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Another Belated Microsoft Memo 232

Posted by Zonk
from the better-late-than-never dept.
fiannaFailMan writes "Bill Gates has sent out another memo heralding the latest big development in the industry, as he sees it. This time it's web-based software using technology such as AJAX (that MS 'invented but failed to exploit'). The Economist says 'As in previous cases, what is new is not the idea itself, but the fact that Microsoft is taking it seriously.' Zach Nelson of NetSuite decided against writing a memo. 'Writing memos is cheap,' he says, whereas 'writing software is a whole lot harder.'"
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Another Belated Microsoft Memo

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  • Re:Who owns it? (Score:2, Informative)

    by msbsod (574856) on Friday November 18, 2005 @08:50PM (#14067981)
    FAT [theinquirer.net]
  • by MagikSlinger (259969) on Friday November 18, 2005 @08:50PM (#14067982) Homepage Journal
    I agree with PBS's Robert X Cringely: the leak's just a distraction [pbs.org]. It's only there to make Wall St. think Microsoft is still relevant and on the edge of the wave.
  • by Bogtha (906264) on Friday November 18, 2005 @09:04PM (#14068041)

    Mr Gates is probably laying the framework for changes in the AJAX support in IE aimed at breaking competitors products.

    It's true that in the upcoming Internet Explorer 7, the method by which you instantiate the XMLHttpRequest object will change. But you have it completely backwards - they are changing it to be a native object, to be compatible with all the other browsers that implement it, instead of its original ActiveX implementation found in Internet Explorer 5.x and 6.0.

  • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot AT keirstead DOT org> on Friday November 18, 2005 @09:33PM (#14068153) Homepage
    AJAX is a joke to code if you have any idea what you are doing.

    1. Use an existing RPC library, like JSON-RPC for java, to translate your objects and methods. Don't re-invent the wheel.

    2. Use an existing AJAX library to wrap the XMLHttpRequest object, like Sarissa.

    3. Sprinkle wherever it fits.

    It is quie simple actually. I was able to AJAX-ify a few pages of an exisiting app in under a day, giving them quite a more responsive feel.

  • It's called 'Atlas' (Score:5, Informative)

    by 1000101 (584896) on Friday November 18, 2005 @09:56PM (#14068232)
    Microsoft has a project called 'Atlas' that has a set of prebuilt controls and javascript files that you can use for your projects. It can be found at asp.net [asp.net]. The nice thing about this project is you can define an Atlas (it's just AJAX really) control the same way you define a typical asp control ( vs. ) and then link in the pre-defined .js files. I have been reading about AJAX for a while now on Slashdot (my employeer has been using it for quite a while now and I didn't even know it) but hadn't tried it out. Atlas is so simple that I had my first page converted in a matter of minutes. An earlier submitter pointed out that not all pages need to be converted or built using AJAX but the customer is demanding it. This is an interesting topic, and I have considered this myself. I have found that almost every page in the types of websites that I create don't need this technology. Most of them are your typical form where you just insert data and update a database. If you don't need a high level of interactivity, AJAX might not be the best option.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 18, 2005 @10:31PM (#14068329)
    Oh, get it right. XmlHttpRequest was implemented as a standard long after, and only because of, Microsoft's ActiveX implementation, which has been around since IE4. Before that, Microsoft had a Remote Scripting library for ASP, which allows the same functionality as "AJAX". The Remote Scripting library even worked in Netscape 4, which was a common browser at the time I built my first "AJAX" application.

    Do you know what "AJAX" is? It's a term coined by some overpaid design guru talking head to describe technology that has been around, and in heavy use by non-public webapps, for many years.

    Microsoft pioneered this whole way of thinking, even if they didn't implement it very creatively on many of their sites, and many of their better ideas (CSS expressions & behaviors, XML data islands) have still not become standards, while others have.

    And, yes, I am posting this from Firefox, running on an Ubuntu distro. I am not a Microsoft apologist, but mindlessly parrotting off commonly-believed falsehoods just pisses me off. When IE 5 was first released, it was a groundbreaking app, better than anything else on the market, and many of its innovative features are still unknown to most of the A-List, blogorati circle-jerk web-brochure designers who think making a glorified to-do list is "changing the face of the web".
  • Re:Who owns it? (Score:5, Informative)

    by quantaman (517394) on Friday November 18, 2005 @10:42PM (#14068365)
    Has MS sued anyone over Mono patents? No.

    However look here [gnome.org] and here [redhat.com].

    You don't need to sue someone so stifle progress as evidenced by the fact their Mono patents are currently stifling progress by the risk of lawsuits where Microsoft could easily remove that threat.
  • Re:In other news... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Keeper (56691) on Friday November 18, 2005 @10:45PM (#14068374)
    Later this year Microsoft is planning to release a hard drive based MP3 player.

    They already have. [microsoft.com] It also plays video. [microsoft.com] And it was released over a year ago. [engadget.com]

  • Re:Who owns it? (Score:2, Informative)

    by TheNetAvenger (624455) on Friday November 18, 2005 @10:49PM (#14068388)
    So does Microsoft have a patent on AJAX? Can they leverage their parenting of the technology to stifle progress once again? Who owns AJAX?

    When has Microsoft EVER leveraged a patent to stifle progress? Hell even their FAT and other crap they made is widely used for free, and they have sought NOTHING from it.

    Myths are like Rancors, hard to kill, even though they don't exist.
  • by 3) profit!!! (773340) on Friday November 18, 2005 @11:18PM (#14068505) Homepage
    Apple says you're wrong [apple.com]

    "Microsoft first implemented the XMLHttpRequest object in Internet Explorer 5 for Windows as an ActiveX object. Engineers on the Mozilla project implemented a compatible native version for Mozilla 1.0 (and Netscape 7). Apple has done the same starting with Safari 1.2."
  • Re:Who owns it? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:02AM (#14068721)
    As the author of the "VirtualDub" video editor described it:
    Today I received a polite phone call from a fellow at Microsoft who works in the Windows Media Group. He informed me that Microsoft has intellectual property rights on the ASF format and told me that, although I had reverse engineered it, the implementation was still illegal since it infringed on Microsoft patents. I have asked for the specific patent numbers, since I find patenting a file format a bit strange. At his request, and much to my own sadness, I have removed support for ASF in VirtualDub 1.3d, since I cannot risk a legal confrontation.
  • by Allnighterking (74212) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:51AM (#14068942) Homepage
    Microsoft DID NOT invent Ajax.

    Ajax = Asynchronous Javascript and XML.

    XML is a subset of SGML which existed before M$.

    Javascript is a child of LiveScript, both were created by Netscape. Nothing in what is Ajax was ever created by M$ period. The fact that they are able to see the value and talk it up is cool, but they invented none of it.

    Now I'm sure someone will bring up M$ Remote Scripting. It like LiveScript where basically in house products. Remote Script did not exist in the public realm. However at the time of it's "creation", M$ was lacking a viable browswer (Definition of Viable is it works.) IE 1.0 and 2.0 where total jokes, 3.0 was the equal of Netscape 1.0 and 4.0 began to work. By this time however both MS and Netscape were fully supporting LiveScript/JavaScript (Sometimes in name only, as each tried to extend beyond the other.)

    But in short Please, stop say M$ invented Ajax. This is like claiming that Honda invented the Car. They build them yes but they did not invent them.

    Now according to wikipedia something called. Remote Scripting supposedly pre-dated HTTP requests. (according to Wikipedia.) Nope.. sorry didn't. The concept of HTTP requests etc had been layed out for a long time before M$ existed (pre-dating the Altair) But it took Berners-Lee to be able to make it usable and, Stanford Linear Accelorator to do the most important step. Create a Distant End. In fact at the time the ONLY usable OS for this was ..... da ta da da! Next. Given that the only thing it (the web) could run on at the time was Next... I guess Steve Jobs had more to bring to bear in creating Ajax than MS did.

    Since Remote Scripting required a Java applet to work .... it had to exist post Sun creation. Sun was created After the Http request was first used. Java was first created in 1991, and introduced to the public in 1994. LONG after javascript had existed.

    So no, I had more to do with Ajax than M$ did. And I had nothing at all to do with the concept.
  • Re:Who owns it? (Score:4, Informative)

    by killjoe (766577) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @02:45AM (#14069327)
    Microsoft tried to squeeze apple with their patents on the ipod interface. Yes after the ipod came out MS rushed out and got a patent on the interface and tried to squeeze apple for money. Apple told them go suck ass and they never pursued it.

    Microsoft sued lindows for trademark infringement. They also sued a 16 year old boy who had the temerity to register a domain name with his name in it.

    Microsoft has repeatedly said they intend to agressively defend their intellectual property.

    What makes you think MS will never sue anybody for patent infringement after their top level executives have said they fully intend to?
  • Re:In other news... (Score:2, Informative)

    by kelv (305876) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @03:23AM (#14069419)
    What was meant as an ironic comment unfortunately turns out to be true. In SharePoint v3 (due out in 2006) they are adding support for Wikis and Blogs.

    Once again another case of back to the future. Unfortunately I'm sure they will be like all the other SharePoint features - worst of breed in everything that they do. (If you don't believe me just go and have a look at the 'discussion boards' features of SharePoint)
  • by elvey (86546) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @01:45PM (#14076318) Homepage
    "3, Insightful"? How 'bout "0, Uninformed"? The crimes laid out in Thomas Penfield Jackson, U.S. District Judge's COURT'S FINDINGS OF FACT [usdoj.gov] are criminal under any reasonable legal system, including those of a 'truly free society'. There is an old saying: "your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose" that is applicable. 5-year perspective on the case [nwsource.com] is interesting. Microsoft regularly flexes their patent muscle by refusing to grant use of patents it owns to competitors. E.g. Bill Gates himself has turned down patent licensing requests for use of Microsoft patents proposed as IETF standards. (google Microsoft IETF patent or read this [apache.org]) Their anti-competitive practices most certainly do involve patents. Patent abuse is even an incriminating component of the above FINDINGS OF FACT. And Microsoft's abuses go far beyond those discussed in the FINDINGS OF FACT; see http://kmfms.com/whatsbad.html [kmfms.com].

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