Microsoft

Microsoft's mainline products 'break' many development paradigms

Justin James recently asked Microsoft Senior IT Pro Evangelist Blain Barton how the software giant is addressing the fact that its current batch of mainline products is breaking so many development paradigms. Read Blain Barton's reply.

At last week's Microsoft Heroes Happen Here event in Charlotte, NC, I got the chance to ask Microsoft Senior IT Pro Evangelist Blain Barton a handful of questions about systems administration, development, customer feedback, and more.

My first question was a tough one: How is Microsoft addressing the fact that its current batch of mainline products (Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, and Microsoft Office 2007) "break" so many paradigms that developers and users had gotten used to?

He said Microsoft knows it's a tough road and that it will be "like going from Windows 3.0 to Windows 95." He reminded me that many of the same problems were experienced with Windows 95 and that it took years for everyone to catch up, but they eventually did. This is not the answer I wanted to hear (I remember the Windows 95 transition with not-so-fond memories), but it is a reasonable one.

I agree with him that Microsoft is going in the right direction. Windows really needed security enhancements (at the risk of breaking some applications and being a hassle), and Microsoft Office was pretty hard to use, even if millions of users were used to it.

Read the entire write-up in the TechRepublic Network Administrator blog, and find out what Barton says developers should do to help their desktop apps work side-by-side with mobile applications.

J.Ja

Disclosure of Justin's industry affiliations: Justin James has a working arrangement with Microsoft to write an article for MSDN Magazine.

About

Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.

20 comments
dfvidalo
dfvidalo

Hello, I think that Microsoft has a long history of launching some bad operating systems. Remember Windows Millenium. Vista have a good interface and some interesting features, but it have big compatibility problems and it has high hardware requirements. I see that companies are viewing Vista cautiously but they don't want to deploy it. I love to view some day a linux distro emerges and defeat windows in the desktop. For databases sql server is far from competing with Oracle and Office 2007 is hard to use but it lets more records to manage. I think that .net plattaform is the only area where Microsoft innovates and offers a good product.

sboyce
sboyce

Seems a reasonable statement of the facts of software development. However, Microsoft and friends still slate for doing anything as drastic. It just goes to show the different mindsets deployed when development of the two OS's are critiqued. With even Microsoft understanding that the roadmap and the API's must of necessity change, they criticise Linux for enacting the same modus. MVS, MVS/SP, z/OS, Windows, Linux, Solaris, MacOS, they all undergo radical change periodically.

GusConiglio
GusConiglio

I now use less features of Office than I did previously and so are most of the others in my office. As a result I'm being questioned on "why don't we use Open Office..." [since it's "cheaper"] I don't think that was Microsoft's intent.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

MS sometimes seem to change something just because they can. They are, I will admit mainly tending in the right direction, but they still whacked in a load of 'unnecessary' spangly stuff for the marketing types to have something to sell. I remember 95 too, and NT and 2000 and even to some extent XP. Things shifted about each time. The real change this time is that MS chose to sacrifice some backwards compatibility in return for some future potential. They had no option and in my opinion should have done it years ago. For all it's signifance though there's still a heck of a lot of the old stuff under the hood and they've allowed access to a good deal of it. It's generally true that if you go for a half hearted approach you simply end up annoying everybody.

dawgit
dawgit

It seems to me (and others as well) it's a bit of a "Gray-mail" situation. One pays Microsoft a lot of money, get to be a '___' Partner, and they "Help you make your program work with theirs. Don't deal with Microsoft, your stuff won't work with theirs either. It's a widely accepted, and unfortunatly often seen, notion. -d edited to add a bit on Vista. It seems to be a non-issue here. Ok, it's out there on some consumers PCs, and yes they're having problems. But it's not likely to see any full production time. It's just not needed, so why go through the wasted resources, headaches, to acheive what you started out with. (That's if you're lucky) Add to that the fact it just won't work with what we have. -d

Justin James
Justin James

What are you doing to ensure that the applications you write are working with Vista without causing headaches for users? J.Ja

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