Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Gives GNU/Linux the Finger on Valentine's, Using Silverlight

"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



Slowly but surely, history is repeating itself. The old ActiveX tricks are gradually being replaced by XAML, whose only substitute is a Mono(.NET)-based catch-up with patent encumbrances [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33]. Has nobody yet learned from the past? Even at the moment, Microsoft is struggling as it tries to undo the mess it deliberately introduced in order to crush Netscape. Here are the details from Glyn Moody.

This is a situation where Microsoft must just bite the bullet and “Break the Web” - or, rather, “Break the Already Broken Web” - to force users to re-code their sites to comply with open standards. Until Microsoft takes this step, it will always be trapped, at last partially, in the web – and Web - of its past. The difficulties the company is having with this balancing act also shows why users should always follow open standards, because they can't rely on proprietary elements being preserved from version to version, and are bound to end up having to re-code at some point.


But wait for the more gory details. The worst is yet to come. Microsoft-Watch has already admitted being a huge fan of "guerrilla marketing" and it's doing it again:

News Brief. I'm a huge fan of guerrilla marketing. Two excellent examples: Silverlight valentines and the Martin Luther King Jr. virtual tour.

The first is a collaborative effort by Microsoft's Windows Live and Silverlight teams: Valentine's Day e-cards, created using Silverlight. PC users can send their love using photos from Flickr or Windows Live Spaces.


But what about Linux? Only two weeks ago, Joe Wilcox, who runs this Web site (it moved from Windows to Red Hat by the way) seemed to have defended Microsoft's astroturfing (viral marketing taking the form of blogs in disguise). The writeup from Softpedia sends the same message, but puts it more bluntly:

Microsoft Shares the Love, but Not with Linux

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.


People should have truly learned their lesson by now. Netscape was crushed not just because of prebundling, but also due to proprietary 'extensions' that Microsoft introduced to exclude. Microsoft in a world which is filled open standards is a company that is unable to compete based on technical merits. As such, it is trying to pull old tricks all over again with Silverlight. This needs to be stopped. The European Commission investigates this severe issue for good reasons. There are similar issues to do with OOXML, whose so-called 'translators' are written with C#.

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