Microsoft Touts Non-PC Capabilities of .NET

Along with its massive push of the .NET platform onto the client/server
environment, Microsoft Corp.
Thursday tried to emphasize the framework’s
ability to support non-PC platforms as well. The Redmond, Wash.-based
software giant announced a strategic alliance with Anoto AB of Sweden to
deliver enhanced communications on Anoto’s pen-based
technologies.

Anoto, a subsidiary
of C Technologies AB, has created the novel concept of an electronic
pen-and-paper platform, where developers can build programs to transmit
written text, graphics and background forms to PCs, as well as to devices
such as cellular phones, pagers and PDAs. With the new alliance, Anoto will
use the .NET Framework to transform its digital pen-and-paper technology
into a rich XML Web service.

The announcement comes on the eve of Microsoft’s release of Visual
Studio.NET, a suite of developer tools that is critical to the .NET
Framework. Anoto said building on the .NET Platform will enable it to expand
its marketplace, by making it easier for any VS.NET developer to plug Anoto
digital pen-and-paper technologies into larger applications they are
building.

“Anoto’s pen-based technology is a perfect example of a next-generation
XML Web service fulfilling the demands of increasingly mobile and
technically savvy consumers,” said Eric Rudder, senior vice president at
Microsoft.

Anoto will also design its digital pen-and-paper computing
platform for the Windows XP operating system. This will lead to a new range
of enterprise and consumer applications, such as simple note taking, package
delivery recordkeeping and completion of medical forms, that utilize pen and
paper naturally. Microsoft also will support Anoto’s digital pens through
the Universal Plug and Play standard used by Windows XP.

Initially, a version of the enterprise standardized services will be
developed for Windows XP, based on VS.NET and the .NET Framework. This will
allow transmission of digital ink from Anoto’s pen-and-paper solutions
directly to a PC, where a
user can manipulate, enhance and translate a text image using familiar
applications such as Microsoft Office.

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