Peet Brits

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Me and Microsoft – A love-hate relationship

Posted by Peet Brits on September 6, 2010

EDIT: This post should be tagged as span 😉

Lately I am doing a lot of Silverlight development (with C#.NET), and although I love the capabilities of this platform, there are times when I get frustrated – no, angry – with Microsoft. I do not like the way they work and the type of decisions they make. They first have to make a complete mess out of something before they can get it right, and so often it is because they copied the idea (legal or not) from someone else. I know I am running with the stereotype, and I understand that a business has to grow, but I cannot shake the feeling that they are bullying the smaller competition out of the way.

Microsoft has become like Thor the thunder god: carrying around a giant hammer wherever it goes. When it hits, whether on the nail or completely off, you can be sure that it will leave a big mark.

The public had to suffer through Windows Vista before they got Windows 7. If it were not for projects like Mozilla Firefox, we would still probably be stuck with crappy earlier versions of Internet Explorer, which was not their own product to begin with. (Mosaic is the web browser credited with popularizing the World Wide Web. Microsoft bought Mosaic’s source, modified it, and renamed it to Internet Explorer. Most of Mosaic’s team moved on to develop the then much better Netscape Navigator, which intentionally shared no code with Mosaic. ) The list goes on.

To give one technical example, the Microsoft RIA team added the DomainDataSource to work with Visual Studio 2010, but the Expression Blend designer does not recognize it as a data source. Just so you know, Blend has always been the primary method of creating and binding data sources. What were those idiots they thinking? Is this a conspiracy to make people stop using Blend for the sake of Visual Studio, which already feels like it is struggling to carry its own weight? I am not the only one that feels this way.

Now take a deep breath.

All right, I feel better now. I still love Silverlight and C#. Silverlight is embracing the open-source community. Different teams are doing hard work to make Silverlight cross-browser and cross-platform compatible, which makes me feel much better.


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