WinFS delay discussion
A while back I read the article from Frans Bouma about the WinFS delay.Not until today I read on Roland Boon's website that Robert Scoble responded to his article. I cannot just sit here and see this Microsoft evangelist twist the truth.
For example, he's telling Hotmail can't deliver the 1GB Google is giving out to people (for free!) because Hotmail already has an installed base of millions of users. That's why Hotmail only is handing out 250MB to everyone. Well, first, I still only have 2MB because I'm European. I know there's a workaround, but why can't we just get the 250MB as well? Second, why do I have to sign in every 30 days or loose my account? And is Microsoft counting all these deleted accounts as well? And, does every GMail owner have the full 1GB filled up? And is every Hotmail user? I think not! I only have a few MB's of data on my GMail account. And it's not because of the 1GB I think GMail is better, but because of the supreme functionality GMail offers!
Also, Robert is talking about the fact that Hotmail is adding more customers per (undefined) period then GMail. Or, he's hearing this in the hallways, to quote him. He's probably hearing this in Microsoft hallways alone. But, GMail isn't officially released yet, all users are on invitation only. You can't just surf to gmail.com and subscribe. Most people I know don't know about Gmail because they never heard of it, or because they didn't get an invite yet.
Robert is also saying they can't just “hack out code” and putting it on the internet, like the open source people can afford to do. But what are all those releases of Visual Studio.NET 2005 we're testing for Microsoft, right now? Must I list all products that aren't even beta or rc's?
Finally, he's referring to bad pr that Microsoft can't have, when something goes wrong in WinFS if one file can't be found on a users system. If that happens, currently the product goes back into development, and testing is done again and again. But how come then, that still a lot of products I use contain so much bugs, just so much, that Microsoft is aware of but just completely ignore? Or do have patches for, but are just plain unsupported by Microsoft. And I can't even bring to my customers and install there, but they have to personally call Microsoft for the download link and install it themselves?
Really, don't get my wrong, I love using Microsoft products. But Microsoft has to be realistic and give us good reason why they don't bring WinFS to Longhorn. Why everything is being delayed again and again. While they're already advertising all those new products for years now, with a lot of early adaptors and other people eager to use those products.
I think in the end, it is all about bad PR. But they just can't handle all the bad PR. Although this company owns a large piece of the world with their software on so many computers, I think a large part of it ties together with marketing. And when the marketing can't win the fight against bad PR, the company is doomed.