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.

#54 Re: Mass hysteria!

by Yacoubean

Thursday May 13th, 2004 10:53 AM

You are replying to this message

I think I agree with 99% of what you are saying lynn. I have noticed this 'hysteria' all over the open source movement. Microsoft calls it religion. What ever it is called, its a fact that a lot of people in the mozilla/linux/<fill in the blank> community hate the idea of working with a Microsoft product. However, you can't throw out the baby with the bathwater here. If you read other parts of the comments to this posting, you will see proof that Mozilla has done a LOT of coding that is specific to Windows/Mac/Linux. Why? Because they realize that you can't expect all users of your product to just be happy with what you give them. Users expect things to look and work the same as their other apps.

As far as your Favorites extension idea...I agree with you. That would be a great extension. But as elsewhere in the open source world, people here are going to say "Where's the patch?" In other words, do it yourself. I am not a mozilla developer, not at any level. But I do know Mozilla has put a LOT of effort into making documentation available that will help new developers get involved. Is there a fully integrated development environment like VS? Not that I know of. I do know that in the Windows world, the developers use VC++ (at least, that's what I've heard. Correct me if I'm wrong). But to make an extension, you don't need C++. Its just a matter of XUL/JS/CSS. Poke around on,, and and I'll bet you can throw an extension together fairly quick. You may also be interested in Nigel McFarlane's book on moz development, located here <> (free download)