Not being entirely satisfied with my original post I am going to streamline
and update my comments into essential points. (Please note, many of these
points are musings, not to be confused with facts. The Vendor should feel
free to respond with facts that may disprove any and/or all of these points.
I should like very much to read their responses and would feel encouraged
if they would to do so.)

- Hailstorm appears to be an effort by MS to gain the middle-man position
in internet based financial transactions world wide. An ambitious goal,
but who is better positioned to do so than MS? I donít fault MS for trying,
but I would be disappointed if the world wide business community again failed
to guard itself against the predations of happy-hyping software giants.

- There is nothing I can see to prevent MS from using Hailstorm data to
further promote Customer Tracking (privacy issue), even if they "promise"
not to (their EULAs typically ensure their ability to change the terms of
their agreements without notification to the user. A review of the EULA
presented earlier this year on MSN convinces me that MS has the intention
of 'owning' every piece of data that resides or passes through their network.
While that EULA has been revised [,00.html]
due to press coverage and user complaints, it is possible for them to re-revise
it back any time they choose, so it still makes me hesitant).

- Centralized data leave the control of the user data up to MS, whereas
a client side database would give the user actual control over their data,
and prevent data mining by unscrupulous vendors. While technically possible,
we should expect MS to completely avoid this solution due to it's limitation
on their ability to use the customer data to drive further revenues for themselves.

- While MS thinks it is thinking 'long term' with Hailstorm, they are in
fact looking at a short term revenue model because in the end the users will
resent and reject Hailstorm (once they actually are informed as to what it
is doing) in the same way users resent spam, and customer tracking generally.
This resentment may lead to a Hailstorm failure further down the line and
poison the well for less devicive efforts at the same concept. Of course,
MS could counter this 'opt out' capability by causing the users to become
hooked on Hailstorm services from which they are unable to extricate themselves
(such is if their Banking Services become integrated with Hailstorm). In
such a case MS will actually win, and everyone else will actually lose -
IF Hailstorm proves untrustworthy. If it proves trustworthy on the other
hand then this would be a forced win for everyone. Likelihood of trustworthiness
of Hailstorm based on past MS performance is low.

- Personal and Private data can be expressly defined by a user controlled
process so that each item (credit card info, calendar info, address info,
etc) can be decided by the user, not MS. This would give the public a better
feeling of control and trust of the system, and for good reason.

- Rushing the implementation of a centralized user information system is
foolhardy. This system done right could provide vast long term benefits
to the users world wide. A poor implementation could do the opposite.

- MS is rushing this implementation in order to be First and therefore foremost
(and presumably only).

- When business interests took over the drivers seat from scientists the
software industry became erratic and has produced unreliable and insecure
software as a product of rushing every concept to market. This has been
a massive mistake that has cost world wide businesses billions of dollars
dealing with bugs and issues... parenthetically, these very bugs and issues
have added to the vendor's profit margins because they simultaneously force
users to sign liability wavers in licensing agreements, and charge inordinate
fees ($295 per incident in our case) for tech support to deal with the bugs
and issues.

- Perhaps a government agency or non-profit group should build on the Hailstorm
concept instead of MS. This would give an already jittery public a point
of trust to focus on, and if the rules were set up by sensible non-biased
persons, and security were a primary feature of the system, it could serve
to provide a major boost to internet commerce. In the long run this would
help all vendors, including MS.

- .NET CLR requires a new download each time an improvement or bug fix is
made by MS. This download appears to be 17megs. Home users are not going
to want to deal with that on slow modems. How does MS intend to address
this issue?

- Deborah Radcliff raises some significant issues regarding the dangers inherent
in XML Parsing, something that .NET by nature must handle. (,00.html)

What are MS plans for ensuring the security of XML Parsing?

- Many consumers still run Windows 95 on their internet client machines.
However, the CLR does not support Windows 95. Either all of these people
(what percentage is this?) will be forced to upgrade on connecting to .NET
centric sites, or those sites will fail to work on those clients. What
does MS intend to do about this, other than tell us to tell our users to
upgrade (which at this point may also require purchasing a new PC and software
to go with it)?

- Software giants have made a habit of delivering poorly implemented products
to market and then causing their customers to assume the cost in the form
of lost productivity and a continuous patch and upgrade cycle. Is .NET going
to be a more stable implementation? We can only hope so, since each iteration
of the CLR will add a 17 Meg installation to the client machines (which may
also wreak havoc on modem connected client PCs), and these installations
will stack up next to each other (so I have been informed). Assuming upgrades
and patches at a rate of two per month this amounts to +204 Megs of disk
space consumed every six months. This may be a vast underestimate depending
on how efficiently MS decides to do itís releases. Of course, if handled
appropriately this number would and should be far lower. This is an Ďunknowní
that will only prove itself out over time.

Reminder: .NET is an architecture. Hailstorm is an implementation of that
architecture. Hailstorm can suck, while .NET can be fantastic.

I am enthusiastic about the prospects for .NET (though I currently think
that Hailstorm is a misdirected effort) from a technical perspective in the
long term. Itís a great concept and a great implementation of that concept
so far as I can tell from having worked with it thus far (limited prototyping
and backwards compatibility testing). Iím actually very happy to be able
to work with it and encouraged by MS efforts to provide us with a coherent
object model to program against. Two Thumbs up on .NET. I will reserve
judgment on Hailstorm until I see how MS responds to the concerns of the
user community.


"VBWyrde" <> wrote:
>Hailstorm seems to me to be a shot at gaining Ö