Microsoft and Innovation: Always Ahead of It's Time or Bad Marketer?
"After watching a number of recent trends in the software industry I've been struck by how many of them were originally started by Microsoft but later abandoned only to be picked up by the rest of the software industry a few years later."
However, I don't think the Web APIs trend was really started from Microsoft. My exposure to XML, syndication and DHTML started at the same time as when Microsoft was building out those things Dare mentioned (I even worked at one of the fad 'push' companies) - but I don't recall Hailstorm as a leading edge of Web APIs. Most tech companies and independent technologists were doing that on their own - I even architected the main product of one company to use Web based access and XML as the root of it's remote API back in 1999.
Of the three examples Dare mentions, Microsoft demonstrated and delivered advanced concepts in the desktop arena, but not in the server space. It may sound like a cliche, but that's my recollection.