Reading how "Microsoft officials have characterized SharePoint as 'the killer app for XML'", I am looking for a theory to emerge in the way that perhaps continuations are beginning to form a theory around web server programs and s-expressions form a theory around manipulating XML.
SharePoint is a larger concept than continuations or s-expressions. So I would expect a larger theory, but a theory nonetheless, to associate SharePoint and XML conceptually. I did not see one emerge in this coverage of Bill Gates' keynote at a Microsoft Office conference.
Gates told keynote attendees to expect Microsoft to more tightly integrate SharePoint with other Microsoft technologies and point products, going forward. He said to expect SharePoint and Active Server Pages (ASP) to "become closer," and SharePoint and SQL Server to become more entwined, as well.Gates is attempting to associate a number of disjoint concepts in this quote. This approach is something I would expect of a salesman, rather than a Chief Software Architect. An architect should be a "theory builder". I would have trouble buying into this stated direction without a better theory, or even any theory at all.
Gates discussed Microsoft's quest for unified storage of all types of data, ranging from files to e-mail and emphasized that SQL Server would be the ultimate repository for storing this type of data.
As "SharePoint evolves up on the server and WinFS evolves down to the client," Microsoft will be able to realize its unified storage goal, Gates told attendees.
Of course this opinion could be dismissed as just more Microsoft bashing from the likes of me. But think about it, and tell me the theory that is holding all this together. Maybe I am just missing the point. Microsoft provides the dominant architectures in my computing world. I have a vested interest in them making my life easier, and so I have the desire to point out where I think they're missing the mark.
From this, I think they're missing a theory that could propel their success for another decade. As it is, I suspect they're cobbling pieces together and I am asked to take their Word for it that there is a "there" there where there should be a theory.