Thursday, October 01, 2009

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Tell us what you really feel...

In an Open Letter to Steve Ballmer, Craig Burton rants about the ridiculous policy Microsoft has for controlling updates and enhancements:

As we drove further down to path to understand why, we were told the following unbelievable conversation. (The following is not an exact quote, but close.)

Changes like you are requesting can only happen in an “in-band” release of Windows. These sort of changes are prohibited from going out in the Tuesday updates. What goes out with in-band releases the Tuesday updates is controlled by—Steve Ballmer.

Well F*&% me. Dude, after all of these years, you are still micro managing the Windows release! Now I know why Microsoft is now been relegated to insignificance in the identity market. The reason is simple. Internal policy, managed by you, prohibits product mangers from keeping up with trends and innovation.

And what was the momentous change Burton was asking about?

In our meeting, we discussed how many man hours it would take to modify CardSpace to support context-automation. The answer is a few days of work at the most. When asked how long before such a simple change would find its way into CardSpace, the answer came back as two years at best, maybe.

Unfortunately, Ballmer has never understood the importance of identity to the fabric of computing, so he's never going to permit what he would perceive as "feature creep" in the regular monthly updates. That's good news for Microsoft's competitors, and bad news for it's customers.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

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Geneva was better

At it's Worldwide Partners Conference today, Microsoft announced the formal names for the products and services that had been going under the code name "Geneva":

  • Active Directory Federation Services – formerly known as “Geneva” Server(and a name in use since at least 2005. See this press release )
  • Windows Identity Foundation – formerly known as “Geneva” Framework (this name was suggested back in 2006, but for a slightly different product).
  • Windows Cardspace – same as current version (also around since 2006).

Not nearly as catchy as "Vista", but that name has too much baggage. My preference would have been for Geneva Federation Services, Geneva Identity Foundation and GenevaCards. But, then, I don't make the big bucks!

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

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Is "fact" analog or digital?

In a recent posting about Kim Cameron's latest effort ("Proposal for a Common Identity Framework"), Radovan Semancik picks a number of nits, including this:

"It also seems to assume a binary view of trust: something is either "in doubt" (in claims) or becomes a "fact". I consider this binary view to be one of the worst fallacies of most current identity architectures and systems."

Now it could be that he means there's actually 3 possibilities: "in doubt", "fact" or "false." But, somehow, I get the sense that he refers to some analog function of factuality which I simply cannot fathom. He later adds: "No information is absolutely reliable and all the information (at least in cyberspace) is subjective," which appears to be positively Luddite in finding cyberspace to be somehow less reliable than, say, print media.

In any event, Cameron's latest effort, the 30-page (sometimes dense reading) paper written in conjunction with Dr. Kai Rannenberg (who holds the T-Mobile Chair for Mobile Business and Multilateral Security at Goethe University Frankfurt) and Dr. Reinhard Posch (Federal CIO for the Austrian government) deserves your attention. Read it this weekend.


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