Some fascinating perspective about working with Microsoft from Sun CTO Greg Papadopoulos in his weblog posting One Year Later.
All this being said, there is this deeply entrenched fundamental difference in perspective. Microsoft tries to perfect the closed system. And by this I mean in the ‘closure’ sense, not in the interfaces sense. Longhorn is fashioned to be self-consistent, meaning that when all of the pieces come together, they are designed to create this uber-architected interlocking machine. The primary value is that it all works together. It’s integration.
We (Sun) try to perfect the open one, meaning that we try to maximize the value of innovation that occurs elsewhere. It’s not the way the pieces interlock, but the way that the new ideas of others layer. It’s inherently messier — less Cathedral and more Bazaar — but, in our belief system, more robust future-proof-wise and more inclusive and participative (e.g., the JCP and Liberty Alliance ). Get updated on Jini if you want to see the quintessence of a wide-open system focused upon Change as the Constant. Just enough architecture.
Sounds like mix vs. remix cultures!