Jon Udell concludes (in part) “Yeah, ’embrace and extend’ was so much fun, I can hardly wait for ‘replace and defend.'” in this post about the new xml based formats in Longhorn. Yeah, a lot of these do look like replacements for existing standards at first glance. Seeing Microsoft pursue alternatives to emerging standards like XForms (Infopath) and SVG (WVG) is one thing, but seeing them pursue alternatives to CSS (Adaptive-flow) and Schema (WinFS schema definition) is quite another. Perhaps this explains why Internet Explorer is atrophying. Why work at improving or adding support for things you no longer have intrest in for the future?
Then again it is never that simple. In this case blogs help us to see that, especially with the openness that some Microsoft developers (see John Montgomery or Dare Obasanjo in particular) are willing to talk about these issues. Be sure to follow the links in the above post. Lots of good food for thought if you care about web standards as much as I do. And remember, don’t be too quick to judge.