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 Monday, March 19, 2001  
DaveNet: Weblogs at Work.

NY Times: Microsoft Confronts Privacy Fears.

David Coursey: "Microsoft promises all your information will be perfectly safe from hackers and only given out with your express permission."

Jacob Levy has the most coherent explanation of HailStorm, from the pov of independent developers, that I've seen so far.

Transcript of the Microsoft press conference today.

Washington Post: Microsoft's Strategy Shift Creates New Antitrust Concerns.

MSNBC: Microsoft to charge for HailStorm.

The Standard: Legal Storm Brewing over HailStorm. "It's kind of amazing that with this verdict sitting against them, they're getting more aggressive on this path," said Sun general counsel Mike Moore, who compares the current situation to Microsoft's browser wars with Netscape. "These people are reprobates. They never learn."

For a few minutes on Saturday I said virtually the same thing on Scripting News. "What if you had a friend who had lost his drivers license for DUI and he had a couple of beers and decided to go for a drive to get a couple of six-packs. What would you do?"

There clearly is no way Microsoft is going to be able to bundle the OS with their cloud without giving users choice. The startup screen must allow you to easily switch back-ends. And further, there must be a way for a user to get all their data on their local system in easy-to-parse-XML, so it's easy if you for some reason (as silly as it may seem) want to switch to another service. What Microsoft is proposing is crude and unfair, and unstatesmanlike and not open, and further is bad computing practice. Plus there's more I can't tell you (dammit) because of the NDA. Remember Steve Jobs' machine with no floppy drive? Well I think you need Bill's approval to ship software that runs against the cloud. I admit I'm fuzzy on this.

On the other hand, yes, we want to connect our software to theirs. No doubt lots of people will use it. While I am entitled to my opinion as a citizen and a user, as publisher and a maker of publishing tools, the connection to their cloud is just too damned interesting to pass up. But hurry up AOL, do the same thing so we can work with yours too.

5/6/98: "There once was a lady from Niger who smiled as she rode on a tiger. They returned from the ride with the lady inside and the smile on the face of the tiger."

A fantastic discussion on Hack-the-Planet.

Doc: "With Hailstorm, Microsoft is doing a beautiful job of being itself."

Glenn Fleishman: "I'm holding my breath that we don't find out that they've proprietarily tweaked this open model, as they did with their first-generation HTML and XML products."

What I love about what Microsoft did is that it allows people like Glenn and Doc to so fully express themselves. We needed a catalyst to get us all thinking and moving. Fan-tas-tic!

Ben Franklin: "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."

I posted a plan for the Interopathon process today on the SoapWare site. If you know a SOAP 1.1 implementor please make sure he or she sees this page. It's very important that this process be inclusive, if it's to make a difference.

Derrick Story likes the Entourage emailer for the Mac.

Joel Spolsky on Passport. "If you really trust any Internet company to protect your privacy, I've got a bridge to sell ya." Joel is an ex-softie from the Excel team.

An interesting discussion on the MS-Hailstorm mail list.

Scoble has screen shots.

Kevin Werbach: "Microsoft today launched its Hailstorm Web services initiative. Worth watching closely, if for no other reason than that it ties together virtually every hot topic in the computer industry today: distributed computing, component software, instant messaging, online privacy, the post-PC world, user-centric interfaces, you name it."

Dan Gillmor: "[HailStorm is] the most centralized thing I've seen in years, from a company that hooted down the idea of the Network Computer until the concept suddenly seemed to translate into a multi-billion-dollar annuity income for our favorite monopolist."

The Register is the first to catch the irony of Microsoft pushing to centralize the Internet. Indeed one would have thought that Microsoft would emphasize decentralization, given that they dominate in desktop operating systems. I asked about that on Thurs, they said they tried it with Microsoft Wallet, and people didn't want it. I asked when, they said at the beginning of MSIE. I think it deserves another look.

Motley Fool: Internet Honeymoon is Over. "Time to pay up?"

News.Com: Microsoft's HailStorm Unleashed.

Dan Gillmor: "I'm in Redmond to for the official briefing on Microsoft's HailStorm project, which appears to be a major step in its effort to turn the Internet into the MicrosoftNet. If everything I've been told off the record is true, this is ambitious, fascinating, audacious and downright scary -- not just for Microsoft's competitors but users, too."

White paper: Microsoft HailStorm. "Support will also be included for integration between Windows authentication and Passport authentication of users, so that a user logged onto Windows XP will also be logged onto Passport and therefore able to receive their HailStorm services."

DaveNet: Preparing for a HailStorm.

NetWorld: "Microsoft will include Passport and MSN Messenger services in the upcoming desktop operating system Windows XP. But Hailstorm extends the services, especially MSN Messenger, letting it become a development platform instead of just a single application."

Radio press release: "It provides information distribution power that was previously centralized on services like Yahoo and eBay. Radio is as familiar and easy to use as the popular websites, and since the software is running on the user's desktop, it offers unprecedented performance and security. Having control of your data means that you can easily switch to new services, and your data is safe on your computer under your control."

Renderings: PRNewswire, Yahoo.

We've also sent the press release to the Mac announcement lists. If you know of others, send me a pointer.

2/19/01: Internet 3.0.

Jabber.Org: Integration of full support for XML-RPC and SOAP.

MSNBC: Dot-coms pull back on Net freebies.

News.Com: "AltaVista will automatically produce the top stories related to search requests. Clicking on a news center at the top search page will provide a complete index of all the latest online stories about the requested topic. The new feature, licensed from San Francisco-based Moreover, addresses a glaring shortcoming for even the most powerful search engines." Good move.

Joel Spolsky: "When I go to the website today and read that they 'maximize value for the end-user,' I think of that dazzling, exciting kid you knew freshman year, who jumped from varsity squash to journalism to drama to campus politics, and was all fired up to change the world. But he got married, has 2 1/2 kids, took a job as an insurance agent and wears a gray suit to work every day."

March 2001
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