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.

#38 Re: Re: Re: Sorry, guys....I was getting out of ha

by bzbarsky

Wednesday May 12th, 2004 3:30 PM

You are replying to this message

> Sound about right?

Yep. That's about right.

Note that history is already stored in what is effectively a database.... it could easily store more than just URL and title (eg encoding, keywords, etc); it's just a matter of using it.

This is not to say that there may not be benefits to using WinFS; I don't know enough about it to judge. Just as you point out that all the things you listed could be done (possibly with less effort, depending on the WinFS apis) without depending WinFS.

In the end, once the Longhorn APIs are stable we can look at them and decide what we can get out of them. That time (of API stability for Longhorn) hasn't come yet, as far as I can tell (though again, this is hardly my area of expertise).