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.

#43 Re: Sorry, guys....I was getting out of hand

by AlexBishop <>

Wednesday May 12th, 2004 4:38 PM

You are replying to this message

"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+."

GTK has been a Mozilla requirement on Linux forever. Except before the rewrite, when I think Motif was required. It's no different to requiring the Windows or Mac OS X widget sets.

"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."

Well, nothing changed. Which only makes the speed increases seem more impressive. I think the confusion about GTK came about because GTK 2 binaries started to be built, which made some people think that XUL had been dropped altogether in favour of native widgets. Though if you can mistake XUL for native GTK, the developers must be doing a good job with nsITheme and its ilk.