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.

#41 Re: What is going on with MozillaZine?!

by AlexBishop <>

Wednesday May 12th, 2004 4:13 PM

You are replying to this message

"This article has really broken my camel's back, and perfectly illustrates why I have been unhappy with MozillaZine's reporting for the last year or two."

I joined the site two years ago (almost to the day). Nice to know I've been responsible for the decline in reporting standards.

"MozillaZine is 100% biased towards Mozilla. Yes, I realize the site is about Mozilla and its products, but I prefer uneditorialized reporting (otherwise known as unbiased)."

Of course, the site's biased. With a subject area this small, the only people who are willing to to run a site devoted to it are either going to be passionately for or passionately against Mozilla. In any case, I think this particular article was an exception: most of our reports are not particularly editorialised. And while we may be biased, I think it's rare that we are unfair. You won't find us deliberately misrepresenting events and statements to fit our pro-Mozilla worldview.

"If one wishes to know what non-mozilla people think of an issue, you have to go read C|Net or slashdot (or, heaven forbid,"

We linked to a Microsoft employee's comments in this very article.

"MozillaZine misses a LOT of mozilla news. This interview with Mr. Scobel is ANCIENT news in the news world, and MozillaZine just barely decided to post something about it."

Ancient? The interview was published on Friday, three days before this article (or one working day if you prefer). Ancient generally refers to things that happened over a millennia ago.

"And when they did post, so much of the article is saying 'This is not news' that its insulting to the rest of the computing world. Are you just trying to cover up your lateness with lame excuses?"

No, just rather surprised that there's such a fuss about a Microsoft evangelist doing his job of evangelising Microsoft.

"Have you ever heard of Google News alerts? I was running a news alert with the term 'mozilla' for a few months, and I saw a lot of what you report days before you reported it, and I saw about 75% more than you EVER report!"

While I don't have an alert set up, I regularly search Google News for "mozilla". I'm not surprised you see stuff before we do - we can't report on stuff we don't know about. Also, most of the time when I search Google News, at least half the news comes from MozillaZine anyway (though I will admit this is not the case now). A lot of the Mozilla stories Google News just happen to mention Mozilla and we're not going to report on Ximian Connector for Microsoft Exchange Server being GPL'd just because Mitchell Baker is quoted in the press release.

"Three, I still look at MozillaZine often, because let's face it, this site is the only place to go for a large portion of the mozilla news out there compiled into one place."

So despite the bad job we're doing, our coverage is still better than anyone else's?

"I just hope that one of the admins of this site reads my comments and tries to improve this service to the Mozilla community"

Thanks, we're always trying to improve.

I don't disagree that things have slipped recently: there's a backlog of news to post, I have hundreds of emails to respond to and I can't remember when I last went into the forums. I'm working on it.

Happily, I will no longer be employed in mid-August, so maybe I'll get some more time to work on the site then.