Microsoft's David Treadwell put up a preview of the new Windows Live Platform that will be introduced at the Mix '08 conference. There's too much to quote but you can read the post here. I'm planning to withhold judgement until I see the actual release but I did want to put a quick post up to describe my overall feeling about Microsoft's these days.
Back in 1997 the browser war was in full swing. Version 3.0 of each browser had just come out the year before and both Microsoft and Netscape were readying massive upgrades in their 4.0 products. At the time people were so fixated on the grudge match between the two companies that I think something got lost in the shuffle.
Microsoft was actually the good guy.
One of the long forgotten ironies of the 90s browser war was that Internet Explorer was by far the more standards compliant browser. Netscape was throwing in proprietary technology everywhere while Microsoft was submitting everything to standards bodies. I don't mean this as a shot at Netscape or even praise for Microsoft, they were both acting according to their position in the market. But it is interesting that Microsoft got little credit for doing all the right things.
Now we have another grudge match between Microsoft and Google and while its not exactly the same (Google's a lot more open than Netscape was) I can't help but feel Microsoft is the more open of the two.
Sure they want to control the plumbing but who doesn't? Beyond that, someone's going to have to do it. Why shouldn't Microsoft have my contact information if they're willing to give it back to me anytime I ask? Why shouldn't I also give them my photos if they're willing to standardize all their API's around AtomPub?
There are people who simply won't accept that Microsoft can do any good. But anyone else has to admit that Microsoft is moving in the right direction and deserves a little credit for it. Maybe even a little trust...