Dare excerpts Yaron Goland, explaining how MSN uses POX instead of WS-* in many cases. It is very good to see MSFT employees no longer afraid to say that WS-* is sometimes not the right choice.
On the other hand, it’s reasonable to say that WS-* met most of its objectives; and IMO has been a great success. Read this post from Miguel. Miguel makes the point that Java is still vendor-proprietary, in contrast to the way that .NET is ISO. IMO, one of the most important goals of WS-* was to break the stranglehold that J2EE had on the middleware/appserver market. Today, reading about Scott McNealy stepping down amid Sun financial troubles, it is hard to remember how dominant Sun used to be. But Sun is still very powerful in the enterprise, and I imagine it would be game over by now (with Sun/Oracle alliance being the clear winners) if Microsoft had not pushed WS-*. WS-* leveled the playing field, and gave both Microsoft and IBM ability to go head-to-head with Sun in app servers. Today, an Oracle/Microsoft alliance seems more realistic than Oracle/Sun.
So perhaps WS-* was the critical factor that liberated the Internet from a dark future of Sun/Java control, and enabled the new era of POX/HTTP to flourish.