re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
Silverlight is an obscure, proprietary technology which is only backed by Microsoft. Very much like Flash which MS was trying to copy with Silverlight. It is just stuff which is designed to get people to use flimsy MS Server instead of Linux/Unix and open languages. Developing on .NET now would be a mistake as you are totally dependent on MS's roadmap and viability. If you develop on an open standard, you don't have to deal with MS's whims and worry about it still being around in 5 years if the Windows dominance goes away.
Exchange tight controls... in what world. Lotus has much better security controls than Exchange. It is also able to run on an enterprise grade platform, Linux, Unix, etc, instead of Wintel or Wintel. If it is hard to maintain for a small organization (which it is designed for), think about setting up DAGS for a 100,000 user system. Lets say what is obvious, the only reason people use Exchange is for the MS Windows/Office look and feel, which isn't as important as it was a few years ago. It has zero to do with technology superiority and it certainly isn't to do with business value as it is the most expensive e-mail suite on the market (e-mail being a pretty standardized, "you have seen one, you have seen them all" service).
I agree that Oracle, DB2 and MS SQL are not designed to handle unstructured data. You are correct on that point, but that isn't the reason people use Oracle or DB2 (primarily Oracle) for mission critical and MS SQL for MS workgroup applications. In MS SQL, the DBA doesn't have any control over memory usage or caching. All of the blocks are 8k in MS SQL, which is no good if you have large objects. No partitioning, no clustering, no bit map indexes, etc.... It is just not in the same functional class as Oracle or DB2. Microsoft and Sybase developed SQL together. After they split, Sybase tried, and basically failed, to create an enterprise database. MS went the other way and tried to create a workgroup DB which is easy to administer. Sure, every large company has some MS SQL servers, but they are not running mission critical transactional systems (SAP, for instance).