Giving Thanks to Microsoft

November 23, 2007

As our American friends south of the border celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend I would like to give thanks to Microsoft. I would like to give thanks to Microsoft, not for their role in personal computing, not for their operating systems, not for their file or e-mail servers, not for their Office products, but for the Internet. I would like to give thanks to Microsoft for giving us the Internet.

Now this is not an Al Gore Invented the Internet moment. I am not claiming that Microsoft invented the Internet or even championed it. What I am saying is that Microsoft made the most important decision that shaped the success of what we now think of as the Internet and they didn’t even have a clue they were doing it.

At some point in the 90’s Microsoft bundled and embraced the TCP/IP protocol in their operating systems. They did this for a simple reason, to give them a competitive edge over the then dominant market leader Novell. That simple choice driven by fierce competitiveness enabled the ubiquity of the Internet that we know today and, I dare say that, it would not have happened without it.

For this, I give thanks.