Edd Dumbill in Kicking out the Cuckoo: Extrapolating from the emergence of the WS-* specifications, it would seem that SOAP is the thin end of a wedge, the fat end of which will turn Internet programming into a proprietary platform.
Sorry, I just don't see how the existance of the WS-* proto-standards leads to the Internet becoming a proprietary platform. Sure, moving an application from one platform to another will always be difficult. But adding an application built using any platform that supports these proto-standards to a distributed system is becoming increasingly more feasible. That is something that was difficult to do with CORBA and almost impossible to do with DCOM. The WS-* proto-standards are clearly a move in the direction of opening up the network platform, not making it proprietary.
The only question is: can these specifications be implemented on every platform? From a technical perspective, I believe so. After all, it is just XML.
From a licensing perspective, who knows? I certainly don't have any special knowledge. What I do know is that web services are valuable precisely because they can be widely implemented. My favorite analogy, taken from Kevin Kelly's Out of Control: the New Biology of Machines, is the fax machine. The first fax machine that rolled of the assembly line was worthless. The second had almost no value. The millionth had lots of value.