Mills on Microsoft
Microsoft Watch: But do you think Microsoft is trying to do what IBM is, with its WebSphere model, with Integrated Innovation? Or not exactly?
Mills: Not exactly. Architecturally, they have a hard time with WebSphere. It's a foreign body. Not only do they not do it, they actually don't want to do it.
One of the first principles at Microsoft is the operating system is the control point....the OS is the session-control service. But WebSphere says I am going to take over supervisory control, user connection, session control, arbitration, back-end connection, database connection. The database actually is a passive entity in the WebSphere model. So they really don't like the WebSphere model. If they did, they would have let Jim Gray loose to go build a real MTS (Microsoft Transaction Server), instead of what they built.
We love the WebSphere model because we love IMS and CICS. This is the favorite IBM model because we love this layered architecture that, in the distributed world, gives us OS insulation. So we make it portable and get a lot of derivative benefit from the model in the distributed computing environment, beyond what we got out of it in the mainframe environment.
So, I don't really know where they are going there, exactly. I think they are struggling with some of this stuff architecturally. There are strong religious beliefs among the different technical leaders at Microsoft. They are not very nice to each other. I don't think Bill (Gates) understands WebSphere, transaction monitor manager, insulating layer. He doesn't connect with it mentally. And he's the only one who ever would direct the inmates to ever change their model. Because (Platform Group VP Jim) Allchin would never do it."