Microsoft has said it hoped that the .Net platform would be a powerful competitor and maybe even trump Sun Microsystems Java platform. But some analysts say the slow growth of Web services has prevented you from driving adoption of the .Net platform the way you would have liked. How do you respond to that? It has opened up the conversation in a much more productive way. It no longer needs to be all Java or all Microsoft or anyone else. Companies are realizing that Web services allow them to make investments based on fundamental issues like is it cost effective? Does it do what I want and need it to? Do I get a return on my investment? Can I have it quickly and leverage the existing assets I have? So, Web services have enabled companies to look at more of a aservices-oriented architecture in the way they build their applications. In some cases that investment has been in Java; in others, companies want Web services flexibility and look to .Net for that. But it allows them to evaluate the different tools and technologies across the board.Yes, were pleased with the rate of adoption and success that weve seen out there, with a lot of data showing that we are the preferred Web services vendor as we didnt bolt this on as an afterthought. We really rearchitected Visual Studio .Net around that product, while SQL Server has those technologies as well. Many people are saying that the term ".Net" has almost vanished from product names and Microsofts vocabulary, particularly after the last rebranding effort removed the .Net moniker from product names. This has created the perception among some that .Net was a failure and that Microsoft has abandoned it. I think it is important to emphasize that .Net is our Web services strategy across the company and is fundamentally something we are absolutely committed to. When we shifted to Windows we made a lot of noise about that move, and in some ways weve done that with .Net. But as that became infused in everything we do, we are no longer using it as a version moniker. Its an assumed capability in every product. So we moved away from the .Net version component, but we are making sure that it is part of all of our products moving forward. Windows is the platform, and we can optimize on that platform. What .Net brings to the table is the ability to extend that solution out to any platform or programming language or application that speaks Web services. That really gives customers flexibility. What is Microsofts top priority with .Net for the company over the next year? Continuing that integration within all of our products and as that Web services stack gets higher and higher in capabilities in terms of security, reliability and transactional capability, you will see that infused in more of our products. So, really, deeper integration, productivity has always been a focus so we are going to make sure its easy to use and deploy the service-based applications. Thats where we are focused currently and moving forward and enabling that vision that we described three years ago. So are you saying that Microsofts "digital lifestyle" vision of continuous Internet connectivity involving smart clients and integrated Web services is a possibility in the next year? The next year, the next three to five years. There is no question we are all currently living digital lifestyles, but the question is how well those different digital experiences work with one another. Are people becoming less concerned about the privacy and security of their personal information around Web services? No, I think that is a constant concern and one we need to always keep in mind and to which we remain committed. The personal owning of that data and owning that personal information is something consumers and customers are very clear about. Weve been doing a lot of work around our security efforts that we really see as being important as a part of this. Were doing that in the industry standards work were doing along with other companies like VeriSign, as well as in our own products and technologies. Related Stories From Microsoft Watch:
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