Microsoft Gets Word Out on its Latest Vision

Microsoft Corporation yesterday unveiled its blueprint for the Microsoft.Net platform, its next generation of software and services.

Designed to capitalize on the overload of Internet-based computing and communications, Microsoft.Net will provide easier, more personalized and more productive Internet experiences by harnessing constellations of smart devices and Web sites with advanced software through Internet protocols and formats, according to the company.

This new family of Microsoft .NET products and technologies will replace
the previous working title of Next Generation Windows Services (NGWS)
and includes software for developers to build next-generation Internet
experiences as well as power a new breed of smart Internet devices.

The company also announced plans for new products built on the .NET
platform, including new generations of the Microsoft Windows.
operating system, Windows DNA servers, Microsoft Office, the
MSN™ network of Internet services and the Visual Studio.
development system.

Bill Gates, chairman and recently chief software architect believes that Microsoft and industry partners will pioneer the “Next
Generation Internet” through software.

“The impact of the Internet has been spectacular to date, but the pace
of innovation will accelerate over the next five years,” Gates said. “Our
goal is to move beyond today’s world of standalone Web sites to an
Internet of interchangeable components where devices and services can
be assembled into cohesive, user-driven experiences.”

Four key principles guiding the new .NET platform are the improved user experience that puts people in control, the ease of use, Internet standards and business integration and opportunity.

According to Gates, Microsoft’s guiding principles have always been about empowering individuals
and creating opportunities for the industry. “We are now taking that
strategy to a new level by building a new platform based on Internet
standards, which makes computing and communications easier for
everyone,” he said.

The company also expects .Net to create new opportunity for developers, partners and customers.

“The Internet revolution must now move to its next stage: ensuring that
the ocean of information and resources that is out there actually work
together,” Steve Ballmar, president and chief executive officer, said. “By creating a unified platform through which
devices and services cooperate with each other, Microsoft will unleash a
new wave of developer opportunity and creativity that will move us to a
level of power and simplicity.”

According to Ballmar, those who will benefit include traditional partners, customers who will expose their Web services to enhance customer service and develop new revenue sources and new types of partners with creative ideas for how to enhance the Internet experience with automated, interactive Web services.

Microsoft will
also offer a selection of .NET products and services targeted at the individual user.

Prompting a complete overhaul of the Microsoft line-up, the next generation of Windows will be called Windows.Net, and will support elements including productivity,
creativity, management and entertainment, It

will offer a
programmable user experience that can be customized by
corporations and individuals and programmed by .NET services
including MSN.NET, bCentral™ for .NET and Office.NET, as
well as a host of third-party .NET services.

The first release of
Windows to incorporate .NET elements is scheduled to be available
in 2001. Microsoft will also continue to offer support for versions
of the Windows platform without .NET services.

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