Very Worried at MS .net

Alistair Davidson lord_inh at
Wed Jul 18 00:10:27 UTC 2001

Alistair Davidson wrote:
> markj at wrote:
> >
> > On 17 Jul, Alistair Davidson wrote:
> The point of Java was that it runs client-side, and on a VM to make it
> cross-platform. dotNet goes a step further by allowing a wider range of
> languages to run on the VM (or so I hear... I'm certainly no expert. I'm
> having trouble understanding the entirety of dotNET, because it seems to
> incorporate everything from a virtual machine to remote authentication
> to the kitchen sink. I'll maybe go do some research in a minute.)

Okay, I went off and did some reading. I'm a little confused, because
the microsoft webpages are written in PHB-speak. Please correct me if I
get any of this wrong:

.NET is a framework (VM, development tool, and standards suite) for
developing and deploying "web services" (applications delivered via a
network connection), and allowing them to communicate via XML. HailStorm
and Passport will also be integrated in to .NET

Microsofts vision is that a user will enter all their personal
information into HailStorm. Developers will develop HailStorm-compatible
apps with Visual Studio.NET. When a user wishes to use their word
processor, for example, they'll login to Passport, and HailStorm will
deliver their user preferences to the Word Processor app so that it
operates in a consistent manner regardless of where the app is accessed

One presumes that 3rd parties will be able to run HailStorm and
Passport-style services (MS claims that the HailStorm protocol is open,
at least). I'm not sure about the passport protocol, I wouldn't be
surprised if MS require a licensing fee from 3rd parties for that.

There's no obvious reason, from the user or developer's end of things,
for MS to do this. Users don't want to subscribe to their word
processor. Neither do businesses. Word is so popular because it comes
"free" with so many computers.

HailStorm and Passport, I can see that advantage too, and I think they
will be popular. But HailStorm is apparently an open standard (I'm
dubious about privacy issues of course, but that's a seperate issue).
I'm not sure about passport, but how hard would it be to
reverse-engineer the thing if it's closed?

Rick's World:

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