Microsoft platform tops Web 2.0 developer survey

The company's Web 2.0 development platform has beaten offerings from Google and Facebook to lead in a users' choice survey that some believe is flawed
Written by Marcus Browne, Contributor

Microsoft's MSN/Windows Live Developer Program has topped the list of Web 2.0 development platforms as voted for in a recent users' choice survey — but not everyone is convinced Microsoft is the real winner.

The survey, conducted by US market research firm Evans Data Corp, ranked Microsoft's MSN/Live developer package above other offerings from Google, Yahoo, Facebook and eBay according to user satisfaction.

However, Australian web developer and co-founder of the Web Directions conference John Allsopp told ZDNet.com.au on Wednesday that the survey "doesn't say anything meaningful at all".

Allsopp added that the nature of Web 2.0 development — and its accompanying technologies — isn't suited to this type of assessment, as developers don't tend to compartmentalise which programs they use to build applications.

"It's a misleading thing," he said. "Web 2.0 is all about mashing and mixing things up to create something new, and using a whole lot of different programs to do it."

"One of the criticisms of a lot of these technologies is that they're tied to a certain property, such as Facebook, meaning you have to use their platform to build applications for their site," he said.

Stewart Smith, president of the Australian Linux Foundation, echoed Allsopp's sentiments, saying many of the programs "really aren't as open as they'd have you believe".

"People who really care about writing their own applications won't be doing it for someone else's platform, they'll be writing them for their own sites, using a variety of things," he said.

Allsopp said technologies are "still in their infancy", and for many large companies, such as Google and Microsoft, "it's still a pretty novel way of doing things... to open up and let other people start building things for you".

"A lot of companies are still coming to grips with that, but I think that, over the next year or two, all of these programs are going to become more sophisticated and usable," he said.

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