Compatibility has a great importance in many markets and particularly in software. Users consider compatibility valuable as it allows them to interact with other users using compatible products. The set of users using a product is the installed base of that product. Network externalities are the effects of higher enjoyment of a product as a consequence of the product’s large installed base (Katz and Shapiro, 1992; Rohlfs, 1974). Compatibility between different products lets their installed bases interact increasing the network externality effects. Firms manage compatibility to support their strategic goals. Leveraging on the users’ need for compatibility, firms decide which standards and competing products their products should be compatible with. When the compatibility users require is not provided, converters developed by third parties can provide it. In this paper we present a notation to represent the compatibility relations involving products, standards, and, when necessary, the converters implementing compatibility. The notation is graphical and based on object orientation. We apply this notation to the domain of web browsers. Considering some of the most popular web browsers, we analyze their compliance to standards and the compatibility of their bookmarks. From the analysis, different approaches to compatibility emerge depending on the market relevance of the products.

Representing compatibility and standards: a case study on web browsers

Succi G;
1998

Abstract

Compatibility has a great importance in many markets and particularly in software. Users consider compatibility valuable as it allows them to interact with other users using compatible products. The set of users using a product is the installed base of that product. Network externalities are the effects of higher enjoyment of a product as a consequence of the product’s large installed base (Katz and Shapiro, 1992; Rohlfs, 1974). Compatibility between different products lets their installed bases interact increasing the network externality effects. Firms manage compatibility to support their strategic goals. Leveraging on the users’ need for compatibility, firms decide which standards and competing products their products should be compatible with. When the compatibility users require is not provided, converters developed by third parties can provide it. In this paper we present a notation to represent the compatibility relations involving products, standards, and, when necessary, the converters implementing compatibility. The notation is graphical and based on object orientation. We apply this notation to the domain of web browsers. Considering some of the most popular web browsers, we analyze their compliance to standards and the compatibility of their bookmarks. From the analysis, different approaches to compatibility emerge depending on the market relevance of the products.
1998
Succi G; Predonzani P; Valerio A; Vernazza T
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/892609
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