Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to talk at length with Microsoft's .Net manager Robert Wahbe - fascinating, to be sure.
Perhaps why Microsoft is against the Semantic Web
One thing that surprised me was his dislike for the Semantic Web initiatives and specifically the world-wide-web consortium's use of resources to promote Semantic Web technologies.
I think that I understand a little better now why the Semantic Web might not be in Microsoft's best business interests. I am reading "The Semantic Web" by Daconta, Obrst, and Smith - that put this idea in my head:
The Semantic Web is all about using standards for data formats and meta data that allows software to find information, perform logical operations to make decisions based on information, etc. One of the illustrations in this book is of OpenOffice which uses legible XML for document storage - if the Semantic Web does catch on, there will be tremendous pressure from consumers and businesses for open document standards. It seems like proprietary (and changing!) document formats are part of the Microsoft Office long range business plan.
Anyway, I am not dis'ing Microsoft here: there are a company trying to maintain profitability - it is just that the wide scale adoption of Semantic Web principles would not be good for Microsoft's profitability (this is just my opinion).