Shock as Microsoft Evangelist Robert Scoble Recommends Microsoft Technologies

Monday May 10th, 2004

Much has been made in recent days about Microsoft evangelist Robert Scoble and his comments about how Mozilla can take advantage of the new technologies introduced in Longhorn, the next major version of Windows. Scoble's thoughts on how Mozilla Firefox could be enhanced via features such as Avalon, Longhorn's new graphics layer, and WinFS, the enhanced file storage system, prompted InternetNews to conduct a follow-up interview, sparked a discussion at Slashdot and caused MozillaNews to quote almost enough to stretch the definition of fair use.

Which is interesting, as nothing Scoble said was particularly surprising. The fact that a Microsoft employee even mentioned Mozilla was a shock to some but it should be noted that Scoble, who was an established member of the weblogging community long before taking a job at Microsoft, was speaking for himself and not Redmond. Furthermore, Microsoft have recently started encouraging their employees to maintain weblogs, launching initiatives such as and Channel 9. In addition, while some media outlets reported that Scoble was offering advice to Mozilla, in reality he simply was recommending technologies whose widespread adoption would benefit Microsoft. At its core, this is a simply case of a Microsoft evangelist evangelising Microsoft. Nothing particularly surprising about that.

So far, the reaction from the Mozilla camp has been cool. While some features like WinFS and Avalon may be embraced in time, any evaluation is unlikely to take place until much closer to Longhorn's release. Meanwhile, technologies such as XAML (which, to be fair, Scoble is not advocating Mozilla adopt), have been met with outright hostility, with leading Mozilla figures viewing the proprietary XML user interface language as a threat to the freedom and interoperability of the Web.

#13 What does he offer?

by boogie

Tuesday May 11th, 2004 1:33 AM

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I'm just missing one thing in this conversation. What is he exactly telling us? OK, I understood that he's telling us to integrate Avalon and WinFS into Mozilla technologies (and connect people to Microsoft platform), but what integrating WinFS, RSS with Mozilla exactly means?

I think it is important to start (or still continue) to think about how a browser can be involved? How can it be more handy, what can it give to us beside just bringing web pages to us? The other side of it, that maybe Scoble just want the same to get ideas how MS can improve their system.

What features I'm talking about? First of all, integrating semantic web reading capability into Mozilla. Let's try to find ways that a browser can help people browsing. For example a more intelligent non-standard history and bookmark technology. It don't think, the today's add this page to my bookmarks is the end of this technology. What do you think about: add this page into my knowledge base? It would add the current page into a searchable archive and storage place that can help in my daily work. There are sidebars today, that can help developers. Let's create intelligent sidebars, where you can make notices, where the web integrated to, etc.

And let the community start giving ideas, what can be included in a browser, after the today's browser technology.

I know, that some of these technologies are exists as extensions, or be createable as extensions. I think, some of them should be integrated to the browser. Other technologies I've mentioned, and the others I have no idea must be created and integrated into the browser. My words are just words, and know that it would be better to give exact ideas, and to create them and show you. Unfortunatly I have no time for it. But I hope these sentences can help to make my favourite browsing and mailing technology more better.

I think, that Scoble's story tells this for us.