Empire and anarchy

Two adversaries, two formats are facing, Mozilla with the innovating XUL language, Microsoft with XAML the successor.
This confrontation evokes also the war of operating systems: Linux, free and open, and Windows. And also that of the navigators, programming languages etc.
Multiple confrontations, but only one adversary on a side and different adversaries on the other side: here is anarchy, Microsoft with a competitor in each field of software, but it is never the same one.

Update November 2009: Since the completion of this article in 2007, things have changed. Google entered the browser market, then the operating system one with Android, and Apple with iOS. There are currently three empires that now compete.

The anarchy

Languages of interfaces, primarily XUL and XAML are in the center of the battle and I believe that will determine the fate of the war, because they appear now everywhere: the navigator, the operating system, desktop software and Web applications, and all the other aspects of programming are gradually associated to them.
But in the free world, in other words free open source software, there are multiple solutions and the tribes fight between them.

The operating system and the navigator

Formats and RIA, Rich Internet Applications

The development tool

Compilers and programming languages

The empire

XAML

.NET and C#

XPS and OpenXML formats

Expression and development tools

Who will gain the war?

All the startups in the computer field which gain success last years, make it with a Web site powered by a Web application. It is obvious that programming the Web becomes the essential activity for the programmer. It is not less essential, because infinitely more practical, to be able to develop programs on a local station. This is why a development environment running both locally and on the Web seems to be ideal.
The release of the Silverlight plug-in from Microsoft, which allows the main browsers to run applications whose interface is described in XAML, and who can function also locally under .NET, being accompanied by the Expression development tool, allows us to build these desktop and Web applications.
In the future, thanks to .NET, Microsoft software such as Word, Excel, will run on any operating system and their part in revenues for Microsoft are more than 70%.
In an article entitled "How Microsoft lost the war of API", an author explains why Web applications will replace local applications such as Word, and thus that Microsoft lost the war of applications. It seems on the contrary that the firm is attempting to complete a system of armament suitable for it to win the war, completely, on all fronts, that of the office and that of the Web. But it found an opponent with the same size.