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.

#34 Sorry, guys....I was getting out of hand

by Yacoubean

Wednesday May 12th, 2004 2:41 PM

You are replying to this message

Man, I must have had a bad morning. I don't usually get into flame wars.

It is true, I was being a little defensive on the Microsoft issue. But I am what I said I am, a Linux/Mozilla user.

borggraefe, what is wrong about the "XUL to GTK switch" comment? Is it not true? Please refer to <…/system-requirements.html> and notice how the Linux requirements include GTK+. The reason I called it proprietary is because it is different from all the other platforms Mozilla is on. You are right, GTK is open source, like Mozilla. But the point is that the drivers decided to branch off (is that the correct term?) into a completely different technology for Linux. From here on out, all changes that are made in XUL on Windows/Mac/whatever will have to be recreated in Linux because it is not using XUL anymore. Correct me if I am wrong.

However, all that said, I have to say that I don't think that the move to GTK+ is a bad move. When I installed 0.8 in linux, I immediately noticed a huge speed increase over older Mozilla/Firebird. I think the decision was made because GTK in Linux is much faster than XUL in Linux. If the developers are willing to support a different platform in exchange for a speed boost, more power to them. This all agrees with my original comments which are saying, what is wrong with leveraging the code of the platform you are developing for? And that includes Windows.