On data interoperability, Redmond had stuck pretty close to XML standards – although it has recently been patenting a number of its XML implementation technologies and has taken a rain check on important technologies such as XForms and RDF. But now Microsoft is backtracking on support of two key XML processing standards – XPath 2 and XSLT 2. (see bad news link above). As well Microsoft has reserved the right to step away from any new XML Schema or XML UI tag languages (XAML, XUL, etc). All of these technologies are used extensivly in Microsofts own Visual Studio, InfoPath, Biztalk and dozens of other apps and tools. Ditto for most ISVs and software toolmakers which use XPath and XSLT too.
So now even on the data interoperability side, Redmond is moving away from easy interoperability and adhering more closely to the IE-like, proprietary standards model. In a data processing world that is demanding ever more interoperability, reusability, and backward compatibility- Redmond is on an openly contrarian path that adds large and unneccessary development/interfacing time and penalties for both ISVs and developers alike. It begs the question – for a company that still has major availability, reliability, scalability, and security deficiencies as well as being one of the higher cost suppliers – how long can they hope to sell these “benefits ” to their heretofore loyal customers??