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The Vanishing HailStorm 192

ElitusPrime writes ".NET My Services, Microsoft Corp's high-profile set of XML web services postponed eight months ago, seems to have dropped off the company's 2003 roadmap. .NET My Services, once codenamed Hailstorm, was to comprise 14 services including an electronic online address book and voice mail inbox and was once trumpeted as the vanguard of a .NET web services revolution by the company."
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The Vanishing HailStorm

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  • Hopefully palladium (sp?) will be next!
  • Good riddance... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MBoffin ( 259181 )
    It will not be missed.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 18, 2002 @04:37AM (#4914361)
      Actually, I think it will.

      A centralized payment system is what we need most, my understanding is that this would be a feature among others.

      The trouble and uncertainty of putting credit-card info inline is the biggest problem for companies trying to sell stuff online and the number one reason why it's not possible to charge for online content.

      The optimal would be if there would be some kind of standard and the banks would have the service but a company would be a needed second best.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        All the credit card companies have allready decided to go with the liberty alliance so the passport issue is not such a big deal.

        For all the talk the major risk from credit card fraud is to shops not customers. You can cancel a credit card payment. This is the major problem with any new system.

        It is clear that credit card fraud is possiable so that a credit card company can't just tell you that you must have bought the item or payed for the service. With new services that emphasis their security it will be much more difficult to cancel a payment.

        The major reasion why you can't charge for online content is because most people are used to accessing information on the internet for free and are not all that keen on paying.

        There are however some pay content sites that have worked, the best model being the supplying of information that has a limited lifetime and high value, such as business information.
  • Hummm (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Pieroxy ( 222434 )
    Do you remember the time they tried to build their own private internet network ? Was it already named MSN ???

    I guess history just repeats itself, as always.
    • Yep, the ugly MSN logo sat on my win95 desktop by default. Along with that My Briefcase thing. WTF was that anyway?
      • The briefcase was Microsofts attempt to conquer to archiving market as well. A competitor for zip-files if I remember correctly.

        However they didn't seem to bother to force it on users like evrything else. Kinda unusual for Microsoft, I must say!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    See, they code-named it Hailstorm so those who thought about it knew this would happen all along.. it can be on the way down but then be gone or have changed in to something entirely different by the time it arrives.

    Microsoft using clever names, well I'll be. Maybe I'm reading too much in to this though, it is late..
  • by _Hellfire_ ( 170113 ) on Wednesday December 18, 2002 @04:07AM (#4914281)
    Microsoft did this a few years ago with .NET itself. Lo and behold it suddenly appeared. When asked why it didn't come sooner, Microsoft said that it was up on the whiteboard but had to go due to timing, departmental and budget issues.

    Moral: Microsoft never kills off the technology, they just delay it until they think the time is right.
  • Not to suprising. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by autopr0n ( 534291 ) on Wednesday December 18, 2002 @04:08AM (#4914286) Homepage Journal
    There was never really a killer app involved. Companies with a dedicated IT department understand the utility in newer technology, but to the average person, saying something like "This is a revolutionary new technology. It will let you check your email and voicemail! And let you keep an address book!" is hardly compelling. People can already do all of those things with regular HTTP and/or other technology.

    In addition, I wonder how many people actually want to have a single online identity for everything? It might be safer then using the same username/password over and over again, but I don't really know if people want to have their every move tracked and databased... although it does seem like a lot of people don't care.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Considering that they own 95% of the browser market, I always thought it would be very easy for them to include code that would enable easy navigation to domains of their own making, such as ".msn", ".aol", etc. They could bypass ICANN or whoever administers the whole of the Net, and start selling domains or their choosing. No need for plugins, etc, the code would be there, imbedded. What's to keep them from doing this?
      • But only for AOL users, not the general public.

        Both browsers have some sort of general keyword system setup so you can type in "cars" and go to some car site... probably. No one uses it though because google will take 'em where they want to go
    • In addition, I wonder how many people actually want to have a single online identity for everything? It might be safer then using the same username/password over and over again, but I don't really know if people want to have their every move tracked and databased... although it does seem like a lot of people don't care.

      Even the unwashed masses care, when they find out it's from the same company that is behind Hotmail [hotmail.com] (regardless of who actually runs either).

      Seriously, though, Microsoft's credibility to manage databases takes a big hit every time a new Hotmail exploit is uncovered, or even just every time someone gets a mailbox full of spam within days of opening the account.

      A bunch of commoditized services that every ISP can offer is much better.
  • MS was obviously afraid the hailstorm would damage the bountiful crops in their enterprise garden.
  • by ekrout ( 139379 ) on Wednesday December 18, 2002 @04:10AM (#4914292) Journal
    Decentralization of critical data is key to security, robustness, scalability, ..., etc.

    Translation: Putting all of one's eggs into one basket is not a smart thing to do.

    I can't believe that people are even using Microsoft's Passport. I guess by making it a necessity in order to use certain MSN Web services like Hotmail, this was the only way they figured they could attract customers.

    Why would I want to store all vital information of mine (SS#, credit card #, name, address, phone, email, etc.) on one sketchy server up in Redmond, WA?
    • by JimDabell ( 42870 ) on Wednesday December 18, 2002 @04:28AM (#4914337) Homepage
      Decentralization of critical data is key to security,

      How? Do you really think that many people use a different username and password for every login they have? The current situation is that your details are spread across a number of hosts, most of which have unknown security. Crack one, and it opens up access to the rest.

      Here, for the average user, security is as strong as the weakest link - the most insecure website. Using the same username/password combination for your accounts, and giving that information out wherever you get a new account means that you are implicitly trusting each account granter with all your details. afaik, passport gives you the ability to authenticate somebody without people having to trust you with their password. Yes, you're still trusting microsoft, but it's better to trust a single organisation than many.

      I can't believe that people are even using Microsoft's Passport. I guess by making it a necessity in order to use certain MSN Web services like Hotmail, this was the only way they figured they could attract customers.

      Don't be silly. Why should they have multiple authentication mechanisms across a number of sites, rather than a single authentication mechanism shared across them all? They are eating their own dog-food, that's all.

      • by dimator ( 71399 ) on Wednesday December 18, 2002 @05:00AM (#4914432) Homepage Journal
        Do you really think that many people use a different username and password for every login they have?

        No, but at least now, if I find one username/password combination, i don't necessarily know where else i can try that combination. But if I find out your hotmail password, then I immediately know that I can also jack your ebay account, your MSN account, etc.

      • Yes, you're still trusting microsoft, but it's better to trust a single organisation than many.

        Yeh, you're right, but I don't trust MS, and now I can't get customised updates from my local cinema chain cuz they've gone 'passport'

        Who on earth says I use the same username/password combination for all accounts anyway? Don't be stupid.

      • Crack one, and it opens up access to the rest.

        When not using Passport, this is not true. I have the same login/password for several websites, but I always manually log in. If one of those websites was cracked, how would the others be compromised? Answer: they won't.

        it's better to trust a single organisation than many.

        We are talking about Microsoft, here. I'd rather have individual logins for each website. Each one is totally self-contained, even if the same username and password is used (see above).
      • Do you really think that many people use a different username and password for every login they have?

        True, many people (foolishly) use the same username and password for multiple sites... but at least they have the ability to use different ones if they choose.

      • I think what you are overlooking is that the one cracked site doesn't have links to every other site you visit. You don't even know where else the person has visited without some other additional research. With the Microsoft strategy, it's all right there in the database.
    • The passport stuff is even worst then that.
      Microsoft recently released a new game Asheron's Call 2. The only code developed by microsoft in what is otherwise a very excellent game, is the passport billing and authentication system. That is major problem with the game and is causing alot of problems.
      First it is limited to worked with credit card companies from only 8 countries. This may of been planned from the DRM side.
      Second it has problems with being up, so once you are in the game it is ok, but sometimes you have problems getting authenticated by passport and the microsoft servers. Sometimes it is because the servers are down, othertimes it seems to not find peoples authentication for the first attempt.
      Third say you cancel in the middle of a pay period, from that point on the passport system drops your authorization. So no playing until your payment period runs out. On the bright side of this they do warn you about this.
    • You should tell MS...they put everything in one file "registry.dat"(or something similar, I don't remember)!!! If that gets corrupted, Windows should be reinstalled!!! Unix has it way better with separate files for each application.

      By the way, Microsoft is in the position to afford aborting even such grand plans like Hailstorm. It is scary!!!
    • I don't think that the idea of Passport is necessarily bad. (The way Passport is sold, not the demographics harvesting that Passport is actually about.)
      There is a problem, which is multiple logins, lost passwords, filling out obnoxious forms, etc. Mozilla and IE partially solve this, but what is really needed is a kind of generalised SSH agent, that contains all of a user's identifying information. This agent would run on the user's machine, and sites would be granted trust on a very limited basis.
      In addition to the agent, some changes to xhtml or whatever markup language is being used, attaching semantic meaning to form elements. Things like "given name", "family name", "phone number", etc, would be standardized across all web sites that adopt the technology.
    • Take a look at your Yahoo! Profile. They have your name, birthday, address, phone number and any information you have ever given to a Yahoo! property. I was shocked to discover information about me on my wife (then fiance)'s profile. Turns out we had ordered plane tickets once and these people diligently tracked and recorded that information.

      Yahoo! is a lot more insidious now than Passport ever will be.
  • by tgrotvedt ( 542393 ) on Wednesday December 18, 2002 @04:20AM (#4914315) Journal
    If .NET/Hailstorm was to become too successful, it would be another dose proprietry/closed network solutions, the evil that is centralizing the Internet. See, people buy a PC with XP or whatever Microsoft OS has been bundled, the OS "assumes" that the user wants to be a part of .NET, makes them think that .NET is the only way to use the 'Net, and the real Internet becomes weaker and weaker because of it.

    .NET's Hailstorm suite cannot be the next revolution, because no other players (or non-MS fans exersizing some choice) are invited, just MS and their corporate allies.

  • So (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    What you're saying is .NET is actually .NOT?
  • Comprise (Score:2, Informative)

    by janimal ( 172428 )
    Please, please, please! Do not use "comprise" unless you know how to use it! comprise != is composed of !!!

    Example sentence:
    14 elements comprise the whole.
    which means:
    The whole is composed of 14 elements.

    I can take spelling errors, but comprise is not a commonly used word, and using it improperly just says you know the word vaguely and would like to show off your "literacy".

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Please, please, please! Do not use "comprise" unless you know how to use it! comprise != is composed of !!!


      1. To consist of; be composed of: "The French got... French Equatorial Africa, comprising several territories" (Alex Shoumatoff).
      2. To include; contain: "The word 'politics'... comprises, in itself, a difficult study of no inconsiderable magnitude" (Charles Dickens). See Synonyms at include.
      3. Usage Problem. To compose; constitute: "Put together the slaughterhouses, the steel mills, the freight yards... that comprised the city" (Saul Bellow).
    • I agree that the poster's usage is awkward, but comprise == to consist of, be composed of.

      http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=compris e

      Maybe I'm misunderstanding your objection...
  • by ErikTheRed ( 162431 ) on Wednesday December 18, 2002 @04:31AM (#4914343) Homepage
    Remember: MS's MO when a product starts running horribly behind schedule (see: every version of Windows) to start dropping promised features left and right. I wouldn't read much more into it than that, unless somebody has some inside information that's provably not just more spin.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I remember, Bill Gates said once, that .NET and all-stuff-around-it is the most important Microsoft project ever.

    On the other hand, most of the MS success stories happend "just by case". Look on DOS and compare it with OS/2, where MS and IBM invested a HUGE amount of money and people resources. Compare Windows NT (which as "1st tier product" for MS) and Windows 3.1, 9x, ME line. If Microsoft would not drop that old DOS stuff, users never switched to anything NT-based.

    So, when Bill said: "This is the most important project", I though: "...and MS have to fail it".

    Nothing personal to MS, anyway...
  • Single sign on (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Timesprout ( 579035 ) on Wednesday December 18, 2002 @04:40AM (#4914371)
    does seem to be popular with the big boys though Liberty Alliance [projectliberty.org] so I guess we will be landed with some form of it in the future.
  • The first google link for hailstorm is for microsoft's initial announcement [microsoft.com]. So it's not totally wiped. Still totally vague on what it's supposed to be though (although I did win a game of 'buzzword bingo' while reading it).
  • MS versus the world (Score:5, Informative)

    by tokki ( 604363 ) on Wednesday December 18, 2002 @04:45AM (#4914383)
    I remember in 1995, when the Internet was just starting to bud in the commercial world, MS wanted to kill it.

    I went to some Microsoft roadshow in Indianapolis, and they were touting the capabilities of the Microsoft Network, and how everything that was possible on the Internet, was possible on MSN, only better.

    It was amusing to some guy in an MS golf shirt demonstrate things such as web browsing, IRC, and FTP and how they would better be served in an MS-only environment.

    A year or so later, they abandoned the kill the Internet strategy, and started up their "embrace and extend" policy.

    In short, MS got it's ass kicked. They quickly swept that defeat under the rug, and you rarely ever hear about it, which is I'm sure what will happen with this defeat.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Umm, if you've been reading the latest Business magazines you'll realize MSN has taken over AOL. While MSN is growing at a rate of 30-40%, AOL is losing subscribers and losing revenue.

      MSN might not be the best service out there, but it definately didn't get it's ass kicked. In fact, a lot of people are turning to MSN because a bunch of the Hailstorm technologies are being realized on that service.

      MSN took a different approach than AOL - while AOL focused on one single client to get them through the internet, the modern (v7 and 8) MSN has always focues on just getting you an internet connection. (Yeah, you could always use another browser in the backend once connected.)

      Once in, all of MSN's content is web-based, utilizing your MSN single-sign on passport to access it, so you can access you MSN benefits from anywhere, not just your dialed-in client, but also a hotel lobby internet connection, your friends house, etc. (Not just email folks, email, calender, news, customizations, voice communications, wallet, encarta enhanced, etc.)

      If MSN keeps adding in more exclusive MSN-only content and material, AOL is really gonna be begging for mercy. Whats strange is that a lot of people on Broadband still pay the $9.95 a month for MSN since it allows them to filter their internet connection for the kids, and use some of the hailstorm services.

      (As a side note, if you have a family with young children its nice to be able to have a very customized child content filter that also logs where your kids are visiting. If they find access to a site is blocked, they can IM, CELL PHONE MESSAGE, or EMAIL you where you can click a link to unblock the site. That's a great way to have a place in your child's internet use without always being at their shoulder.)
    • by sql*kitten ( 1359 ) on Wednesday December 18, 2002 @11:37AM (#4915062)
      In short, MS got it's ass kicked. They quickly swept that defeat under the rug, and you rarely ever hear about it, which is I'm sure what will happen with this defeat.

      You make it sound like that's a bad thing. There are very few organizations (especially of Microsoft's size) and CEOs in the world willing to say "OK, I was wrong, let's completely change direction". Scott McNealy and Larry Ellison are notorious for throwing money at doomed ventures (like NC) - their egos just won't let them admit to making a mistake. As for Richard Stallman, has he ever admitted to being wrong about anything?

      Bill Gates put his ego to one side, and Microsoft's engineers (who'd just done a Death March to get Windows 95 out the door) got back to work, effectively redoing a lot of what they'd already done. Whatever you may think of Bill in particular and Microsoft in general, they deserve respect for their agility.

      • by danro ( 544913 )
        Richard Stallman, has he ever admitted to being wrong about anything?

        So, has he ever been wrong about something? ;-)
        You know, beneath all the foaming, the guy seems to be right most of the time. Of course he has supported some seriously doomed projects, but most OSS projects start out as "doomed" (no employees, no budget etc.) and a lot of them has grown very sucessfull.

        Actually, I bet you the HURD will reach 1.0 and actual usefullnes any decade now.
    • It was amusing to some guy in an MS golf shirt demonstrate things such as web browsing, IRC, and
      FTP and how they would better be served in an MS-only environment.

      Yeah, FTP and the microsoft way of treating everything in ascii.

      Gave me one helluva hard time in installing (actually downloading) the NVidia drivers for Linux before realising, that some utterly brainless idiot at Microsoft Corp. decided that ascii is the default for FTP-servers.

      And from all companies to actually decide on ascii as a default for just about frigging anything the BloatBoys in Redmond would be the last you expect to pull such a shitty.

      • [...] some utterly brainless idiot at Microsoft Corp. decided that ascii is the default for FTP-servers.

        Sorry, but this just isn't Microsoft's fault. It goes back MUCH farther than that, to the early days of FTP. In fact, on non-free UNIX-alikes, "TYPE A" remains the default to this day. I've had "alias ftp=ftp -inv" for years, long before Microsoft had an IP stack, let alone an FTP server. (Well, maybe in Minix....)

        I'm not even sure the server gets to decide the default type. If your client doesn't request TYPE I, it shouldn't count on anything. I'd look up the RFCs, but it's lunch time.

        Keep in mind when the ARPANET was young, most machines weren't binary-compatible. (Of the few that were wired together.) Binary transfers were rare. With compressed and archive formats, that's no longer the case, even for plain text... but the defaults remain.

      • You really think Al Gore invented the internet don't you? You give MS way too much credit here.

        Microsoft didn't create the FTP standard. I've been using FTP from before Microsoft thought of connecting two computers together and ASCII has always been the default.
    • In short, MS got it's ass kicked. They quickly swept that defeat under the rug, and you rarely ever hear about it, which is I'm sure what will happen with this defeat.

      The embrace and extend policy you mentioned is ongoing, and the fools still think they can make the web an IE only place. They are doing this by a combinatin of making IE suck and promotions of horrid M$ only junk like activeX. So while they have changed their tune, the trajectory is the same. It's a stupid policy that will ruin them, because beter free alternatives are available.

      The net result is that nothing actually works. Last weekend, I got a real shocking demonstration of just how bad IE really is. My father in law has a windoze 2000 box at the mercy of the smart updater. He has the latest and greatest IE6.0 with all the patches, and he has Norton Utilities to try and fix M$ registry problems and all that. I made a CD full of baby girl movies and tested it on his machine to see what he would see. He did not see much. IE was unable to display thubnails named ".thumb_number.thm.jpg", it was unable to display portable net graphics on it's own and object linking embeding for png and avi was horribly broken. Quick time, set as the default veiwer was able to display png files but not as thumbnails in an index. Media player was unable to display avi films, despite the fact that avi is a microsoft format. Media player played the sound and gave a picture of some stoner screen saver. Quicktime was able to display them on it's own, but IE insisted that Quicktime display inside IE. Everytime you pushed on a link, it piped up a dialog box that asked you if you wanted to run the movie inside IE. The default was yes and "remember my preference". If you clicked "no" it would pop the same dialog again as if it did not believe your first answer. It never remembered the "no" answer. Four clicks to view a movie or one click not to. Quicktime was unable to display the movie inside IE. Eventually, we made a mistake and the default behavior was the broken one. I really could not believe that it sucked that bad. This is the company that would try to manage my online identity?

      M$ lost him that day. I downloaded Mozilla for him, it worked perfectly and that was it. This is a guy that gets his news from CNN, had swallowed the M$ propaganda about anti-trust and had an aversion to Netscape over it.

      M$ needs to retreat and fix their junk, but it's way too late. They will be overwhelmed by the quality of free software. Bob, MSN, NET, it's all the same noise.

  • by ChangeOnInstall ( 589099 ) on Wednesday December 18, 2002 @04:46AM (#4914387)
    Anyone know of a good unbiased comparison between J2EE to .NET? Or biased comparisons representing both sides and talking about the same general set of topics? I'm specifically interested in architectural advantages, not artificial performance tests.

    I'm a J2EE developer, and on most all the message boards I read, any discussion of a J2EE technology will normally be interrupted by some .NET advocate who will blatantly say ".NET is better." The reasons range from "because Visual Studio is great", to "ASP.NET" Web forms are way better than JSP. I'm not trying to attack .NET here, but I'm very curious to know why these folks think it's better. I'm looking for an answer that is a bit more convincing than, "it is."
    • Its difficult to find unbiased comparissons as I am sure you have seen from the flame wars that errupt every time the subject comes up. You can try this Web Services [theserverside.com] for a review of web services or this Smackdown [beust.com] for a synopsis of the recent petstore furore or check out GotDotNet [gotdotnet.com] for general stuff about .NET
    • I would assume they have no relevant experience with Java (and, possibly, even with .net), since they don't argument their position at all. Does it even make sense to take notice of what they say? You might want Rickard Oberg's analysis of the recent Pet Shops comparision, he reviews architecture of the MS version, that what might be interesting to you. Personally, I think that Design by contract would be good to have, and neither of them have it.
    • Anyone know of a good unbiased comparison between J2EE to .NET? Or biased comparisons representing both sides and talking about the same general set of topics? I'm specifically interested in architectural advantages, not artificial performance tests.

      They're a different as Coke and Pepsi, or McDonalds and Burger King. Seriously: there's nothing you can do in one that you can't do in the other. The decision about which one to adopt is not technological, it hinges on factors such as what language your existing code is written in, which developers are cheaper to hire in your industry or city, whether you already own lots of PCs or lots of Suns, and the personal preference of your CTO.
      • There is more difference than you indicate. To stay with your analogy, it would be to say J2EE is McDonalds and .NET is a super walmart (which also happens to contain a McDonalds). Both are based on virtual machines but a key difference is that the CLR can comsume Java and so far over 40 other languages. The JVM op codes are a sub-set of what the CLR provides. Therefore, .NET can be seen as a logical evolution of the JVM. As for selection of technology based on available developers; again this is something that the CLR is addressing in allowing a C# developer to call into a COBOL (or any other implemented language for .NET)
        • To stay with *your* analogy, however, you can only eat the burger you buy in the Walmart as long as you remain in the Walmart store (or another Walmart store). As soon as you leave the building, it turns to dust.

          The burger you buy in MacDonalds you can eat anywhere.

          I refer of course to the level of cross-platform support for .NET (MONO notwithstanding).
      • Practically speaking this is false on two fronts. The biggest front is Web Application Development. JSP and ASP.NET are radically different. Anyone who has worked with both for even the smallest project will agree. Application Development also differs between Java's multiple GUI lib's (which are starting to differ between platforms I might add) to .NET's WinForms.

        Allthough we can build a shopping cart with both .NET and Java (not to mention Cold Fusion, PHP, and Perl), that doesn't mean that the difference is simply preference.
        • The biggest front is Web Application Development. JSP and ASP.NET are radically different.

          The similarities outweight the differences by far. The features of the languages are pretty close, and as a programmer you should be using these features to implement the same design patterns in .Net as you do in J2EE.

          • Just because the features of the languages are close, doesn't mean that the platforms are close. From a language standpoint, since both are OO, and since both rely on type safety, and the safety of an abstract machine, you are correct that they are similar. However, the concepts of Properties (vs. Getter and Setter methods), Enum's, and Delegate's can noteably change the design from one to the other.

            However, we are talking about .NET and J2EE, not C# and Java. How would one implement the same design for a Web Application in J2EE and .NET? JSP is based on inline scripting with HTML, with code reuse focusing on procedural subroutines (custom tags), as well as "servlet's" which have some basic objects to interact with the client (eg response, request, and session). ASP.NET is based on an event driven model, with code reuse focusing on OO (Controls - which although seemingly like custom tags, are quite different), as well as any .NET object. In JSP you would follow some sort of a FuseBox type design pattern, and in ASP.NET you would follow a traditional OO software design pattern.

            Anyone who has ever seriously used both J2EE and .NET, especially for Web Applications, will dissagree with your contention that the "similarities outweigh the differences by far".

            • In JSP you would follow some sort of a FuseBox type design pattern,

              That is not correct at all. JSP is the presentation layer of J2EE. You don't develop a web site in JSP if you have a half a clue. J2EE design is almost always done using MVC, as is most OO software design. For a widely used example MVC framework for J2EE you can take a look at the Apache Struts project, or you can take a look at Sun's best preactices documentation for J2EE use.

              However, the concepts of Properties (vs. Getter and Setter methods), Enum's, and Delegate's can noteably change the design from one to the other.

              Not really. These features are primarily syntactic in nature and do not generally affect what design patterns are used to solve a particular problem.

              The fact is that arguing about the differences between J2EE and .Net in architecting web applications is like arguing about little end vs. big end.

    • Have a look at this one: Comparison Between J2EE/EJB Versus .NET [microsoft.com] (I know, windows media... blah, blah, blah)

      Though this is authored by microsoft, I felt that it was fairly well done, overall a genuinely balanced comparison.

    • If you're only using Windows servers and Windows clients, you use .NET because you'd be stupid not to.

      If there are any non-Windows components ANYWHERE in the mix, stick w/ J2EE.

      I prefer Windows myself, but you don't want your customers to say "We like this leeeeeeeenux thingee" when you've got a huge set of WebForms and WinForms already done.
      • If there are any non-Windows components ANYWHERE in the mix, stick w/ J2EE.
        Among all your customers and suppliers, whom you *will* have to communicate with, there will be some who cannot or are unwilling to run *theirs* with a consistent version of Microsoft Windows.

  • Slow down! (Score:5, Informative)

    by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Wednesday December 18, 2002 @04:48AM (#4914394)
    Don't go so fast.

    I spoke with some of the top guys at Passport who were obviously heavily involved with Hailstorm at Digital ID World 2002 in Denver. They assured me Hailstorm was very much alive, but it had turned into a far bigger project than they had thought. In particular, I remember one guy saying something to the effect of "Well, my conscious is clean, I told Bill 2 years was unreasonable, but did he listen? Of course not". Words pretty close to that.

    It may have been a red herring, but I seriously doubt it. I for one don't think Hailstorm has gone - just forgotten, at least for now.

    • Of course! Apart of security and privacy concerns, that was one of the things that several people noted right from start. As far as I remember, the first Hailstorm news on /. had several posters asking how M$ thought it could hold up millions of accounts, megatons of data and parseks of consumer demands without clogging and hampering certain things. Personally I thought, then, that we could seriously face a general stagnation on Internet, if M$ would manage to be implement it into another of its mega-embedded OS. Upon a critical point, M$ could not give anything more to its customers, no matter the resources it possesses. The only way to save things would be to restrict user's access and hamper development of new features. One do not need to be a Passport developper to understand these things. It is a very simple rule of economics: Your resources are always limited, and you cannot afford all your wishes. That applies to the simple consumer, organisation commercial or not, or a State.

      The brightest example, which was pointed back in the early discussions, was USSR. They tried a lot to create an unique organism that afforded everything to everyone. No matter that the gigantic resources this country and its sattellites possessed, they failed. Why? Because they restricted all venues of alternative. They used every natural and working resource at their disposition but in the mean time payed the price by throwing all this into one objective - Communist Revolution. If they had lossen certain segments of their economies, probably they could have gone further. However, this would mean a slower pace and conflicts that they could not support under their monopolistic ideology. In the result, after a fast powerful startup, stagnation came up as the regime throwed more and more efforts on keeping things tight.

      M$ faces the same fate as the USSR if it will keep trying to create such mastodons as Hailstorm. At first it will look great. Then, when the system grows in use and becomes saturated, it will be hard to change anything without breaking certain dependencies and create certain conflicts. Moreover, the resources will be mainly used to support the existing system, and little will remain to afford future expansions. As we humans have always a tendency to search the forbidden fruit, M$ would have huge problems. Either it should share it with someone else and break its monopolistic possession. Or it should try to keep people bound to the existing system, which means stagnation. Considering that Redmond's ideology is also very monopolistic, we may guess what would happen.

      It's good that M$ may have thought twice before doing this mistake. Note that this was due to the fact that they could not afford even the primary objective of getting something working. However we all know that there are still people there who believe that M$ can do it all. So I believe that soon there will be some rumours out of Redmond about a second Hailstorm... in a cup of water....
    • Interesting he should have said that. This attitude is typical of doomed projects. First, you try something and it doesn't work. Next, you realize it's more complex than you thought, but you've already started thinking about the consequences, and how great it will be once you're done. So you try something else and it doesn't work, but by that stage your imagination has run wild and you've worked out all sorts of neat consequences and things you'll be able to do once you're done. Of course, it didn't work because you were thinking way too small. Now that you've really got your head around the whole concept, no the whole system of interconnected parts, you can see much more clearly where the problems might be.

      Around that time you realize you've invested an awful amount of time and money on this, so you can't stop now!

      Wishful thinking.

    • They assured me Hailstorm was very much alive, but it had turned into a far bigger project than they had thought.

      Yes, they got into contact with a few goverment agencies and it became known as "The Echelon Project" instead of HailStorm...

    • by Codex The Sloth ( 93427 ) on Wednesday December 18, 2002 @11:34AM (#4915038)
      Microsoft announced [directions...rosoft.com] that they were scrapping / postponing this due to a lack of interest from customers [win2000mag.net]. Basically, people thought (correctly) that it was a stupid idea. A few years back, Microsoft tried selling Office as an online ASP Service over the web. It was a stupid idea and no one used it. Clearly they saw this was going to be the same thing.

      None of this is exactly a Red Herring -- Microsoft follows a pattern of announcing some far reaching plan, then seeing who responds / complains and then adjusting / cancelling before they actually make any concrete plans (or most likely write a line of code).
      • This plan has been scrapped for the time being, and Microsoft instead plans to sell software that enables other companies to create their own versions of .NET My Services. (See "New Strategy Devised for .NET My Services" on page 20 of the Apr. 2002 Update.)

        Hmm, interesting quote. Perhaps the guy was referring to the corporate version then. I remember MS released a prototype "Hailstorm in a box" for digital ID hosting within a firewall. I never got a chance to play with it, but perhaps it is being rearchitected to support that.

        One possiblity is that they try and get it accepted inside corps, then when everybody is used to it at work and want it at home too, start doing personal hosting.

        • Hmmm. I read it more as "We couldn't find anyone interested in buying this -- why don't you try!" but you have a valid point. They DID try exactly the same tactic with the ASP Version of Office -- resellers set up their own Office servers and leased apps to people (or rather they would have if anyone had signed up for it).

          It seems that corporate Web services are (despite all the hype) an inside the firewall experience and Microsoft is trying to play to that.
  • by geoff lane ( 93738 ) on Wednesday December 18, 2002 @05:39AM (#4914483)
    It died because _retailers_ realised that MS would be acting as agent between the customers and themselves. This worried a lot of people, not because of security or anything, just because it locked the business model into whatever MS was prepared to provide.

  • .... that they just cancelled this scheme because Microsoft has recieved a $50 billion contract from the Bush administration for a much improved system. The scheme involves a sensor, in the form of a spike, that will be implanted into the skull of all American schoolchildren from the age of 6 with a pneumatic nail gun. The 6 cm long probe extends into the inner brain and links the human mind to the internet over a SSL connection. According to a spokesman of the Total Information Awareness Office This new aera of cooperation between Microsoft and IAO will greatly enhance the effectiveness of TIAS (Total Information Awareness System) and revolutionize the ability of the US govt to fight domestic US terrorism. Using the system to fight international terrorism might prove difficutl though not impossible since all vistors to the USA will be required to be implanted in customs and it might also be possible to make economic or military aid contingent upon the complete implanting of citizenry of nations who wish to recieve such economic/military incentives, direct military invention migh also be an option when dealing with "rougue states". Microsoft spokesmen on the other hand have been reluctant to comment on allegations by internet news site/discussion forum www.Slashdot.org that this is just another step in the corporations ultimate quest to poke its nose into the private thougts of all humankind with its evil hardware/software and thereby achieve world domination.

    If you havent noticed by now I will be kind and tell you, That was a sarcastic rant!

    ... Karma to burn
    • Heh.

      My friends and I have a private joke. My friend is a Microslut, and I am BSDish (and now MacOS Xish). The joke recalls the Star Trek TOS episode "For the world is hollow and I have touched the sky." I refer to his MS Implant that brings him pain whenever he considers using Linux or Open Office or the like.

  • Can somebody explain to me what in the hell is .NET?!?! I still don't get it! Is it an ISP, a programming language, a network, what ... ?!
    • by Proc6 ( 518858 )
      It's a unified set of objects that can be used across multiple languages and multiple technologies. A "framework" if objects that aid in the rapid creation of anything from a windows gui app to a website to a webservice.

      Im not some kind of MS cheerleader, but I will say, I'm a perl guy who never liked using Perl to output HTML (sorry Slashdot authors, you guys do great, I just hated doing it), I liked ASP, but VB SUUUUUUCKED when youre used to Perl. So when C# came out, I bought a couple books.

      Here I am a few months later, and I just finished a project for a client where I "single handedly" built a fairly complicated retail website (online shopping), 3 web services, 3 command line (cron type) apps that run on their internal servers and keep the webserver's contact and product database up to date across the internet via webservices. And one GUI app to manage some key features from their end. And I did it all in C# using the same .NET objects and building just a few of my own.

      Again, this is not an MS employee talking (read my comment history), I'm stating only the truth. Im sure Java is awsome, I spent a little time with it, and honestly was going to move to that next, but C# just seemed slick coming from Perl, and I really have enjoyed working with it.

      Incedentally, I don't use Visual Studio.NET for much. It's a fine IDE, and I use it to create GUI apps (Im no masochist, screw trying to place form widgets by typing in pixel coords), but other than that I do the rest with EditPlus.

      Give it a look. MS products usually piss me off, and much of what they do is so ill-willed or poorly-thought out, but I swear, I feel like .NET was written by someone ELSE. It's just really nice for small guys like me who want a lot of power.

      • ... but I swear, I feel like .NET was written by someone ELSE.
        It was, or at least the central idea was. MS was looking for a Java killer, and found it at some university (damn for the life of me I can't find out where), where they had the CLR pretty much already done. C# is pretty much a 1:1 mapping of capabilities of the runtime to a language with C++/Java syntax, and the other languages are existing MS languages bashed into the CLR. Not to say MS hasn't contributed to it, it has greatly, but it follows the MS pattern of not really innovating new things, but taking someone else's idea and executing it much better than they were able to.
      • OK, I looked at your comment history and found:

        IE troll [slashdot.org] about web standards.

        802.11b troll [slashdot.org]

        PDA troll [slashdot.org] from a guy who says he keeps his PDA in a drawer.

        Wow, all in the last 25 comments. Now, above in glorious living print is a C#, Visual Studio, boast, perl smash. No sane person can favorably compare an M$ environment to a free on anymore.

        Perl works great for me. Combined with bash scripting, GNU utilities like find, grep and friends, ordinary C/C++ programing, hell even FORTRAN, or any of the other compilers of the GNU compiler collection, and you have unmatched power and flexibility. No other platform offers as much. Find me an equal to ImageMagic. That's just a small example. Most common work is already done and modifying it to your particular case is not difficult. If that's not enough, you might consider security issues and the perpetual "upgrade" path that will break your M$ junk with more junk of equal or lesser quality and utility. In the free world, upgrades improve your old stuff and replacements are generally better.

    • It's all three, don't you see It's a great new idea that combines everything into one. One OS, one programing language, one network...

      Aww, hell. I don't know. I gave up trying to find out what it is.
  • Maybe they wanted it to fail so they can show the world that they are human, and are prone to set backs. Hell they tell us once a month with a security warning.

    P.s. Oh if you have to respond as an AC cuz you don't have the balls/ovaries to make a real comment. Go fsck yourself @ the door.
  • Dissapating? =)
    I'll be the first in admitting that English is not my mother language, but, you know, it does sound a little strange to me...
    I know! Maybe it's a new acronym! Maybe I woke up in spell checking mode today!
    Nah, the summer it is.
  • It started off slowly and then just fizzled out altogether.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Hailstorm might be forgotten, but much of the underlying services are still there. PassPost lives on and much of the hailstorm services has been renamed .Net Alerts. http://www.microsoft.com/netservices/alerts/defaul t.asp [microsoft.com] .Alert is a very good idea - something that is completely missing in aol or liberty alliance. It is free for users, but if you want to sent messages it is going to cost you (a LOT-10.000$ for MS Passport and approx .10 $/user per month)
  • by analog_line ( 465182 ) on Wednesday December 18, 2002 @11:47AM (#4915152)
    Hailstorm, I thought, was .NET's raison d'etre. All these information technology services, implemented under a Windows framework, and a totally redesigned operating system, built to seamlessly integrate them.

    So what the hell is it now? Passport, .NET server (basically Windows XP Server from everything I've heard), and a somewhat cross-platform (with Mono and all that) and network aware VisualBasic replacement in C#?
    • If the best has happened, it was all just a ploy to market .NET servers and more importantly, XP and application upgrade sales. Now the service doesn't have to exist, because people bought the software and added to the company's bottom line.
  • Goolish (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jav1231 ( 539129 )
    I'm shocked that more in the Linux community don't avoid this whole thing. Why Ximian is having anything to do with this is beyond me. I think any links with MS right now is a mistake. Linux has no reason to attempt to suckle any of the many teats of MS. Compatibility is one thing, but to think the lion is just going to let you sleep beside him forever is non-sense. When he get's hungry or pissed enough, it's your ass. Mono will eventually find this out. .Net is still largely only a reality in the programming world. Which means technically, it's still not a reality. It's all marketing hype at this point. Until a user can see it, and cyberly touch it it's useless. Frankly, I believe it's a means for MS to spread its code in an attempt to shackle competitors later with licensing. Unfortunately, Mono is just an example of how the bait is working. >
  • give m$ some credit. maybe they can't pull it off. so they cut their losses, just give it up. better this than a security and bug filled nightmare.
  • Changing their Marketing and company focus at the drop of a hat to follow market conditions. IDIOTS!
  • Recall that Microsoft renames technical platforms at an alarming rate. This happens so frequently that I conclude it is part of their business model, though I've never understood the advantage of it. Maybe it's a way of locking technical professionals in or out (I'm definitely an outie) by making it unproductively hard to keep up with MS stuff and the rest of the world at the same time. Anyway, is it possible that Hailstorm is alive and well, but about to be renamed to some other meteorological phenomenon, maybe PartlyCloudyChanceofFlurries or something?
  • So they can copy the same services for an online .Net component.

    In the future, look for hailstorm (or whatever name it's released under) to include net backup, calendar publishing, web stuff, and whatever else Apple adds in to .Mac.

    Oh, and probably all the lookup stuff built into Sherlock.

The clash of ideas is the sound of freedom.