Craig - excellent post and I agree with many of your statements noted here. Your comparison between MS and GM is bang on!
Part of the reality is that what they are asking is really tough to do, these days. 10 years ago, databases were new and I recall a User Group meeting where Borland, MS, Fox (just bought by MS), Alpha 5 all came out to show how powerful their database solutions where - the turnout : over 250 at a LOCAL user group meeting.
Nowadays, it's tough even getting 200 people to attend a great conference.
As I noted in my earlier email, they want Visual FoxPro to be more web aware, etc but they don't include the specifics. While I'm sure there are a lot of little ERs here and there, VFP is a pretty good web tool. The other reality is that many companies don't need web-based ERs, they want DESKTOP-based ERs.
Once again, Crag - excellent post - just wish I had caught it on the 1st when it first came out.