S.B Chatterjee refers to an article which is a follow up on a blog by Michael Earls concerning a .NET reality check. (If this sentence sounds a little complex, it is, but just start with Michael's excellent blog entry and you're on track :))
I fully agree with Michael Earl. For the past 4 months or so Microsoft and its employees in general published a lot of material about upcoming technologies like Longhorn, Whidbey, Yukon, XAML and other goodies that will make our life easier than it is today. However these technologies are at least 1 year away, if not more, and after that the 'adoption' phase begins which takes at least another year before a majority of people is using them. All that hype is not usable today, as we, developers, are still using .NET 1.1, VS.NET 2003 or even earlier versions. This is frustrating.
For years Microsoft has done this, it's nothing new: release a technology XYZ, keep releasing marginal examples on a marginal schedule and start hyping XYZ's successor shortly after the release of XYZ. For years I too have accepted this approach and thought it was 'normal'. But the last couple of months, especially with the start of a lot of MS blogs, I realized that it isn't normal, it's bad. "It's always better in the Next ReleaseTM", is a well known slogan in software land. MS' behaviour with the hype about next-gen technology is the ultimate implementation of that slogan. And it's frustrating for today's developers, working with technology that's available today (.NET 1.1, VS.NET 2003).
It's frustrating because there are no fixes available nor announced for problems with today's technology, like the dreaded ASP.NET designer flaws in VS.NET, flaky winforms controls, bad design in essential technology like the XmlSerializer (no cyclic reference support, interpretation of IXmlSerializable is flawed and the interface is not documented etc.). What's presented as the 'next big thing', Whidbey/.NET 2.0, is said to solve all of these problems and more. However, it's at least a year away till the early adopters are starting with VS.NET 2004 (2005?) and the majority will follow later, at least 6 months after the initial release date. Besides that, Whidbey will allow you to compile code targeting .NET 2.0 only, you can't compile using the .NET 1.1 compiler, which means your customers will have to upgrade to .NET 2.0 as well.
Every day I check the MSDN 'recently posted' page and I estimate that at least 50% of the articles posted are about technology 1 year or more away (today, at least 11 of the 20 articles listed). Not a single one is about how to deal with problems we all face or will face or have faced with todays technology. Searching the Knowledge Base is as frustrating as reading about the 'solution to all your problems'-articles about tomorrow's technology not available to us: you have more luck searching google groups and in a lot of occasions find fellow developers with the same problems and the same lack of solutions.
Microsoft, stop it. Stop the hype for material we won't see on our desktops for at least a year. Instead give us solutions for the problems a lot of us face today with today's technology: fix the flaws in VS.NET 2003, solve the problems with XmlSerializer so more people can write webservice compatible code using the now undocumented IXmlSerializable interface (which is documented in Whidbey, so a solution is already found apparently). It gives me the idea that you want to obfuscate the problems of today's technology with pretty pictures about tomorrow's technology which seems to solve all our problems for good. I don't think that's a good thing.
I understand that developers working on tomorrow's technology want to tell the world how cool it is (or will be) and that others, naive as I was for years, want to talk about these new technologies for days, weeks, even months. I hope you, Microsoft, will understand that all that hype is not helping us today and it draws attention away from the serious lack of customer support for today's technology. If I would treat my customers like you do, Microsoft, I wouldn't have a single one left, and I wouldn't blame them.