"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Microsoft's Mess

Readers of this blog could have predicted my title, I'm sure. But I have support from Joe Wilcox...

Live Mesh is so messy to explain, I can't cover everything in this post...

It's the most anti-Web 2.0 technology yet released by any company. Microsoft is building a services-based operating system that transcends and extends Windows and also the function of Web browsers. It's bold, brilliant and downright scary.

Actually, it's typical and to be expected. Microsoft regularly comes out with huge proposals to own everything, world wide.

Meanwhile Google, Amazon, and others nibble off bits and pieces of the world-wide web without altogether hurting the web. That is, they *get* the web, and they *get* how to contribute to and profit from the web. They continuously and incrementally add more to the web. Microsoft periodically says, "Here, swallow this huge horse tranquilizer and you'll be all right."

Ozzie apparently sees the web as a "given", but not something to embrace. Rather he apparently sees the web as an inhibiter to the success of Groove. And so his grand design seems to be to wrap the web inside of Groove. Consider Ozzie's own terminology: the web to him is "a hub".

Good luck with that.

Or go back to implementing WinFS, that should keep you busy while the internets slip further from your grasp.

Read BobWarfield in-depth analysis at SmoothSpan. Especially if you are from Microsoft. Especially if you are Ray Ozzie...

There are 100 engineers at work on Live Mesh already, and lots of key functionality (like version control) nowhere in sight. Aside from the Tactics of Monopoly, the other Fail mode is creating a giant monolith of software. Vista is a painful example of how far things can go wrong. Mesh is, at its core, another attempt to rework the document and folder file system. Microsoft promised this in Longhorn for years but never delivered.

1 comment:

Craig said...

Some things Microsoft does are great. Windows 2008 Server and SQL Server 2008 are great products. But other times they do things that just make no sense at all and this is one of those cases. Mesh makes no sense and has very little chance of being successful. It only runs on Windows for god sake, who would write a web based product that restricted your clients to Windows?

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.