Microsoft Alters .Net Services

Microsoft Corp. is reworking its .Net My Services strategy around new server software that will allow enterprise customers to host and run the services themselves.

Microsoft Corp. is reworking its .Net My Services strategy around new server software that will allow enterprise customers to host and run the services themselves.

Officials at Microsofts TechEd conference here said the Redmond, Wash., company has shifted its priorities from hosting mass consumer services itself and is now concentrating on delivering the infrastructure that would allow customers to do the job on their own.

This infrastructure will include software, perhaps another .Net server, that would allow users to host the 14 core XML-based consumer Web services, including the .Net Alerts notification service, .Net Inbox and .Net Wallet.

Adam Sohn, a product manager for .Net platform strategy, declined to say when this software would be available for general release. However, it is unlikely the software will be available before late next year.

Paul Flessner, senior vice president of Microsofts .Net enterprise server group, said the company is simply responding to customer feedback.

"They told us that they wanted federated services and that we needed to prioritize more in terms of the services," Flessner said. "They told us that they did not want all their data stored in one service and that they wanted to be able to replicate and wanted ways to share this data."

Users welcomed the shift from Microsofts original policy for .Net My Services, a strategy that was problematic from the beginning.

"This is a solid decision," said Craig Goren, president and chief technology officer of Centerpost Corp., in Chicago. "Microsoft has been soft-selling this to key customers like us for a long time, and they were getting clear feedback that the customers loved the idea but wanted the packaging to be more product- and operator-oriented."

Centerpost creates automated communications tools that deliver interactive alerts to customers and other users by voice, wireless text, e-mail and instant messaging.

Michael Gartenberg, an analyst with Jupiter Media Metrix Inc., in New York, said he believes the move is temporary "because Microsoft sees the value and importance of getting folks on a subscription revenue stream."