Ars Technica has published a story on an argument over the work on the new version of ECMAScript, which Microsoft opposes. Reading the story, you almost get the impression that Microsoft is the good guy, fighting a lone battle against a group of evil adversaries (including the well known convicted monopolists Mozilla and Opera) that refuse to take criticism about the new language to heart, and who shout down anyone who dares to speak up against ES4. Indeed, poor Microsoft is being attacked by Mozilla, and "the accusations fly", according to the site.
The reality is that Microsoft is doing what it does best: Spreading FUD.
Most people probably won't follow the link to Brendan Eich's (of Mozilla) open letter to Chris Wilson (of Microsoft), so they won't see the picture he paints of the situation, which is one where several companies and organizations have gotten together to improve ECMAScript through an open process where anyone is free to voice their concerns. The problem, apparently, is that Microsoft refuses to voice specific technical concerns, and rather resorts to undermining the process, stalling and using PR campaigns to gather support against it.
Why would Microsoft do this?
They have an agenda, of course, and they are stuck in their old ways. Eich explains:
Indeed Microsoft does not desire serious change to ES3, and we heard this inside TG1 in April. The words were (from my notes) more like this: "Microsoft does not think the web needs to change much". Except, of course, via Silverlight and WPF, which if not matched by evolution of the open web standards, will spread far and wide on the Web, as Flash already has. And that change to the Web is apparently just fine and dandy according to Microsoft.
First, Microsoft does not think the Web needs to change much, but then they give us Silverlight and WPF? An amazing contradiction if I ever saw one.
It is obvious that Microsoft wants to lock the Web to their proprietary technologies again. They want Silverlight, not some new open standard which further threatens their locked-in position. They will use dirty tricks – lies and deception – to convince people that they are in the right.
But make no mistake about it, Mozilla (Eich) is fighting the good fight here. And even though Opera wasn't mentioned at all in the article (huh?), we are deeply involved as well, fighting alongside Mozilla for a continued open Web.
This article by Ars Technica is extremely poor reporting, and giving the false impression that Microsoft is somehow being victimized and shouted down when trying to raise legitimate concerns.
The truth is that they have been given ample opportunity to raise specific concerns in an open process which other browser vendors are invoved in to improve the Web. The open Web. The Web Microsoft wants to kill.
Microsoft is still Microsoft. Never forget that.