from the i've-got-the-popcorn dept.
Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "Bloggers Robert Scoble (a former Microsoft 'technical evangelist') and Dave Winer (longtime Microsoft critic) debate whether Microsoft is driving innovation or playing catch-up, in an email conversation published on WSJ.com. Winer writes, 'Microsoft isn't an innovator, and never was. They are always playing catch-up, by design. That's their M.O. They describe their development approach as "chasing tail lights." They aren't interested in markets until they're worth billions, so they let others develop the markets, and have been content to catch-up.' Scoble responds that Microsoft's innovation can be found in the little things: 'I remember when they improved the error messages you get in Internet Explorer, or when they improved fonts in Windows with ClearType technology. That improved our lives in a very tiny way. Not one that you usually read about, or probably even notice. Is Microsoft done innovating in those small ways? Absolutely not. Office 2007 lets me do some things (like cool looking charts) in seconds that used to take many minutes, maybe even hours for some people to do.'"
It appears that PL/I (and its dialects) is, or will be, the most widely
used higher level language for systems programming.
-- J. Sammet