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2002-01-03 18:31:02+00 by Dan Lyke 5 comments

I read a bunch of executive summary level papers on .NET last night. Wow. If you're not funded by Microsoft, run away[Wiki]! .NET is largely a half-baked reimplementation of technologies already available on open source platforms like Apache (the discussion of "compiled ASP" is completely mod_perl--), and Microsoft[Wiki] says, flat out, that if you're using .NET in a profitable market they will[Wiki] try to take that market away from you. What's even more amazing is the amount of acknowledge FUD, the number of places where "this has yet to be finalized" is stunning.

I think there's a lesson here about how humans respond to optimism versus realism, but I haven't worked that out enough to write anything on it.

[ related topics: Free Software Microsoft Perl Open Source ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:34:10+00 by: Mike Gunderloy

There's also a lesson in here about not believing everything you read in executive summary level papers. I'm not sure what you were reading, but it sounds like it was "Hailstorm"-oriented stuff, which is not all there is to .NET by any means.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:34:10+00 by: Dan Lyke

The primary resources was Directions On Microsoft July 2001, although I was integrating plenty of other materials. And no, it wasn't just on the "Foundation Services" (aka Hailstorm) stuff, which was, as of that writing, almost completely[Wiki] vaporware.

If you combine SOAP, WDSL, UDDI, and the various languages that combine into the CLR, including compiled-ASP, or whatever they call it, you end up with basically mod_perl + Frontier::RPC2 + a whole lot of security holes by exposing layers of COM to SOAP.

Yes, there's more to .NET, but I've seen zero evidence as I've dug deeper of the overarching vision that Microsoft[Wiki] seems to pretend is there, rather I've seen a bunch of poorly planned rip-offs of the JVM and similar technologies that have been implemented elsewhere, along with the explicit statements that if Microsoft[Wiki] finds something interesting, they'll either buy you or out-spend you to drive you from the market.

But I'm also just back from Scotch Night after drinking heavily, so my impressions could be colored.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:34:11+00 by: michael kimsal

... along with the explicit statements that if Microsoft finds something interesting ... Where are these 'explicit statments'? (URLs please...)

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:34:11+00 by: Dan Lyke

No URL, it's in that Directions on Microsoft publication I mentioned, which came to me via a Microsoft rep (a project I'm interested in is looking at them as a funding path, the possibility exists that we can trade implementing on top of .NET for $$). Not enough to be an "official position", but certainly tacitly approved.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:34:13+00 by: Tin Weasle [edit history]

.NET My Services Frequently Asked Questions (As Translated by Reality-Fish)

General Information

  1. What is Microsoft .NET My Services?
  2. Microsoft .NET My Services (formerly code-named "HailStorm") is a platform for collecting user-centric information from the shackled masses. .NET My Services provides a private, secure "digital safe deposit box" where users (a.k.a. "Rubes") can place their personal data. This digital storage box serves as the single, central location where Rubes can store, update, and lose control of their personal data. Once information is placed in the .NET My Services digital safe deposit box, a Rube can, with a fine granularity of control, choose to share that information with friends, family, groups with which they have an association, and businesses. Of course, we will have access to it all because it will be on our servers. Additionally, Rubes can sign up to receive alerts on a number of desktop and mobile devices.

.NET My Services also enables developers to enhance (see also - lose control of key Rube data for) existing online businesses by offering improved (see also - Completely under Microsoft Control) services to their customers. Specifically, .NET My Services provides a convenient (see also - we'll make it easy so the lazy Rubes will flock to it) way to authenticate Rubes (removing your need to bother with pesky things like security for your site's business), to notify them of important events through a wide range of Internet-connected client devices (We told you that we would become ubiquitous! Microsoft on the cell phone, Microsoft on the toaster! All Hail Microsoft!), and to gain access to key pieces of data in order to better serve customers (We will only charge small fees for the information. No, really! Hardly significant... at least for Fortune 100 companies). The entire process is secure (We said that with a straight face!), with ownership and control of personal data remaining in the hands of individual Rubes. And us, of course. But then we know far better than the Rube who should have his or her data, don't you think?

An important part of the overall Microsoft .NET product offerings (and, therefore, our continuing efforts to lock down intellectual property rights to the universe as a whole), .NET My Services is implemented as a set of Web services that utilize industry standards including Extensible Markup Language (XML) and SOAP. At least, we will support our standards. We may choose to ignore or assimilate others. It's really up to us, once we have the data, don't you think?

  1. What services are provided by .NET My Services?
  2. The initial .NET My Services include:

.NET Profile. Name, nickname, special dates, pictures. The first point of attack for any identity theft.

.NET Contacts. Electronic relationships/address book. Links galore for more victims.

.NET Locations. Electronic and geographical location and rendezvous. Favorite service for stalkers.

.NET Alerts. Alert subscription, management, and routing. Controlling the information flow.

.NET Presence. Online, offline, busy, free, which device(s) to send alerts to. Soon with My Cellular Service bundled in!

.NET Inbox. Inbox items like e-mail and voice mail, including existing mail systems. Every piece of correspondence.

.NET Calendar. Time and task management. Essential to let authorities know where and when to serve court documents.

.NET Documents. Raw document storage. Resumes, and other evidence.

.NET ApplicationSettings. Application settings. Lists of all the software used by the Rube. Marketing reviews.

.NET FavoriteWebSites. Favorite URLs and other Web identifiers. My Blackmail service included.

.NET Wallet. Receipts, payment instruments, coupons, and other transaction records. Copied to the IRS weekly.

.NET Devices. Device settings, capabilities. Part of our plans to dominate the peripheral market.

.NET services. Services provided for an identity. Main tool for routing information to the proper internal departments.

.NET Lists. General purpose lists. Submitted to Eschelon for scanning daily.

.NET Categories. A way to group lists. Catagories include "My Porn", "Sedition", "Tax Evasion", and "Enemies".

  1. What is the value of .NET My Services?
  2. .NET My Services will enable applications, devices, and services to work together on the Rube's behalf and under Microsoft's control by allowing Web services to access data centrally stored in a central, digital location. On the net. Running under IIS. We have every confidence that it will be secure. Really. Because it provides unprecedented levels of personal control, .NET My Services will create a wide range of new opportunities for businesses of all kinds, especially Microsoft, and will trigger a new wave of excitement about the Internet. Imagine the excitement when the central, digital location for all of the personal data, financial information, location details, and browsing habits for all of the subscribers is downloaded by a 14 year old and posted on Yahoo! Yes, it will create excitement about the Internet, without question!

In addition, .NET My Services gives (Microsoft) developers a powerful platform for building (Microsoft) services that offer real value (Microsoft) to customers. These services include the ability for Rubes to easily log on to Web sites, receive timely and relevant notifications they've opted to receive, and, with their consent, securely share their calendar, contacts, and other information with anybody, anywhere, on any device. We are appealing to the Script Kiddies out there. Hey! You! Pizza-Face! If you promise to stop hacking out secure servers, and writing those damned VBS worms, we'll just GIVE you access to this. With your own account. Really! You can take all the info you want, just PLEASE stop hacking us.

  1. When was .NET My Services announced?
  2. On March 19, 2001. And three times a day every day after that.
  3. When will .NET My Services be available?
  4. Microsoft .NET Passport, the .NET My Services authentication service, is available today. There are already over 165 million .NET Passports in existence. That equals approximately 2 million users. .NET Passport is the preferred tool of the identity thief, since it makes it so simple to maintain multiple identities on one computer. A single click, and you can be anyone you wnat to be! To learn more about .NET Passport, including the .NET Passport Software Development Kit (SDK), see the .NET Passport home page. The first set of .NET My Services will be available in 2002. Or 2003. Maybe 2004. For sure, by 2005.
  5. What is the relationship between .NET My Services and the Microsoft .NET initiative?
  6. The .NET My Services are an important part of the Microsoft .NET initiative. .NET My Services provides a platform that enables developers to create Rube-centric applications that deliver new levels of value and convenience to Rubes. That, and it puts our foot in your door, where we will work our Borg-like magic on you, your team, and your applicaton. Other .NET elements include the Microsoft .NET Framework and the Microsoft Visual Studio® .NET suite of developer tools; Microsoft .NET Enterprise Servers, which provide a robust (and secure! Really! Absolutely secure!) infrastructure for XML Web services; as well as smart devices for delivering Microsoft .NET services; and the overall .NET-based experiences(TM)(SM)(C)(Pat.Pending).
  7. What is the relationship between .NET My Services and .NET Passport?
  8. .NET My Services will use an advanced (see also - bigger, better, more!; see also - "Bloatware") version of the existing .NET Passport service to verify the identity of a Rube. When a Rube signs up for a .NET Passport, Microsoft assigns a unique 64-bit number known as a Personal Unique Identifier (PUID)(pronounced "Pee-Yoo EyeDee"). The PUID serves as the key that provides access to the personal data that a Rube stores inside .NET My Services. The PUID will be stored with the user information, in plain ASCII, making .NET My Services compliant with our previous security products. It will also be emailed directly to "alt.comp.l33t.H@X0rZ" to save time, and prevent the need for our service to be violated for the information. Microsoft fully intends that this service will be secure.

.NET My Services Open Access

  1. Is .NET My Services built on industry standards?
  2. Yes. .NET My Services is implemented as a set of Web services that utilize industry standards including HTTP, XML, SOAP, and Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI). Soon, Microsoft will be announcing .NET My Industry Standard, a new standard for all internet operability that will be cross-platform and ours. .NET My Industry Standard will replace all known standards, whether for software, hardware, protocols, transports, or anything related to computer communication. This will be an important step towards a new product, code named "My Economy".
  3. What types of Web servers can access .NET My Services?
  4. Many different types of Web servers will be able to take advantage of .NET My Services. Web servers do not have to run Microsoft software to access .NET My Services. The only requirement is support for the open industry standards of HTML, XML, and SOAP. However, within 18 months, it is expected that all servers will be replaced with .NET My Server, running .NET My Industry Standard applications. Microsoft is committed to this initiative to prove our ability to innovate tools (used by the rest of the world for ten years) repeatedly, often, again, anew, over again, afresh, once more, ding-dong, ditto, encore, de novo, bis, da capo, again and again; over and over, over and over again; recursively, many times over; time and again, time after time; year after year; day by day, many times, several times, a number of times, many a time, full many a time; frequently.
  5. What kinds of client devices can access .NET My Services?
  6. Any client device will be able to access .NET My Services through standard interfaces. The client device does not have to contain any Microsoft code. On March 19, 2001, Microsoft publicly demonstrated how .NET My Services can be accessed by devices using a variety of operating systems, including Microsoft Windows®, Windows XP, Apple Macintosh, Pocket PC, Palm, and various versions of UNIX. We anticipate this to be the case until the second quarter of 2003, when we will simultaneously pull the plug on all devices not running .NET My Device, a part of .NET My Industry Standard. (see also - "MSN Refuses Connections from All Browsers - Except Internet Explorer", August 2001, World Press International)
  7. Can I create my own .NET My Services?
  8. Right now, Microsoft is focused on creating and launching the first set of .NET My Services. In the future, Microsoft plans to encourage other companies to create services that extend the capabilities of .NET My Services. Of course, if you can code and have an original idea, Microsoft wants to hear from you .NET Today. Microsoft will take your developed idea and market it, using their .NET My Intellectual Property service. (Microsoft cannot and will not speculate on the availability of .NET My Payment. You may file .NET My Civil Suit to try and recoup your costs, however.)

Companies that build on the set of XML Web services within .NET My Services will save time and money, and the embarrasment of their systems being inoperable with Windows XP2. Because many online applications require the fundamental services provided by .NET My Services, and by the second quarter of 2004 all of the internet will be owned by Microsoft, businesses will benefit both by using the .NET My Services platform to extend the functionality of their existing applications and by building new applications that provide valuable new services to customers. (Any .NET My Services applications become the property of Microsoft, without recourse or remedy of any kind, and without any implication of comensation, real or implied. Developers interested in alternative open source products are directed to apply for permanent visa to .NET My Political Asylum (formerly known as Lower Outer Albania), where bountiful supplies of code monkeys, poverty, and mud await.)

Security and Privacy

  1. How does .NET My Services allow Rubes to manage and protect their personal information?
  2. The fundamental principle behind .NET My Services is that the Rube has full control over all data stored in a .NET My Services digital safe deposit box within Microsoft .NET My Big Brother guidelines. Through a Rube-friendly tool, each Rube can specify who has permission to access each piece of data. .NET My Services creates the illusion that only the owner of the data can set the permissions for their data. Rubes are lulled into a sense of tranquility, while we are auctioning their information on eBay (Soon to be renamed .NET My Stolen Identity Clearinghouse).
  3. How secure is the personal data that people put into .NET My Services?
  4. Microsoft is committed to making all products and services very secure (Again, we said that with a striaght face! We're getting good at this!). .NET Passport—the authentication mechanism for .NET My Services—already achieves a high level of Web security that prevents access to personal information or other activities that might compromise the service by any Rube who forgets their UberPassword. In addition, Microsoft uses state-of-the-art 1960's techniques and technologies (such as super-secure ASCII password encryption using the username as the key to encoding) throughout the .NET My Services architecture and only pig-latin in the .NET My Services operating centers to provide the highest possible levels of security for a Microsoft product. "Ant-way a ob-jay? Etwork-nay ecurity-say perts-exay anted-way. Pply-Ay t-ay edmond-Ray mmediately-iay."
  5. What will Microsoft do with the personal data in .NET My Services?
  6. We will store it securely and transmit it only to parties that the Rube, or the Rube's identity thief, has authorized to access it by transmitting to us a HotMail message in clear text stating "Give these guys all my stuff". Microsoft cannot access data in a Rube's digital safe deposit unless the Rube has granted explicit permission by using a name containing either vowels or consenants (see .NET My License Agreement). Microsoft will not sell data or make any other use of it for which the Rube has not specifically granted permission, by breathing air (see .NET My License Agreement).
  7. Can Rubes change their minds after authorizing .NET My Services to send personal data to a Web site?
  8. Yes. An easy-to-use tool allows Rubes to change the access rights and deny access to data by specific parties, except for .NET My Microsoft Preferred Spammers&ConArtists. From that point forward, .NET My Services will not transmit that data to those parties, unless they belong to .NET My Microsoft Preferred Spammers&ConArtists, which is open to anyone by paying a subscription fee. Data sent previously cannot be unsent, however, and it is subject to the privacy policy of the Web site it was sent to, just as if it had been manually typed into a form on that Web site. Data previously captured by a l33t H@X0r or a Script Kiddie during transmission from .Net My Services to any website will continue to belong to that l33t H@X0r or Script Kiddie. (See, guys? No need to hack this site, REALLY! Please, for the love of God, don't hack this site!)
  9. Will Web sites stop collecting personal data and rely on .NET My Services for that function?
  10. No. Online services will continue to identify Rubes and keep information provided by Rubes in private databases. On lots of computers. Not protected by .NET My Security Measures. Scarey, huh? We bet you'll want to give us all your information right away. You know you do. Your eyelids are getting heavy... repeat after me, ".NET My Mind is open and relaxed..." .NET My Services is populated with personal data provided directly by the Rube—not from Web sites or Web services. Thus, it remains the purest, most complete source for identity theft available anywhere.

Business Model

  1. How will Microsoft make money on .NET My Services?
  2. When someone buys a computer today, they pay (Microsoft) for a license to use the (Microsoft) Windows operating system because it is a contractural obligation of all OEMs, works well (for Microsoft) and runs thousands of applications (made by Microsoft or made using tools built by Microsoft). In this way, Microsoft gets a piece of the pie, then second or third helpings almost immediately. The business model for .NET My Services will be similar. Rubes will need .NET My Services subscriptions to take advantage of the thousands of (Microsoft) .NET My Services–aware applications that will provide new levels of (Microsoft) convenience to them. They will pay a fee to subscribe to .NET My Services because they will believe that these (Microsoft) services will make their (Microsoft) lives easier and their daily (Microsoft) Web activities more (Microsoft) effective. (In reality, it will have to do with our making big payola to politicos to look the other way when we add .NET My Mind Control Serum to water supplies across the globe.) Microsoft will also make a small amount of money (in Gatesian terms) selling tools to developers and by collecting moderate fees (in Gatesian terms) from online services that send high volumes of requests (more than 2 per annum) to .NET My Services. Details of the .NET My Services business model and pricing have not been set at this time. (Legal has told us not to commit them to paper or email.)
  3. How will the industry make money on .NET My Services?
  4. The industry will make money by building Microsoft enabled Rube-centric applications on top of the .NET My Services platform. Current applications can be enhanced and new applications will be created, making .NET My Services a tremendous business opportunity for the industry. Since the licensing for creating or maintaining a .NET My Services platform application will only be 80% of the gross revenue, Microsoft will generously allow the developer to keep 20% of the sale (after any taxes and fees). Should this be unworkable for the developer over time, a program called .NET My Bankruptcy will allow developers to become full time (unpaid, non-benefit qualified) contracted Microsoft workers. In return, Microsoft will waive the outstanding debt, provided the developer does not say anything derogatory about Microsoft ever again, and works our simple 90 hour a week schedule.
  5. What are the fees?
  6. This has not been determined yet. Our goal is to make .NET My Services easily affordable. (Note to Legal: this covers that memo you sent me about this part, right?)
  7. Is .NET My Services a U.S.-only service, or is it available worldwide?
  8. Our implementation plan is for worldwide rollout, abiding by the legal requirements in each country/region. Should the law prevent the rollout, we will offer another new program, called .NET My Government. This will provide an exciting opportunity for Microsoft to overthrow, through legitimate elections tallied on .NET My Election services, any luddite government and replace it with the Board of Directors for Microsoft, Incorporated. (Steve Ballmer has already got his heart set on Thailand... any resident of Bankok that wants to help should contact their leaders immediately.)

Reliability and Service Level Agreements

  1. What has Microsoft done to ensure .NET My Services reliability?
  2. Microsoft runs some of the most heavily-hacked^h^h^h^h^h^h^h-trafficked sites on the Internet today. We have drawn upon our Web experiences to ensure that .NET My Services provides the highest-possible levels of reliability for any Microsoft product. Our goal is currently 35 pico-seconds MTB Hacks and 4 hours MTB Complete Outages. .NET My Services is designed as an n-tier application to facilitate scale-out and handle the heavy traffic that it will experience. (Thanks to internet.com Webopedia for all those nifty-sounding terms!) The architecture is fault-tolerant with built-in redundancy (it is a bunker in the mountains with a lot of doors and a slew of power outlets). .NET My Services will build on all of the experience that Microsoft has gained in running the .NET Passport service. We anticipate the log entries for penetrations and crashes tobuild on (and far exceed) those for .NET Passport alone.
  3. Will Microsoft guarantee that .NET My Services is reliable?
  4. Yes. We will have service level agreements for .NET My Services. We pinky-swear.
  5. How does .NET My Services defend against denial-of-service attacks?
  6. In order for a Web site to send requests to .NET My Services, it must have a contract with Microsoft, so that Microsoft has issued it a .NET My Site ID. Requests that come in from invalid .NET My Site IDs will be ignored, and will impose little burden on the system. If a valid .NET My Site ID exhibits unusual behavior, we can slow the servicing of its requests or shut it off altogether. .NET My Services will employ additional defense mechanisms, as well, such as begging the hacker community to please leave us alone. .NET My Services is designed to be resilient in the face all types of denial-of-service attacks. After the attack terminates, we will bounce right back up.
  7. How is .NET My Services protected against catastrophic events?
  8. .NET My Services data centers are geographically distributed in order to facilitate rapid recovery from events such as earthquakes and power outages. Microsoft is also exploring the possibility of placing a .NET My Services data center in high orbit at an "LaGrange point" to make sure our monopoly continues to thrive after the earth is wiped out by giant meteors. (This last idea was Steve Ballmer's. See, Thailand? He really would make a dandy king! Think about it.)

Getting Started

  1. How do I get started using .NET My Services today?
  2. To get started, you can:

Begin using .NET Passport today. Become the biggest Rube on your block! See the Microsoft .NET Passport Business Services site for more information. Mark October 22–26, the date for the upcoming Professional Developers Conference (PDC), on your calendar. Register today on the MSDN® site. (Time travel required. See the .NET My Deja Vu website for more details and fees associated with corrupting the time stream.) Learn about XML Web services on the MSDN site. Or, get a jump on the competition by going directly to a Microsoft development environment unviewable by any non-Microsoft browsers, at the .NET My Industry Standard site. Get the Visual Studio .NET Beta and develop XML Web services on the Microsoft Visual Studio .NET site. (Any services developed on the Microsoft Visual Studio .NET site become the property of Microsoft in perpetuity, with all rights and profits of same reverting to Microsoft for the rest of time.)

  1. Where can I learn more about .NET My Services?
  2. Get additional information on .NET My Services on the .NET My Services Family home page. Or visit our developer section at www.sellyoursoul.com.

(This work of satire is protected by the First Ammendment of the Bill of Rights, thank God!)