Very Worried at MS .net

home at home at
Wed Jul 18 09:17:54 UTC 2001

On Wed, Jul 18, 2001 at 01:10:27AM +0100, Alistair Davidson wrote:
> .NET is a framework (VM, development tool, and standards suite) for
> developing and deploying "web services" 

Not quite accurate - and this is why most people are confused. Ignore the
marketing - .NET is the new Windows API. It provides a platform for web
services, yes, but that's only one aspect of it. MS are pushing the web
stuff hard, because it's a pretty new feature for them, but the other stuff
shouldn't be ignored.

Hailstorm and Passport are .net services - .net is as network integrated as
you like, some things will only work over the network, some things will be
local only. Hailstorm and Passport are two examples of .net services which
are network-enabled.

> 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).

Hailstorm, I think you're right in saying, is open. Passport definitely
isn't - and I would imagine that MS will want to keep it that way. Whether
or not it can be reverse engineered depends on how well it's been done, I
would suspect not.

> There's no obvious reason, from the user or developer's end of things,
> for MS to do this.

I would forget the .net == Office For Rent scenario, it's not going to
happen. Microsoft are too clever for that.

> I'm not sure about passport, but how hard would it be to
> reverse-engineer the thing if it's closed?

Given it's supposed to be engineered around PKI, I would be surprised if it
was reverse-engineerable, although it might be possible. I would assume,
though, that MS will have gone to lengths to prevent people getting into it
at a protocol level.




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