Anyone who is familiar with SAS/AF, finds VB a joy to use and vice-versa - of course SAS gave it to Microsoft. You guys weren't making much money out of little old AF, when you do with your studios that you built with AF. You don't want others building custom designed systems, especially when you have to start supporting them when the guy who built them disappears.
But I am sure that it goes way further back than that. Why was it so easy for those using SAS circa 1990's to pick up Windows? That's because Microsoft was given the SAS windows architecture out of its desperation to get Windows 95 out in 1995. The great rumour of the industry is that Bill got it from Apple Mac - anyone ever used one of those beasts - its nothing like MS? No SAS gave it to MS. And why? Because Windows series 3 had the nasty habit of pinching memory off other apps when it ran out of its own 4 Mb allocation. Excel was the guiltiest one - and SAS was suffering. So to save your bacon you helped Bill out of a tight spot.
But how far back does it all go? The story about DOS for example – some long haired students working on a safer copy of UNIX in their backyard – a tall story, but yet another cover up. Of course SAS was suffering from an image of slowness. Its not SAS that was the problem, but the architecture of the mainframe – not designed for an analysis tool. SAS needed IBM to develop the PC, and when they needed an operating system, they conveniently came up with DOS.
How many other stories are out there? Would love to know.
Actually the real crux of the matter is that Microsoft is full of IT people.
The problem with IT people, is that they love to make things work with lots of bells and whistles and fancy bits, but then they forget what they really setout to do. SAS brings them back with to what the business wanted in the first place.
The world is cycling out of control because of the blossoming IT industry. Trouble is that IT is only about 25 years old, and Industry itself is 100's of years old. How can you expect IT to really understand the fundamentals of what business actually need?
There has been no real good development in what the computer actually does in the last 10 years. The world is waiting, on a knife edge indeed, for the next BIG step. Which way we will go – Will the pack of cards come tumbling down, or will a solid foundation be put in place so that good fundamental changes can take place?
No, SAS needs Microsoft to guide the world forward in making a platform suitable for all of us to use – that is the operating system. Microsoft needs SAS to tell it what the user community is looking for. They are inextricably linked.
So why do have such a struggle to communicate, as with these tools now, between SAS and Microsoft? Their architectures must be so similar because of working together for such a long time.
Simply put one cannot fundamentally understand the way that the other works.
There are some very few people who actually understand both ways of working, and can cross the border feely – at will – between the two. Those people must be some of the most valuable people in the whole world! And the way they operate is to be able to translate the language barrier that exists between the two communities, to something which both communities understand, in their own terms.
I have worked in IT for some years, but also have a chemical engineering degree. Also with on site production experience helps in visualizing the real needs of the business. I have worked in 24 companies across 8 industries, and the picture is much the same in every community. We all simply do not, fundamentally, understand where the other is coming from.