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Thu, 29 May 2003
IE and CSS: just bugs? Or something more?
Tim Bray's post on CSS is mostly about his frustration over IE's brokenness in various ways.

It's also an illustration of one of the big problems that I think Microsoft is facing. The everything integrated into the operating system story sounds good, and from a particular view of system architecture makes sense. You move things that everybody uses down into a system layer so it can be leveraged. The problem comes when all the pieces become very dependent on each other. Now you can't ship IE without shipping parts X, Y, and Z from Longhorn. But those parts depend on A, B, and C which in turn depend on yet other parts. Pretty soon you reach the point where you can't ship IE without shipping Longhorn. Granted, I'm taking this to an extreme to make a point, but it seems to me that the integrated delivery strategy that Microsoft (and Sun in the J2SE, J2EE) has committed to is going to force them to go slower and slower, and to become less and less responsive to changes in the marketplace (you can see this very clearly in Java). When everything is tightly integrated, you need more communications between components (both human and code), you need more testing, you need more of everthing. And the stakes are higher because it's all or nothing. Seems to be an odd strategy for a company that's touting the benefits of loosely coupled web services.

[12:13] | [computers] | # | TB | F | G | 2 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
This is exactly the problem that .NET assemblies were intended to solve.  (See, for example, this article.)  I suspect that the major motivation for the .NET technologies wasn't marketing against Sun, as has been speculated, but creating technologies that MS could use internally to enable deployment of products such as Longhorn.
Posted by Oliver Steele at Thu May 29 18:52:38 2003

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