10.20.07

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Silverlight (and Moonlight/Mono, by Association) Becomes Part of the Antitrust Debate

Posted in America, Antitrust, Boycott Novell, Europe, Formats, Interoperability, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Open XML, Protocol, Servers, Standard at 11:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft’s history with standards repeats itself. Nothing has changed and more states are beginning to wake up and see this.

In surprise move, attorneys general in four states that previously said antitrust agreement was working now argue Redmond’s “Microsoft’s Windows monopoly is indisputably resilient.”

Very few people have known about tomorrow’s lock-ins, but that’s because Microsoft keeps quiet about it. Microsoft knows why keeping quiet is the better way.

“It is a progressive hijack of the World Wide Web.”A new report sheds some more light on the issues. Unsurprisingly, Silverlight, which we’ve warned about since the start (mind Novell’s role as an accomplice and eyewitness), is in the middle of this debate too. We used to mention some complaints that had been made to the EU about this. It is a progressive hijack of the World Wide Web.

The states’ report seems to imply that Microsoft will try to find a way to tie Silverlight to IE in the future, and leverage the 80 percent market share of IE on the desktop to try and edge out competitors like Adobe AIR.

To recaputulate, watch the following older articles (January this year).

ECIS Accuses Microsoft of Plotting HTML Hijack

An industry coalition that has represented competitors of Microsoft in European markets before the European Commission stepped up its public relations offensive this morning, this time accusing Microsoft of scheming to upset HTML’s place in the fabric of the Internet with XAML, an XML-based layout lexicon for network applications.

Here is the text from an expired article that once appeared in CNN. It vanished for no reasons since then and even confirmed the suspicions that CNN’s archive is selective (excluding some Linux stories as well, according to people whom I spoke to).

Software rivals say Microsoft’s Vista illegal in Europe (at CNNMoney.com)

[...]

Software manufacturers, citing 2004 European Commission finding, contend the operating system violates server laws in Europe.

[...]

“Vista is the first step of Microsoft’s strategy to extend its market dominance to the Internet,” the ECIS statement said.

It said Microsoft’s XAML markup language was “positioned to replace HTML,” the industry standard for publishing documents on the Internet.

Microsoft’s own language would be dependent on Windows, and discriminatory against rival systems such as Linux, the group says.

They said a so-called “open XML” platform file format, known as OOXML, is designed to run seamlessly only on the Microsoft Office platform.

So, XAML and OOXML are a major part of this hijack attempt, which can be made successful by leveraging the monopoly on the desktop. There’s also SharePoint’s role here:

Could SharePoint Be Microsoft’s New Mode of Lock-In?

This could be a tough one for IT leaders. Business users are comfortable with Microsoft. They know how to use the Office interface, and apparently like it to the point users will create their own mini-BI tools from Excel and opt out of the corporate system. But, if Asay’s right, vendor lock-in could cause unforeseen problems or major costs down the road.

After reading Asay’s column and the interview with Nicholls, at least you’ll know which questions to ask before investing in either SharePoint or an alternative solution.

Be aware that Novell’s role here is not too obvious to see, but Novell not only supports OOXML (it began the OOXML translator project after it had signed the deal with Microsoft). Novell also uses the controversial Mono to support Microsoft’s Silverlight. This can turn Linux into a second-class citizen on the Web [1, 2, 3]. Novell should have demonstrated against it rather than support it (partially). But Novell sold out.

Mono is the devil

Sharepoint, OOXML, XPS, SOA (REST) [1, 2, 3, 4], and DRM-’boosted’ objects (maybe HD) are other components of tomorrow’s lockin. One needn’t look very far to find yet another component, which was officially announced just days ago — unified communications.

“We’re moving along the continuum that started way back when in the CTI days,” says Robins. “And now, with the computing horsepower that exists, the standardization of IP as the protocol of choice in terms of communications, we’ve now got the foundation for this to really propagate everywhere. It’s a wonderful thing. The value that Microsoft brings to the table is that they’re really the 800-pound gorilla, especially in the PC desktop computing space. So Microsoft is in a position to really make this happen in a very big way. One day all PBXs will interoperate with the Microsoft communications platform, and we’ll see what happens on the mobile side.”

Where are standards? Recall our discussion about Microsoft’s exclusive and closed relationship with Cisco. This is not a way to build an industry; it’s a way to have it destroyed (owned entirely by mono/duopolists).

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5 Comments

  1. LiquidBoy said,

    October 21, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    Gravatar

    Your article is completely one sided. How about Adobe’s monopoly with PDF’s and Flash??

    At the end of the day Microsoft is a business that is trying to make software. For anyone that has taken the time to learn about Silverlight and other Microsoft technologies in depth we all know how great a thing that they have built.

    Silverlight and the .NET language are amazing developer tools that will foster in a new age online. It isnt tied into IE and it doesn’t jam it down anyones throat to install.

    Silverlight is a damn good technology for people that find Flash too foreign a language to learn. All us MS developers welcome this technology!!!

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 21, 2007 at 10:28 pm

    Gravatar

    Several points:

    1. Is it acceptance that Microsoft does not support Linux, Solaris and BSD when it comes to Silverlight? Moonlight it only built by a ‘subsidiary’ and it is/will be left behind. It also has patent deals involved, which is totally unacceptable for an open Web.
    2. Microsoft’s history assures us that Silverlight will be extended the Windows way. It is already ‘enhanced’ in Vista. Therein you lose parity on the Web.
    3. Why does Microsoft play all sorts of Mono tricks in its deals (contracts) with Linux companies? Sign of things to come?
    4. Would you want access to your Web content to depend on a company with a long history of betraying its partners?
  3. John Drinkwater said,

    October 24, 2007 at 10:32 am

    Gravatar

    LiquidBoy:
    “Silverlight and the .NET language are amazing developer tools that will foster in a new age online. It isnt tied into IE and it doesn’t jam it down anyones throat to install.”

    I seem to recall a certain “best selling” game’s website required Silverlight to view – that was certainly jammed down fan’s throats. They haven’t made a great thing, they have borrowed from great things.

    What will foster in a new age online will be open platforms, open standards, open tech. etc.
    HTML5 with <video>, <audio> support etc, SVG, ODF, and more.

  4. god said,

    January 1, 2008 at 7:08 am

    Gravatar

    “Is it acceptance that Microsoft”

    Microsoft is not acceptable. Microsoft is a criminal organization with monopoly anal plugs named DirectX to ram up your ass and force you to use for games. What is Silverlight in RuneCraft? That’s where they got the name from, even if they deny deny deny it.

    Fuck you microsoft you whores

  5. Frederick Twain said,

    August 13, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    Gravatar

    http://www.atelier-us.com/e-business-and-it/article/microsoft-receives-anti-trust-criticism-for-silverlight-technology

    This article has some further insiqht on the microsoft anti-trust issue involving silverlight.

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