I have been asked why I slam Sun and Java so much, and pay less attention to Microsoft. Partly, it's due to my low level of trust in anti-trust law in general - i.e., I don't have a lot to say about the monopoly case.
On the language/development level, I think there's a big difference. Sun's mantra is all platforms, so long as you use Java. Microsoft's is any language, so long as you use Windows. To me it's clear which is the nearer term risk to anyone who favors Smalltalk. But there's more - read this
The technologists have won a rare victory over the marketeers at Microsoft this week: the latest renaming of the next release of Windows Server 2003 has removed the ".NET" branding that was first attached to the product in June 2001 - the original launch date of Microsoft's .Net strategy.
The move is significant because, instead of attempting to push Windows as the default platform for .Net, Microsoft will now promote its flagship server platform as "Microsoft .NET Connected", a badge that third-party vendors will also be able to earn. As the Register's John Lettice explains:
"This logo will indicate 'its ability to easily and consistently connect disparate information, systems, and devices to meet customers' people and business needs (regardless of underlying platform or programming language).' That last bit may have some significance - is it perhaps more important that Windows has fallen off .NET than that .NET has fallen off Windows?"
Some significance indeed. The move relegates Windows to the status of just another server platform within the .Net Framework, Microsoft's umbrella architecture for web services, confirming that .Net is now more strategically important to Microsoft than Windows.
How long before some version of Linux earns the "Microsoft .NET Connected" badge? That day may be closer than anyone expects - I predict it will be in the first half of 2004.
Does this make Microsoft all warm and fuzzy? Heck no. I liked the way Alan Knight
put it on the IRC Channel
the other day - MS, IBM, Sun (et. al.) are like Godzilla rampaging through Tokyo, and the best we can do is try not to get stepped on. They might sometimes knock down a wall in a way that helps us, but it will likely be an accident.
In any case, this is why I slam Sun more often - Sun's current efforts, if successful, would be more damaging to Smalltalk than Microsoft's current efforts would be if they succeed.