Puppet masters: Who controls the Net

The fight between AOL and Microsoft over instant messaging is part of a larger conflict that will ultimately determine who truly pulls the strings of the Internet.

CNET News staff
2 min read


"Beating on your chest and saying, 'We are taking on Microsoft' is one sure way to get their attention. No one who has done that has survived."

- Gartner Group analyst David Smith


By News.com staff
August 6, 1999, 4 a.m. PT

Is Gates pulling the Net's strings?
interactive Like the browser wars, the fight over instant messaging is part of a larger struggle for control of the Web by industry titans. And Microsoft may raise the stakes by taking on AOL with low- or no-cost Net access.

Where the Web will be won
As computing moves even further onto the Net, identifying the next key technological battlefront is more important than ever for America Online, Microsoft, and a cast of smaller hopefuls.

How AOL rose from the ashes
How did AOL go from a digital whipping post to an Internet superpower? The answer lies in a combination of marketing hubris and an obsession with the Internet novice.

Microsoft: Resistance is futile
Borland's plight at the hands of the Redmond empire shows how Microsoft's perseverance can spell disaster for its competitors even when it's lagging or completely absent from a particular market.

Why open standards are a myth
interactive The rhetoric behind the technological control over instant messaging is beginning to resemble campaign speeches on family values in an election year--and is inspiring similar cynicism.

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