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Author Topic: Lists Of Microsoft's Fame And Shame - 2008  (Read 2816 times)

CWuestefeld

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Lists Of Microsoft's Fame And Shame - 2008
« on: April 08, 2008, 09:53:42 AM »
I've had my fill of Microsoft bashing, and probably of MS love-fests as well. But rarer is a good look at where they really have done a good job, and where they are behind. Here's an objective article listing some of Microsoft's greatest accomplishments, and places where technology that they really should have a handle on is sorely lacking.

One of the important wins listed here to Microsoft's credit is Visual Studio, something most of us have some experience with. The article notes that there may be better IDEs that are tuned to a particular purpose, but VS is the best general-purpose solution available. The author also mentions VistaDB, which is a technology I've been watching: a .Net managed-code database (meaning it's highly portable) that's like 99% SQL Server compatible.

One place the author gets it wrong is holding up Outlook as a win. While it may have features that its major competition lacks, there are just so many things wrong with it that I can't believe anyone could award it any honors.

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Since everyone loves to pick on Microsoft, I think we can summarize exactly what has caused such a commotion among technology enthusiasts. The areas where Microsoft has been given most reputational grief have been where the bar was raised higher by a third party, or else where a third party has made people scratch their heads and wonder, "Why am I using Microsoft's technology, anyway?" So I'd like to suggest a list of technologies that shame Microsoft.

http://www.jondavis....nd-Shame---2008.aspx

Lashiec

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Re: Lists Of Microsoft's Fame And Shame - 2008
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2008, 01:19:03 PM »
Nice read, but I thought he was going to pinpoint the shameful products from Microsoft as soon as I read the title. Oh well, the author makes some good points, and there are some interesting products listed there. I'm sure that a few statements that are going to raise some eyebrows as well, particularly the last paragraph ;D

Jimdoria

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Re: Lists Of Microsoft's Fame And Shame - 2008
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2008, 01:57:34 PM »
Interesting article, but it seems to me like he's been driniking a bit too much kool-aid.

Case in point: Silverlight. I've no doubt that Silverlight contains all kinds of cool under-the-hood functionality that makes developers drool. In fact one of his complaints about Silverlight is that it's not bare-metal enough ("Let us render pixels").

But he totally misses the point of Silverlight vs. Flash: Not everyone in the world is a developer. Why should you need a CS degree to make animations for the web? Adobe Flash made web animation & simple application development available to people who were not "real" programmers: designers, graphic artists, web page authors, amateur animators, etc. That's one of the big reasons it's become so ubiquitous.

It's clear that as a developer, he's judging MS based on a pretty selective set of criteria - how technically advanced its products are. That's fine, it's a developer's blog - but so much of what is wrong with Microsoft is only partly or not at all technical in nature. In fact, a big part of it is that they act as if everyone (or at least everyone who matters) is a developer.
- Jimdoria ~@>@

There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who divide everybody into two kinds of people, and those who don't.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2008, 01:59:34 PM by Jimdoria »

CWuestefeld

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Re: Lists Of Microsoft's Fame And Shame - 2008
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2008, 03:21:16 PM »
so much of what is wrong with Microsoft is only partly or not at all technical in nature. In fact, a big part of it is that they act as if everyone (or at least everyone who matters) is a developer.
There's a kernel of truth in that. But paradoxically one can come to the opposite conclusion as well. Microsoft does (generally) treat developers well, and this attracts developers and leads to a profusion of applications and utilities (which is of course how we get so darned many multimedia converters, file renamers, and backup programs  :-\).

The triumph of Windows over OS/2 owes a lot to the fact that even back in 1993 there were almost innumerable Windows apps, while the OS/2 apps certainly were numerable. And more recently, I've seen claims that the Microsoft's favorable treatment of developers gives them a marked advantage over Apple (who views developers as a lucrative profit center).

So I suppose that real success requires being able to balance developer support with usability investments.

In any case I did appreciate the tone of the article. Most writers say "MS has done good things but...". This one takes it a step farther with that last paragraph, baldly noting that other development communities have their own very real problems as well. So I get out of it a strong implication that there's a lot that we can all be learning from each other.

Renegade

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Re: Lists Of Microsoft's Fame And Shame - 2008
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2008, 05:36:18 PM »
...they act as if everyone (or at least everyone who matters) is a developer.
...Microsoft does (generally) treat developers well, and this attracts developers and leads to a profusion of applications and utilities...

BINGO!

This is what Microsoft really "gets". They understand that they need other people to develop for their platform for it to be succesful. They're far better than any other company at attracting developers and they really do treat them very well.

MS has numerous high-level SDKs available for free. They make tools available for free. They have the Empower Program and the Action Pack to make things easily affordable for developers.

I don't want to be a fanboy here, but MS really does get things "right" in this area, and they're leaving every one else in the dust.

The article was a good read. He's obviously done his homework and really bangs a lot of things right on the head really well. I particularly liked the part on VistaDB. It's a fantastic product to work with. (I have a VistaDB subscription myself.)
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Edvard

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Re: Lists Of Microsoft's Fame And Shame - 2008
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2008, 07:13:56 PM »
I was with Lashiec, thinking it was a list of Microsofts products rather than methods, so I was in the dark concerning some of his points.
One thing raised an eyebrow though, in his requests list for Silverlight:
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WPF-esque 3D support by befriending OpenGL. Please. Every platform supports OGL. EVERY PLATFORM!
Hey! Wasn't MS all over OpenGL around '95 or so (remember the maze screensaver that had 'OpenGL' written on one of the walls?) and then they came up with some whizbang name (DirectX) for their own graphics library and dropped OpenGL like a hot rock?
I thought so.
I don't think his point on that one's gonna fly, especially when he drools all over Direct3D in the very next paragraph...

zridling

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Re: Lists Of Microsoft's Fame And Shame - 2008
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2008, 12:00:26 AM »
Yea, you're right. The last paragraph ruins the essay. However, I'm very surprised the author didn't list Microsoft Exchange in its Fame category. It's been a proven staple of corporations for a long, long time.