of betas, standards, and open exchange

2008-07-28 @ 15:46#

i know it's common to knock MSFT for being monopolistic and to invoke all that 'borg/deathstar stuff, but i have a small story to tell that belies the myth that MSFT is a 'closed system.'

i occasionally have a chance to participate in early betas of MSFT stuff. right now i am testing their SSDS cloud database service. it's very cool. since i've spent the last year digging into REST details, i decided to focus exclusively on SSDS' advertised REST support. early on, i made a handful of suggestions and got great feedback. some of my test apps even got a mention in one of MSFT's SSDS blogs. all very nice.

recently, after an update from MSFT, i noticed that SSDS was using an HTTP header in a way that was counter-intuitive to me. more to the point, i broke my precious sample app [boo-hoo]. i posted a thread in the SSDS forum with details on my findings and MSFT thoughtfully responded, in essence, that it was proly not a big deal. i begged to differ. they politely pointed to HTTP standards docs.

i researched some more. and i ended up eating crow.

turns out the issue i raised has come up before and is even included in the HTTPBIS issue tracker. and yeah, it's not that big a deal.

my point here is that the folks @ MSFT could have blown me off, but they didn't. they listened and responded with helpful details. they do a great job of soliciting input from lots of users - usually very early on, too. sure, they don't actually *please* everyone that posts suggestions on their new products - no could do that. but they definitely listen.

that is why i continue to enjoy working with MSFT and their products. they ask, they listen, they respond.

thanks SSDS team, and keep up the great work.