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My experience is different. Most commercial product
makers want to interoperate with MS because it increases
their potential market by a factor of ten. ODBC and MS work
very nicely with Oracle given the right drivers (it
always comes down to the drivers) and if you get
the datatype issues (which both Oracle and MS diverge on)
right. Then there are the SQL dialects, but that is
everyone. There is no perfect interoperability, and
may never be, but so far, MS tools don't seem to be
better or worse but do have a lot more supporters in
the commercial software market.
Usually if MS blows it, they blow it inside the product
with things like library loading, eg, MS Access installs
that file to load the right DAO, or think it has but
really hasn't, so you have to hunt down the dll and
do it by the numbers.
The HTML treatment in MS products suffers from too
much cleverness in most things. That is why I edit
it by hand, won't use Frontpage or the like, and
if I have to export from Word (almost never), I
use a macro to strip it clean.
As for XML, friends, past XML 1.0, almost everything is
up for grabs. I have a lot of sympathy for the TAG
members. But not too much. ;-) What I do note about
the XML implementations is that MS keeps pushing the
edge and sometimes they get it right (I like MSXML)
and sometimes they don't. Data islands are a nice
idea; so are CSS behaviors. Maybe more vendors should
be more receptive to MS ideas rather than spending so
much time in committee coming to consensus on alternatives
that do the same thing yet another way.
From: Mike Champion [mailto:email@example.com]
My personal experience (most particularly in the XML and HTML arena)
is that it is possible but quite tedious to get real interoperability
between MS and other tools. I would be astonished if very many
experienced people disagree. As far as I know, this is also true
with Word's HTML output, Kerberos, ODBC, Samba, SQL, Java, and many
other areas as well.