeak technology will provide a great way for our developer customers
to create innovative applications for the Web," said Dave Hanson, vice
president of development tools at Microsoft. "We intend to be the premier
supplier of Smalltalk-80-compatible tools to Internet developers."
"Microsoft's commitment to Smalltalk-80 is both impressive and
comprehensive, and this agreement makes them one of the leading Smalltalk-80
supporters," said Alan C. Kay, the head of the Squeak project at Disney.
"Microsoft's licensing of Squeak broadens support of the technology
"Integrating the Smalltalk-80 language with COM is something our customers
and ISV partners think is extremely important," said Erik Meijer, the new
senior vice president of Internet platforms and tools, at Microsoft. "It
brings a whole new dimension to Smalltalk: a clear path for integration with
existing applications, systems and technologies. It means that you don't
have to start over to take advantage of Smalltalk-80."
Current Smalltalk developers reacted with both joy and concern at this
announcement. Allen Wirfs-Brock, a prominent Smalltalk-80 implementor, said
"I guess this means the end of our research efforts here. There is no way a
small research group such as ours can compete with Microsoft." At UIUC,
Ralph Johnson was more optimistic: "Now I can get out of this hellhole in
Urbana-Champaign and get a real job at Microsoft." In fact, many
Smalltalk-80 developers are expected to join a new Microsoft research group
in Portland, Oregon which will be headed by Ward Cunningham, a prominent
Smalltalk researcher. Mr. Cunningham explained that "they wanted me to come
to Redmond but I decided to remain here in Portland. When they decided to
build a research center here for me I was thrilled!"
Additional information on Microsoft Corporation is available on the Internet
at http://www.microsoft.com. Additional information on Smalltalk-80 and
Squeak is available on the Internet at http://www.stic.org.
Microsoft Windows, Windows NT and ActiveX are either registered trademarks
or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other
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