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05.28.08

Microsoft’s View of Standards

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Standard, Windows at 3:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This is interoperability?

Will you look at the mess Microsoft is leaving not just in networks (e.g. CIFS), gaming (DirectX), documents (OOXML) and hardware (e.g. ACPI [PDF]) but is also spreading across the World Wide Web? Here are several eye openers from the news:

Linux Users: no MSDN downloads for you!

If you actually try to download files using Linux and Firefox on the latest version of the MSDN site — which was launched just about two months ago — you’ll find out that the choices are all grayed out, even though you have a legit entitlement. Curiously, the same problem also occurs for me on Firefox 3 RC1 and Beta 5 for Windows (although others have told me their experiences were different).

Perhaps this has been the case for a while, but with Microsoft being all Interoperability Committed, maybe, just maybe they should consider making their support web sites more platform-independent.

When all else fails, modify all Web page to inform Microsoft?

Microsoft urges developers to tag sites for IE8

[...]

According to Microsoft, developers can render sites with an IE 7 mode using this code:

<meta http-equiv=”X-UA-Compatible” content=”IE=7″ />

Make no mistake. Microsoft deliberately ignored Web standards in order to stifle competition and now it politely asks people to modify their Web sites to include browser-specific information, which is a no-no. Lastly, regarding Microsoft’s treatment of the Web in general, here is what Tim O’Reilly had to say quite assertively yesterday.

There is strong evidence that the platform that’s emerging is more like Linux than it is like Windows. That is, no one player is going to own all the pieces. But that could change if someone owned enough of the pieces that everyone else became dependent on them. So I’d be much more concerned about a single player rolling up unrelated and complementary pieces of the larger internet OS till they owned critical mass in multiple areas than I would be about a single player owning a best of breed application in one area or another.

The sooner we start getting serious about interoperability between best-of-breed services (the next step up from first generation mashups), the safer we’ll be against a single dominant player turning their subsystem into the “one ring that rules them all.”

2. I think Google understands the need for interoperability better than Microsoft. When Eric Schmidt says “don’t fight the internet,” I believe he means it.

Let this remind you that Microsoft is neither open nor does it honour interoperability. Microsoft is the same unethical beast that it has been since its inception. It just happens to sweet-talk a little more often than it used to. It conceals bad behaviour using promises, exclusionary self-serving patents deals, and buzzwords like “open”. It’s still trying to associate Live Mesh with “openness” (last seen yesterday), despite the fact that it’s all about Windows and Microsoft. That, in conclusion, is why nothing has changed. Microsoft hates standards and tolerates no competition.

“Fucking Eric Schmidt is a fucking pussy. I’m going to fucking bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I’m going to fucking kill Google.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO (according to Wikipedia)

Related but older:

Microsoft yesterday announced a beta of its Microsoft Office Live Workspace beta, an online platform were users can store documents and share them with others. Reviews of Microsoft Office Live Workspace have been varied but if you’re running Linux you won’t get to use the Live Workspace at all.

Microsoft has put up an invitation to share the love, but not with Linux (just bear with me, it will make sense in the end). With Valentine’s Day just a few weeks away, the teams over at Windows Live and Microsoft Silverlight have joined their forces to enable users to spread and share their love.

We all know Microsoft views Linux as a serious threat and will do just about anything to discourage its use. But why would application vendors who actually face competition from Microsoft help it out in this regard? That’s what one reader was wondering after discovering that his customers could no longer use a Linux server with their favorite accounting packages.

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11 Comments

  1. AlexH said,

    May 28, 2008 at 5:56 am

    Gravatar

    Just for completeness, the IE8 meta tag is actually not a bad thing. Microsoft have done a U-turn on this, and now support standards mode by default.

    You might be confusing this with the original feature that they announced, which is what they went back on.

  2. AlexH said,

    May 28, 2008 at 6:03 am

    Gravatar

    To be crystal-clear… “standards mode by default” in IE8 is what I’m applauding.

    I’m not commenting on how well IE8 will implement standards, yadda yadda, I haven’t even seen pictures of it yet.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 28, 2008 at 6:07 am

    Gravatar

    You skipped these remarks about why the meta tag was needed in the first place.

    Do you know what led to change? It’ start with “Op”, but it’s not “Open” or “Openness”. It’s something that comes from Norway and it’s not a troll.

  4. AlexH said,

    May 28, 2008 at 6:11 am

    Gravatar

    I’m sure Opera played a big part, but I think you’re downplaying the general outcry over the original announcement: Opera on their own wouldn’t influence Microsoft.

    As for needing the meta-tag – that’s well explained in the original ALA article. Every browser has that feature, the argument is about how you expose it.

  5. tom said,

    May 28, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Gravatar

    Some comment on blocking msdn content for ms-concurent browsers/platforms. Today I’ve noticed something very similar, yet done a bit “the other way”.

    Today I had to download Java Runtime Environment to install it on some windows server 2003 (a quite fresh install of win-server, maybe couple of months of running). Of course, there was only IE. IE 7.
    I went to the Sun’s Java web site, went through all the version-choosing and license-accepting steps, and finally I got to the link to the Java Installer. Guess what – IE7 didn’t allow me to download the file. This particular file (I had no problems with downloading some other files, even with .exe extensions). It claimed that my “security settings” do not allow me to download this particular file.

    Hah! Java is a threat to Microsoft’s software!

    Of course I knew how to deal with it. I’ve downloaded Firefox installer and then downloaded Java using Firefox.
    Perhaps it was possible to somehow change those “security settings” of IE7, but I didn’t care (why should I?).

    Besides, using IE7 is really a horror – all those dialog boxes that appear every second click…

    And going back to the IE8 meta-tag thing. It is totally unnecessary – MS could change the browser identification from that “MSIE” to something other (even stupid white space between MS and IE would be enough) and IE8 wouldn’t got served that IE specific code that was written for IE

  6. tom said,

    May 28, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Gravatar

    The previous post has been cut…

    And going back to the IE8 meta-tag thing. It is totally unnecessary – MS could change the browser identification from that “MSIE” to something other (even stupid white space between MS and IE would be enough) and IE8 wouldn’t got served that IE specific code that was written for IE

  7. tom said,

    May 28, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Gravatar

    sorry for spamming – I used the “less than” sign and I think this has been treated as tag opening. It’s ok if you delete the previous and this post. But It would be great if you left the continuation of my comment:

    And going back to the IE8 meta-tag thing. It is totally unnecessary – MS could change the browser identification from that “MSIE” to something other (even stupid white space between MS and IE would be enough) and IE8 wouldn’t got served that IE specific code that was written for IE7 and earlier. To solve CSS compatibility problems, it would be enough if IE 8 dropped support for that IE-only CSS. The same goes to IE-only JavaScript.
    Of course, MS knows all this, but they rather make web-developers write IE-specific code – you know, the world has to see Microsoft Corporation everywhere.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 28, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    Gravatar

    Yes, it helps them game those Web statistics a little better, giving the impression that Windows has huge market share/installed base (zombie PCs are MSIE too). Compare that to the diversity and forging of HTTP headers in FOSS.

    I’ve tried to see if I could save what was truncated from your comments, but the software seems to have sliced what was seen as a tag opening.

  9. tom said,

    May 29, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Gravatar

    The post right above yours contains all the paragraph that has been sliced in my first post (I’ve just altered it so that it didn’t contain the “less than” sign any more).

  10. Uncle_Sam said,

    May 29, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Gravatar

    ….some windows server 2003 (a quite fresh install of win-server, maybe couple of months of running). Of course, there was only IE. IE 7.

    BTW, why are you using a piece of binary shit on your pc ? :D

    You PC is infected with this binary virus :

    http://wirelessdigest.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/exorcist.jpg

    I need to perform the binary removal exortion on your PC now…

    LOL !

  11. tom said,

    May 30, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    Gravatar

    lol:D

    The windows server wasn’t on my PC – it was a server of a company I work for.

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