Scary Scary Microsoft: Doc …

Scary Scary Microsoft: Doc Searls yesterday talked briefly about the scary reality of what Microsoft is trying to do with their .NET distributed application framework. The services themselves are called Hailstorm and the authentication system is going to be based on their already-existing Passport directory. The problem is that nobody wants or trusts Microsoft to control this ‘gateway’ to ecommerce and Internet-based services. It’s common knowledge that Microsoft will attempt to leverage their monopolies in the desktop operating system and the web browser markets to also build a new monopoly in the Internet services arena, most notably in ecommerce and distributed software applications.

So, if Microsoft is allowed to do this, where is the competition? How come we haven’t heard the privacy groups screaming about this Microsoft initiative? Why hasn’t someone proposed a similar technology that takes advantage of the open Internet technologies to build a competing “public data project” or “universal profile database” that could be operated by a non-profit organization or by a group of Internet companies like Amazon, Paypal, Sun, etc.? It baffles me as to why nothing like this has been announced. I can’t be the first person to think that this may be the only chance we have against Microsoft’s efforts to control this area.

Seriously. Do you really trust Microsoft to run an electronic profile database that contains a lot of information about you, including your credit card numbers, email addresses, and home address? Because, that’s exactly what Passport aims to be. Given their track record of horrendous security holes in their own online systems and server products, I think Microsoft should be the last company to attempt something like this.

John Dvorak: “…if Microsoft is going to back off from this program, it will probably be because nobody trusts the company.

ZDNet: “This particular kind of service would require the most
trusted vendor…Microsoft is not well-trusted, and recent security exposures have many concluding that it is not well-protected either.
” This article is very long. Be sure to read it all if you care about this stuff.

Just found the Little Green Footballs weblog. Nice.

WebMonkey: Mac OS X for Web Developers

Note to my readers: If you send me email in HTML format, I will probably not read it. Please, plaintext or ASCII only. I use Pine as my main mail reader, and while it can read most HTML-based email, the excess formatting and assinine MSHTML code included in most HTML-email is an incredible waste of bandwidth.

Jim Roepcke: Cesspools and Eyeballs.

Posted by Cameron Barrett at April 20, 2001 08:21 PM