Microsoft Does a Google

This was going to be a comment on an ad I saw in Computerworld. Microsoft is pushing Server 2008 as "Introducing the server you've always wanted: Meet Windows Server 2008. The server unleashed."

I, personally, find the image underneath the foldout to be anything BUT the server I've always wanted. It's a shiny multi-story tall robot (sort of a cross between the I, Robot drones and the Sony robot dog) with huge hands, crouched in a running position.

If I saw that thing in my server room I wouldn't think, "ohhh powerful tool here to help me," I would think, "RUN!!! Find someplace small! HIDE!!!"

I was going to grab a screenshot of said ad.

So I went to the url.

And found a site that absolutely 100% does not work w/o MS Silverlight. Except that MS Silverlight only installs (I tried) if you have administrative privledges on your local desktop. Which is limited in my organization, and every large organization that I know of, to specific people. I don't develop desktop software, I don't need admin privledges. Do I have the authority to start banging around and asking for MS Server 08 if I wanted it? Yes. Do I have desktop privs? No.

So I titled this, "Microsoft Does a Google." Why? Well, it seems to me that this is typical of the not-playing-as-a-team I see from Google when things happen like Gmail not working from iGoogle, or the Google Toolbar blocking all the links from iGoogle.

In this case the team that decided that pushing Silverlight is really, really important is blocking the people who need to sell Windows Server 2008 from having a web site that meets those needs. Is this MS trying to push Silverlight? Yes. Is this a problem for users? Yes. The site is 100% unusable without Silverlight. Someone did this on purpose. It's not that some of the content doesn't work (the normal technique behind Flash-heavy sites), it's that the site 100% does not work.

In the end the messages MS is sending are:

a)Server 2008 = scary heavy duty technology

b)We only sell our new software to people who are local administrators of certain kinds of computers (and who are willing to install auto-updating software)

G-d forbid anyone want to see that site who uses a phone to surf the web, or linux, or is blind.....

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