[Sep 2, 2007] Note: Far more important than my speculative words in this post are those in Korby’s reply. I encourage you to read it and consider carefully what Korby communicates–professionally and openly. Yahoo! is quite lucky to have Korby joining their team.
Did Microsoft Squelch Korby’s Reply?
Some of my readers may recall a while back that I posted some of my thoughts about Microsoft’s Claimspace initiative. (See “Can We Trust Microsoft with Claimspace?“) In that post, I challenged the mind behind Claimspace, Mr. Korby Parnell, to lay out the case why we the Internet community (and more specifically, the part of the Internet community among whom I frequently associate, which includes open source and free software technologists, advocates, and other riff raff) should trust Microsoft to host a system that proposes to aggregate information that links to our personal, online reputations.
Shortly after putting up my post, Korby accepted the challenge, and posted a brief “my response pending” on his blog, which he titled “Trust Microsoft with Claimspace.” I was intrigued by how Korby managed to except straight from the title of my post to make a rather gutsy claim of his own. Not the dodging and runaround that I was expecting at all.
This ought to be interesting, thought I.
Now–many, many weeks after my opening salvo, and Korby’s immediate promissory retort–there has been no reply.
What happened? Knowing Korby’s passion for his project, I really doubt that he forgot about his commitment to reply. (I actually gave him a heads-up that was going to post my original inquiry on my blog. His reply was something to affect of a friendly “Bring it on!”) And, from my all-too-few conversations with Korby, I get a distinct sense that he groks the free software ethos fairly well, and respects it, too. So, I don’t think that Korby has decided that either the topic or the primary audience for whom I wrote my initial inquiry are not important enough.
Voids in public information force people to fill in the empty space with conjecture, and seldom does that lead to a positive interpretation of the facts. (To be sure, one learns this well from spending time in Novell’s ranks.) The lack of response to defend Microsoft’s trustworthiness and intentions with Claimspace leads me to suspect that Microsoft cannot provide a satisfactory answer to my original question.
Can we trust Microsoft with Claimspace? From what I can tell, the answer is no, we can’t.