Microsoft 'Closed'?

Marc Canter makes an observation about how Microsoft will defend against accusations of being closed:

Don is the main guy behind Microsoft’s ‘open’ approach to inter-connecting distributed apps and services in the future. It’s code-named Indigo.  It has security and support for ALL legacy kind of systems baked in, which means (and I’m sure this is not a mistake) support for ALL open standards – as well.

So in the future – if Microsoft is attacked on their ‘closed’ approach to ANYTHING, they’ll be able to point to the MAJOR technology effort and approach and say: “Hey, we’re open – too!”  Now the only question is “will Indigo and Don’s team suceed?’ and make it out there into the real world.

With Indigo being one of the pillars of Longhorn, and the focal point of the company’s multi year bet and major strategy peice around Web Services, I can’t imagine it not making it out there into the real world.

Wilcox says integration is a big risk of Longhorn

Joe Wilcox blogs about the arguements for and against Integration in Longhorn. Here is a choice quote:

All of these new integrated scenarios share one thing in common: They are, at the least, partly proprietary or tied to Windows. They also could discourage developer involvement in other platforms. I want to be clear: That discouragement isn’t necessarily through any onerous means. Based on what Microsoft showed off this week, the company has started down the path to delivering excellent tools that would let developers more easily create applications. Microsoft shouldn’t be faulted for outflanking its competitors with better tools.

That said, the tools also leverage off Microsoft’s existing Windows monopoly. Competitors don’t share that advantage and may want to plan a response now. Microsoft disclosed enough information this week so that competitors would have plenty of opportunity to respond. After all, Longhorn is as much as three years from release.

Longhorn Sidebar Clock

Raymond Chen  points out the Longhorn analog clock compromise. I love the way he blogs the rational behind what seems to be random design choices. I hope that at somepoint I become knowledeable enough to do the same for Windows networking, or find someone who is and get them to blog.

Company Meeting and a Segway

Once a year, Microsoft gets together all of it’s employees heads out to a local stadium and holds a company meeting. It’s a good time to see just how big Microsoft is, and to hear our top execs outline the current challenges and strategy. Much like a conference keynote, it’s full of high level visions and demos of recent technology, but with a good dose of pep rally mixed in. As they talk about different buissness, that group (sitting together) cheer. During my first company meeting I worked in a technology that was pretty high visibility from the execs, and spent the meeting counting how many times they mentioned it. Also like conference keynotes, we have the humor videos that are seen in many Microsoft events. The two that were memorable this year was the “Behind the Technology” video that I’ve been hearing about from the PDC blogs, and a Matrix one.

Something strange this year was how late the company meeting was into the year. This was reflected in how cold we all were in the sunless stadium. We were all hudled in blankets in the colors from the windows flag logo. Instead of the usually dark earthy tones punctuated by white t-shirts filling around the islands of color cordinated groups, we had a four bright colors layered  like a picture that was pixeled and random only because you had zoomed in too far. The coffee flowed freely and many people were hoping up to get thier fifth or sixth refills.

The coldness also supressed one of my favorite company meeting activities, paper airplane contests. There is always one throw-away peice of paper in the box lunches that can be made into a paper airplane and thrown from the top rows of the stadium. The ultimate goal is to design a paper airplane that can actually reach the stage. I have yet over the past few years see a plane that has actually made, but there has been a couple that have gotten pretty far.

Following the company meeting a tech fair. There I got a chance to ride a segway. It was a fundimental shift in the way I used balance, and I think I did worse then most on it. After getting off, standing became difficult as my body tried to shift back to a normal balance mode. All and all an intresting device.

Microsoft and Interop

Joel on Software refutes the Information Week article that skewers Microsoft regarding Interop with Linux. Apparently you can order a free copy of SFU 3.0 (Services for Unix) or try it out via TS (?). There is also a beta version of SFU 3.5 available over on the main SFU website. One of the nicest features of SFU is the Interix subsystem that microsoft bought a couple years ago and continues improving. Check out this page of ports for SFU 3.5 beta.