Microsoft hits multiple Internet home runs

I just had dinner with a bunch of Italy’s top tech bloggers and technologists and Marc Canter. Plus I’ve been talking with people all day long. Microsoft hit major Internet home runs today with its announcements, based on what I’m hearing from formerly-skeptical developers.

I haven’t heard this level of excitement about Microsoft’s Internet Strategy in years.

While Dean Hachamovitch, head of the Internet Explorer team, and Scott Guthrie, head of Internet development tools teams, were out front parading a dizzying array of new technology, I got a few interviews today and one name kept coming up:

Ray Ozzie.

So, what is resonating with developers today at Microsoft’s Mix Conference?

1. Internet Explorer’s new pro-standards role. Do not underestimate how big a deal this is in winning the hearts and minds of developers. Read the 578 comments on this post that talks about IE 8’s new standards-based defaults. 578 comments. Almost all of them positive toward Microsoft. Damn, I remember the days when it would be 578 anti-Microsoft comments on that blog.
2. Microsoft’s demos. It took me two hours to get from the front door of the Venetian to the Mix registration desk. Usually that would be a 10-minute walk and that would include five minutes of gambling at one of the tables. Why did it take so long? Because I was stopped every few feet by a Mix attendee (or, in one case, Dan Farber) where the conversation went something like this: “did you see the Olympic video demo? Holy s**t is that cool.” Or, “did you see the Hard Rock demo? Did you see that it’s live now and you can go play with it?” Even TechCrunch is fawning over that one.
3. New features in Internet Explorer. Especially something called “Web Slices” which lets you track just something specific on a Web page. For instance, the status message on Facebook. Also something called “Activities” which the IE blog says makes it so “a user can select text on a web page and map it, blog it, look for it, or just act on it without having to copy it, open a new tab, navigate to another site, and paste. We made the OpenService Format specification available under the Microsoft Open Specification Promise and the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license.”

I got some videos with my cell phone that back up all this.

For instance, here’s an interview with Chris Saad. Don’t know him? He’s the one who is heading up the Dataportability.org. Also in that interview is Frank Arrigo, Microsoftie that I’ve known for years.

Here’s an interview with Eric Zocher while we talked in the BlogZone at Mix, who runs the Expression Team at Microsoft (the tools developers will use to build Silverlight experiences).

Here’s an interview with Scott Guthrie, who hosted many of the most popular keynote demos yesterday morning. Sorry for the noise, but we were in an extremely noisy room and I was recording him with a cell phone.

There’s a lot more on TechMeme here and here.

It’s pretty clear that Microsoft’s Internet strategies have turned a corner and now it’s time to go and visit Ray Ozzie’s team up in Redmond.

Another thing that’s clear? Microsoft’s PDC in September (its professional developer conference) is going to be one that’ll generate a lot of news.

Does this signal that Microsoft “gets” the Internet? Well, Microsoft sure made it clear today that you can’t count them out. I’m having to change a whole bunch of my beliefs of how the industry is going based on what I’ve seen and heard today. How about you?

Comments

  1. Scoble, Scoble, Scoble….

    “We’ve decided that IE8 will, by default, interpret web content in the most standards compliant way it can.”

    1. Let’s believe it when we see it.

    2. “The most standards compliant way it can.”

    3. Meanwhile let’s use browsers that *are* standards compliant and have been built from the ground up on W3C standards

    4. For just a second, I was afraid Microsoft tech would have yet another emotional impact on you

    = D

  2. Scoble, Scoble, Scoble….

    “We’ve decided that IE8 will, by default, interpret web content in the most standards compliant way it can.”

    1. Let’s believe it when we see it.

    2. “The most standards compliant way it can.”

    3. Meanwhile let’s use browsers that *are* standards compliant and have been built from the ground up on W3C standards

    4. For just a second, I was afraid Microsoft tech would have yet another emotional impact on you

    = D

  3. But see, you and all the tech sites, missed the real point, it’s not about the ‘Flash Killer’ Part 2, IE8 and standards wars, the pointless Flockisma, SQL Server Data Services, or the jazzed-up demos, it’s all about the vaguely-defined “advertising platform”. Advertising, something to which, Microsoft being a software tool company, will royally screw-up.

    IE8 goes “standards”, just as Firefox and Opera numbers are sky-high, and so what? As for standards, that’s pointless feel-good developer drugs, marketshare be it’s own standard. Plus, it will take the average person awhile to upgrade. They should have packed it Vista or SP1.

    Just a mish-mash of high-ideals, still in beta. The fever-pitch hysteria reminds me of PDC 2003, Forget not, this is the same company just a few weeks ago, trying to force buyout Yahoo, as their overall web strategy, and now, suddenly, after all the wine and cheese, they are future unstoppable? Please.

  4. But see, you and all the tech sites, missed the real point, it’s not about the ‘Flash Killer’ Part 2, IE8 and standards wars, the pointless Flockisma, SQL Server Data Services, or the jazzed-up demos, it’s all about the vaguely-defined “advertising platform”. Advertising, something to which, Microsoft being a software tool company, will royally screw-up.

    IE8 goes “standards”, just as Firefox and Opera numbers are sky-high, and so what? As for standards, that’s pointless feel-good developer drugs, marketshare be it’s own standard. Plus, it will take the average person awhile to upgrade. They should have packed it Vista or SP1.

    Just a mish-mash of high-ideals, still in beta. The fever-pitch hysteria reminds me of PDC 2003, Forget not, this is the same company just a few weeks ago, trying to force buyout Yahoo, as their overall web strategy, and now, suddenly, after all the wine and cheese, they are future unstoppable? Please.

  5. Maybe it’s because i’m not living in the Microsoft ecosystem, but I was somewhat underwhelmed by the stuff they’ve shown, the interesting stuff like Mesh was just slides without a lot of substance.

    IE8 is interesting (especially because it will save coding time) but as long as they keep everything tied into their own ecosystem it’s hardly interesting to me personally.

  6. Maybe it’s because i’m not living in the Microsoft ecosystem, but I was somewhat underwhelmed by the stuff they’ve shown, the interesting stuff like Mesh was just slides without a lot of substance.

    IE8 is interesting (especially because it will save coding time) but as long as they keep everything tied into their own ecosystem it’s hardly interesting to me personally.

  7. Christopher: you forget that Microsoft has had tons of advertising revenues for years now, and bought aQuantive, which really was an advertising sales company when you get down to it.

    Microsoft is turning into an advertising company pretty quickly. They don’t have Google’s advantages, that’s for sure.

  8. Christopher: you forget that Microsoft has had tons of advertising revenues for years now, and bought aQuantive, which really was an advertising sales company when you get down to it.

    Microsoft is turning into an advertising company pretty quickly. They don’t have Google’s advantages, that’s for sure.

  9. Robert,
    I looked at the MIX keynote online and I have a more mixed review.

    Part of Microsoft is trying to do the right thing with IE8 and making sure that the web remains open and standard.

    Part of them is locked in their past mistakes (WPF and silverlight) and they do not seem to find the courage to do the right thing and cut their losses and focus 100% of their energy on doing the right thing.

    I wish they had done that mistake back in 1995 and try to push both IE and black bird.

    The hardrock demo was cool…but how is it fundamentally different from GoogleMaps? Do we need really need an entirely new monolithic and proprietary stack to create a fun way for people to interact with HardRock cafe?

    Take a look at some of the things webkit is doing with native video, CSS, SVG and you will see that there is a much more simple, incremental and open way to go towards that direction.

    Congratulations on the new show!

  10. Robert,
    I looked at the MIX keynote online and I have a more mixed review.

    Part of Microsoft is trying to do the right thing with IE8 and making sure that the web remains open and standard.

    Part of them is locked in their past mistakes (WPF and silverlight) and they do not seem to find the courage to do the right thing and cut their losses and focus 100% of their energy on doing the right thing.

    I wish they had done that mistake back in 1995 and try to push both IE and black bird.

    The hardrock demo was cool…but how is it fundamentally different from GoogleMaps? Do we need really need an entirely new monolithic and proprietary stack to create a fun way for people to interact with HardRock cafe?

    Take a look at some of the things webkit is doing with native video, CSS, SVG and you will see that there is a much more simple, incremental and open way to go towards that direction.

    Congratulations on the new show!

  11. They bought aQuantive, for billions more than it was worth. They paid 6 billion for it. 6 BILLION. Divide that by the number of employees and it comes to roughly $3 million per person.

    Advertising Revenues? Yeah, so? You need profits. Xbox/Game division has “revenues” too.

    Microsoft is turning into an advertising company pretty quickly

    Yeah, if they get Yahoo.

  12. They bought aQuantive, for billions more than it was worth. They paid 6 billion for it. 6 BILLION. Divide that by the number of employees and it comes to roughly $3 million per person.

    Advertising Revenues? Yeah, so? You need profits. Xbox/Game division has “revenues” too.

    Microsoft is turning into an advertising company pretty quickly

    Yeah, if they get Yahoo.

  13. A whole lot of “pundits” (in particular, listen to any episode of TWiT)are locked into the old pattern… bash Microsoft and get knowing smiles from the other cool kids. It blinds them.

    Ever developer I know with an open mind who is actually working with technology knows how good .Net and Silverlight are. The rest of them…. well, they will do what dinosaurs always do. Pretend Microsoft is too stupid to live and ignore reality till they get crushed.

  14. A whole lot of “pundits” (in particular, listen to any episode of TWiT)are locked into the old pattern… bash Microsoft and get knowing smiles from the other cool kids. It blinds them.

    Ever developer I know with an open mind who is actually working with technology knows how good .Net and Silverlight are. The rest of them…. well, they will do what dinosaurs always do. Pretend Microsoft is too stupid to live and ignore reality till they get crushed.

  15. Chris:

    The entertainment devices division (xbox,zune) has been profitable now for 3 months. they also now have ways for ingame,mobile and embedded advertising.

    so i think that advertising will do good

  16. Chris:

    The entertainment devices division (xbox,zune) has been profitable now for 3 months. they also now have ways for ingame,mobile and embedded advertising.

    so i think that advertising will do good

  17. “winning the hearts and minds of developers”

    Oh god, M$ has been raping us in the ass for so long, don’t expect us to show them some love just because they give us a candy.

    Fuck em to death!

  18. “winning the hearts and minds of developers”

    Oh god, M$ has been raping us in the ass for so long, don’t expect us to show them some love just because they give us a candy.

    Fuck em to death!

  19. “Ever developer I know with an open mind who is actually working with technology knows how good .Net and Silverlight are. The rest of them…. well, they will do what dinosaurs always do. Pretend Microsoft is too stupid to live and ignore reality till they get crushed.”

    And therefore anyone who doesn’t agree is either close minded, a dinosaur, or both.

    Silverlight and .NET are both OS dependent, as well as proprietary technologies–neither of which creates a forward looking, vendor independent future.

    Ozzie started a conference for developers talking about ads. Ads. That is the face of the new Microsoft.

  20. “Ever developer I know with an open mind who is actually working with technology knows how good .Net and Silverlight are. The rest of them…. well, they will do what dinosaurs always do. Pretend Microsoft is too stupid to live and ignore reality till they get crushed.”

    And therefore anyone who doesn’t agree is either close minded, a dinosaur, or both.

    Silverlight and .NET are both OS dependent, as well as proprietary technologies–neither of which creates a forward looking, vendor independent future.

    Ozzie started a conference for developers talking about ads. Ads. That is the face of the new Microsoft.

  21. Its a home run that IE8 will (supposedly) do what every modern browser should/has been doing for several years? How exactly does that work? IE8 catching up to Firefox .9 does not a homerun make.

  22. Its a home run that IE8 will (supposedly) do what every modern browser should/has been doing for several years? How exactly does that work? IE8 catching up to Firefox .9 does not a homerun make.

  23. Web slices is a blatant rip off of WebClips in Safari. And now M$ wants to “standardize them in an open specification”???

    WTF???

    It has to be said, if they think this will go unnoticed.

  24. Web slices is a blatant rip off of WebClips in Safari. And now M$ wants to “standardize them in an open specification”???

    WTF???

    It has to be said, if they think this will go unnoticed.

  25. “Silverlight and .NET are both OS dependent, as well as proprietary technologies–neither of which creates a forward looking, vendor independent future.”

    Yeah, you’re mind isn’t closed.

    Silverlight runs in every major browser, on Windows and Mac. Moonlight, endorsed by Microsoft, brings the same thing to Linux. Currently, Silverlight is proprietary, but again, Moonlight was endorsed. .NET isn’t proprietary, as there is a standard anyone can implement, and Mono did.

  26. “Silverlight and .NET are both OS dependent, as well as proprietary technologies–neither of which creates a forward looking, vendor independent future.”

    Yeah, you’re mind isn’t closed.

    Silverlight runs in every major browser, on Windows and Mac. Moonlight, endorsed by Microsoft, brings the same thing to Linux. Currently, Silverlight is proprietary, but again, Moonlight was endorsed. .NET isn’t proprietary, as there is a standard anyone can implement, and Mono did.

  27. Sorry, but IE8 is a POS 1.0. I would fire the person responsible for releasing this lack of quality into the wild. At best it’s alpha or even a dog food build. Moving to some standards is good, but at this point IE8 in IE8 mode renders like crap. I don’t see it getting any better unless every website out there makes changes to their layouts and fixes the hacks they put in there in the first place to compensate for IE6 or IE7 craptastic rendering issues. What a mess that whole thing is. As for the “cool” factor on WebSlices I’m still waiting for something interesting to come out of this. It’s nothing more than a glorified macro to subscribe to a feed. I don’t get it, but that might just be me. Activities looked interesting for a few moments, then I gave my head a shake and realized this is nothing more than SmartTags for the web all over again, and we all know well that played out don’t we? Maybe the Silverlight 2 demos are uber-cool, but I prefer functionality over form and see MS continuously creating new features that eventually nobody will care about (after the hype blows through) rather than fixing their own house first and making it a tight ship. After all, here we are in 2008 and we *still* suffer from 95% of features of Word never being used. Rather than cleaning up the past, MS has decided to build new crap for us to ignore in the future. I am so unimpressed and want to crawl into a hole.

  28. Sorry, but IE8 is a POS 1.0. I would fire the person responsible for releasing this lack of quality into the wild. At best it’s alpha or even a dog food build. Moving to some standards is good, but at this point IE8 in IE8 mode renders like crap. I don’t see it getting any better unless every website out there makes changes to their layouts and fixes the hacks they put in there in the first place to compensate for IE6 or IE7 craptastic rendering issues. What a mess that whole thing is. As for the “cool” factor on WebSlices I’m still waiting for something interesting to come out of this. It’s nothing more than a glorified macro to subscribe to a feed. I don’t get it, but that might just be me. Activities looked interesting for a few moments, then I gave my head a shake and realized this is nothing more than SmartTags for the web all over again, and we all know well that played out don’t we? Maybe the Silverlight 2 demos are uber-cool, but I prefer functionality over form and see MS continuously creating new features that eventually nobody will care about (after the hype blows through) rather than fixing their own house first and making it a tight ship. After all, here we are in 2008 and we *still* suffer from 95% of features of Word never being used. Rather than cleaning up the past, MS has decided to build new crap for us to ignore in the future. I am so unimpressed and want to crawl into a hole.

  29. Now if only Microsoft could write a little virus to wipe IE 5/6/7 off the face of the earth and replace them with 8 we could be rid of their past mistakes. Unfortunately we’ll be suffering with those for a few years yet.
    Little hard to cheer too enthusiastically when they light your house on fire and finally show up years later with a firehose.

  30. Now if only Microsoft could write a little virus to wipe IE 5/6/7 off the face of the earth and replace them with 8 we could be rid of their past mistakes. Unfortunately we’ll be suffering with those for a few years yet.
    Little hard to cheer too enthusiastically when they light your house on fire and finally show up years later with a firehose.

  31. I get the distinct feeling that if all of these announcement came from any other vendor, they’d be really underwhelming. But, since we’re talking about Microsoft, it’s all reason for the tech media to be abuzz with excitement.

    You set people’s expectations to be low, then when you do something average, they’re amazed.

    Silverlight 2 better have more up it’s sleeve than a novel zoom feature. With the next release of Flash on the horizon as well as Adobe Thermo being added to the CS arsenal, Microsoft can’t afford to make many more mistakes.

  32. I get the distinct feeling that if all of these announcement came from any other vendor, they’d be really underwhelming. But, since we’re talking about Microsoft, it’s all reason for the tech media to be abuzz with excitement.

    You set people’s expectations to be low, then when you do something average, they’re amazed.

    Silverlight 2 better have more up it’s sleeve than a novel zoom feature. With the next release of Flash on the horizon as well as Adobe Thermo being added to the CS arsenal, Microsoft can’t afford to make many more mistakes.

  33. We’re all going to have to get together in an intervention and take that cell phone / video camera away from you. I don’t think I can stand those bouncy, inaudible interviews with really interesting people one moment longer.

    Please, please don’t torture me any more. It’s time to start the twelve step process.

    1. Recognize that you are powerless.
    2. Believe that better video could improve your sanity.
    3. Make the decision to turn the video over to your editor.
    4. Make a searching an fearless inventory of all your jiggly video.
    5. Admit to Valleywag the exact nature of your wrongs.
    6. Be ready to remove the defects in your videos.
    7. Ask Bill to remove your shortcomings.
    8. Make a list of all of us who have been disoriented by your videos.
    9. Do not injure others.
    10. Continue to promptly admit your jiggles and poor audio.
    11. Pray for the knowledge of Ray’s will.
    12. Carry this message to all of Fast Company Video.
    8.

  34. We’re all going to have to get together in an intervention and take that cell phone / video camera away from you. I don’t think I can stand those bouncy, inaudible interviews with really interesting people one moment longer.

    Please, please don’t torture me any more. It’s time to start the twelve step process.

    1. Recognize that you are powerless.
    2. Believe that better video could improve your sanity.
    3. Make the decision to turn the video over to your editor.
    4. Make a searching an fearless inventory of all your jiggly video.
    5. Admit to Valleywag the exact nature of your wrongs.
    6. Be ready to remove the defects in your videos.
    7. Ask Bill to remove your shortcomings.
    8. Make a list of all of us who have been disoriented by your videos.
    9. Do not injure others.
    10. Continue to promptly admit your jiggles and poor audio.
    11. Pray for the knowledge of Ray’s will.
    12. Carry this message to all of Fast Company Video.
    8.

  35. Scoble is right here.

    I don’t like carrying water for Microsoft, but we have to acknowledge it when they do the right thing. Otherwise we critics turn into hypocrites.

    As a web developer, Microsoft has caused me serious pain with the non-standard rendering of IE4/5/6/7. Developers hate IE with good reason.

    But something is happening. I see the Developer Division in Microsoft as a suddenly clueful insurgency. They seem to be fighting internal battles to break from Microsoft’s past strategy of proprietary lock-in. From reading their blogs, it looks like they are promoting open-source within Microsoft — and you can see the compromises they’ve had to make in decisions like the “shared source” release of the .NET framework. And now at MIX we see Microsoft releasing a few IE8 specs (xml markup for web slices and activities) under a Creative Commons license. A Creative Commons license! We never thought we’d see the day. I expect this trend to continue, and I welcome the new Ray Ozzie/Scott Guthrie generation at Microsoft.

    If you don’t believe me, look at the Silverlight team’s decision to help Novell (the old Ximian team, no less) to implement Silverlight, including giving them the entire internal test suite. When was the last time we heard about Microsoft ACTIVELY HELPING a linux company to port Microsoft software to linux? Mono is GPL’d. That means Microsoft is contributing to a GPL project! Unbelievable.

    Now what about the merit of Silverlight? Expect in the next few months to see head-to-head comparisons of apps implemented in Flash and Silverlight. As anyone knows who’s developed for both platforms, these comparisons are going to be very embarrassing for Adobe.

  36. Scoble is right here.

    I don’t like carrying water for Microsoft, but we have to acknowledge it when they do the right thing. Otherwise we critics turn into hypocrites.

    As a web developer, Microsoft has caused me serious pain with the non-standard rendering of IE4/5/6/7. Developers hate IE with good reason.

    But something is happening. I see the Developer Division in Microsoft as a suddenly clueful insurgency. They seem to be fighting internal battles to break from Microsoft’s past strategy of proprietary lock-in. From reading their blogs, it looks like they are promoting open-source within Microsoft — and you can see the compromises they’ve had to make in decisions like the “shared source” release of the .NET framework. And now at MIX we see Microsoft releasing a few IE8 specs (xml markup for web slices and activities) under a Creative Commons license. A Creative Commons license! We never thought we’d see the day. I expect this trend to continue, and I welcome the new Ray Ozzie/Scott Guthrie generation at Microsoft.

    If you don’t believe me, look at the Silverlight team’s decision to help Novell (the old Ximian team, no less) to implement Silverlight, including giving them the entire internal test suite. When was the last time we heard about Microsoft ACTIVELY HELPING a linux company to port Microsoft software to linux? Mono is GPL’d. That means Microsoft is contributing to a GPL project! Unbelievable.

    Now what about the merit of Silverlight? Expect in the next few months to see head-to-head comparisons of apps implemented in Flash and Silverlight. As anyone knows who’s developed for both platforms, these comparisons are going to be very embarrassing for Adobe.

  37. “Damn, I remember the days when it would be 578 anti-Microsoft comments on that blog.”
    When they first announced that web developers had to opt IN to IE8 standards mode (via META tag), there were about that many anti-MS comments. It was near unanimity that having to opt-in to the most standards-compliant mode in a web page was a terrible idea (for instance, were they expecting the ACID tests to include the meta tag?), and I’m glad they changed it.

  38. “Damn, I remember the days when it would be 578 anti-Microsoft comments on that blog.”
    When they first announced that web developers had to opt IN to IE8 standards mode (via META tag), there were about that many anti-MS comments. It was near unanimity that having to opt-in to the most standards-compliant mode in a web page was a terrible idea (for instance, were they expecting the ACID tests to include the meta tag?), and I’m glad they changed it.

  39. Silverlight and .NET are both OS dependent, as well as proprietary technologies

    Which explains Mono, and Silverlight running on Windows, Windows Mobile, Nokia phones, Mac OS X, and Linux? Chomp chomp.

    Or by “OS dependent,” did you mean Silverlight depends on you having an OS? :-)

    Good luck with your little XHTML crusade, though.

  40. Silverlight and .NET are both OS dependent, as well as proprietary technologies

    Which explains Mono, and Silverlight running on Windows, Windows Mobile, Nokia phones, Mac OS X, and Linux? Chomp chomp.

    Or by “OS dependent,” did you mean Silverlight depends on you having an OS? :-)

    Good luck with your little XHTML crusade, though.

  41. Dick @21, if there’s going to be an intervention I want to be there. I’ll bring my video phone and vlog the whole thing. For fearless searchings can we re-create that scene from Clockwork Orange, where they hold Alex’s eyeballs open and make him witness his own jiggly inventory?

  42. Dick @21, if there’s going to be an intervention I want to be there. I’ll bring my video phone and vlog the whole thing. For fearless searchings can we re-create that scene from Clockwork Orange, where they hold Alex’s eyeballs open and make him witness his own jiggly inventory?

  43. Make a list of all of us who have been disoriented by your videos.

    Heh. Hazard pay reparations too. I have ‘seasickness’ backpay due. And include all the el-cheapo handheld HD mini-cam converts, that laid down proprietary-compressed MP4’s, that had to be transcoded and demuxed before it could be timelined. Arrrgh. ;)

    I am seriously waiting for the shaky video-phone-blog fad to die, they did get new fancy cool HD cams tho.

  44. Make a list of all of us who have been disoriented by your videos.

    Heh. Hazard pay reparations too. I have ‘seasickness’ backpay due. And include all the el-cheapo handheld HD mini-cam converts, that laid down proprietary-compressed MP4’s, that had to be transcoded and demuxed before it could be timelined. Arrrgh. ;)

    I am seriously waiting for the shaky video-phone-blog fad to die, they did get new fancy cool HD cams tho.

  45. “Yeah, you’re mind isn’t closed.”

    Yes, darn me for having an opinion that differs from you.

    “Silverlight runs in every major browser, on Windows and Mac. Moonlight, endorsed by Microsoft, brings the same thing to Linux. ”

    It is still a proprietary technology. I didn’t say anything OS specific. The two are not the same.

    Hmmm, I’m sorry, I forgot to ask first: is English not your native language? If not, I’ll try to be more careful in how I respond.

    “Currently, Silverlight is proprietary, but again, Moonlight was endorsed. .NET isn’t proprietary, as there is a standard anyone can implement, and Mono did.”

    I believe you’ll find that .NET is a proprietary infrastructure, and is based on Microsoft’s own unique Shared Source Common Language Infrastructure license, which prohibits commercial use.

  46. “Yeah, you’re mind isn’t closed.”

    Yes, darn me for having an opinion that differs from you.

    “Silverlight runs in every major browser, on Windows and Mac. Moonlight, endorsed by Microsoft, brings the same thing to Linux. ”

    It is still a proprietary technology. I didn’t say anything OS specific. The two are not the same.

    Hmmm, I’m sorry, I forgot to ask first: is English not your native language? If not, I’ll try to be more careful in how I respond.

    “Currently, Silverlight is proprietary, but again, Moonlight was endorsed. .NET isn’t proprietary, as there is a standard anyone can implement, and Mono did.”

    I believe you’ll find that .NET is a proprietary infrastructure, and is based on Microsoft’s own unique Shared Source Common Language Infrastructure license, which prohibits commercial use.

  47. My pardon, I went back and looked at my comment and I did say OS dependent in addition to proprietary. My apologies, and I’ll rephrase my concerns to “proprietary” only.

  48. My pardon, I went back and looked at my comment and I did say OS dependent in addition to proprietary. My apologies, and I’ll rephrase my concerns to “proprietary” only.

  49. “Which explains Mono, and Silverlight running on Windows, Windows Mobile, Nokia phones, Mac OS X, and Linux? Chomp chomp.”

    Which explains why Silverlight is in such widespread use and is so popular now. Can’t visit a web page without the page telling us we need to install the …. player.

    “Good luck with your little XHTML crusade, though.”

    Yes, how silly of me to encourage the use of open standards that are owned by no one, and of benefit to all companies and all people.

  50. “Which explains Mono, and Silverlight running on Windows, Windows Mobile, Nokia phones, Mac OS X, and Linux? Chomp chomp.”

    Which explains why Silverlight is in such widespread use and is so popular now. Can’t visit a web page without the page telling us we need to install the …. player.

    “Good luck with your little XHTML crusade, though.”

    Yes, how silly of me to encourage the use of open standards that are owned by no one, and of benefit to all companies and all people.

  51. “Internet Explorer’s new pro-standards role. Do not underestimate how big a deal this is in winning the hearts and minds of developers.”

    Let’s hope they get it right this time. Do not underestimate how big a deal this is…

  52. “Internet Explorer’s new pro-standards role. Do not underestimate how big a deal this is in winning the hearts and minds of developers.”

    Let’s hope they get it right this time. Do not underestimate how big a deal this is…

  53. Shelly: “And therefore anyone who doesn’t agree is either close minded, a dinosaur, or both.”

    I didn’t make a generalization of ALL developers, I commented on the ones I know. However, generally speaking yeah, I can go with that. Peopel may oppose Silverlight for political reasons but the technology is undeniably good.

    Shelly: “Silverlight and .NET are both OS dependent, as well as proprietary technologies–neither of which creates a forward looking, vendor independent future.”

    We’ll skip the OS dependant thing since it was basically a typo. Personally i DO consider Silverlight and .Net to be forward looking. As for vendor independent, I frankly don’t care when the vendor in question is large and stable.

    The tools we build are ALWAYS infrastructure dependant and vendor or vendor equivalent dependant. If the guys handling MySQL all packed up and went away the source code being available doesn’t help much… because I have no intention of becoming a full time database engine support guy. I would simply take the pain and move to another engine – just like I would have to if a vendor died. The OSS claim that someone else could just pick up the code is not really useful because as we have all seen when another group picks up projects they tend to change it in ways that break stuff anyway.

    Shelly: “Yes, how silly of me to encourage the use of open standards that are owned by no one, and of benefit to all companies and all people”

    “Open Standards” is not some panacea term that always brings good things. Despite how many folks seem to use the term as a personal totem the reality is that most open standards are incomplete, full of bad ideas, politically rather than technically driven design by committee bits of silliness. It’s amusing to see how many people (not commenting on you here) scream “standards compliant” without understanding that for many of the standards they scream about full compliance is literally impossible.

    Innovation is not driven by committee. Innovation is not driven by a vote.

    When “open standards” are the right answer, they thrive. When there are no good open standards to handle a situation (and SVG / Javascript is woefully lame for what Silverlight and even Flash do) then someone has to do something better. They have.

  54. Shelly: “And therefore anyone who doesn’t agree is either close minded, a dinosaur, or both.”

    I didn’t make a generalization of ALL developers, I commented on the ones I know. However, generally speaking yeah, I can go with that. Peopel may oppose Silverlight for political reasons but the technology is undeniably good.

    Shelly: “Silverlight and .NET are both OS dependent, as well as proprietary technologies–neither of which creates a forward looking, vendor independent future.”

    We’ll skip the OS dependant thing since it was basically a typo. Personally i DO consider Silverlight and .Net to be forward looking. As for vendor independent, I frankly don’t care when the vendor in question is large and stable.

    The tools we build are ALWAYS infrastructure dependant and vendor or vendor equivalent dependant. If the guys handling MySQL all packed up and went away the source code being available doesn’t help much… because I have no intention of becoming a full time database engine support guy. I would simply take the pain and move to another engine – just like I would have to if a vendor died. The OSS claim that someone else could just pick up the code is not really useful because as we have all seen when another group picks up projects they tend to change it in ways that break stuff anyway.

    Shelly: “Yes, how silly of me to encourage the use of open standards that are owned by no one, and of benefit to all companies and all people”

    “Open Standards” is not some panacea term that always brings good things. Despite how many folks seem to use the term as a personal totem the reality is that most open standards are incomplete, full of bad ideas, politically rather than technically driven design by committee bits of silliness. It’s amusing to see how many people (not commenting on you here) scream “standards compliant” without understanding that for many of the standards they scream about full compliance is literally impossible.

    Innovation is not driven by committee. Innovation is not driven by a vote.

    When “open standards” are the right answer, they thrive. When there are no good open standards to handle a situation (and SVG / Javascript is woefully lame for what Silverlight and even Flash do) then someone has to do something better. They have.

  55. Soulhuntre, the entire web was built on the open standards you seem to think are lacking. You’re looking at this page because of “open standards”. Microsoft wasn’t even a player in the first few years of the web. As it is, Apache is still the far dominant web server.

    You’re saying that script/SVG are woefully lacking compared to Silverlight or Flash, but you don’t say for what. For games? For a store? For a weblog? I think you’ll find that script and SVG could meet most, if not all (sans video), of the needs the other technologies provide.

    I look at building a Silverlight application, and at some point I’m stuck with Microsoft. Same with Flash. At least with Flash, I can develop on the Mac and Windows–can you run VS2008 on the Mac. SVG and scripting tools typically run in Windows, the Mac, and Linux. With SVG/script, I can use tools from various sources, and I know that, well outside of IE, what I create will work in Firefox, Opera, Safari, and in other environments. I don’t have to install some plug-in, I don’t have to tweak. Best of all, I can add stuff to my web pages without having to worry about whether the person has a plug-in installed. That latter is the real key in all of this: built-in support for standards-based technology.

    I look at something like the recent version of WebKit (on which Safari is based) and I see a tool that does support standards that frankly blows away IE8 in performance and functionality. I then hear you say Microsoft’s way is better and I’m sorry I just can’t buy it.

    I have nothing against MS doing Silverlight. Where I have a problem is that MS is not meeting the needs of the community when it comes to standards already in existence. Instead of implementing the standards we’ve been asking for, for years, it put time into technology development, the purpose of which is to promote its own technologies, its own corporate interests. What’s even sadder is that Microsoft people have participated in creating the standards, such as XHTML, even tried to impact on their development, only to go off and do its own thing while the other companies follow through on their standards commitment. To be honest, it doesn’t speak to the integrity of the people involved. It doesn’t speak well of the integrity of the company.

    If that’s what you want forever, go for it. That’s not what I want.

  56. Soulhuntre, the entire web was built on the open standards you seem to think are lacking. You’re looking at this page because of “open standards”. Microsoft wasn’t even a player in the first few years of the web. As it is, Apache is still the far dominant web server.

    You’re saying that script/SVG are woefully lacking compared to Silverlight or Flash, but you don’t say for what. For games? For a store? For a weblog? I think you’ll find that script and SVG could meet most, if not all (sans video), of the needs the other technologies provide.

    I look at building a Silverlight application, and at some point I’m stuck with Microsoft. Same with Flash. At least with Flash, I can develop on the Mac and Windows–can you run VS2008 on the Mac. SVG and scripting tools typically run in Windows, the Mac, and Linux. With SVG/script, I can use tools from various sources, and I know that, well outside of IE, what I create will work in Firefox, Opera, Safari, and in other environments. I don’t have to install some plug-in, I don’t have to tweak. Best of all, I can add stuff to my web pages without having to worry about whether the person has a plug-in installed. That latter is the real key in all of this: built-in support for standards-based technology.

    I look at something like the recent version of WebKit (on which Safari is based) and I see a tool that does support standards that frankly blows away IE8 in performance and functionality. I then hear you say Microsoft’s way is better and I’m sorry I just can’t buy it.

    I have nothing against MS doing Silverlight. Where I have a problem is that MS is not meeting the needs of the community when it comes to standards already in existence. Instead of implementing the standards we’ve been asking for, for years, it put time into technology development, the purpose of which is to promote its own technologies, its own corporate interests. What’s even sadder is that Microsoft people have participated in creating the standards, such as XHTML, even tried to impact on their development, only to go off and do its own thing while the other companies follow through on their standards commitment. To be honest, it doesn’t speak to the integrity of the people involved. It doesn’t speak well of the integrity of the company.

    If that’s what you want forever, go for it. That’s not what I want.

  57. Standards Nazis…they make me laugh. Get off your high horse Shelley. None of the early browsers were standards compliant which is why standards came along. Standards never precede innovation and development.

  58. Standards Nazis…they make me laugh. Get off your high horse Shelley. None of the early browsers were standards compliant which is why standards came along. Standards never precede innovation and development.

  59. Part of the issue is that “open standards” is a term with shades of meaning. I am fully in support of licence fee free interoperability information. I am thrilled that MS is publishing the formats for Excel and friends now. EIf we are talking about “open” that way, I agree with the importance.

    But many (and you sure seem to be one) use the term “open standards” to mean only those things that come out of standards bodies like the WC3 that claim to be independnt and operating in the group interest. If that is what you mean, then I think they are always doomed to fail as a model for advancement.

    Comittes never innovate, they simply codify. The WC3 is a good body for that – odifying advances innovated by small groups who have their own ideas.

    “Soulhuntre, the entire web was built on the open standards you seem to think are lacking.”

    The web was built on the de-facto standards created by a small team of people who were innovating, not blindly following the design-by-committee work of the existing “standards”.

    In short as others have said, much innovation PRECEDES standards, not follows from them.

    “As it is, Apache is still the far dominant web server.”

    And falling, I might add. Even so, the Apache server is not based on open standards either. The core of the system is instead again driven by a small group of people who are creating code and techniques their own way via innovation.

    The fact that it ships HTTP and related data over the wire is by far the least important bit of Apache’s design. The core work, and innovation, is in many other places in that codebase.

    “You’re saying that script/SVG are woefully lacking compared to Silverlight or Flash, but you don’t say for what.”

    For just about everything that is non-trivial. Javascript is a pretty sad language and a worse development environment. The only reason it has lasted this long is that it is about the only thing many see as a way to slow down the emergence of “proprietary” technologies that do the job better.
    Javascript, by the way, wasn’t an “open standard” when it was created either. Neither was the “Ajax” mechanism so many depend on thess days.

    In fact almost none of the “open standards” that drive the web and other technologies STARTED out as “open standards” in the designed by committee not serving a corporate or small group interest way.
    “For games? For a store? For a weblog? I think you’ll find that script and SVG could meet most, if not all (sans video), of the needs the other technologies provide.”

    If you willing to put up with a fragile language, a hideous development model, lousy debugging and a set up runtime implementations that complicate the process even further for non trivial work? Sure.

    Personally? Life is too short to ignore the right tool for the job simply because it has a logo on it.

  60. Part of the issue is that “open standards” is a term with shades of meaning. I am fully in support of licence fee free interoperability information. I am thrilled that MS is publishing the formats for Excel and friends now. EIf we are talking about “open” that way, I agree with the importance.

    But many (and you sure seem to be one) use the term “open standards” to mean only those things that come out of standards bodies like the WC3 that claim to be independnt and operating in the group interest. If that is what you mean, then I think they are always doomed to fail as a model for advancement.

    Comittes never innovate, they simply codify. The WC3 is a good body for that – odifying advances innovated by small groups who have their own ideas.

    “Soulhuntre, the entire web was built on the open standards you seem to think are lacking.”

    The web was built on the de-facto standards created by a small team of people who were innovating, not blindly following the design-by-committee work of the existing “standards”.

    In short as others have said, much innovation PRECEDES standards, not follows from them.

    “As it is, Apache is still the far dominant web server.”

    And falling, I might add. Even so, the Apache server is not based on open standards either. The core of the system is instead again driven by a small group of people who are creating code and techniques their own way via innovation.

    The fact that it ships HTTP and related data over the wire is by far the least important bit of Apache’s design. The core work, and innovation, is in many other places in that codebase.

    “You’re saying that script/SVG are woefully lacking compared to Silverlight or Flash, but you don’t say for what.”

    For just about everything that is non-trivial. Javascript is a pretty sad language and a worse development environment. The only reason it has lasted this long is that it is about the only thing many see as a way to slow down the emergence of “proprietary” technologies that do the job better.
    Javascript, by the way, wasn’t an “open standard” when it was created either. Neither was the “Ajax” mechanism so many depend on thess days.

    In fact almost none of the “open standards” that drive the web and other technologies STARTED out as “open standards” in the designed by committee not serving a corporate or small group interest way.
    “For games? For a store? For a weblog? I think you’ll find that script and SVG could meet most, if not all (sans video), of the needs the other technologies provide.”

    If you willing to put up with a fragile language, a hideous development model, lousy debugging and a set up runtime implementations that complicate the process even further for non trivial work? Sure.

    Personally? Life is too short to ignore the right tool for the job simply because it has a logo on it.

  61. Soulhuntre, I made my living from 1996 to 1999 writing about cross-browser differences. That’s more or less it. That’s three years writing about how to deal with all of the browser differences.

    When Microsoft went dormant with IE, the other browser makers got together and started implemented CSS and the recent version of JS, adopted XHR, which Microsoft did initiate, and did some of the their own innovations. Bottom line, though, whatever innovation they managed, they first took care of business. They implemented the standards, before they implemented the innovations.

    Without the standards, how many web site designs would fail? Without CSS? Even Microsoft doesn’t disdain the CSS effort. How many applications would fail if there wasn’t consensus on JavaScript and the DOM? Even Microsoft has implemented _some_ of the DOM, though not implementing the DOM Level 2 event handling was absolutely absurd.

    In other words, the other companies know how important it is to have a core set of functionalities that they all agree on before they innovate.

    You think the world is going to suddenly accept Microsoft as our salvation, drop all other efforts, all other browsers and bow down to Redmond? All I’ve seen is that Microsoft has burned its bridges with everyone in the web design community with its actions the last few weeks. It has acted dishonorably.

    As for that “fragile” language — it’s everywhere. It will never go away. It will improve.

    Lousy debugging? Have you seen Firebug? Where do you think MS got the idea for its debugger? The company even acknowledged the similarity between its product and Firebug.

    As for SVG, iPhone SDK 2.0 is implementing SVG? Why? Because it scales, it compresses, and it is the most efficient means to add graphics to a device.

    I don’t ignore the right tools for the job. I just don’t agree with you that Microsoft has any right tool. More importantly, by its actions, the company has also demonstrated it has little integrity and that’s important to me when dealing with a company.

    Good luck with your choices.

  62. Soulhuntre, I made my living from 1996 to 1999 writing about cross-browser differences. That’s more or less it. That’s three years writing about how to deal with all of the browser differences.

    When Microsoft went dormant with IE, the other browser makers got together and started implemented CSS and the recent version of JS, adopted XHR, which Microsoft did initiate, and did some of the their own innovations. Bottom line, though, whatever innovation they managed, they first took care of business. They implemented the standards, before they implemented the innovations.

    Without the standards, how many web site designs would fail? Without CSS? Even Microsoft doesn’t disdain the CSS effort. How many applications would fail if there wasn’t consensus on JavaScript and the DOM? Even Microsoft has implemented _some_ of the DOM, though not implementing the DOM Level 2 event handling was absolutely absurd.

    In other words, the other companies know how important it is to have a core set of functionalities that they all agree on before they innovate.

    You think the world is going to suddenly accept Microsoft as our salvation, drop all other efforts, all other browsers and bow down to Redmond? All I’ve seen is that Microsoft has burned its bridges with everyone in the web design community with its actions the last few weeks. It has acted dishonorably.

    As for that “fragile” language — it’s everywhere. It will never go away. It will improve.

    Lousy debugging? Have you seen Firebug? Where do you think MS got the idea for its debugger? The company even acknowledged the similarity between its product and Firebug.

    As for SVG, iPhone SDK 2.0 is implementing SVG? Why? Because it scales, it compresses, and it is the most efficient means to add graphics to a device.

    I don’t ignore the right tools for the job. I just don’t agree with you that Microsoft has any right tool. More importantly, by its actions, the company has also demonstrated it has little integrity and that’s important to me when dealing with a company.

    Good luck with your choices.

  63. I fail to see how MS doing what most people begged them to do has alienated anyone but the die hard haters.

    As for my choices… they will be fine. Working on the best dev environment around with the best toolkit around (.net / silverlight) targeting the most prolific client environments on earth (windows / ie).

    That toolchain ahs good and improving support for the standards while innovating fiercly in the places those standards fail.

    The iPhone svg thing is a good case. they will implement it because the want the pree… but the will not and do not consider it a first level toolkit because it is so inadequate. There will be flash and / or silverlight or some new apply thing on the iphone and we all know it.

    MS is not our salvation nor is it our bane. it is a corporation in a fiercly competing space. it will innovate and compete… as will apple and linux.

    As always interoperation will happen where the market demands it and it will not where it doesn’t. just like it always has.

    This is not a moral battle for the soul of the internet. SVG is not some shield against evil. These are just technical issues… not religeon. Those who blind themselves with techological idiology will simply fall behind doomed to copy endlessly the innovations of others.

    p.s. I have used firebug… and it is a triumph in polishing what is essentially a dog turd (dom + js). both of those things btw were the target of this same type of criticism.

    Innovation brings opposition then it gets copied then it becomes the standard. if we waited for the like of the WC3 to innovate we’d all still be using gopher.

  64. I fail to see how MS doing what most people begged them to do has alienated anyone but the die hard haters.

    As for my choices… they will be fine. Working on the best dev environment around with the best toolkit around (.net / silverlight) targeting the most prolific client environments on earth (windows / ie).

    That toolchain ahs good and improving support for the standards while innovating fiercly in the places those standards fail.

    The iPhone svg thing is a good case. they will implement it because the want the pree… but the will not and do not consider it a first level toolkit because it is so inadequate. There will be flash and / or silverlight or some new apply thing on the iphone and we all know it.

    MS is not our salvation nor is it our bane. it is a corporation in a fiercly competing space. it will innovate and compete… as will apple and linux.

    As always interoperation will happen where the market demands it and it will not where it doesn’t. just like it always has.

    This is not a moral battle for the soul of the internet. SVG is not some shield against evil. These are just technical issues… not religeon. Those who blind themselves with techological idiology will simply fall behind doomed to copy endlessly the innovations of others.

    p.s. I have used firebug… and it is a triumph in polishing what is essentially a dog turd (dom + js). both of those things btw were the target of this same type of criticism.

    Innovation brings opposition then it gets copied then it becomes the standard. if we waited for the like of the WC3 to innovate we’d all still be using gopher.

  65. A sign of good things to come. I was impressed by much of what was shown at MIX and now am excited about the Buzz here at SXSW around what Microsoft is doing with Silverlight. People are walking away wanting to build Silverlight apps and I think that people are generally excited to have a add a new tool their belt.

  66. A sign of good things to come. I was impressed by much of what was shown at MIX and now am excited about the Buzz here at SXSW around what Microsoft is doing with Silverlight. People are walking away wanting to build Silverlight apps and I think that people are generally excited to have a add a new tool their belt.