Guttenberg, Babbage...Gates? [via Techdirt]
February 14, 2002 7:51 AM   Subscribe

Guttenberg, Babbage...Gates? [via Techdirt] Reading this caused me to question what caused to publish this glowing valentine/commercial endorsement for Microsoft's .NET (a general catch-all marketing phrase covering MSFT's implementation of a number of standards supporting web services). Ignores most of the security shortfalls of .NET and compares Gates to Guttenberg. Should this bear the title "Paid Advertising"?
posted by O Boingo (20 comments total)
O Boingo, you are being a bit unfair to .NET, I highly recommend Ars Technica's article on the subject. Yes, its an implementation of open standards (a good thing), but its a decent implementation that will be available everywhere, and it being integegrated with the entire OS. This is a great thing, not only will .NETs language agnostic structure make doing MS based web work much more enjoyable, it will also allow the same for Windows application development.

I'm not sure about your security comment, whats insecure about it? Or are you talking about Passport? (which has problems, but its just an app build on .NET anyway, not the thing itself).

I'm not ready to start recommending to web clients over J2EE/JSP just yet, but there is a LOT to like about it, so I dont think there is any reason to think Salon is bought off, the article reads to me like an excited nerd, and theres nothing wrong with that.
posted by malphigian at 8:09 AM on February 14, 2002

I think that you are a little quick to jump on me. I was questioning's objectivity, viz: "Visual Studio.Net is going to change the world -- no doubt about it". That and the implicit comparison to Guttenberg were just a little odd.

The article reads like a paid advertisement and I was questioning that. If you would point out how I was unfair to .NET in three sentences I wrote (from my W2K machine running IE), I would appreciate it.

In fact, if you were aware of my opinion on .NET, you'd know that I regularly tell people it is the most well developed platform for web services that I see and that naysayers have yet to put up a substantial offering beyond standards. So chill out a little bit and don't read so much into everything.
posted by O Boingo at 8:20 AM on February 14, 2002

Eek, sorry if you perceived my comment as "jumping on you", I think all I said was "you are being a bit unfair to .NET"...

Anyway, apologies, wasn't meant as a personal attack at all, and I was honestly curious what the security problems you see are. The hyperbole in the article sort of just washes past me, as its kind of par for the course for coders gettings excited about new technology.
posted by malphigian at 8:26 AM on February 14, 2002

How about the fact that Microsoft intends to build the server-side .NET components and development tools, and there's a security flaw in the very first tool they've released?
posted by nicwolff at 8:48 AM on February 14, 2002

Nicwolff. I know it's probably complicated, but that article really fails to mention what it is talking about.
posted by Wood at 8:59 AM on February 14, 2002

Not to worry. For balance, Slashdot has a .Net story today, which is even now filling up with spectacularly uninformed commentary from the usual crowd of illiterate pimple factories.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:04 AM on February 14, 2002

Here is my favorite .NET discovery so far:
Cash redemption value 1/100 of 1ยข
posted by srboisvert at 9:10 AM on February 14, 2002

" ... Visual Studio.Net is going to change the world -- no doubt about it -- so it's time to suck it up and jump on the bandwagon. Microsoft says so. The world's largest companies also say so. Even some of the free software movement's most vocal advocates are saying so..."

As part of one of "the world's largest companies that says so", and who's developers have been playing with VisualStudio.Net's betas, I don't think this article gushes about it enough. The MS geeks have re-thought the nature of developing and serving computer applications at a fairly fundamental level, and even a preliminary understanding of the .NET technologies is going to permit possibilities that were close to impossible a year ago to be accomplished almost easily.

That said, this is not stuff that is simple, or quick, to understand. I suspect adoption will be slow, and a lot of the real benefits will only start appearing once some critical mass has been reached - but conceptually, it is stunning. They've turned the internet itself into the mother of all Servers, and virtually any device on earth - capable of connecting in any way at all to it - can become a client.

I can't pretend to understand it fully, but some of my IT people get so excited when they talk about it that they lapse into binary.
posted by MidasMulligan at 9:48 AM on February 14, 2002

Revolutionary? Yes. Milestone for computing? Yes. Wonderful thing? Yes. Microsoft innovation? No.

The whole concept embodied in .Net has been bandied about for years in the computer world. The only credit MS deserves is in packaging the concept into a workable development environment.

I'll sing Microsoft's praises if and when (1) it works well, (2) it is really secure, and (3) it is completely free from proprietary extensions and protocols, and (4) plays well with non-MS tools, for a good 2-3 years after release. MS has too long a history of progression: standardize, gain market dominance, then lock in with non-standard "essential" features.

Oh, and to answer the original question, the Salon article looks like it was written by an MS marketing manager. Which most consultants effectively are.
posted by yesster at 10:50 AM on February 14, 2002

Hrm. Well the guy makes his living writing Visual Basic books.

Anyway, jesus christ, that guy is a synchopath. I kept thinking it was some sort of satire or something. I mean. Wow. .net is nice and everything, but it's not all that revolutionary unless you havn't done anything but M$ programming. Java has had this stuff for years... except for supporting multiple languages (one of the cooler things about .net).

This might change the "world" for a developer, but 20 years down the line no one is going to remember the revolution. And Gates can hardly be compared to Gutenberg or Newton.
posted by delmoi at 11:15 AM on February 14, 2002

New word alert! delmoi, I like your joining of "psychopath" and "sycophant." I will wait until after Valentine's Day to use it on someone.

Or I could just go in the other room and look in the mirror! *dashes away from computer*
posted by allaboutgeorge at 12:20 PM on February 14, 2002

... compares Gates to Guttenberg.

Maybe Steve Guttenberg.
posted by RavinDave at 4:24 PM on February 14, 2002

Some of the concepts that .Net is tapping into are quite revolutionary, but they aren't from Microsoft, they are originally from the venerable Tim Berners-Lee and his Semantic Web.
posted by stevengarrity at 5:23 PM on February 14, 2002

if you look right now, you'll see an AP article link on the side of the front page discussing .NET security flaws.
embrace the irony.
posted by rhizome23 at 5:59 PM on February 14, 2002

I can't pretend to understand it fully, but some of my IT people get so excited when they talk about it that they lapse into binary.

Well, having worked on VS.NET I still can't explain Salon's thinking in posting this over-the-top, totally one sided hyperbole about a class library and dev environment. (And I love when fans of msft write the last three years off as "Microsoft's image problems" -- as if a guilty verdict is just the judiciary's version of a press release.)
posted by victors at 9:32 PM on February 14, 2002

Microsoft surely has 'borrowed' from many others to advance their corporate interests. But in watching the history of .NET they really took the industry lead and were visionary in this endeavor. Mostly to find something to blunt JAVA, MS embraced and ran with XML (definitely something they did not invent.) What was visionary was defining XML as a distributed object access protocol. SOAP was really pioneered by Don Box at Developmentor with Microsoft. Here is a brief history.
posted by scottfree at 11:50 PM on February 14, 2002

as if a guilty verdict is just the judiciary's version of a press release.

Without any penalties attached, that's more or less exactly what it is.
posted by kindall at 12:08 AM on February 15, 2002

" ... And I love when fans of msft write the last three years off as "Microsoft's image problems" -- as if a guilty verdict is just the judiciary's version of a press release..."

I don't write it off as image problems (though I am a fan of some of the MS products). I write it off as Bill Gates being foolish enough to think he didn't have to pay attention to politics. His biggest competitors gave significant money to political parties, and had lobbyists all over Washington. Microsoft gave very little, and pretty much ignored Washington. Suprise, surprise, the Justice Department helps Scott McNealy, Larry Ellison & Co. to accomplish in the courtroom what they couldn't accomplish in the marketplace. It did get a little surreal at times - hearing Netscape execs complaining that Microsoft is a monopolist because Internet Explorer took away Netscape's monopoly, by giving away for free a browser Netscape charged $25 for (yep, Justice really did advocate on behalf of consumers on that one ...).

If you ever wonder why big companies give large amounts to political campaigns - look no further than this to understand what happens to them if they don't. It is naive, at any rate, to think this was ever about a noble Justice Department going to bat for consumers. Microsoft is not saintly, it is simply no better or worse than others in it's industry. Any of the large computer companies could be charged with a whole host of crimes. Focus the Justice weaponry at them, in front of a judge as obviously biased, and they'd all be facing stiff penalties. There is a reason, however, that it was MS, and not the others, that the government went after.

Gates didn't pay the protection money required by the mob in DC. He's learned his lesson.
posted by MidasMulligan at 6:19 AM on February 15, 2002

MidasMulligan, in the time that the court were dealing with Navigator had moved to free (they did it first). I suppose in an attempt to get a critical mass and do a Windows on the Internet. Similar to the IE stratergy in fact.

Actually IMO (never humble) MS should recveive penalty for the <blink> tag more than anything else. Eee-vil.
posted by nedrichards at 7:12 AM on February 15, 2002

Oh, for Pete's sake, Midas. It's perfectly legal to be a monopoly, but illegal to use that monopoly to attempt to dominate a second market. Microsoft is a monopolist in operating systems, and can claim a terrific advantage in any secondary market simply by bundling software; when they do so, they can win without innovating, and the consumer loses more by having that market constrained than they gain by getting a free piece of software.

That's the argument, and I wouldn't call it surreal; you can attempt to rebut it but at least don't pretend not to understand it.
posted by nicwolff at 10:38 PM on February 15, 2002

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