: If you're a Mac fanatic, what do you want Microsoft to do for your platform? If you're an Xbox fanatic, what do you want Microsoft to do for your platform? If you're a Windows user, what do you want Microsoft to do? Hey, even if you're an Open Source person, what do you want Microsoft to do?
In short, I'd like to see Microsoft committ to “playing nice” with others. What I mean by that is:
- Open up hidden API's
- Have IE adhere to standards
- Make IE and Microsoft more secure without a set of patches having to be released every other week
- Open up the Office document formats
- Make .NET truly cross platform by providing and supporting OS X and Linux implementations
- Make Exchange the leading groupware package that runs on open standards
- Promise to not use patents to kill competition and growth of web services
- Work with Sony and Nintendo to create an open standard Internet gaming platform all games can use across all consoles
- Be a leader in supporting consumers' rights when it comes to our digital assets — stand strong with Apple and others who believe in both the consumer and the producer of digital media
- Step up to the plate and resolve the issue of SQL Server 7 infringing on patents that developers using SQL Server 7 may (unjustly) be held liable for
- Straighten out the mess that is MS' licensing 6
- Make .NET components work with other vendors products as well as they do for MS products like Exchange, SQL Server and IIS
- Open up the Windows file sharing and Active Directory protocols and API's
- Stop creating ASP.NET controls that break on (standards based) browsers other than IE
- Stop creating sites that (intentionally?) don't work for (standards based) browsers other than IE
- Allow engineers and great thinkers within company to create products that may challenge the PC centric view MS still maintains
- Treat the Mac and other platforms as first class citizens when designing and implementing products and services, or don't create the products and services for those platforms at all
Those are some of the items that came to mind that I'd like to see Microsoft do. People much smarter than me can probably go into much deeper detail and provide even greater ideas. I'm interested in reading how others are answering Scoble's question. Scoble is right. Those of us who are critical of Microsoft (or any company or organization for that matter) need to do more than just complain. I'm happy he asked the questions he did.
Posted on 02/23/03
- Category: Technology
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Being someone who almost exclusively develops using MS tools for MS platfforms, I guess I have to say I have certain blindspots. Most of the things you listed I know of and totally agree with. But two bullets deserve more from you:
(1) .NET for Mac/LINUX. Why? MS already is M$ because they own a proprietary OS used by the majority of PCs out there. While they should (and IMHO already are) make .NET open enough to port to these platforms, why should _they_ be compelled to develop a version that will actively compete with other products of theirs?
(2) Office document formats. Noticeably missing is your thoughts on XDocs (or nowadays InfoPath) documents, which from what I've understood are XML docs that use XSD/XSLT. I really don't know enough about this yet, but it sounds like they are opening up future Office doc formats.
I'm not trying to sound critical here. I'm merely looking for further comment.
MS certainly has many things they can be criticized for - and you've hit many of them perfectly. Of particular note are how poorly IE adheres to standards and how often their sites just don't work with other browsers. On the two points I made, I'm interested in hearing _detailed_ criticism so I can reach my own informed conclusions!
1. They should port .NET to other platforms in order to compete with Java. Why does Sun provide JVM's and JDK's for other platforms? And why do they encourage other JVM's to be made by other vendors like BEA and IBM? Microsoft would benefit from being able to tell developers you can develop on Windows (where the development tools are superior for .NET and create real revenue) and then deploy on any platform. Of course, deploying to MS is going to be easier because they have the total package of the development AND deployment environment. Microsoft would prove that .NET is truly open and a viable alternative to Java. What does Microsoft care if they make money on Windows or another platform? Ultimately, MS just needs to sell software regardless of what platform it runs on. That's the philosophy of MS' Mac software group from what I understand. Why not apply that to the entire business?
Here's the other reason they should make .NET for other platforms: They own patents on .NET that will shutdown projects like <http://www.go-mono.com/> Mono or <http://www.dotgnu.org/> DotGNU as soon as MS decides it's time to do so. I for one will not use Mono or DotGNU because I know MS can take them down at any point. Also, I know without MS giving their permission with those projects, MS can always break those .NET implementations on a whim and not have to answer for it. The CLR and C# are open, but the rest of the .NET framework is not.
What happens if one day you are told you have to deploy a .NET application on Linux servers? Are you going to be comfortable with deploying on projects that MS does not support and can shut down at will?
2. XDocs is interesting, but we still don't know if MS is going to make their XML schemas open. Just because it's XML doesn't mean you're able to legally use it in other applications.
I see XDocs more as a way to move away from the web browser and even Flash to a certain extent. MS knows they have a chance to lock out competition (once again) by creating an Office application that will be used to replace an already open standard in something like <http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/Fo... XForms.
It all comes down to trust. Why should we trust MS when we've seen them play the same dirty tricks time and time again? If they were to do things like open up API's and document formats as well as port .NET to other platforms, I think that would go a long way to prove that they are changing and can be trusted a bit more.
Stan Krute wrote:
Doccing ALL the APIs,
and doccing ALL MS
file formats, are the
keys to providing a level
playing field for developers.
Too bad the courts didn't throw
out the rest of their “remedies”
in the anti-trust suit, and just
give us those two items.
Hey, great news. If you're sick of IE incompatibilty, learn that IE6SP1 is the last edition. Check cnet on this. Now what?
Whisper (The Colonel is listening)...