Are Microsoft at the Web 2.0 races?

I have been asked to give a presentation, on Microsoft’s relevance in the Web 2.0 arena.

What do people think, are Microsoft a player in this sphere? They have Office Live, Windows Live Mail, MSN Spaces and they are a big supporter of RSS – it will be baked into the next versions of Internet Explorer (IE7), Office and Windows Vista.

Hell, Microsoft even have Atlas, a free framework for developing Ajaxy Web 2.0 applications!

8 thoughts on “Are Microsoft at the Web 2.0 races?”

  1. I am not that impressed with Microsoft’s overall “web 2.0” implementation (the Live services are a mess.) But they have one very important resource; Ray Ozzie. Anything web 2.0 is coming from him.

  2. I agree with Paul, Microsoft’s whole approach is very disjointed; even at the most basic level the presentation is kinda nasty — “Web 2.0” isn’t just about AJAX, there’s also a “new” design element to it. I like minimalist, but Live Mail is just nasty. The Office Live control panel isn’t /too/ bad though.

    On frameworks I haven’t tried Atlas for obvious reasons (ASP.NET). The best LAMP/static framework I’ve found so far is Yahoo’s; meticulously documented but with nice, simple examples too. Possibily a bit heavy if you’re targetting dialup customers, but in that case you should be using moo or scriptaculous anyway.

    Zimbra is nice, but it’s a bit like Bindows and to a lesser extent Dojo in that the widgets are quite strictly defined design-wise in the default install. The rest are usually quite badly documented, if at all. These developers have a lot to learn about usability!

    There’s a good list of toolkits here:

  3. The client libraries in Atlas work with any back-end server, ASP.NET, PHP, Ruby on Rails etc. Saying that I still don’t like them much. Too heavy, too over-engineered rather than the light and utility approach of prototype or jQuery. I am not a big Dojo fan either.

    Atlas to me represents a typical Microsoft style. For some developers it is ideal, just what they need and that is great. Not for me though.

  4. Hi Tom, you may also be interested in some of the Windows Live Ideas.

    Also, you probably are aware of Ray Ozzie’s SSE (Simple Sharing Extensions) and Live Clipboard. These last two are licensed under the Creative Commons Public Domain License.

    Adam, you may be interested to know that Atlas is not tethered to ASP.NET. At ApacheCon Europe I showed it being used on top of the LAMP stack. See Shanku’s blog for more on this.

    Hope that helps,

  5. Rob,

    I might be interested in some of the Windows Live Ideas and the Live Clipboard but none of them seem to work on the Mac (using Firefox)!

  6. Don’t forget that MS will be including “groove virtual office” in their next MS office product. We have been using it for a while now and it is a powerful collaboration tool and unlike messanger live and other IM stuff everything is encryted on local disks. Works a treat.


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