I hear all the time that Microsoft is not innovating, that Microsoft is a follower… that Microsoft is just trying to play catchup in the world of Web 2.0. Hell, let's lay it on the table… Martin Fowler tries to assert that Microsoft is in trouble, saying "over the last year or so there's been a big turn away from .NET."
Rocky Lhotka hits it on the head with his post, "A Lack of Enthusiasm in the Microsoft World:"
I don't believe the lack of excitement is because we're all bored. Conversely, the lack of excitement is because we're overwhelmed. Who has time to be excited? Not only do we all have real work to do with the technologies we have today, but on our doorstep is a mounting pile of new and potentially better technologies.
Boy howdy! If there was such a turnaway from .NET as Fowler asserts, I don't think we would have seen the upturn of Silverlight and SharePoint requests from customers such as those seen at MIX (I would call AOL, Disney, FOX, and those shown at MIX as true "Alpha Geeks"). I dare say that, if Fowler's assertions hold true, my life would be spent at home with family instead of on the road talking about .NET 3.0, Silverlight, and SharePoint nearly as much as I have been.
Sorry, Martin… my customer base doesn't agree. Perhaps we can work with ThoughtWorks on partnering on a couple of engagements?
Martin has a point about Microsoft tools with their rigid role separations. People often take on more than one role on a project. Having to purchase Visual Studio Team Suite, for instance, to allow a person to carry out more than one role seems a bit much.
"Conversely, the lack of excitement is because we're overwhelmed."
I'll second that notion. I work in a very large environment (over 10,000 desktops) and we only rolled out Framework 2.0 to every desktop a few months ago. Lately it seems like MS is determined to shove new versions of everything down your throat about every 12-18 months until you are choking on them.
Who is MS in a race with?