.Net Grade: Incomplete

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2002-07-29 Print this article Print

Microsoft execs refine their vision of 2-year-old web services platform.

Microsoft Corp. still has a long way to go to meet its .Net aspirations, but the company has vision for the strategy nevertheless.

At an event here last week to discuss the 2-year-old initiative, Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates said .Net is more about building applications on networks and on protocols than on developing services.

".Net is software to connect information, people, systems and devices," Gates said in his clearest definition yet of the software-as-a-service initiative.

But while Gates addressed the demand side of applications and the commoditization of the infrastructure by giving the infrastructure ready-made to application developers, there was little talk of critical enterprise issues such as scalability and transactions, attendees said.

Dave DeBona, technical consultant for a large retailer in Columbus, Ohio, said ignoring these areas is a mistake, as security and scalability are the most important issues.

John Rymer, an analyst at Giga Information Group Inc., in Cambridge, Mass., said Microsoft still has many issues to confront.

"Theyre pushing Web services, but there are other areas of the system that they didnt talk about, [and] that was disappointing," Rymer said. "They have to deal with backward compatibility with COM [Component Object Model]+ and COM. Theyre different object models and different programming models, and how those things are going to be used together is something I dont understand yet."

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at www.eweek.com.


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