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November 01, 2003

Microsoft Replace and Defend

Infoworld’s John Udell took a look at the Longhorn SDK and commented on the large similarities between many of Microsoft’s “new” technologies and existing open standards. He coined it “replace and defend”

“Yeah, ‘embrace and extend’ was so much fun, I can hardly wait for “replace and defend.” Seriously, if the suite of standards now targeted for elimination from Microsoft’s actively-developed portfolio were a technological dead end, ripe for disruption, then we should all thank Microsoft for pulling the trigger. If, on the other hand, these standards are fundamentally sound, then it’s a time for what Clayton Christensen calls sustaining rather than disruptive advances. I believe the ecosystem needs sustaining more than disruption. Like Joe, I hope Microsoft’s bold move will mobilize the sustainers.”

Now the interesting part is that I came to Udell’s page from a link on John Montgomery’s new web log. John is a former BYTE Bureau Chief and Features Editor, as well as the author of The Underground Guide to UNIX. Now he can be found somewhere in the halls of the Microsoft Campus as a (I think) Program Manager in the Developer Division. John read Jon’s web log this morning and although he doesn’t offer any immediate answers, he didn’t resort to the normal MS tactic of FUD and dazzling bullshit either. Instead in a very refreshing turn, he admitted that he isn’t sure why they “did much of this, but I’m going to get some input from the various architects to get the full story.”

Could we actually be watching the beginning of a dialog develop? One that is developing early enough before product launch that there may be time for standards adoption instead of hijacking? I certainly hope so. The issue of XAML and some of the other “new” Longhorn technologies have a number of standards and web advocates very concerned, and for good reasons. While it appears that Microsoft may be trying to change, it has a horrible track record in the area of supporting open standards.

Posted by Eric at November 1, 2003 03:18 AM | TrackBack
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