Microsoft’s worldview

April 24, 2010 at 9:35 pm (Opensource, Technology) (, , , , , )

I was somewhat late to my calling of geekdom but let’s say that my introduction to this world was clouded by all things Windows. As I started learning what it meant to be an IT Pro it seemed that Enterprise computing was synonymous with Microsoft. Even though there is an element of truth to that my vision was somewhat skewed by the marketing hype and seem ing default use of Windows as a desktop operating system. All my peers in college were mostly the type that just sort of went along with the norm and for a time I did too. After meeting a hacker in school who swore by Linux the seed was planted for me to at least look in to the “other” world of operating systems.

As I was getting all my certifications the only thing I was learning was, what an ideal Microsoft network looked like. Even though I would hear whispering at times that “the real world did not function so neatly”. I was impressed that Microsoft seemed to have all the avenues covered from web servers, directory services etc, but the real world back in 2000 was not Windows on the servers, the desktops, hell even Windows offered routing and remote access services but I was usually laughed at when I assumed that real networks looked like the certification books. I will say that the landscape now in 2010 is actually a bit closer to the ideal Microsoft world although now the all things Microsoft at every turn is being challenged in different ways.

Although I at times have issues using Linux 100% of the time, I can’t help but to reject the world view that Microsoft would like us to buy into. In a perfect Microsoft world we would abandon all programming languages and use C#/managed code at every level. I know the trade-offs and such with memory management are good with managed environments but something tells me that we are not at a point where that is feasable. Just check out the performance of the new Visual Studio product and see how backward we are going in Microsoft land with efficiency and speed. I know all aggressive companies think (i.e. Google) that in order to be successful in the software industry you must own every area of the stack (applications,tools,operating systems,phones,MP3 players,programming languages etc.) Why can’t these big players let anyone else make some of the money also without buying them out when they are clearly offering an inferior product to the competition. I hope the opensource stack really starts to pick things up and stop eating their own as well because having either Microsoft or Google or anyone for that matter making the OS, Apps, languages, tools etc. will only ultimately hurt us all. If you wonder how just look at what Microsoft did on the days of the browser wars when the war with Netscape was won, Microsoft saw fit to leave Internet Explorer stagnate. We need multiple players in the game handling the things that they are passionate about and allowing innovation to thrive without the money-gods buying everyone out that seems to be a threat. I would love to see the programmers and users out there step up and help change the face of our technology ecosystem otherwise when the smoke clears we will be full circle to the 80’s and 90’s and really not making any ground on the problems we have been solving for decades now. The proverbial wheel seems to be recreated by the next big fish that wants the market that somewhat else has already showed themselves competent.

Just my thoughts, I no longer believe that the perfect IT infrastructure has all the tools and such made by the same entity. The argument use to be that for compatibilities sake use “our” tool for that as well. It would be nice to see the best of the best technology win out and not the player with the most money. There has been some awesome innovation going on in some small companies and even individuals who have only been swallowed up and paid to move aside for an inferior product. Unfortunately I don’t think our legal system has shown to be up to the task to keep things moving in the right direction. Good old fashion education to our users and creators of the technology and the right decisions seems to be our only way out of this one. (Not that the legal avenues should be abandoned though, just not abused by the big boys as usual).

The key is for good technology to be able to collaborate and build on to another good technology and so on. The “not built here” syndrome must die.

Thanks for listening.

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