Microsoft Beating Up Its Own Award Receiving Developers
I have to admit to using Microsoft's Express Versions of Visual Studio, and I also admit to liking them, C#, and the resulting windows applications that I can write. I have recently found myself using Java more to do things, but for Windows, C# is a little more elegant.
I guess we have to face the fact that we have more than one Microsoft now. There is the Microsoft that is embracing standards, albeit slowly, and there is the Microsoft that is trying to do its own thing. Then you have a Microsoft that is trying to be open, and the Microsoft that wants to remain proprietary. Finally, you have the Microsoft that wants to have a vibrant open developer community, and you have the Microsoft that is chasing down people for modifying its IDE.
So on one hand, you've got a developer who has written a really cool plugin that is universally available for all versions of Microsoft's OS, and had Microsoft give him the MVP developer's award. Then on the other hand, you've got Microsoft coming after the guy with cease-and-desist orders for the same product. Microsoft's argument is that he reverse engineered apis for Visual Studio in order to make the plugin work with the Express edition, and violated the EULA.
I would argue, 'OK, so what if he did?' I mean, do they want people to extend Visual Studio or not. If you want people to develop cool software for your platform, you have to allow them some license. I don't really understand why Visual Studio has a cost anyway. I can see charging for the collaborative plugins known as team system, but the base IDE should be free. Sun would never do anything this stupid, they may do other stupid things such as release vaporware called JavaFX, and fail to develop a cohesive method of handling XML in Java, but other than that, they do not present two sides when they are talking about their developers. The opening of the Java source code put their money where their mouth is.
Microsoft needs to figure out who they are. It won't be long before developers stop trusting them, and build web applications instead of desktop applications, despite the complexity. I am convinced that is why Microsoft does not want to support web standards. The more complicated they can make the rich application process, the better for them. As long as it is easier to make a Windows application that does X, than it is to make a Rich Web Application that does X, Microsoft wins.