Re: OLE/COM - Microsoft's Strategy For Once Again Dominating The Software Industry

Tim Brinson (
Fri, 15 Dec 1995 08:39:30 -0800

Prasad Wagle wrote:
> OLE/COM is Microsoft's standard for distributed objects and component
> software. OLE is the compound document standard and COM is the
> distributed object bus. If OLE/COM becomes a de facto standard, the
> language used for the components will be of secondary importance. The
> software industry will once again be at Microsoft's mercy.

I attended an OLE session at the Medical Records Institute last week
where the Microsoft people said that distributed COM was still a
ways off (~ Beta in mid 96). Which means today CORBA is the only
distributed object architecture. CORBA technology also has
implementations from many vendors on the same platform which
keeps the vendors competitive.

> The industry's answer to COM is CORBA. The industry desperately needs a
> compound document standard as powerful as OLE. One option is OpenDoc.

Correct. I have found that a lot of people confuse the issue and
think OpenDoc competes with CORBA. As Prasad indicates it competes
with OLE (they have a bridge to OLE). OpenDoc runs on top of CORBA

> "The Essential Distributed Objects Survival Guide" by Orfali, Harkey,
> and Edwards is an excellent introductory book on this topic. The
> conclusion of the book is: "CORBA/OpenDoc is technically superior to
> COM/OLE. However, if the industry does not build a component market
> infrastructure, CORBA/OpenDoc will fail. Microsoft will impose on the
> industry its ORB and component standards."

This is a great book. Another good book about CORBA is "The
Essential CORBA" by Mowbray and Zahavi.

> So I would urge ISVs to work with W3C and OMG on open standards for
> distributed objects and component software. In my opinion, this is a
> better long-term solution compared to the short-term solution of using
> proprietary standards like OLE. I know the problems involved with
> standards-development process. I am working on the SPEC industry
> standard Web server benchmark. However, I still believe in the long
> term value of open standards. I would like to hear your thoughts on
> this issue.

For information about the OMG send mail to or surf to I have been involved with the OMG
standardization process for over a year and I am very impressed how
fast their process creates quality specs that actually get

The OMG has formed an Internet SIG and I believe are starting to
work with the W3C. The OMG has over 575 members (the last I heard)
and it continues to grow.

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