So I picked a fight with Adobe today and Legal was called.

Ok, Legal was called for another innocent matter and had nothing to do with the fight, but it made you stop and read no? (everyone loves gossip).

I did however pick a fight (not so much a fight, more of a healthy discussion) with a fellow Evangelist over in the Adobe space (No children were harmed in the making of this thread it just ended up being a classic old skool flame war a punch was thrown, a girl cried and kittens were saved).


Now, before I explain further I should clarify something. In my interview process with Microsoft I was given a dummy scenario by Chuck on how I would "Evangelise" the Microsoft product offerings to anyone in Australia (yeah, quite the question isn't it).

My answer was simple (not even sure it was the right one to be honest). I'd find the most vocal person who hates us, and pick a fight and I would do so knowing I would loose. Chucks not easily impressed but I think I struck a chord (must have, he gave me a tick for yes hire this guy) with that answer.

The reason why is simple. People love or hate Microsoft as a brand, each to their own. Yet if I am going to help the development community gain insight and awareness into solving problems they face it would help to also hear why they hate the brand (most of it is noise, but there is at times substance behind it and I'd like to work on ways to change this? crack it or something along those lines).

The Fight.

So, Ted Patrick a guy I respect and enjoy a good banter with about brand wars (I usually go the opposite just to annoy him) made an official post today that he thought WPF only exists to upsell Windows Vista (So in true translation, it was two kids fighting over who would win in a fight, Wolverine vs Spiderman).

If you're still reading, you don't mind the odd piece of politics 😉

My stance was simply "err, nope and here is why". I respect Ted, but it was this one occassion where I felt the anti-Microsoft pitch was a off base and usually I'd leave it as being a "Oh that crazy Ted, up to his usual mischief again" - but I was in a playful mood and thought why not trigger a discussion to road test my new found perspective(s) on both camps offering(s).

Suffice to say that was totally a BAD move to make, and as you will read, I started to look for ways to back out as it was getting into a personal slug fest and at one stage it was two on one (FYI: Ted is a Flex Evangelist, and Mike Chambers is the Product Manager Developer Relations Manager for Apollo).

Anywho, grab some popcorn and read away. Hopefully in two days HR and Legal aren't knocking on my door and handing me the walking papers. If they are, "..Will code SideBar Gadgets for food.."

Click here to read the rant(s). I also wrote an article in November 2005 on why I hate brand politics. To date it is one of my most popular blog posts ever, and was quoted quite heavily. I should point out it contains rude words and I was on a three coffee's a day drinking habit at the time.

(Note this is not an official position from Microsoft, its solely the ramblings of a Microsoft employee suffering from blog-substance-abuse ;)).

Not bad for my second week? Can't wait for what next week has to offer 🙂

 NOTE: I pulled this post earlier on the week simply because I personally thought It maybe a bad move given my fresh start to Microsoft. I got a comment from within asking why I pulled it down? it makes it look like I was told pull it down. This wasn't the case, it was simply due to me thinking that maybe I overstepped the line.

 Yet, as a collegue would say: "Show me were that line is, so I can rub it out".

I love this job each day I turn up for it.

Comments (9)
  1. Garry Trinder says:

    Comments that were removed with the original post were:

    One of Microsoft’s PR problems as the largest software entity is . . .  they are NOT a small company.

    Microsoft has an awesome responsibility being #1 – they must demonstrate a restrained leadership role. At this stage in your professional career, you need to move past arguing “just ‘cause”.

    Try not to undermine the real issues between Microsoft and Adobe.

    Blake Handler

    Microsoft MVP


    So you picked a fight with Adobe knowing you would lose?  Seems to me you really didn’t answer the simple question of “How many users do you want to reach”….

    When you say x-platform isn’t a selling point for the enterprise I think that is rubbish.  It’s even bigger rubbish when you talk about outside a traditionally controlled environment (the interweb) where you can’t control the client.

    If Microsoft’s strategy is “advertisers, advertisers, advertisers” (see ballmer video on YouTube) then locking people out or not being able to reach demographics is going to be a hurdle for the company to reach a Google-like mindshare…

    Putting users first is still somewhat of a challenge for MS. No doubt it’s tough and hopefully they are working on it but there is a reason many people look to technologies such as Firefox, Linux, iPods, Samba, Apache, ect…It’s not because people hate Microsoft,

    it’s because they are frustrated.*

    Frustration leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering….(you get the picture)

    * Angry fanboys who write Micr$oft sux!! don’t count.

    Brendon Chase

  2. Garry Trinder says:

    I’d argue that being an agnostic developer first and foremost, provides context to a discussion I have with developers.

    Its not one stop fits all, and my approach may or may not be different to what Microsoft has done in the past.

    I wasn’t hired to be yet another Microsoft employee. I was hired because my peers felt they needed something new to the team. Something that can help change the conversation from Blue Team Vs Red Team.

    In the last 5 years in developing I’ve spent more time making pieces integrate then I have building solutions end to end under one logo. Those days were long gone.

    Microsoft is playing catchup to the Web Developer world of things, they took a timeout, built some wonderful pieces of technology and now guys like me and other folks within the Ranks are ready to talk about it.

    Listen? At what point do you say "I’ve heard that story before, it usually ends with Vader dying and something about Luke was his son?… "

    Its time to talk, its time to talk about real issues with developers and it may be that I have to talk about companies like Adobe, Google, Oracle, SAP as primaries because our technology is a piece that is secondary. Is that a bad thing?

    I’d wager no, because I think developers are after that, they want help and Microsoft has a lot to offer and heaps of potential new talent out there are looking at us now, and asking if they could have a moment of our time.

    I’ll talk to any developer no matter what team they play for. Just drop me an email, any time 24/7.

    Its a fresh start for me 🙂 There are new toys coming out!

  3. mrmckeb says:

    Bad luck on the Adobe fight… but you were right. Adobe Apollo is like Java on steroids, WPF is like a whole new ball game. It makes everything else look lame.

  4. FYI Mike Downey is the Product Manager for Apollo, Mike Chambers is the Developer Relations Manager for Apollo

    [SB: Heya Andrew! 🙂 … Umm, crap, didn’t know that, i’ll update thanks. I thought it was the other way round? mind is fried lately]

  5. notboss says:

    You created a lot of noise with a poor argument and a lot of words. WPF/E is about extending the WPF api out into the web. In that sense it is about pushing Vista out into the web. Please try to contribute something useful in the future.

  6. Garry Trinder says:

    Yes, you’re correct WPF/E is does extend the WPF concept by providing an agent across x-platforms to compliment WPF based solutions (not execlusively either).

    That being said, that wasn’t the arguement or the conversation.

    The conversation was simply put that Ted indicated the only reason for WPF’s existance was to drive Window’s Vista’s adoption.

    Thats incorrect, while WPF compliments Windows Vista adoption, it exists for entirely different purpose. It provides a richer UX focused environment for Windows Form Development while also making it easier to develop applications in a windows environment.

    It’s very important to note that WPF exists also inside Windows XP. Its important to note this, as its obvious that enterprise companies will not simply adopt Windows Vista over night as instead they will ease into it just like they did with SP2 of Vista (that or Windows 2003/2002).

    So its about providing an agile approach to new development first, by enrichig the dotNet developer of old and new with new enhancements.

    It’s recommended that folks do use Windows Vista, as they’ll be able to have a much finite richer experience overall, but its not an absolute must requirement.

    WPF/E has no relivance to the conversation, if anything it’s more of an extra piece of goodness that will enable a bridge to WPF based applications on X-Platform machines.

    If I had to have a debate on Apollo vs Microsoft, it would be more on Apollo vs WPF/E and not Apollo vs WPF.

    Two different code-plateforms and approaches to things.

    I’ve also noted your blog posts have quite a pro-Apollo approach to things, which is healthy but it to be honest appears at first glance ( If I am wrong, I apologise) that you’re trying to push a different agenda here?

    I’m not about pro-Microsoft or pro-Adobe. I’ll lean more to Microsoft because they employee me for sure (and try and convert too) but my first priority is to establish an appropriate solution to a problem and at the same time if I see misguided public posts such as the one Ted made, if possible I will contribute.

    Heres the thing though:

    We are discussing the products, not Microsoft and that is a welcome change wouldn’t you agree?

    So as for noise? different strokes for different folks.

  7. notboss says:

    Why ignore the larger context?

    Pushing Vista out into the Web is intended to drive Vista adoption. Its not simply a matter of how many desktops have Vista in the coming months or years. It is about adopting Vista as a platform. That’s why Ted Patrick talked about "platform lock-in."

    Again, you use so many words, make so much noise, to say so little.

    Yours collegue was wrong. Not all lines can be rubbed out.

  8. Garry Trinder says:

    It’s not ignoring the larger context.

    Ted stated a lof of things in his post, yes WPF is platform-locked in. It’s in Microsoft best interest to have folks use Windows Vista (that’s a given?), just like Apple OSX wishes folks would adhere to OSX operating specific technologies or other corporations around the world follow suite

    That being said, the context of the actual conversation was that again, Ted stated WPF solely existed for the sake of Windows Vista Adoption. Which is incorrect. It serves another purpose that may compliment Windows Vista adoption but its suited more to UX in development teams (thus XP backward compliance exists).

    If WPF exists to drive XAML, XAML exists to drive new and old developers to increase in rapid development strategies which in turn adheres to and caters for Designers to enter a space, which typically is foreign to them.

    Again, you’re driving a different agenda and attempting to tie it back to this one. It’s a seperate.

    My collegue isn’t wrong, there are no lines, its about solution deliver to appropriate problems within their context/constraints, not enabling blind-disciples of brands. Microsoft has a motto about realising ones potential, and thats what we are about, ensuring developers can reach their full potential.

    If we are failing to enable you as a developer to do so, then please be vocal about it and tell folks like myself or my other collegues. We don’t know what we don’t know.

    I also draw you to the fact that the conversation/debate wasn’t about "whether WPF is platform specific", it was about the merits of why WPF exists.


  9. Last week, I posted a blog entry outlining why I picked a fight with Adobe (actually Fight is an aggressive

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