Saturday, March 07, 2009

Reflections 10

Microsoft "going modular".

I can't believe to my own eyes, after so many years you might find this freaking hiding little checkbox. It will be hidden somewhere in the guts of upcoming new MS OS. You, dear customer, would be able to "disable" upcoming IE8.

Frankly, I'm not knowledgeable enough in the technical issues of this particular change. It is possible that you just won't see those push/start buttons/shortcuts on your desktop, though all internals will stay intact, nice cosmetics and nothing more. Anyway this is not such a big deal, when many users found their way to alternative browsers long time ago. But it does sound ironic that after almost 10 years of legal battles, 10 years after painful death of Netscape, layman may wrongly think that he is "free from M$". Software development is much quicker than judical systems can grasp and adopt new legislations. Consider this tidbit from the exellent interview with Anders Hejlsberg, one of the leading MS software architects :

Speaking of problems, how do you respond to criticism of C#, such as that the .NET platform only allows the language to run on Windows, as well as licensing and performance concerns?

It is possible to build alternate implementations. We are not building .NET for Linux, because the value proposition that we can deliver to our customers is a complete unified and thoroughly tested package, from the OS framework to databases to Web servers etc. So .NET is part of a greater ecosystem, and all of these things work together. I think we are actually running on certain other platforms, such as Mono on Linux and other third party implementations. Silverlight now allows you to run .NET applications inside the browser and not just in our browser, but also in Safari on Macs for example.

It is not browser wars anymore, we are speaking about another level of "addiction" to specific vendor. There is a whole new area of cloud computing where for example Windows Azure platform closely tied to the underlying Vista OS.

I doubt that any decisions coming aposteriori from the court halls would make a major blow influence in this perpetual mouse and cat game. Meanwhile it is more important to discuss how Microsoft even dares to ship such a crippled OS, that is restricted just for 3 simultaneous applications. O'k those crippled flavours are not intended for sale in "civilized world", but still this kind of problem was solved in the stone ages of IT era.

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