Scobleizer Weblog

Daily Permalink Thursday, November 13, 2003

Philip Rieck shows that Microsoft is already responding to feedback that we received at the PDC (this time in Web Services).

Super Cool Winter Fun Packs for Windows Media Player.

Here's a question for you. Go over to Tim Bray's site where he displays browser share. His readers are all geeks. My mom would never read his site. Now, ask yourself "if geeks won't upgrade to the latest standards-based browsers, why should mom?"

Hint: we need to move beyond the Web. I can get my mom to consider an RSS news aggregator. I can't get her to consider downloading another browser that doesn't have many really new features (tabbed browsing is cool for geeks, but even the geeks aren't upgrading -- keep in mind these are all folks who read Tim Bray's site!!!).

Hint: Dave Winer taught me something very important. It's not standards that matter. It's how many people use your stuff.

Dave Winer, Jon Udell, and now Gerald Bauer says that Microsoft is killing the Web. Or trying to.

OK, let's assume that's true.

Microsoft has 55,000 employees. $50 billion or so in the bank.

Yet what has gotten me to use the Web less and less lately? RSS 2.0.

Seriously. I rarely use the browser anymore (except to post my weblog since I use Radio UserLand).

See the irony there? Dave Winer (who at minimum popularized RSS 2.0) has done more to get me to move away from the Web than a huge international corporation that's supposedly focused on killing the Web.

Now, let's look at what's really going on here. We're going back to being a great platform company. We're trying to provide a platform that lets developers build new applications that are impossible to build on other platforms. At the PDC you saw some of that. New kinds of forms. New kinds of games. New kinds of business apps. New kinds of experiences.

But, we also are looking for ways to make the Web better too. Now, we haven't talked about what we're doing with the browser. I hear that'll come later. Astute Longhorn testers have already seen that we snuck a pop-up ad blocker into the browser without telling anyone about it. Whoa. That means we're gonna turn off MSN's capabilities of selling popup ads.

I hear there's more coming too. But, why should we do it all? Wasn't the point of the past four years to get Microsoft to stop trying to do it all? The DOJ and now the European Union are still after us cause we tried to do it all. Instead, let's just go back and be a great platform company.

We just gave you a great foundation for a killer new kind of application. One that goes FAR beyond HTML. And, even if you stick with Mozilla, your experiences on Longhorn will get better. For instance, fonts are being rendered in the GPU now on Longhorn. Your Web pages will look better and behave better on Longhorn than they will on any other platform. Period.

And wait until Mozilla's and other developers start exploiting things like WinFS to give you new features that display Internet-based information in whole new ways.

There's a whole lot of more useful stuff coming. Both for the Web and for newer Internet-centric rich-client approaches. Personally, it's about time. I'm already using the Web less and less thanks to things like RSS 2.0.

I'm watching 636 sites every day. Try to do THAT in your Web browser.

So, yes, blame it on me. I'm trying to kill the Web. Isn't it time to move on? Didn't we move on from the Apple II? Didn't we move on from DOS? Didn't we move on from Windows 3.11? Can't you see a day when we move on from the Web and get something even more fantastic? I can. Dave Winer can. Why not you?

Good morning! Weblogger dinner tonight. 6:30 p.m. In the food court at the Crossroads mall in Bellevue. Near Microsoft's headquarters. Everyone is invited. Food is cheap. The talk is always interesting.

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Robert Scoble works at Microsoft. Everything here, though, is his personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. No warranties or other guarantees will be offered as to the quality of the opinions or anything else offered here.

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© Copyright 2004 Robert Scoble Last updated: 1/3/2004; 3:18:54 AM.