Don Ferguson on Changing 'the Fundamental Nature of the Web'

In an April cover story, Redmond Developer News examined the defection of IBM's former chief software architect Don Ferguson to Microsoft earlier this year.

Analysts and industry observers speculated to RDN that Redmond must have lured Ferguson, a former IBM Fellow who is often tagged "the father of WebSphere," to work on something big.

Ferguson was not available for an interview at that time, but he recently spoke with the Architecture Journal, Microsoft's in-house publication, and revealed key details about his current thinking.

"Job fulfillment for me would be thinking about how we change the fundamental nature of the Web," Ferguson told the AJ. "Web 2.0, mash-ups, and feeds are interesting, but they are step one of a two-step process. The Web today is a push model. People write content that is pushed out to people who read it. Programmers write Web applications that end users 'use.' People write mash-ups or scripts to access the 'pushed' content. These applications run on the PC today, but I believe that they could migrate into the Internet 'cloud.' The Internet now becomes the programmable Internet and can run my applications for me....We see this in nascent places already -- with Google,, MSN and so on all now having callable services. Together with a broad range of programming skills for everyone, I see a blurring between the personal and business environment."

Ferguson's thoughts coincide with Microsoft's initiatives around programming and development in the cloud, many of which were unveiled at the company's MIX07 conference in May.

The full interview with Ferguson, whose title is now Microsoft Technical Fellow in Platforms and Strategy in the Office of the CTO, can be read here.

About the Author

Chris Kanaracus is the news editor of Redmond Developer News.