Why do a reader only for one publication? (Adobe vs. Microsoft for developers)

Kevin Tofel asksWhy would I want different reader apps for different publications?”

He’s talking about New York Times’ Reader.

I’ve tried the reader, and I remember seeing prototypes back when I worked at Microsoft. This was an app designed to show off Windows Presentation Foundation, er, .NET 3.0. Some things that that technology does that the Web doesn’t do are much better text control, better typography, and better resizing of the app on different resolution screens.

But, it doesn’t matter. Google Reader is eating the lunch of this approach. Why? Cause we’ll put up with a little less readability in order to share items with other people, in order to see the information on multiple computers and platforms, and the ability to mash up the content with content from other services ala BlogLines, NewsGator, or Google Reader or other RSS aggregators.

The other trend I am seeing is the stunning growth of Adobe love among developers. Everywhere I go I hear “Flash, Flash, Flash.”

Next week Adobe is showing a bunch of us a bunch of stuff that’s going for developer’s love in an even bigger way. Microsoft is under full scale attack in the developer world. I’ve had developer after developer ask me the past few days “what is Microsoft doing?” Even companies that are seemingly in Microsoft’s camp (like TeamDirection, which is a .NET shop using Sharepoint) are talking about going with Flash, er, Flex and Apollo, which lets developers build standalone applications with Flash technology.

Why is this happening? Because Microsoft is leaving influentials to the Macintosh. Developers who choose Macs (and I see more and more every day) are forcing a move away from Java and .NET toward Adobe Flash stuff.

Microsoft will fight back with WPF/E, which is a .NET 3.0 runtime that runs everywhere, but will it be enough to keep developers from moving away?

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113 thoughts on “Why do a reader only for one publication? (Adobe vs. Microsoft for developers)

  1. We used Adobe Flex to produce Flash 9 content for Eyejot’s client-side web layer and were blown away by its power and the ease in which we were able to craft our UI and incorporate data from our Java-generated XML sources. Adobe smartly chose Eclipse as their IDE platform, which is really nice.

    I suppose if you’re tied into using all Microsoft technologies you’ll consider going the WPF/E route, but my recommendation would be choose your backend carefully, whether it’s Java or a Microsoft managed code environment, and then choose something like Adobe Flex for the front-end. If you need to stay all open-source, consider Open Laszlo (http://www.openlaszlo.org/) which is very cool too.

    Keep your data and presentation layer as separate and abstracted as possible. This way you’ll also be able to shift into using Adobe’s new Apollo should an offline component be required.

    Whether or not WPF/E is cool or amazing or better than sliced bread, it will be very difficult to combat the penetration that Adobe already has. And, considering the slow but steady growth of Macs, it seems foolish to lock yourself in to a platform that, from the beginning, will be predominently focused on Windows and Windows alone.

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  2. We used Adobe Flex to produce Flash 9 content for Eyejot’s client-side web layer and were blown away by its power and the ease in which we were able to craft our UI and incorporate data from our Java-generated XML sources. Adobe smartly chose Eclipse as their IDE platform, which is really nice.

    I suppose if you’re tied into using all Microsoft technologies you’ll consider going the WPF/E route, but my recommendation would be choose your backend carefully, whether it’s Java or a Microsoft managed code environment, and then choose something like Adobe Flex for the front-end. If you need to stay all open-source, consider Open Laszlo (http://www.openlaszlo.org/) which is very cool too.

    Keep your data and presentation layer as separate and abstracted as possible. This way you’ll also be able to shift into using Adobe’s new Apollo should an offline component be required.

    Whether or not WPF/E is cool or amazing or better than sliced bread, it will be very difficult to combat the penetration that Adobe already has. And, considering the slow but steady growth of Macs, it seems foolish to lock yourself in to a platform that, from the beginning, will be predominently focused on Windows and Windows alone.

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  3. Flash is a great platform for building rich internet applications. We used Adobe Flex 2 to build Eyejot’s client-facing web UI and loved the development environment, the richness of the tools and the fact that our platform is instantly compatible with multiple operating systems and browsers. Doing the same thing, with the same “richness” we desired in our UI would have been very difficult without Flash and generator tools like Flex.

    While WPF/E may show great promise and be attractive to shops requiring an end-to-end Microsoft solution, it will be hard to beat Flash’s overwhelming presence in the field. A better approach for those development projects might be, instead, to rely upon Microsoft’s managed code products on the back-end, like C#, to generate data that’s delivered to Flex-built Flash apps on the client-side. We did something similar at Eyejot where all our data is generated and managed by our Java-based backend and our Flex apps map and display and manage data on the client side.

    In terms of open source alternatives, Open Laszlo is a great alternative to Flex and produces not only Flash compatible files but also DHTML that, in many cases, can behaves very similar to the native Flash interfaces. Check it out at http://www.openlaszlo.org.

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  4. Flash is a great platform for building rich internet applications. We used Adobe Flex 2 to build Eyejot’s client-facing web UI and loved the development environment, the richness of the tools and the fact that our platform is instantly compatible with multiple operating systems and browsers. Doing the same thing, with the same “richness” we desired in our UI would have been very difficult without Flash and generator tools like Flex.

    While WPF/E may show great promise and be attractive to shops requiring an end-to-end Microsoft solution, it will be hard to beat Flash’s overwhelming presence in the field. A better approach for those development projects might be, instead, to rely upon Microsoft’s managed code products on the back-end, like C#, to generate data that’s delivered to Flex-built Flash apps on the client-side. We did something similar at Eyejot where all our data is generated and managed by our Java-based backend and our Flex apps map and display and manage data on the client side.

    In terms of open source alternatives, Open Laszlo is a great alternative to Flex and produces not only Flash compatible files but also DHTML that, in many cases, can behaves very similar to the native Flash interfaces. Check it out at http://www.openlaszlo.org.

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  5. It’s easy to form your opinions from your immediate visible experiences. The truth is that only ‘Web 2’ people use Google Reader – it’s not used by the customers that NYTimes Reader and other apps are aimed at.

    The Web 2.0 world is in danger of falling into the same trap as the console games industry – pandering to only the hard core gamer and forgetting your average casual, partially connected user.

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  6. It’s easy to form your opinions from your immediate visible experiences. The truth is that only ‘Web 2’ people use Google Reader – it’s not used by the customers that NYTimes Reader and other apps are aimed at.

    The Web 2.0 world is in danger of falling into the same trap as the console games industry – pandering to only the hard core gamer and forgetting your average casual, partially connected user.

    Like

  7. Part of the issue for MS right now is that they don’t seem to have a focused developer/designer message right now, in terms of guidance and best practice. Its been mostly a coming out party for WPF, showing off what the platform can do and content focused on specific features of WPF. This is something the evangelist and p&p teams are aware of but I have not heard how they plan to address it.

    Visual design and interaction design have not been their central theme and message, and while MS is new to delivering and communicating it, hopefully they get there before or soon after Expression Studio and WPF/E ships. By MIX 07 and PDC 07 we should be able to clearly see where MS is headed.

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  8. Part of the issue for MS right now is that they don’t seem to have a focused developer/designer message right now, in terms of guidance and best practice. Its been mostly a coming out party for WPF, showing off what the platform can do and content focused on specific features of WPF. This is something the evangelist and p&p teams are aware of but I have not heard how they plan to address it.

    Visual design and interaction design have not been their central theme and message, and while MS is new to delivering and communicating it, hopefully they get there before or soon after Expression Studio and WPF/E ships. By MIX 07 and PDC 07 we should be able to clearly see where MS is headed.

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  9. Scoble, why do you continue to state what you think are “facts” based solely on your anecdotal, small, and narrow viewpoint?

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  10. Scoble, why do you continue to state what you think are “facts” based solely on your anecdotal, small, and narrow viewpoint?

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  11. Once Adobe releases an x64 edition of Flash I’ll care, until then, I just chuckle at all the corporations who’s websites just plain dont work in IE x64 and who also dont have a redirect to a non-Flash version so you get a blank or partially loaded page.

    I also had hoped that developers had learned that too much Flash is a *bad* thing, for the past few years they had, but if you’re right Scoble, Flash is about to come back and bite us in the a**.

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  12. Once Adobe releases an x64 edition of Flash I’ll care, until then, I just chuckle at all the corporations who’s websites just plain dont work in IE x64 and who also dont have a redirect to a non-Flash version so you get a blank or partially loaded page.

    I also had hoped that developers had learned that too much Flash is a *bad* thing, for the past few years they had, but if you’re right Scoble, Flash is about to come back and bite us in the a**.

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  13. I think Scoble hit it on the nose. Ms has major issues with just dissing the mac community. Mac is getting better and with the WPF strategy they forget that 90% of designers are on macs and dont plan on changing and the fact that vector based design SUCKS compared to photoshop filters and effects that are bitmap effects and the fact that WPF has the most excruciating support for bitmap effects and its not even “recommended” that you use these because it will affect performance heavily.

    Designers are already asking how to take their photoshop designs and integrate them into WPF apps. It’s like a no contest in that arena. Designers have to change their platform and favorite tools just to design WPF apps. Yeaaaaaaa keep dreaming.

    Anyway – Adobe gets the love in the designer arena and the flex skinning mechanisms rule. Also – 3d support? Have you seen papervision 3d? This thing rocks and puts 3d at the potentiality of every flex/flash developer — not hardware based, but ripping fast because of how much cpus have evolved these days and its open source, works on mac, linux and windows because of the flash 9 player. So there you go.

    Check out the 3d demos: http://blog.papervision3d.org/

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  14. I think Scoble hit it on the nose. Ms has major issues with just dissing the mac community. Mac is getting better and with the WPF strategy they forget that 90% of designers are on macs and dont plan on changing and the fact that vector based design SUCKS compared to photoshop filters and effects that are bitmap effects and the fact that WPF has the most excruciating support for bitmap effects and its not even “recommended” that you use these because it will affect performance heavily.

    Designers are already asking how to take their photoshop designs and integrate them into WPF apps. It’s like a no contest in that arena. Designers have to change their platform and favorite tools just to design WPF apps. Yeaaaaaaa keep dreaming.

    Anyway – Adobe gets the love in the designer arena and the flex skinning mechanisms rule. Also – 3d support? Have you seen papervision 3d? This thing rocks and puts 3d at the potentiality of every flex/flash developer — not hardware based, but ripping fast because of how much cpus have evolved these days and its open source, works on mac, linux and windows because of the flash 9 player. So there you go.

    Check out the 3d demos: http://blog.papervision3d.org/

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  15. heh.. and i was just thinking msft was putting out TOO much stuff for developers to keep up with… lol. I’m a senior dev and msft is keeping me rather happy with .net 2.0 and sql 2005. Might not be the “coolest” toys, but my productivity is up and bugs are down.

    I’m happy. Boss is happy. Clients are happy. (Profit!)

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  16. heh.. and i was just thinking msft was putting out TOO much stuff for developers to keep up with… lol. I’m a senior dev and msft is keeping me rather happy with .net 2.0 and sql 2005. Might not be the “coolest” toys, but my productivity is up and bugs are down.

    I’m happy. Boss is happy. Clients are happy. (Profit!)

    Like

  17. “Microsoft will fight back with WPF/E, which is a .NET 3.0 runtime that runs everywhere, but will it be enough to keep developers from moving away?”

    Really? On Linux? I’m aware of a project to implement a lot of .Net on Linux, but as far as I know Microsoft isn’t doing any of the heavy lifting.

    It works booth ways though. I’m thrilled with the new “Office” apps from Google, which I’ve been working with for a few months, but I just talked to a guy that is having several problems and we finally concluded the the primary problem is that he is using IE. I hadn’t read about other people having such problems, so I guess it COULD be something else, but if you take a look at the source code for a lot of Google pages you will see that they have to spend a hundred lines or so figuring out what browser and OS you are running and taking different actions for each.

    It’s pathetic that something as conceptually simple as a web page has to “evolve” into spaghetti code.

    As users, if we pay attention, I think we will be able to figure out which companies are moving to standards base products and which ones are gaming the standards system for PR value. Put them on notice that you are paying attention and want products that actually follow standards not just claim to.

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  18. “Microsoft will fight back with WPF/E, which is a .NET 3.0 runtime that runs everywhere, but will it be enough to keep developers from moving away?”

    Really? On Linux? I’m aware of a project to implement a lot of .Net on Linux, but as far as I know Microsoft isn’t doing any of the heavy lifting.

    It works booth ways though. I’m thrilled with the new “Office” apps from Google, which I’ve been working with for a few months, but I just talked to a guy that is having several problems and we finally concluded the the primary problem is that he is using IE. I hadn’t read about other people having such problems, so I guess it COULD be something else, but if you take a look at the source code for a lot of Google pages you will see that they have to spend a hundred lines or so figuring out what browser and OS you are running and taking different actions for each.

    It’s pathetic that something as conceptually simple as a web page has to “evolve” into spaghetti code.

    As users, if we pay attention, I think we will be able to figure out which companies are moving to standards base products and which ones are gaming the standards system for PR value. Put them on notice that you are paying attention and want products that actually follow standards not just claim to.

    Like

  19. WPF/E isn’t a .NET 3.0 runtime that is cross-platform/browser. NetFx3 is 50 meg, WPF/E is only about 1.1 meg at the moment and is a very focussed sub-set of the full WPF. Thought I’d clear that up so people don’t get stressed about a 50 meg download to view a site with WPF/E in it 🙂

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  20. WPF/E isn’t a .NET 3.0 runtime that is cross-platform/browser. NetFx3 is 50 meg, WPF/E is only about 1.1 meg at the moment and is a very focussed sub-set of the full WPF. Thought I’d clear that up so people don’t get stressed about a 50 meg download to view a site with WPF/E in it 🙂

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  21. You’re giving too much credit to the Mac (and this from me).

    The move to Flash is occurring, because, yes, .Net isn’t that attractive — Microsoft got destracted from its plan… certainly the message of that plan… but more importantly, because Flash is a cheap, simple method to deliver everything that requires several different developer tools, several different developer technologies, and several different Microsoft server products for an end product that may or may not work outside of IE on Windows.

    Throughout South America, Asia, and some of Europe, Flash is the cheapest (often pirated), most compelling, most robust way to deliver very rich, very visual, very interactive applications. These grassroots developers have been working with Flash for years and are now creating a solid groundswell of a community.

    At least, that’s what I see from my friends in Argentina, Ireland, and London. They run Apache on Linux on their servers for next to nothing. They pirate Flash to develop within. And they hit the ground running… And they did that 2-4 years ago.

    It’s America that’s just figuring out that Flash isn’t a problem, that it doesn’t have to be primarily an animation tool. I’m consistently blown away by how cool some of their sites are. They don’t look like “Flash sites” that us Americans are used to either.

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  22. You’re giving too much credit to the Mac (and this from me).

    The move to Flash is occurring, because, yes, .Net isn’t that attractive — Microsoft got destracted from its plan… certainly the message of that plan… but more importantly, because Flash is a cheap, simple method to deliver everything that requires several different developer tools, several different developer technologies, and several different Microsoft server products for an end product that may or may not work outside of IE on Windows.

    Throughout South America, Asia, and some of Europe, Flash is the cheapest (often pirated), most compelling, most robust way to deliver very rich, very visual, very interactive applications. These grassroots developers have been working with Flash for years and are now creating a solid groundswell of a community.

    At least, that’s what I see from my friends in Argentina, Ireland, and London. They run Apache on Linux on their servers for next to nothing. They pirate Flash to develop within. And they hit the ground running… And they did that 2-4 years ago.

    It’s America that’s just figuring out that Flash isn’t a problem, that it doesn’t have to be primarily an animation tool. I’m consistently blown away by how cool some of their sites are. They don’t look like “Flash sites” that us Americans are used to either.

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  23. Macs might matter now, but don’t get me started on linux. I tried to use SimplyMepis, Ubuntu and Knoppix a few days ago, and I’d rather sit through five days of continuous chemistry class than be *forced* to use THAT….

    Ya know, if I had built an OS a few years ago, it would’ve looked somewhat similar…

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  24. Macs might matter now, but don’t get me started on linux. I tried to use SimplyMepis, Ubuntu and Knoppix a few days ago, and I’d rather sit through five days of continuous chemistry class than be *forced* to use THAT….

    Ya know, if I had built an OS a few years ago, it would’ve looked somewhat similar…

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  25. And, BTW, if I were to give my Dad any feedreader, then it’ll be something of the sort of the New York Times reader or something similar. Try getting your Dad to understand start using Google Reader and start sharing items…

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  26. And, BTW, if I were to give my Dad any feedreader, then it’ll be something of the sort of the New York Times reader or something similar. Try getting your Dad to understand start using Google Reader and start sharing items…

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  27. Microsoft will fight back with WPF/E, which is a .NET 3.0 runtime that runs everywhere, but will it be enough to keep developers from moving away?

    Dude, do you even read what YOU write?

    How the hell will a runtime matter, when you can ONLY develop for WPF/E on Windows?

    How in the name of $DEITY$ is that going to get a DEVELOPER to use that tech?

    “Oh sure, it’s not that much better than Flash, won’t run in as many places because we’re only porting WPF/E to the Mac, and the only dev tools for it run on Windows, but you’ll love it.”

    Come on man, you’re buckin’ for a Mencia award with that kind of non-thought process.

    WPF/E is designed to force everyone to move all their dev to Windows and WPF. Then one day “Oh, we’re canceling WPF/E”

    Fucking CLASSIC Microsoft strategy, and no, I DON’T believe they wouldn’t do it. Look at WM. “Oh, we support multiple platforms with it, see, WiMP for the Mac. So if you fully support WM, you still get cross platform.”

    “Oh, well in that case, sure, we’ll move over to WM.”

    “We’re canceling WiMP for the Mac, and we’re never supporting WM10 or 11 DRM on anything but Windows and mobile devices running windows”

    Sur-fucking-prise.

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  28. Microsoft will fight back with WPF/E, which is a .NET 3.0 runtime that runs everywhere, but will it be enough to keep developers from moving away?

    Dude, do you even read what YOU write?

    How the hell will a runtime matter, when you can ONLY develop for WPF/E on Windows?

    How in the name of $DEITY$ is that going to get a DEVELOPER to use that tech?

    “Oh sure, it’s not that much better than Flash, won’t run in as many places because we’re only porting WPF/E to the Mac, and the only dev tools for it run on Windows, but you’ll love it.”

    Come on man, you’re buckin’ for a Mencia award with that kind of non-thought process.

    WPF/E is designed to force everyone to move all their dev to Windows and WPF. Then one day “Oh, we’re canceling WPF/E”

    Fucking CLASSIC Microsoft strategy, and no, I DON’T believe they wouldn’t do it. Look at WM. “Oh, we support multiple platforms with it, see, WiMP for the Mac. So if you fully support WM, you still get cross platform.”

    “Oh, well in that case, sure, we’ll move over to WM.”

    “We’re canceling WiMP for the Mac, and we’re never supporting WM10 or 11 DRM on anything but Windows and mobile devices running windows”

    Sur-fucking-prise.

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  29. Yuvi, RTFJCWPD

    “…won’t run in as many places because we’re only porting WPF/E to the Mac, and the only dev tools for it run on Windows…”

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  30. Yuvi, RTFJCWPD

    “…won’t run in as many places because we’re only porting WPF/E to the Mac, and the only dev tools for it run on Windows…”

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  31. “Microsoft will fight back with WPF/E, which is a .NET 3.0 runtime that runs everywhere, but will it be enough to keep developers from moving away?”

    From what? The entire .NET platform? Not likely. Apollo will certainly be neat, and I can’t wait to use it myself, but no one I know (other than the typical Microsoft haters) actually considers Apollo much more than an interesting product created to target a specific need, namely the rich *client*.

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  32. “Microsoft will fight back with WPF/E, which is a .NET 3.0 runtime that runs everywhere, but will it be enough to keep developers from moving away?”

    From what? The entire .NET platform? Not likely. Apollo will certainly be neat, and I can’t wait to use it myself, but no one I know (other than the typical Microsoft haters) actually considers Apollo much more than an interesting product created to target a specific need, namely the rich *client*.

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  33. Windows Devs don’t have to directly cater to the Macs anyway cause Macs have parallels and other fiendish emulation technology.

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  34. Windows Devs don’t have to directly cater to the Macs anyway cause Macs have parallels and other fiendish emulation technology.

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  35. @John: Uh, uh? WPF/E runs on Mac, and it has been so right from the first CTP. As the slashdotters and giggers say, RTFA:D

    Yuvi, read what I wrote, not what you want to see. The WPF/E runtime runs on Macs, (not that it matters. Oooh, no content alert), but you cannot DEVELOP WPF/E *content* on anything but Windows.

    This of course forces you to single source your OS and dev environment if you want to enable WPF/E. So you move all this work over to WPF/E. Then one day, Microsoft knifes WPF/E. “Blah, blah we don’t feel like it anymore”.

    Well, now you’re quite properly fucked aren’t you, as if you want to STAY cross-platform, you have to completely firebomb your dev environments.

    Of course, this is assuming that some “third party” writes a WPF/E runtime for Linux, which Microsoft has publicly stated they (MS) will NOT do. So if you want to reach Linux users, WPF/E isn’t an option anyway.

    I’m not surprised that the Windows team is playing this line of bullshit again. What shocks me is that people still fall for it. (Okay, people who aren’t Robert, who is unable to critically analyze any damned thing, and never met a fact worth checking.)

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  36. @John: Uh, uh? WPF/E runs on Mac, and it has been so right from the first CTP. As the slashdotters and giggers say, RTFA:D

    Yuvi, read what I wrote, not what you want to see. The WPF/E runtime runs on Macs, (not that it matters. Oooh, no content alert), but you cannot DEVELOP WPF/E *content* on anything but Windows.

    This of course forces you to single source your OS and dev environment if you want to enable WPF/E. So you move all this work over to WPF/E. Then one day, Microsoft knifes WPF/E. “Blah, blah we don’t feel like it anymore”.

    Well, now you’re quite properly fucked aren’t you, as if you want to STAY cross-platform, you have to completely firebomb your dev environments.

    Of course, this is assuming that some “third party” writes a WPF/E runtime for Linux, which Microsoft has publicly stated they (MS) will NOT do. So if you want to reach Linux users, WPF/E isn’t an option anyway.

    I’m not surprised that the Windows team is playing this line of bullshit again. What shocks me is that people still fall for it. (Okay, people who aren’t Robert, who is unable to critically analyze any damned thing, and never met a fact worth checking.)

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  37. I’ve developed services in both Flex2 and WPF and would choose the .NET stack any day.

    First and foremost, XAML is a great language for scripting interactivity. You just can’t count XAML and the Expression art asset pipeline out just as it’s getting off the ground.

    Second, XBAP deployment is secure and easy, has 3D accelerated support across XP and Vista, and leverages the full .NET API. In fact I can host a Flex control within my WPF window, but not vice versa.

    And lastly, and most importantly, is sheer performance. A complex Flex app will make even the hardiest workstation groan, and can swell to enormous size. WPF runs crisply and quietly, rarely taxing system resources even in advanced 3D simulations and because it offloads much of the work to the runtime, downloads tend to be pretty compact.

    So at the risk of alienating my non XP and Vista users, I choose to concentrate on XAML. For developers however, the competition between Adobe and Microsoft represents a win-win situation. The architectures of Flex and WPF are so similar because of the simplicity that has eveolved in developement paradigms: using an xml-based system for scripting user interaction. I just personally prefer XAML to MXML on a purely functional and aesthetic level, but I know that if a client is biased toward one or the other technology, porting an entire application will prove quite easy due to the RAD functionality built into each.

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  38. I’ve developed services in both Flex2 and WPF and would choose the .NET stack any day.

    First and foremost, XAML is a great language for scripting interactivity. You just can’t count XAML and the Expression art asset pipeline out just as it’s getting off the ground.

    Second, XBAP deployment is secure and easy, has 3D accelerated support across XP and Vista, and leverages the full .NET API. In fact I can host a Flex control within my WPF window, but not vice versa.

    And lastly, and most importantly, is sheer performance. A complex Flex app will make even the hardiest workstation groan, and can swell to enormous size. WPF runs crisply and quietly, rarely taxing system resources even in advanced 3D simulations and because it offloads much of the work to the runtime, downloads tend to be pretty compact.

    So at the risk of alienating my non XP and Vista users, I choose to concentrate on XAML. For developers however, the competition between Adobe and Microsoft represents a win-win situation. The architectures of Flex and WPF are so similar because of the simplicity that has eveolved in developement paradigms: using an xml-based system for scripting user interaction. I just personally prefer XAML to MXML on a purely functional and aesthetic level, but I know that if a client is biased toward one or the other technology, porting an entire application will prove quite easy due to the RAD functionality built into each.

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  39. @John: Right now, developing WPF/E means you’ve to use Windows. But, if you could build the tools yourself, then you could develop anywhere.

    An example is the WPF/E pad here http://www.simplegeek.com/mharsh/wpfepad/ . This allows you to build XAML for WPF/E, and works across all supported browsers/platforms. And, last time I checked, you certainly could develop JavaScript on the Mac…

    My point is, you don’t have to use Windows to develop WPF/E. Period.

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  40. @John: Right now, developing WPF/E means you’ve to use Windows. But, if you could build the tools yourself, then you could develop anywhere.

    An example is the WPF/E pad here http://www.simplegeek.com/mharsh/wpfepad/ . This allows you to build XAML for WPF/E, and works across all supported browsers/platforms. And, last time I checked, you certainly could develop JavaScript on the Mac…

    My point is, you don’t have to use Windows to develop WPF/E. Period.

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  41. Yuvi, and the point isn’t “feasibility.” We aren’t supposed to be spending the time to develop the applications so that we can develop; we should be developing.

    Rotor could “feasibly” work on the Mac (.Net was “supposed” to work on all platforms), but it is essentially useless. The license cripples it from commercial use. 1.0 was incomplete. 2.0 was made for XP only. Brilliant.

    There is no reason we should think WPF/E is any different when the underlying platform is itself already crippled to Windows.

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  42. Yuvi, and the point isn’t “feasibility.” We aren’t supposed to be spending the time to develop the applications so that we can develop; we should be developing.

    Rotor could “feasibly” work on the Mac (.Net was “supposed” to work on all platforms), but it is essentially useless. The license cripples it from commercial use. 1.0 was incomplete. 2.0 was made for XP only. Brilliant.

    There is no reason we should think WPF/E is any different when the underlying platform is itself already crippled to Windows.

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  43. The sad fact is no one knows what WPF/e will actually be yet. The current CTP’s are not useful for building real apps (there are no user input controls, only javascript on client), and the MS dev team has gone ballistically silent on what they will be adding in for version 1.0 and when. So it’s a weird time to be trying to guess MS’s fat-client, contra-Flash strategy — they just aren’t saying right now. We’ll know in a year. If they do build the “best” possible WPF/e, which lets hoards of Visual Studio programmers develop fat, cross-browser XAML apps, then developer conversions to the Adobe platform is not going to be a problem for MS. I rather suspect Adobe will have something of a problem.

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  44. The sad fact is no one knows what WPF/e will actually be yet. The current CTP’s are not useful for building real apps (there are no user input controls, only javascript on client), and the MS dev team has gone ballistically silent on what they will be adding in for version 1.0 and when. So it’s a weird time to be trying to guess MS’s fat-client, contra-Flash strategy — they just aren’t saying right now. We’ll know in a year. If they do build the “best” possible WPF/e, which lets hoards of Visual Studio programmers develop fat, cross-browser XAML apps, then developer conversions to the Adobe platform is not going to be a problem for MS. I rather suspect Adobe will have something of a problem.

    Like

  45. Robert – I have to diagree with you here. I have a perspective on this both from an end user standpoint ad well as someone who talk to a lot of developers as part of my job.

    First, as an end user I think the New York Times Reader (and the new Seattle PI version) an amazing experience that makes browsing their Web site or using an RSS Reader seem incredibly lame. I’m more than happy to make the tradeoff of having to download the app to get the better experience. I think you’re in your own little reality distortion field if you think that the proverbial “my mother” wants to have ANYTHING to do with RSS Readers. I know my mother doesn’t. She does, however, to to numerous newspaper Web sites every day and complains about readability and difficulty of navigation. When I showed her the NYT Reader she was blown away.

    Second, as someone who talks to a lot of developers as part of my job – a technology marketer – I think you’re also in a reality distortion field regarding the prominence of Flash. I just got back from a round the world trip where I spoke to dozens of developers in the US, UK, Germany, Japan, China and Brazil about the types of platforms they’re using for development. Guess what? Flash came up about twice and in those cases it was referred to as tools for designers not “me.” You can try to argue that we didn’t talk to the right people but all I can say is that we looked at a broad cross-section of developers who were building apps using .NET, Java, Php, Ruby etc and Flash does not come up.

    Like

  46. Robert – I have to diagree with you here. I have a perspective on this both from an end user standpoint ad well as someone who talk to a lot of developers as part of my job.

    First, as an end user I think the New York Times Reader (and the new Seattle PI version) an amazing experience that makes browsing their Web site or using an RSS Reader seem incredibly lame. I’m more than happy to make the tradeoff of having to download the app to get the better experience. I think you’re in your own little reality distortion field if you think that the proverbial “my mother” wants to have ANYTHING to do with RSS Readers. I know my mother doesn’t. She does, however, to to numerous newspaper Web sites every day and complains about readability and difficulty of navigation. When I showed her the NYT Reader she was blown away.

    Second, as someone who talks to a lot of developers as part of my job – a technology marketer – I think you’re also in a reality distortion field regarding the prominence of Flash. I just got back from a round the world trip where I spoke to dozens of developers in the US, UK, Germany, Japan, China and Brazil about the types of platforms they’re using for development. Guess what? Flash came up about twice and in those cases it was referred to as tools for designers not “me.” You can try to argue that we didn’t talk to the right people but all I can say is that we looked at a broad cross-section of developers who were building apps using .NET, Java, Php, Ruby etc and Flash does not come up.

    Like

  47. >>Chris: I said Microsoft would fight back with WPF/E, not that it would win.

    LayZ: almost every company’s developers I’ve been meeting with lately are going to Macs. Go watch my video of SOASTA again. They are the best case for Mac switching I’ve seen. But, either way, when a developer switches over to a Mac (SOASTA did it cause Macs can run Linux, OSX, and Windows, all on the same box) then those developers adopt approaches that’ll work cross-platform.

    The teams that only have Windows machines are far more likely to adopt .NET approaches. At least in my observations. Have you visited with more than 70 startups in the past few months? Are you seeing something else?

    Like

  48. >>Chris: I said Microsoft would fight back with WPF/E, not that it would win.

    LayZ: almost every company’s developers I’ve been meeting with lately are going to Macs. Go watch my video of SOASTA again. They are the best case for Mac switching I’ve seen. But, either way, when a developer switches over to a Mac (SOASTA did it cause Macs can run Linux, OSX, and Windows, all on the same box) then those developers adopt approaches that’ll work cross-platform.

    The teams that only have Windows machines are far more likely to adopt .NET approaches. At least in my observations. Have you visited with more than 70 startups in the past few months? Are you seeing something else?

    Like

  49. @John: Right now, developing WPF/E means you’ve to use Windows. But, if you could build the tools yourself, then you could develop anywhere.

    An example is the WPF/E pad here http://www.simplegeek.com/mharsh/wpfepad/ . This allows you to build XAML for WPF/E, and works across all supported browsers/platforms. And, last time I checked, you certainly could develop JavaScript on the Mac…

    My point is, you don’t have to use Windows to develop WPF/E. Period.

    Right. Because a text editor will let you do what a proper IDE does just as easily. Why, I can access the ENTIRE WPF FOUNDATION with Pico. Oh wait, i can’t, now can I.

    Sure. You show me a non-Windows IDE that is *supported by Microsoft* so when something isn’t right, I can find out if it’s a WPF issue or an IDE issue, and one that give me the same exact level of access and support that Microsoft’s tools do.

    I can write enterprise windows code with a text editor. I can also set my hand on fire. Both will hurt quite a lot.

    Like

  50. @John: Right now, developing WPF/E means you’ve to use Windows. But, if you could build the tools yourself, then you could develop anywhere.

    An example is the WPF/E pad here http://www.simplegeek.com/mharsh/wpfepad/ . This allows you to build XAML for WPF/E, and works across all supported browsers/platforms. And, last time I checked, you certainly could develop JavaScript on the Mac…

    My point is, you don’t have to use Windows to develop WPF/E. Period.

    Right. Because a text editor will let you do what a proper IDE does just as easily. Why, I can access the ENTIRE WPF FOUNDATION with Pico. Oh wait, i can’t, now can I.

    Sure. You show me a non-Windows IDE that is *supported by Microsoft* so when something isn’t right, I can find out if it’s a WPF issue or an IDE issue, and one that give me the same exact level of access and support that Microsoft’s tools do.

    I can write enterprise windows code with a text editor. I can also set my hand on fire. Both will hurt quite a lot.

    Like

  51. If they do build the “best” possible WPF/e, which lets hoards of Visual Studio programmers develop fat, cross-browser XAML apps, then developer conversions to the Adobe platform is not going to be a problem for MS. I rather suspect Adobe will have something of a problem.

    Right, because right now, there are hordes of VS programmers writing cross-platform code every day, using VS’s excellent cross-platform tools.

    Oh wait…

    Like

  52. If they do build the “best” possible WPF/e, which lets hoards of Visual Studio programmers develop fat, cross-browser XAML apps, then developer conversions to the Adobe platform is not going to be a problem for MS. I rather suspect Adobe will have something of a problem.

    Right, because right now, there are hordes of VS programmers writing cross-platform code every day, using VS’s excellent cross-platform tools.

    Oh wait…

    Like

  53. WPF/E is a Microsoft recruitment tool. Here is this works :

    Phase one, until critical mass is reached, make WPF/E work equally across Mac and Windows web browsers (as of date, Microsoft has not announced support for Linux)

    Phase two, make the Windows run-time perform better. Example : use DirectX to accelerate the rendering.

    In fact, Microsoft is going to use for the web the same trick that they are using now to force people to move to Windows Vista. Here is how it works :

    Phase one, make sure WPF uses DirectX.

    Phase two, ship WPF on Windows XP and Windows Vista.

    Phase three, ship a Vista-only DirectX release (i.e. DirectX 10)

    Phase four, add WPF features that take advantage of DirectX 10.

    When that point is reached, Windows XP users are left out of the game. And all WPF developers, and their customers, are betrayed.

    Like

  54. WPF/E is a Microsoft recruitment tool. Here is this works :

    Phase one, until critical mass is reached, make WPF/E work equally across Mac and Windows web browsers (as of date, Microsoft has not announced support for Linux)

    Phase two, make the Windows run-time perform better. Example : use DirectX to accelerate the rendering.

    In fact, Microsoft is going to use for the web the same trick that they are using now to force people to move to Windows Vista. Here is how it works :

    Phase one, make sure WPF uses DirectX.

    Phase two, ship WPF on Windows XP and Windows Vista.

    Phase three, ship a Vista-only DirectX release (i.e. DirectX 10)

    Phase four, add WPF features that take advantage of DirectX 10.

    When that point is reached, Windows XP users are left out of the game. And all WPF developers, and their customers, are betrayed.

    Like

  55. +1 to both Brad and Mark Ashton. Adobe’s big, but not that big.

    Apollo will surely be nice, and again, I’m personally looking forward to it, but Microsoft isn’t going anywhere kids, and you can bet that the millions of .NET developers out there who love .NET (because it’s frankly fantastic) will push much harder for the adoption of a cross-platform product if it works seamlessly with .NET, rather than diving into ActionScript. Blecch.

    Like

  56. +1 to both Brad and Mark Ashton. Adobe’s big, but not that big.

    Apollo will surely be nice, and again, I’m personally looking forward to it, but Microsoft isn’t going anywhere kids, and you can bet that the millions of .NET developers out there who love .NET (because it’s frankly fantastic) will push much harder for the adoption of a cross-platform product if it works seamlessly with .NET, rather than diving into ActionScript. Blecch.

    Like

  57. The difference is that the NYTimes isn’t just any other publication. They’re the New York Times.

    It is and will continue to be appointment reading for many people, myself included, and reading the Times with their software is a hundred times better than reading it on their website.

    I’m a huge fan of Google Reader (although I’m a holdout who’s still on the old version, because the new one has serious usability flaws). But Reader is optimized for reading short blog entries. It’s not nearly as useful for reading long scrolling entires.

    The column/page metaphor of Times Reader works much better for 2,000+ word articles.

    Would it be great if TR included more content than just the Times? Absolutely. I think there’s a market for an RSS reader to use similar technology and layout.

    Until then, I’m hooked on Times Reader.

    Like

  58. The difference is that the NYTimes isn’t just any other publication. They’re the New York Times.

    It is and will continue to be appointment reading for many people, myself included, and reading the Times with their software is a hundred times better than reading it on their website.

    I’m a huge fan of Google Reader (although I’m a holdout who’s still on the old version, because the new one has serious usability flaws). But Reader is optimized for reading short blog entries. It’s not nearly as useful for reading long scrolling entires.

    The column/page metaphor of Times Reader works much better for 2,000+ word articles.

    Would it be great if TR included more content than just the Times? Absolutely. I think there’s a market for an RSS reader to use similar technology and layout.

    Until then, I’m hooked on Times Reader.

    Like

  59. Chris, that’s QED. Have Microsoft stop pissing around and hand Miguel and the rest of the Mono team everything they need to make Mono 100% feature compatible with .NET on windows, and help them implement that on Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X, AIX, everywhere.

    Not just source, but people. Hell, Microsoft just hired how many thousand people? Hire a hundred more and detail them out to the Mono team.

    Like

  60. Chris, that’s QED. Have Microsoft stop pissing around and hand Miguel and the rest of the Mono team everything they need to make Mono 100% feature compatible with .NET on windows, and help them implement that on Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X, AIX, everywhere.

    Not just source, but people. Hell, Microsoft just hired how many thousand people? Hire a hundred more and detail them out to the Mono team.

    Like

  61. @50 John, That’s a great suggestion to MSFT

    BTW, I must have missed your blog post that asks Steve Jobs to hire 100 more and open up the iPhone platform.

    Like

  62. @50 John, That’s a great suggestion to MSFT

    BTW, I must have missed your blog post that asks Steve Jobs to hire 100 more and open up the iPhone platform.

    Like

  63. The iPhone’s still vapor, no one knows anything about it, so why do I care? I’m not buying one, (there went my fanboy status), because I like Sprint, they’ve been good to me, they ARE good to me, and I need things the iPhone (so far) doesn’t do. Besides, my phone works, why should I get a new one.

    Secondly, Jobs has not said “no third party applications”. (Yes, I know, everyone thinks that, but alas, not true.) What he has said is that Apple needs to keep control over what goes on the phone. (He also said something stupid about a bad application taking down a cell network. Yeesh. Moron.) Let’s see, I support Treos and Windows Mobile Phones. I’ve seen bad applications force 3-4x daily soft resets of various WM5 phones, (only took new phones / massive firmware upgrades to fix. Yay), turn Treos into bricks, (okay, not hard), and generally, make the phones unusable.

    If you’re trying to get me to agree that Apple should allow the same kind of buggy shit onto the iPhone that you see on Treos and WM devices, sorry, wrong tree, go bark somewhere else.

    But again, it’s vapor, and no one has any useful information on it. I will say that if the browser support on it is as decent as it looks, the folks doing AJAX and other similar applications are going to be quite pleased, because lemme tell you, Pocket IE and whatever the fuck is on the Palm OS suck ass on a stick. Haven’t tried Opera yet.

    It’s a phone, you’re pretty much always on the network. Web applications will work well there. So far, third party fat applications have been a continual pain in my ass. So I don’t really see a problem in limiting them.

    Like

  64. The iPhone’s still vapor, no one knows anything about it, so why do I care? I’m not buying one, (there went my fanboy status), because I like Sprint, they’ve been good to me, they ARE good to me, and I need things the iPhone (so far) doesn’t do. Besides, my phone works, why should I get a new one.

    Secondly, Jobs has not said “no third party applications”. (Yes, I know, everyone thinks that, but alas, not true.) What he has said is that Apple needs to keep control over what goes on the phone. (He also said something stupid about a bad application taking down a cell network. Yeesh. Moron.) Let’s see, I support Treos and Windows Mobile Phones. I’ve seen bad applications force 3-4x daily soft resets of various WM5 phones, (only took new phones / massive firmware upgrades to fix. Yay), turn Treos into bricks, (okay, not hard), and generally, make the phones unusable.

    If you’re trying to get me to agree that Apple should allow the same kind of buggy shit onto the iPhone that you see on Treos and WM devices, sorry, wrong tree, go bark somewhere else.

    But again, it’s vapor, and no one has any useful information on it. I will say that if the browser support on it is as decent as it looks, the folks doing AJAX and other similar applications are going to be quite pleased, because lemme tell you, Pocket IE and whatever the fuck is on the Palm OS suck ass on a stick. Haven’t tried Opera yet.

    It’s a phone, you’re pretty much always on the network. Web applications will work well there. So far, third party fat applications have been a continual pain in my ass. So I don’t really see a problem in limiting them.

    Like

  65. “So I don’t really see a problem in limiting them.”

    Oh cool. It’s completely justified because you think so. But its not OK when someone at MSFT decides to limit/not support something. Apparently you consider pros and cons before you decide if something is a problem while some ass sitting high up in MSFT will do it because he had a bad hair day.

    Ultimately its a business. nobody is going to do anything that doesn’t directly or indirectly contribute to the bottomline(or if its Sarbanes-Oxley). But why expect just MSFT to do things based on ‘morality’?

    Like

  66. “So I don’t really see a problem in limiting them.”

    Oh cool. It’s completely justified because you think so. But its not OK when someone at MSFT decides to limit/not support something. Apparently you consider pros and cons before you decide if something is a problem while some ass sitting high up in MSFT will do it because he had a bad hair day.

    Ultimately its a business. nobody is going to do anything that doesn’t directly or indirectly contribute to the bottomline(or if its Sarbanes-Oxley). But why expect just MSFT to do things based on ‘morality’?

    Like

  67. Oh cool. It’s completely justified because you think so. But its not OK when someone at MSFT decides to limit/not support something. Apparently you consider pros and cons before you decide if something is a problem while some ass sitting high up in MSFT will do it because he had a bad hair day.

    Different issue. If Apple decided to shitcan the AD plugin and make me pay third parties for it, I’d roast them en brochette with a smile on my face. I actually wish Microsoft would make it HARDER to get software approved for their phones, because a bad application on a phone can, and does, render the device unusable.

    Ultimately its a business. nobody is going to do anything that doesn’t directly or indirectly contribute to the bottomline(or if its Sarbanes-Oxley). But why expect just MSFT to do things based on ‘morality’?

    I don’t. I expect them to realize at some point that creating a large group of people who despise them, and daring that group to do something about it will become counterproductive.

    Maybe if most of my emergency problems for the last ten or so years weren’t created by WIndows, I’d have a kinder POV of the company.

    Like

  68. Oh cool. It’s completely justified because you think so. But its not OK when someone at MSFT decides to limit/not support something. Apparently you consider pros and cons before you decide if something is a problem while some ass sitting high up in MSFT will do it because he had a bad hair day.

    Different issue. If Apple decided to shitcan the AD plugin and make me pay third parties for it, I’d roast them en brochette with a smile on my face. I actually wish Microsoft would make it HARDER to get software approved for their phones, because a bad application on a phone can, and does, render the device unusable.

    Ultimately its a business. nobody is going to do anything that doesn’t directly or indirectly contribute to the bottomline(or if its Sarbanes-Oxley). But why expect just MSFT to do things based on ‘morality’?

    I don’t. I expect them to realize at some point that creating a large group of people who despise them, and daring that group to do something about it will become counterproductive.

    Maybe if most of my emergency problems for the last ten or so years weren’t created by WIndows, I’d have a kinder POV of the company.

    Like

  69. “weren’t created by WIndows”

    I would think ‘not taken care by’ as a more suited word than ‘created’. I even agree that MSFT could have done more.

    Generally for any company would do something if at least one of the following is true –
    1) Doing it would help the bottomline
    2) Not doing it would affect the bottomline. As long as there is no perceivable direct or indirect monetary loss because from not doing something MSFT (or any other company) will not do it.

    Do you think anyone @MSFT (even Ballmer) would really not be worried about the obvious anti-MSFT current? But not always can you make the decision that will please people. The ultimate boss of all these propreitery companies – The market – is a strange beast. It doesn’t reward ‘good behavior’.

    (This is exactly where the opensource community could have done a lot. They can base their decisions purely on the pain factor to the user and not be bothered about whether something will make economic sense.)

    Like

  70. “weren’t created by WIndows”

    I would think ‘not taken care by’ as a more suited word than ‘created’. I even agree that MSFT could have done more.

    Generally for any company would do something if at least one of the following is true –
    1) Doing it would help the bottomline
    2) Not doing it would affect the bottomline. As long as there is no perceivable direct or indirect monetary loss because from not doing something MSFT (or any other company) will not do it.

    Do you think anyone @MSFT (even Ballmer) would really not be worried about the obvious anti-MSFT current? But not always can you make the decision that will please people. The ultimate boss of all these propreitery companies – The market – is a strange beast. It doesn’t reward ‘good behavior’.

    (This is exactly where the opensource community could have done a lot. They can base their decisions purely on the pain factor to the user and not be bothered about whether something will make economic sense.)

    Like

  71. I would think ‘not taken care by’ as a more suited word than ‘created’. I even agree that MSFT could have done more.

    No, I meant “created”. The current need for three malware checkers in a windows network? The absolute stupidity of the Windows security model? The bullshit that allowed things like all the Office malware to hose your OS?

    Microsoft *created* those problems by ignoring, and in many cases laughing at good security practice, and their answer in Vista is to annoy the shit out of you with inane dialogs?

    They sure as shit created the problem, and they’ve yet to fix it.

    Do you think anyone @MSFT (even Ballmer) would really not be worried about the obvious anti-MSFT current? But not always can you make the decision that will please people. The ultimate boss of all these propreitery companies – The market – is a strange beast. It doesn’t reward ‘good behavior’.

    I think he looks at the market share and says “Yeah, we suck, so what”. I’ve yet to hear anything coming out of Ballmer’s mouth that even HINTS at contriteness for the bullshit and pain his company caused over the last decade or so. Just continuing arrogance.

    The sad thing is, you can see the first signs of that same disease in the Adobe Acrobat team, for whom you don’t count unless you’re “Big” enterprise.

    Sad.

    Like

  72. I would think ‘not taken care by’ as a more suited word than ‘created’. I even agree that MSFT could have done more.

    No, I meant “created”. The current need for three malware checkers in a windows network? The absolute stupidity of the Windows security model? The bullshit that allowed things like all the Office malware to hose your OS?

    Microsoft *created* those problems by ignoring, and in many cases laughing at good security practice, and their answer in Vista is to annoy the shit out of you with inane dialogs?

    They sure as shit created the problem, and they’ve yet to fix it.

    Do you think anyone @MSFT (even Ballmer) would really not be worried about the obvious anti-MSFT current? But not always can you make the decision that will please people. The ultimate boss of all these propreitery companies – The market – is a strange beast. It doesn’t reward ‘good behavior’.

    I think he looks at the market share and says “Yeah, we suck, so what”. I’ve yet to hear anything coming out of Ballmer’s mouth that even HINTS at contriteness for the bullshit and pain his company caused over the last decade or so. Just continuing arrogance.

    The sad thing is, you can see the first signs of that same disease in the Adobe Acrobat team, for whom you don’t count unless you’re “Big” enterprise.

    Sad.

    Like

  73. “No, I meant “created”. ”
    John, i think we have to agree to disagree on this.

    While i don’t claim Microsoft is all sainty, i don’t agree that all the screwups were plain deliberate.

    Given the amount of stick he got when he said ‘Vista forecasts were too bullish’ you don’t expect him to make a ‘We’re sorry’ statement. Do you?

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  74. “No, I meant “created”. ”
    John, i think we have to agree to disagree on this.

    While i don’t claim Microsoft is all sainty, i don’t agree that all the screwups were plain deliberate.

    Given the amount of stick he got when he said ‘Vista forecasts were too bullish’ you don’t expect him to make a ‘We’re sorry’ statement. Do you?

    Like

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