All I Really Need to Know
Since announcing the Microsoft Interoperability Initiative early last year, we've seen the company move in a consistent and tangible direction toward greater openness, cooperation and interoperability.
In 1986, author Robert Fulghum published the series of essays entitled "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten." The book posited that success in adult life can, in fact, come by following the guidance we were all given as children. Play nicely with others. Share your toys. Put things away after you use them. Clean up your own messes.
It's taken 30 years, countless lawsuits and more than a few Steve Ballmer tirades, but it seems that Microsoft has taken many of Fulghum's insights to heart. Since announcing the Microsoft Interoperability Initiative early last year, we've seen the company move in a consistent and tangible direction toward greater openness, cooperation and interoperability.
You don't have to be a cynic to spy a profit motive in all of this. Redmond has never been in the business of leaving money on the table, and some of Microsoft's most touted interop efforts-cough, Open XML, cough-bear the clear marks of intense self-interest. More recently, we've pondered decisions like Microsoft ending support for its Oracle data provider in ADO.NET, forcing dev shops to seek a third-party provider.
Yet, for every Machiavellian maneuver, there's a jQuery, an ASP.NET Model-View-Controller or a Mono Project. Microsoft seems intent on winning developers from every quarter, be they .NET loyalists who can choose between Windows Presentation Foundation and Silverlight, or Linux die-hards who can turn to MonoDevelop or Eclipse-based Silverlight tooling.
Ten or even five years ago, these kinds of cross-platform efforts would have been hard to imagine. Today, it's hard to imagine Microsoft maintaining the loyalty of the developer community without them.
Is Microsoft open enough or does it need to go further? What would you like to see Redmond do to ensure the viability of your app dev over time and across platforms? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Desmond is an editor and writer for 1105 Media's Enterprise Computing Group.