Atlas Shrugged…

Here is a typical Microsoft, “we rule the Web roost despite our inferior IE offering and get to decide who wins and who loses.” statement Check out Darryl Tafts report on the arrogance of Microsoft. Now – let me be careful, this is Jeff Prosise of Wintellect, so Microsoft can claim plausible deniability. Anything that Jeff said at Tech Ed 2006 in Boston this week was not Redmond policy but rather a hint or a sounding on maybe what some of Microsofts directions in the Web and AJAX world should be. Microsoft has learned its lessons about making promises to meet Web standards as they are still to deliver IE with full CSS, DOM, JavaScript support from 1997s “swear on a Bible” declarations of fidelity to Web standards.

The question at the session on Atlas, the Redmond framework for implementing AJAX, … well let Jeff speak -> Prosise said: “Heres the deal on Atlas today; we are deadly serious about browser compatibility.” I put that statement through the Google Translation Service and it came out -> “Microsoft cant deliver complete cross browser capabilities in Atlas now and so we are out to discover the minimal set of cross browser support that we will have to deliver sometime in the future – which again is some distant mirage.”

And sure enough what was the next question by Jeff -> “How important is it that Atlas be able to work in more than one browser?” Google Translation -> “Are you gals and guys absolutely sure you want to go beyond working in IE with Atlas ??” And after polling the audience Jeff was able to conclude: “99 percent of you seem to be satisfied with support for four browsers…. the four browsers being IE, Firefox, Safari and Mozilla.” “So thats tough luck Opera, Konqueror and all you other also-ran browsers. And watch out Safari, we are deadly serious about knocking you off our list of browsers to be supported in Atlas” —oops scratch those quotes. Jeff actually didnt say those words but he might or possibly could have Vulcan-mind-meld meant to say them. After all was said and not said .. Atlas Shrugged at the notion that Redmond could ever contemplate playing on a fair and level playing field – even with Bill Saint Charity Gates promising to be a goner by 2008.

So to repeat – here are the four reasons why Web and AJAX developers want to avoid Microsoft Atlas like the plague:

1)Cross browser support is not delivered and instead is in that nebulous Redmond reality distortion field known as “deadly serious promises, promises, promises”;
2)Cross platform server side support is firmly in the deadly serious “it will run best on Windows servers only”;
3)Atlas will use tons of deadly serious proprietary ASP.NET code;
4)Redmond is deadly serious about reserving the right to change its mind, reverse itself, or do a Wormtongue on any promises made to the Web community about support for any standards AJAX or whatever and/or any other 3rd party AJAX software.
And of course I am deadly serious about Atlas Shrugging….

(c)JBSurveyer 2006

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