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.

#61 Re: Re: Mass hysteria!

by Ben_Goodger

Thursday May 13th, 2004 5:43 PM

You are replying to this message

Just to clarify. The fanatics, lunatics and hippies do not control Firefox. Absence of one integration point or another is not necessarily because we shun it, but beause we're trying to make the browser stable first before layering on more features.

From 0.9 onward Firefox will do comprehensive data import from most Windows browsers including IE, Opera, etc. Mac and Linux at this time only have Seamonkey and 4.x migration but I don't see more comprehensive tools there (e.g. Safari migration) as being that far off. I'm working with folk like Benjamin Smedberg and Darin Fisher on a new system as well to prevent people's browser from crashing or otherwise failing when they upgrade. I consider these critical things to get done before a 1.0 as they help adoption and maintain people's confidence in us as being able to produce reliable software. Once all that's done and we have a 1.0 under our belt, we're definitely going to be looking at ways ot leverage various new platform technologies.