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.

#53 Mass hysteria!

by lynn

Thursday May 13th, 2004 10:15 AM

You are replying to this message

You know the routine:

M$ this, M$ that. All users of Windows are idiots! On, and on and on ....

You know, about a year ago I asked if it were possible that someone could make Phoenix/Fire* extension that could just uses my Favorites. Not import them, but use them as is. A simple windows feature that that's been around for a long time. At that, I got called all kinds of 'colorful metaphors'.

Okay, I'm finally sick of it.

1) Not every Windows programmer ( is an idiot. Yes, I am one. I also have a MS in Anyltical Chemistry. So what. It pays the bills. I personally enjoy the intellectual challenges that programming presents.

2) DO NOT INSULT YOU AUDIENCE! Windows programmers are a part of your audience. Many of us are tired of MS slack on IE. We're looking to Mozilla as a competator. In wanting IE favorites support via extension I am asking for a convenience that would smooth my work flow. "But no! We cannot use 'Favorites' - they're a M$ product." It's like Ghostbusters - 'Cats and dogs - living together. Mass hysteria!'. Good grief. I ask for a convenice and all I get is a pseudo intellectual jihad from the mozilla legalists.

3) Leveraging parts of any platform - where appropraite - is good policy and is actually expected. Would MacOSX users like to see the Windows theme? Are there not parts of the MacOS, such as Quartz, that would allow you to achieve better rendering performance. As time goes on, your customers will demand this anyway. 4) Stop complaining. Seriously. Stop complaining about M$ this or M$ that. Use your skills to take Mozilla to the next level. The browser is nice, but the the your future is in gecko as application platform. And M$ is not your only competator. Macromedia, Sun and others are also in this game.

5) Present a cohesive development plan to us mere mortal developers. Here is what I mean. I use Visual Studio and I have spent the better part of two years learning and the BCL. M$ have a cohesive portal for developers and a primary tool. What does have to offer the user who wants to use Gecko as a platform? Time is money folks. I do have a life outside programming. If you want me to switch, you would have to come up with the beginnings of a Cohesive toolset and comunity. If these exist, why are the not 'In My Face' the way visual studio and MSDN are? You've made a very nice browser, the best one on the planet. If have a long way to go to win mind share on developing platform loyalty. It's not enough to be a 'refuge' from M$. It's about this: how can I make a better enterpise app faster, providing the best user experience. That's the bottom line.