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03.06.08

Microsoft Pretends to Obey Web Standards While Novell+Microsoft Phase Web Standards Out

Posted in Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Standard at 10:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Moving goalposts

“We’re disheartened because Microsoft helped W3C develop the very standards that they’ve failed to implement in their browser. We’re also dismayed to see Microsoft continue adding proprietary extensions to these standards when support for the essentials remains unfinished.”

George Olsen, Web Standards Project

The press continues to be deceived by what was rightly called "shameless propaganda" earlier this week. Microsoft wishes to have people believe that it has begun playing nice with the Web after more than a decade of stubbornly abusing it. The skepticism persists.

Based on Microsoft’s past behavior, the answer would be to control Web standards. But maybe Microsoft can change. Maybe it’s so-called “Interoperability Principles” are sincere. If so, Microsoft would be more likely be sincere about adhering to Web standards.

Given Microsoft’s past behavior, I’m struggling to believe the extent of sincerity. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates’ infamous May 1995 Internet Tidal Wave memo articulated the importance of controlling Internet file formats and a strategy for doing so.

The Internet Tidal Wave memo is the blueprint for Microsoft’s product strategy from 1995 to present day. The strategy articulated by Gates nearly 13 years ago is still forefront, or was, if Microsoft’s Interoperability Principles are a sincere change.

Firstly, consider the fact that IE8 will try to leverage a desktop monopoly. Early previews of the beta confirm this.

More importantly, however, here we have a case of becoming more (X)HTML-compliant while trying to phase (X)HTML out and give way to XAML (Silverlight) and other proprietary technologies such as ActiveX. It is a war against LAMP, Ajax and crawlers (the likes of Google), which rely on open standards.

The EU is already looking into this abuse, which is to be more properly realised and understood in years to come. Novell, which now refers to Microsoft as its "partner", helps Microsoft. It’s more than just GNOME which is affected by this.

It is worth adding that while Microsoft claims compliance with Web standards (in their existing form), the road ahead looks grim.

The Web Standards Project (WaSP) has released its latest browser standards compliance test – Acid 3 – and every browser that WaSP tested failed. IE 8 is, of course, not available for test yet. But given the abysmal performance of IE 7, Microsoft developers have a lot of work to do.

Konqueror with Webkit is the most complaint Web browser among the stable ones.

Looking ahead, watch the ‘tagline’ of this new article, “Microsoft architecture chief ‘clarifies’ online formula”.

Silverlight + Yahoo! = $$$$

Wasn’t that predictable?

Silverlight stack

Replacing universal standards with a Microsoft stack

Image from the public domain

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