Hats of to Microsoft for bringing software development to the masses and providing
us great set of very affordable tools and technologies. (and the same to
Inprise who with the Delphi product (& C++ Builder) have produced possibly
the best development environment ever, oh but it isn't standard C++ or Java
so we wouldn't use that would we....)

I have over the past 15 years developed many systems using many "standards"
on many platforms. My primary task is to develop applications for customers
so that they may carry out their business (generally unrelated to computing)
in a more efficient manner.

If I want to use standards (yes it is MY choice based on MY requirements)
then I will. I can develop perfectly **standard** HTML using Visual Interdev/Frontpage
(and view that perfectly standard HTML with Microsoft Explorer), perfectly
standard Java using Visual J++ and can develop perfectly standard distributed
applications using Orbix from IONA and Visual C++ and can develop perfectly
standard SQL compliant applications using SQL Server. In fact I have developed
systems using Visual C++ that compile on the PC, MAC, Sun Sparc and IBM RS6000.

If on the other hand my customer wants or is happy to have a perfectly non-standard
complient solution then I can choose to use all the Windows specific features
and technologies that I think will assist me in delivering the best solution
to my customer.

This argument is all about choice and Microsoft haven't in any way restricted
that choice, they have in fact provided us with more choice than we otherwise
would have had.

It's a free world. If you have decided that you don't like (HATE?? - nasty
word) Microsoft then use non-Microsoft products on non-Microsoft platforms
using all the standards you can lay your hands on and stop complaining. YOU
HAVE THE CHOICE, YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO, YOUR A BIG PERSON NOW
.......

Andrew Rutherford