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Cross-Platform Microsoft 348

Posted by kdawson
from the good-tools-is-good-tools dept.
willdavid sends us to the ZDNet blogs for a provocative opinion piece by John Carroll. He points to Microsoft's evident cross-platform strategy with Silverlight, and wonders whether the company couldn't make money — and win friends — by extending its excellent development ecosystem cross-platorm. "Microsoft, apparently, is helping the folks at Mono to port Silverlight to Linux. This is good news, as the primary fear I've heard from developers is that Silverlight will be locked to Microsoft platforms and products. Microsoft has already committed to supporting Silverlight cross-browser on Windows, and has a version that runs on Mac OS X (which is even available from the Apple web site). The last step is Linux, and Microsoft is working with Novell and Mono to make this happen."
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Cross-Platform Microsoft

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  • by RandoX (828285) on Wednesday August 15, 2007 @12:31PM (#20238049)
    Guess I can forget about it for BeOS.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Guess I can forget about it for BeOS.
      Most of us already have
  • by UncleWilly (1128141) * <UncleWilly07.gmail@com> on Wednesday August 15, 2007 @12:31PM (#20238053)
    1. Insure all your Linux DLLs (*.dll) are in your PATH statement.
    2. type make
    3. ???
    4. profit!
  • bleh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WPIDalamar (122110) on Wednesday August 15, 2007 @12:33PM (#20238069) Homepage
    Microsoft has NEVER supported a competitor at first and then let that version slip to a very sub-optimal state so the Windows-only version seems better, have they?
    • Re:bleh (Score:5, Funny)

      by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 15, 2007 @12:37PM (#20238125) Homepage

      Well they've always done a good job at their Macintosh ports and keeping them up to date...

      Oh, hold on a second while I minimize this window of IE5 for OSX. I have to open Outlook for OS9 to reply to an e-mail.

    • Re:bleh (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jellomizer (103300) * on Wednesday August 15, 2007 @12:47PM (#20238239)
      Microsoft always plays nice when it is the new guy on the block. Once it gets a good enough foothold it bites back. Right now Microsoft needs to deal with Adobe. Adobe is a tough company in its own rights, and it already has a huge lead on Microsoft, in this area. Developers right now are going should I choose Microsoft new product that rightnow only works for Windows and Macintosh OS X (says it works for Macintosh (I have already found sites that use Silverlight that doesn't seem to run on Mac Sliverlight, I just get an Icon telling me to download it), it is still beta so most people won't go and get it. Vs. Flash wich is about everywhere, sure the Linux version is a bit out of date but we will just develop for that version. Microsoft has a huge uphill battle to prove to the developer comunity that their tool is both Technically superior and has a chanse of being widly enough used to be useful.
      • Re:bleh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Locutus (9039) on Wednesday August 15, 2007 @01:01PM (#20238423)
        yup, MS Silverlight is their planned attempt at killing off not only Adobe Flash but also all this AJAX stuff. If they can kill off Flash, they'll make sure developers use Silverlight for browser application development and move as many as possible away from AJAX. In time, they'll start breaking AJAX components in their browser to harm those who stick with AJAX and we're back at web applications which only run on Microsoft Windows and which is ultimately controlled by Microsoft at the API levels. This sticks it to Google too. Because 'Google Must Die' is another Microsoft concept these days.

        Read your history books folks, it's all in Microsoft's history. Who needs a crystal ball?

        LoB
        • Re:bleh (Score:5, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 15, 2007 @01:06PM (#20238489)
          MS Silverlight is their planned attempt at killing off not only Adobe Flash but also all this AJAX stuff

          Killing off Flash and AJAX? So, you're saying we should LIKE Microsoft now?
        • by spectecjr (31235)
          yup, MS Silverlight is their planned attempt at killing off not only Adobe Flash but also all this AJAX stuff.

          Didn't Microsoft pretty much invent all this AJAX stuff? (Wikipedia [wikipedia.org])

        • Really? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by parvenu74 (310712)

          MS Silverlight is their planned attempt at killing off not only Adobe Flash but also all this AJAX stuff.
          Really? I thought this was their way of giving up on making Internet Explorer standards compliant by simply creating a whole new rendering engine as a cross-platform, multi-browser plugin...
    • It is funny that MS is pushing into Adobe's world with Silverligh, but Adobe is also pushing into Microsoft's world with AIR...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Office on the Mac, while currently behind Windows Office, has often in the past been ahead. There is a fair amount of independence between the Windows Office people and the Mac Office people, and so they tend to leapfrog each other.
      • Re:bleh (Score:4, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday August 15, 2007 @03:38PM (#20240465) Journal

        I've heard people say very good things about Word for Mac, and quite good things about Excel for Mac, but Access for Mac has never existed, making it unsuitable for a lot of corporate use where Access is horrendously abused as a cheap RAD tool for in-house applications.

        Internet Explorer was released for Mac and UNIX when Netscape had a decent market share, but when it died they stagnated and died.

        Microsoft embraced Java, and produced the fastest JVM on the block for a while. It's just a shame that i was subtly incompatible, so code that was written to run on it wouldn't run elsewhere.

        The RTF specification was pushed by Microsoft when Word was a newcomer, to produce a standard format for interchange between word processors. It was latter extended to a huge (and undocumented) degree, making Word about the only thing that had a chance at correctly displaying Word RTF files (see also HTML).

        Of course, with Silverlight they might really mean what they say about cross-platform support. Personally, I'll believe it when the Symbian version reaches feature-parity with the Wince version.

  • Is this the embrace or extend step?

    and when does step three kick in?
    • I think this is the "let's make use of free labor" step. The Mono guys, assuming they're happy not getting paid, would be smart to ensure that Microsoft grants them full immunity from any legal claims as a result of their development. Otherwise, if they decide to pull out they can simply say "Silverlight on Mono violates a number of our patents, sorry we forgot to tell you".
       
      • by Adambomb (118938)

        Miguel de Icaza, vice president of develop platforms for Novell and leader of the Mono project, said that Microsoft offered up its opinion and guidance on how to build a Mono-based implementation of Silverlight that runs on Linux.
        I somehow imagine if that made it to a courtroom, they'd simply have to print off the press release.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Most of the mono team works for Novell so are getting paid. I also assume cooperation between MS and Mono is part of the larger Novell/MS IP sharing agreements, but that is just an assumption.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mhall119 (1035984)
          Unfortunately the Novell/MS IP sharing deal doesn't extend past Novell and it's direct customers. So even if Miguel and the rest of the Mono team are covered, Debian, Ubuntu and Red Hat may still be found to violate MS patents if they distribute this (assuming Moonlight utilizes MS patents).
          • Unfortunately the Novell/MS IP sharing deal doesn't extend past Novell and it's direct customers.

            Correct me if I'm wrong (as I'm sure others here have looked into this deal much more than I have), but doesn't that clause only relate to the "we won't sue you for any patents of ours which may be in Linux" piece. There is a much broader IP sharing, interoperability, and cooperation on projects which I don't believe has anything to do with that "Novell and thier clients" business.
            • by mhall119 (1035984)
              The problem is that the IP sharing is done as a company-to-company deal, and is not specific to products or technologies. This isn't usually an issues with these IP sharing deals, because usually both companies distribute close-source software, and there is no question of a third party modifying and redistributing a product or technology made by one of the companies in the deal. With Mono, Novell is not the sole owner and distributor of the technology, so there is some question as to whether the IP sharin
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Xabraxas (654195)

        I think this is the "let's make use of free labor" step. The Mono guys, assuming they're happy not getting paid, would be smart to ensure that Microsoft grants them full immunity from any legal claims as a result of their development. Otherwise, if they decide to pull out they can simply say "Silverlight on Mono violates a number of our patents, sorry we forgot to tell you".

        Novell develops Mono and if you recall they signed a patent deal that so many people got pissed about that protects Mono and Moonlig

    • Extinguish (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tony (765) on Wednesday August 15, 2007 @01:11PM (#20238557) Journal
      First, you have to recognize the target, which is *not* Linux. It's Flash.

      Right now, Flash is a cross-platform delivery system for highly interactive content. (READ: unstable piece of shit that is not a real standard.) It's very popular for media players (Youtube), ads, and cheezy games. It basically made ActiveX irrelevent, and Microsoft is still a little peeved.

      So, by helping the Mono folks make Silverlight available cross-platform, they get to look like the good guys, as well as give Adobe a full-frontal assault on Flash.

      Right now, we are in the "embrace" stage.

      Once Silverlight takes off and displaces Flash as the delivery system of choice for shitty-assed content, Microsoft will be free to extend Silverlight in any way they desire, without passing those changes on to the Mac or to Mono. So, they get to extinguish Java and Flash, and then once Silverlight is the only delivery system on the internet, they get to displace the web, as well.

      This is just like their bid with ActiveX. The main difference is, they learned their lesson the first time. Don't make it MS-Windows-only until *after* it is perceived as the only system available.

      Yes, this is paranoid ranting. But after you've been kicked in the balls four or five times by someone, you get a little antsy around them.
      • by msimm (580077) on Wednesday August 15, 2007 @01:51PM (#20239065) Homepage
        Speculative maybe. But it's good to be wary.

        I work for a web services development company that relies heavily of most all of the targeted technologies (AJAX, server side scripting, Flash, etc). Just yesterday this very subject came up as we look at our business strategy over the next few years and what technologies we will need to adapt.

        From what I've seen Silverlight is very much like Flash functionally. In fact (and please feel free to correct me) aside from being a WMV wrapper and there-by providing their own DRM system natively I see very little difference. From a developer stand-point it could be interesting. The multi-language support could speed development up in many cases and help create more interactive content as developers get to use tools they are familiar with to achieve the kinds of things they'd like to.

        That said Adobe has been in this game for a long time now. Companies don't usually last that long being stupid so I'll be very interested to see if and how they respond to this. They absolutely *have* to see that this is a threat to one of their business models. And frankly I think Microsoft has done some things here that Adobe should have done already. Microsoft *will* get penetration enough to make a serious go if it simply based on their recent acquisition.

        Gloves are off. Personally I'd like to see Adobe pull this off, but they are going to have to react quickly and I haven't heard a lot of buzz coming out of their corner. Time will tell. Silverlight is still in Alpha and while the demo's are interesting, I'd stop short of calling them revolutionary. I think it really will come down to developers on this one.
        • Not Adobe... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by PCM2 (4486)

          That said Adobe has been in this game for a long time now. Companies don't usually last that long being stupid so I'll be very interested to see if and how they respond to this.

          Actually, if you want to get technical, Macromedia has been in this game for a long time now. Adobe's fairly new at it, unless you count their (relative) success pushing PDF as a de facto standard. Adobe does not have a perfect track record for developing great software, so I'd say the jury is still out as to how Flash will fare

  • What the ...? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 15, 2007 @12:34PM (#20238079)
    No. The "primary fear" is and has always been that Microsoft will get some "Intellectual Property" into a Linux project in such a way that it will allow Microsoft to sue the developers/users of that project.

    If Microsoft wants to port something to Linux, that's their option. They have the people and they can download all of the source code.

    And they can license their product any way they want to.

    The only problems arise when Linux developers (as opposed to Microsoft developers porting something to Linux) have access to Microsoft "Intellectual Property" and may become "tainted" by it.
    • by blueZhift (652272)
      The only problems arise when Linux developers (as opposed to Microsoft developers porting something to Linux) have access to Microsoft "Intellectual Property" and may become "tainted" by it.

      Yeah, that's definitely a danger of dancing with the bear. For now, I'll assume that the crossplatform love-in at MS is the real deal. If that is so, then there must be some business advantage to MS to do this now.
    • The key point to remember here is that Microsoft acting friendly towards Linux is not the same thing as Microsoft acting friendly towards Free Software. If this Silverlight stuff -- even the Mono implmentation -- is actually open enough that it could have been released under the GPLv3 without somebody getting sued, I'll eat my hat!

    • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 15, 2007 @01:16PM (#20238609)
      Deal with it.

      Ballmer talks about how the GPL is a "cancer". Yet you hang out on /. hoping to get mod points so you can bury comments you don't like.

      That doesn't change the facts.

      Microsoft can put Microsoft coders to work releasing Microsoft products on Linux.
      Microsoft can license those products under whatever license Microsoft wants.
      And no one could complain.

      But when Microsoft talks about "working with" non-Microsoft coders to get Microsoft products on Linux, there's too much of a risk of Microsoft's "Intellectual Property" being "improperly" incorporated into such projects.

      Everyone who isn't a Microsoft fanboi needs to ask themselves WHY Microsoft wouldn't handle such project itself, with its own people, if it saw the need for such on Linux.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by kurokaze (221063)
        Perhaps its because they realize that the expertise already exists with the mono team and therefore have chosen to leverage them instead of any internal resources?

        Besides, when you think of it in terms of dollars, it makes far more sense to use the mono team (which is on Novell's payroll), instead of paying for a team in-house.
        • Perhaps its because they realize that the expertise already exists with the mono team and therefore have chosen to leverage them instead of any internal resources?

          Really?

          So Microsoft doesn't have a Linux Lab?

          So Microsoft hasn't already dug through the source code to find what patents Linux is "violating"?

          Seems a bit contradictory to me.
      • Mono devs have expertise in Linux, MS devs don't. So why not leverage Mono devs' expertise to do the Linux port?

        Secondly, then whole idea behind OSS from a corporation's perspective is to get OSS devs to do the work for free. If IBM can do this, so can MS.
  • So this is like ActiveX 2.0, the cross platform edition? Another with Ajax, Flash, and a host of other technologies, silverlight just seems like a blatant attempt at locking the net into the .Net framework.
  • Silverlight may port but all the stuff that Silverlight pograms are going to link into are NOT. ActiveX, DirectX, etc are not going to port. Unless Microsoft plans on going whole hog on cross platform compatibility, this is only an attempt to get the web dev community which has historically been LAMP/JAVA based to switch to Microsoft products and not to actually provide a cros platform product. People think Silverlight is the answer but once people start tying into Microsofts backend (as I'm sure they want)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      ActiveX? Are you fracking kidding me? Microsoft itself has admitted that ActiveX was a major cluster-fuck from a security view. It seems more like they want Silverlight to replace ActiveX.
      • by mhall119 (1035984)
        Yes, but they never said that Silverlight won't also be a major cluster-fuck from a security view.
    • by Mattintosh (758112) on Wednesday August 15, 2007 @12:52PM (#20238311)
      There's no need to port all that stuff.

      ActiveX is dead. Microsoft doesn't do anything with it, and there certainly isn't an interoperability push for .Net-to-ActiveX. There's a tiny amount of support for COM interop in the full .Net library. In case you don't know, COM is the mid-90's ugly-hack programming "standard" that Microsoft pushed for library (dll) programming.

      DirectX is simply "the Windows graphics API". Microsoft has stopped trying to make it more than that. Once upon a time, they wanted to go up against OpenGL, but when they realized they'd have to play nice on other platforms and give up some "superiority" in the gaming market (read: the only thing people "need" Windows for), they dropped the idea and moved on.

      Silverlight is a subset of .Net. It's going to be .Net-by-the-ECMA-standard instead of .Net-direct-from-R&D-in-Redmond. Which is basically Mono anyway. It wouldn't be wise for Microsoft to attempt to kill Silverlight after getting everyone to use it, either. Web designers and programmers move from one technology to another very quickly. Ajax already is losing ground to better stuff. Perl isn't as popular as it once was. Neither is PHP. Nor Tomcat. And since much of the Silverlight development for non-Windows platforms is done by the Mono project, I'd guess that Microsoft has minimal control of whether or not updates are issued. And that's ignoring the fact that it's all based on a published standard.

      I don't think Microsoft can get away with the same shenanigans they pulled in times past.
      • DirectX is simply "the Windows graphics API". Microsoft has stopped trying to make it more than that. Once upon a time, they wanted to go up against OpenGL, but when they realized they'd have to play nice on other platforms and give up some "superiority" in the gaming market (read: the only thing people "need" Windows for), they dropped the idea and moved on.

        DirectX is high performance graphics, sound, input (keyboard/mouse/joystic), and I think a couple other things API for Windows. The main Windows graphi

        • GDI for Windows 9x/ME, GDI+ for Windows NT/2k/XP. Vista uses DirectX for everything.

          What I meant was "DirectX is simply the Windows 3D graphics API" as opposed to it being a real cross-platform replacement for OpenGL.
    • by LWATCDR (28044)
      Sliverlight is client side not server side. It is a competitor to Flash and Ajax. It doesn't compete with LAMP since LAMP is serverside.

      Silverlight like Flash is useful for things like video "YouTube" and "rich" interfaces. It is also regularly abused for ads, and other such total BS.

      SVG "Pretty much killed by Adobe" and the Ogg Theora tag would be my ideal replacements for Both Flash and Silverlight. The Open Source community have been too slow in developing them so Microsoft has this opportunity. We shoul
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by plague3106 (71849)
      Unless Microsoft plans on going whole hog on cross platform compatibility, this is only an attempt to get the web dev community which has historically been LAMP/JAVA based

      Huh? I made my living as a web developer using MS as a platform. So did everyone at my former employer (who is being bought out). I don't think you know the true market, because we never had any problem finding clients.
  • Someone get the 'itsatrap' tag in here quick! We know it's impossible for Microsoft to directly support a competitor in any way. /sarcasm
    Seriously, if they actually make good on this and continue to support the Mono version, more power to them.
    • by Chris Burke (6130)
      Someone get the 'itsatrap' tag in here quick! We know it's impossible for Microsoft to directly support a competitor in any way. /sarcasm
      Seriously, if they actually make good on this and continue to support the Mono version, more power to them.


      You should have used /naive, not /sarcasm. It's not impossible for Microsoft to directly support a competitor without any tricks, it's merely without precedent in their entire history. Seriously, it is completely normal for Microsoft to appear to directly support a
  • I have often wondered when Microsoft's troubles will come home to roost. The problem with fences is that not only do they keep others out, they keep you in. Microsoft has gone to great trouble to lock people to their OS, and to design it with that lockin in mind rather then security or speed or reliability. At some point, it will be too crippled to compete with Linux. I don't mean next year, I mean 5 or ten years down the line.

    It seems to me that Microsoft has to eventually modernize, and the easiest wa
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by wrfelts (950027)

      It seems to me that Microsoft has to eventually modernize, and the easiest way would be to drop Windows and go with Linux

      I agree with the basic premise, except for the Linux part. Apple has clearly taken the lead in this. The open path for migration for a proprietery OS vendor is through the BSD licensing. It allows for you to close whatever portion of your code changes you see fit. This is why Apple chose the Mach kernel for the base of OS/X. Converting to a standard UNIX-based operating system wil

  • by orclevegam (940336) on Wednesday August 15, 2007 @12:41PM (#20238159) Journal

    How exactly is Microsoft going to be supporting these cross-platform apps? Maybe they're thinking about doing what they did with IE on Macintosh, produce a version for other platforms, then stop distributing or providing updates to it once they decide it's no longer convenient.

    Business applications are kind of strange beasts in the software world because of the long usage life they're expected to see. That's one of the reasons companies often want some big name company behind a product because they're afraid somewhere down the road the company might fold and they'd be left without support for a vital application. The problem is most of these companies haven't yet realized that open source applications provide much better guarantee because even if the original developers quit working on the application, it's always possible for someone else to take up the reins. In a proprietary system, even with a big developer behind it, there is nothing insuring that development continues on any given application.

    Of course, in this case it sounds like maybe Microsoft is doing the right thing and actually helping the Mono guys make their product compatible with Microsoft's, but I'll still be wary of anything Microsoft is distributing directly.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
      ``Business applications are kind of strange beasts in the software world because of the long usage life they're expected to see. That's one of the reasons companies often want some big name company behind a product because they're afraid somewhere down the road the company might fold and they'd be left without support for a vital application.''

      Considering that, it's strange that people keep going with Microsoft, which isn't exactly folding, but has been known to pull the rug from under people's feet once in
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by cbhacking (979169)
        Actually, with regard to backward compatibility MS does a better job - especially considering the sheer volume of legacy code, much of it written for small, one-off jobs - of maintaining backward compatibility than almost any other large software house I can think of. So, taking the spirit of your sig here...

        New OS releases that come with new and incompatible driver models

        Well, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find any OS that didn't break a few things version to version, but 2000 to XP was minimal (mostl

    • by slapout (93640)
      "somewhere down the road the company might fold and they'd be left without support for a vital application"

      Sorry for the tangent. But you know, that's actually a really good argument against software subscription services where you access the software over the net. For instance, say your company relies on a certain CAD product. If you're using the desktop version and the vendor folds, you can still keep working while you look for a replacement. But if you're on the online version, you're stuck.
  • ...for Adobe and Flash/Flex. For Linux, it's no news.

    As for locking people into .NET...well, I've worked with .NET, at least the handcuffs are golden.
  • this might be good. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by igotmybfg (525391) <slashdot@@@danielthompson...net> on Wednesday August 15, 2007 @12:44PM (#20238195) Homepage
    Honestly, the MSFT folks are a bunch of smart people. They hire pretty much only the best. I would wager that a significant chunk of their workforce, and even a majority of their developers and researchers, would love to do interoperability and open-source. If they can convince the business guys, the people in charge who make the high level decisions, that cooperating is better than extending and extinguishing, they're on the way to making the software world a better place for all.
  • by extending its excellent development ecosystem cross-platorm.

    We haven't even established that this product is mediocre yet, let alone 'excellent'. Lets see if its even worth side-tracking the resources of a lot of developers before we drink this particular Kool-Aide.
  • I can only imagine how many ways this can go bad, and I am sure that I am not alone. But how about all of us that think that this likely to go bad just be quiet on this one - lets hope for the best, what's the worse than happen?
  • by djupedal (584558)
    "...and wonders whether the company couldn't make money -- and win friends"

    Didn't learn anything at all from the elementary school story about the fox/crow/rabbit and the hungry, hungry alligator, eh?
    • Didn't learn anything at all from the elementary school story about the fox/crow/rabbit and the hungry, hungry alligator, eh?

      If that's one of the O'Reilly books, then I think it's probably too advanced for kids in grade school.

      Seriously, fox, crow and rabbit?
  • Clarify for me please. From what I know, Microsoft will still control Silverlight's development. If I am right, then I guess the Linux version will always be "inferior" as compared to its Windows counterpart, right?

    Anyone remember how IE and Microsoft Office had similar stories on Windows and the Mac? Tell me this will not happen again.

  • Won't happen (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JosefAssad (1138611)
    The development ecosystem is not a profit center, it is a means to drive demand for the Microsoft platform.

    Office and Windows are what is keeping Microsoft alive, and they know it.

    Read [arstechnica.com], and read [com.com].

    I'm not going to rag on the writer of TFA since he makes it clear he's presenting things from the perspective of a developer, but from the business side, no way. Ever.

  • by Locutus (9039) on Wednesday August 15, 2007 @12:52PM (#20238305)
    I'm sorry but MS Sliverlight is a direct attack on Adobe and their Flash product and this is a direct move to protect the Windows monopoly. Adobe Flash is a well established development platform which runs across all desktop computing platforms. Heck, Nokia even has it running on the N800. Adobe is the new Netscape and Flash the new Navigator with MS Silverlight being the new MS Internet Explorer.

    So anything which grows that MS product will be good for protecting the Windows monopoly. If Flash is killed off, and in typical Microsoft fashion, MS Silverlight will become a Windows-only product. In 20 years of Microsoft history, there is absolutely NOTHING which shows any other path. A press release does not mean squat when it comes from Microsoft. Talk about doublespeak and truthiness.

    And to even think that Microsoft wants to help enable Linux by the goodness of their heart is a fool. At Microsoft, it's all about 'Adobe must die, Linux must die. Long live Windows, long live Microsoft.' and only a complete newbie would/could think otherwise. IMO.

    LoB

    • I see... So because there is already a well established product out there, there is no need for another compeeting product? Personally I've never looked at silverlight beyond thier demo site, I wasn't all that impressed. But I can't stand working with flash. If silverlight uses .NET I'm all for it, I'd rather have a consistant development environment than work in both VS and the Flash IDE.
  • by theolein (316044) on Wednesday August 15, 2007 @01:02PM (#20238433) Journal
    John Carroll the author of the FUD piece, who literally spent years doing trolling the ZDNet talkback forums back in the day in support of Microsoft, so much so that, lo and behold, he was then given a column of his own to write Microsoft FUD articles, and was eventually, in 2005 awarded with a job at Microsoft, something he's been hoping for for years (only took him something like 7 years). The guy is the biggest shill for Microsoft I have ever seen. He was praising VB and ASP as being superior to Java (no lie, look it up in the archives at ZDNet) back when the whole .Net circus was still a wet fart in BillG's pants. It is HIS JOB to paint Microsoft in a favourable light and as being better than anything else.

    Does anyone really expect Microsoft to continue development of Silverlight for Mac and/or Linux after Silverlight has killed Flash? After Microsoft killed Internet Explorer for Mac and Windows Media Player for Mac (not that they even remotely considered maknig any of that available on Linux)? You trust them? You trust some guy who has been praising Microsoft exclusively to the detriment of all else for almost a decade?

    You have to be joking, right?
  • by yoprst (944706) on Wednesday August 15, 2007 @01:02PM (#20238441)
    Microsoft is trying to expand their platform, which won't make you platform-agnostic at all. While that can technically be labeled as cross platform it isn't what either you or me would call cross-platform.
  • I cannot tell you just how much my wolf-in-sheep's-clothing detector is tingling (okay, it's just the hairs on the back of my neck, but still).

    Be verwy, verwy careful...

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Wednesday August 15, 2007 @01:14PM (#20238583) Journal
    What if the third party developers develop tools for Silverlight in Linux and these tools become very important for the customers? MSFT can release the next version and wait for the previous one in Linux to die a quiet death. But if the customers refuse to budge? Could this happen. I know it is almost wishful thinking but still, why would the customers continue to play the same game after knowing so much about the tactics of MSFT?
    • What if the third party developers develop tools for Silverlight in Linux and these tools become very important for the customers?

      In that case I imagine certain third party developers would suddenly find a very large cash infusion from Microsoft with certain strings attached. Of course, MS could also opt to simply clone the particular tool and bundle it with Silverlight once again putting the open version at a disadvantage (see IE/Outlook bundled with Windows).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
      What if people become Really Savvy (TM) and realize that the only way to be future proof is to not depend on a single entity. At a minimum, that means freely available specifications. Better would be open source implementations. I don't think Microsoft will provide either one to a degree that matters; more likely, real world software will be tied to Microsoft's proprietary implementation and its extensions.

      The good news is that we don't need Silverlight. We already have open specifications and open source i
  • by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Wednesday August 15, 2007 @01:24PM (#20238721) Homepage Journal
    ``extending its excellent development ecosystem cross-platorm.''

    Excellent development ecosystem? Don't make me laugh. I've been hearing about the asserted superiority of Microsoft's development tools and the wonderful enterprise features of their products for years, and always thought to myself "well, probably." However, I recently started working in a Microsoft shop and I can tell you first hand that the Microsoft "development ecosystem" is not excellent. It's not terrible, but it's not great, either. Certainly not worlds better than some already available environments (cross-platform or otherwise).

    Without going into specifics, I can say that I spend more time struggling with Visual Studio than doing anything else. Most of the features I want are actually there, but it's not always obvious where to find them or how to use them. Some features are missing, or are nominally there, but fail to work in the situations where I need them. Then there is a load of baggage that just gets in the way. Erorr messages that it gives me are almost always uninformative, wrong, or both (my favorite so far is "'1' is null or not an object"). At first, I thought it was just me being inexperienced, but even colleagues with years of experience run into these same issues. And it's not like I'm very demanding; usually, I'm just trying to find out what the value of something is or how the program got to a certain point.

    And that's just Visual Studio. We use a number of other Microsoft products in our workflow, and there are issues with most of them. For the most part, these are usability issues. They don't actually prevent you from getting work done, but they do slow you down. Stability issues come a distant second. One issue that hasn't affected me but is affecting the company as a whole is that a lot of time goes into making sure things work with the current _and_ previous versions of Microsoft products. Sometimes, this is as simple as just not using some new feature, but sometimes it takes up a lot of time.

    Note that I have purposefully highlighted the bad parts and omitted the good ones. My point is not to give an objective impression of the Microsoft platform for development purposes, but to show that it falls short of excellence. I would never choose it myself, but I wouldn't say it's actually bad. Just not excellent.
    • by nagora (177841) on Wednesday August 15, 2007 @01:39PM (#20238903)
      Most of the features I want are actually there, but it's not always obvious where to find them or how to use them. Some features are missing, or are nominally there, but fail to work in the situations where I need them. You are learning the truth of the User Interface Myth. The UIM states that Microsoft/Apple/Whoever have invested lots of money in designing coherent user interfaces which are superior in every way possible to anything in Linux. The User Interface Truth, however, states that these crappy corporate interfaces only work because people are used to them and fear change more than they desire better interfaces. You always know when someone has fallen for the User Interface Myth when you see a "Minimise" widget right up tight against a "Close" widget - a moronic interface error which is blindly followed in the name of "user expectations".

      TWW

    • I would like to point out what makes good 'usability' comes down to personal preference and what you're used to. I don't know a single .Net dev that has ever complained about the UI VS2005 at least, and personally speaking having used Eclipse (a very good IDE) and Netbeans too, I much prefer Visual Studio. Features like edit & continue and the data-viewers for debugging make VS by far the best.
    • by Shados (741919)
      That point really just shows one thing: that switching from one environment to another isn't easy. Oh, and that your collegues suck :)
  • Why do I need another 'flash-like' player that has no meda for it, that has no widely availabe development tools, etc.

    And I've had to try to install Mono before (on Centos 4) and it was an involved process and then found out a dependency was broken (Centos's prob, low support, "oh well") and stopped there. Then I relized I didn't want to go through all that extra effort of crapifying my systems for one specific program, and located a just as capable light weight alternative that comes without all the cruf
  • From the wikipedia:
    Opera is not supported in the current releases but will be supported with future builds,[11] as will be Windows 2000.[12] Additional platforms are being considered as well.[13]

    I am writing this comment from my Opera browser in Linux... (imagine, two layers of incompatibility) while I am looking a flash video in youtube (and after failing to see the Silverlight "demo" video because it is in some obscure format WMV).

    I could even write this comment using my Wii (and watch YouTube videos...)
  • Right now, the dominant computer platform is the mobile phone. The iPhone is just the headliner, the rivals in development will be just as innovative. I wonder how Microsoft intend to deal with that development?
     
  • First, thanks for the Linux support.

    Second, from Microsofts own web site http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_/collusion.html [msn.com]

    collusion
    noun

    Definition:
    secret cooperation: secret cooperation between people in order to do something illegal or underhanded

    I don't think Microsoft helping Novell is illegal, but it may be underhanded.

    Is Novell helping Adobe make sure thier media.flashplayer.class/plugin runs just as well under .Net, Mono, WPF?

    Does Microsoft lack the programming talent to create a cross-platform browser
  • by icepick72 (834363) on Wednesday August 15, 2007 @08:11PM (#20243363)
    For most developers who complain about Silverlight going cross platform (including its .NET component) I bet I can find a past post or two complaining that Microsoft keeps users locked into one platform. It's not about technology, it's about an agenda against a company and finding the negative point from any angle even if points conflict with one another. I call these "pseduo-developers" -- very opinionated but also most likely very young or having a very small slice of experience or of vision.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I do a lot of pseudo-developing myself...

      But I'm at least consistant, and I think you've got a strawman here. Has anyone on Slashdot complained about anything going cross-platform?

      It's not that we don't want silverlight to be cross-platform. It's that we're looking at it from every possible angle, trying to figure out why MS would be giving us something like this, because every time they've appeared to give us something in the past, it eventually led to us being screwed over.

      It's that we're afraid that Linu

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