Very Worried at MS .net

João Miguel Neves joao at
Tue Jul 17 22:16:38 UTC 2001

On 17 Jul 2001 22:00:53 +0100, John Peter Tapsell wrote:
> >[Companies] giving [their customer base] to Microsoft through the use of .NET
> >(and, consequently, passport) is not something they'll do lightly.
> Nope, but they can get round a lot of these kind of problems by
> *) Making ISP's responisble for the passports
> *) The data never leaves the ISP's - MS don't see it (They don't really want to
> either probably)
> *) The ISP has to get the passport certificates off of MS.  MS control the
> authentification of them.
> Now MS have control over the passports, yet not having them..
Maybe I'm biased due to my work with the retail business, but MS
approach, to me, seems to be exactly the same of retail chains like
Walmart or Carrefour, and ad-supported TV. They sell people. They get
money from suppliers or advertisers to contact the customers/spectators.

The power is in controlling the access channel to the most people
possible. MS executives have admitted this before. There are quotes from
MS executives around the time COM/COM+ was launched where they say they
want to get a part of EVERY transaction. This is also the rationale
behind the invesment in cable companies and the "forcing" of the
platform for interactive TV (the first implementation has been in
Portugal, so I've followed it closely).

> > Another problem is that european companies won't be able to legally
> > use MS Passport (at least in Portugal and in the UK).
> For now..

MS Passport is a centralized service. Unless they change it
(technically) and its privacy policy it will continue to be illegal for
use in most countries in Europe.

> And they will get round it.
I doubt it in what concerns Portugal, at least while Dr. Labescat is in
charge of the National Private Data Comission. This is the guy who
hasn't authorized the police to build a page with information on missing
people because they hadn't the authorization from the people that were

> > If for some reason you think only technical people are worried about this,
> > check this Business Week article in
> I don't know how widespread this kind of view is, but I hope very.
> However.. i think even if _everyone_ was worried, it wouldn't slow down MS
> much, let alone stop them.
> Everyone will just go along.. complaining etc sure, but they will go along.
I know at least a retail chain who is very aware of this problem. They
outsourced their online e-commerce site and are now getting it back. It
was sold for a fortune and they weren't even aware of it and they had to
pay for each e-mail they wanted to send to one of their clients...

People studying Information Systems have outsourcing as an interesting
field of study. Now let's see if we can call their attention.

> Time will tell.. I just hope it is in our favour.
It isn't. But the creation of a worldwide network of FSF's sisters
organizations makes me think we have the tools to create political and
business level awareness and the creation of the Mono and the dotGNU
projects give us a technical replacement for .NET that simply destroys
their strategy (especially the dotGNU part).

> JohnFlux.
> P.s. Take me as a pessimistic nut  - but consider the points seriously.
Unfortunately, I strongly believe you're not being pessimistic.

						Joao Miguel Neves

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