Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft's View of Standards

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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