James Governor's Monkchips

On Microsoft and SOA: To Decouple or Not…

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So I am at a Microsoft analyst conference in one of my all time favorite cities–Lisbon in Portugal.

I just sat down to a couple of presentations from two of MS’s heaviest hitters – Charles Fitzgerald and Eric Rudder. Over the course of these presentations i realized something – there appear to be at least two different Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) visions within the firm.

One vision seems to deeply believe in loose coupling, the other uses SOA as more of a marketing term.

My question to MS is this — are you going to deliver encapsulated, standalone services that can be integrated or orchestrated. or not? I guess the answer would be that this is not a binary decision.

But I keep hearing from the folks pushing the appeal against the EU’s antitrust remedies, for example, that the browser can’t be seperated from the OS without causing irreparable harm to Microsoft . Make up your mind guys.

I think this is my key question for the company for 2005–which is it to be?

To decouple or not to decouple–that is the question. I wonder who is playing the part of Hamlet?

One problem i have is Windows monollith advocates have made such a convincing case. That means, when Microsoft says “integrated innovation” i increasingly seem to hear “lock in and interdependency sklerosis”. which i guess is a bad thing.

Longhorn is decoupling, but what about the rest of the stack? Can MS really afford to wait until 2006 before getting another browser out of the door? Google and Firefox will have made major progress in that time, and RSS will have exploded. Can Microsoft really afford not to be part of the network effect driven by RSS for nearly two years?

i need to flesh these thoughts out, and will try and do so over the near-term.

Interesting that i feel its a question of whether to believe the company or not. But first i need to eat some dinner. Hopefully some bacalhau

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