A lesser piece of news related to the announcement made by IBM and Microsoft concerning OS/2 at Comdex (CI No 1,306) is a programme being launched in the UK by Microsoft and the value-added software reseller International Software Ltd. The programme is motivated by the need to popularise graphical user interfaces within the corporate sector. […]
A lesser piece of news related to the announcement made by IBM and Microsoft concerning OS/2 at Comdex (CI No 1,306) is a programme being launched in the UK by Microsoft and the value-added software reseller International Software Ltd. The programme is motivated by the need to popularise graphical user interfaces within the corporate sector. The rationale behind the move to graphical user interfaces is that with traditional character-based applications the drivers are built into the application and, therefore, different interfaces are required for peripherals, whereas graphical user interfaces divorce the drivers from applications so that any peripherals can be attached. This has the effect of standardising applications for the end user so that, for example, information from a database can be clicked and dragged into a word processing package without all the bother of converting information from one package into another or learning new methods of accessing data. Under the Graphical User Environment Evaluation Programme set up by Microsoft and International Software it is hoped that information centres, at which the programme is targeted, will pay UKP500 for a one year subscription. That buys a full copy of each of Microsoft’s new graphical releases before they ship, First Look seminars, Evaluation seminars, twice yearly Microsoft Executive briefings, access to an Information Software hotline and a Migration Purchase Agreement to lower the cost of moving from character-based applications to the graphical environment. Microsoft stressed that it didn’t want the programme to be simply a load of seminars, rather it wants to create a forum and develop the ethos of a user group among participants. In particular Microsoft is keen to be seen to be active in the low-end personal computer market despite its announcement with IBM, saying that the combination of Windows and Presentation Manager enables it to cater for different sized machines within companies. On the other hand, International Software stressed that it was an independent reseller and could source 20,000 software products world-wide – emphasising that it would not promote Microsoft products at the expense of its other suppliers: the Programme is just one among many that it offers.