.Net Framework Code Going Gold

Bill Gates is expected to announce in his keynote address at the Professional Developers Conference this morning that the code for Microsoft's .Net Framework has gone gold.

LOS ANGELES -- Bill Gates, Microsoft Corp.s chairman and chief software architect, is expected to announce in his keynote address at the Professional Developers Conference here on Tuesday morning that the code for the .Net Framework has gone gold, sources said.

The .Net Framework is Microsofts multilanguage component development and execution environment and includes the Common Language Runtime and Common Language Infrastructure.

"I am hearing that, as of tonight [late Monday], they plan to announce that the code for the .Net Framework has been finalized and released to manufacturing. Gates will also announce the general availability of the only release candidate of Visual Studio .Net as well as the .Net My Services software developers kit and a version of the .Net Compact Framework," a source said.

Visual Studio .Net is the centerpiece tool set for building .Net applications, while the .Net Compact Framework will provide developers with a base set of services upon which to design mobile/wireless applications.

"These are very significant announcements as, with them, Microsoft is providing a developer environment that people can touch and feel and that will go a long way to enhancing the sizable community that already exists around .Net," the source said.

The extent of developer interest in .Net is reflected in the results of a study by ComponentSource. Sam Patterson, ComponentSources CEO, told eWEEK in an interview that the firm had recently conducted a study of 150,000 .Net and Java developers. The study found that 79 percent of those companies polled would be evaluating or implementing .Net only over the next year, while 14 percent said they would be adopting or evaluating Java and just 7 percent said they would be evaluating and/or adopting both, he said.

Bob Muglia, group vice president of the .Net Services Group, is expected to announce in his keynote later in the day some pricing for .Net My Services, but this is expected to be just for Microsofts business partner companies.

Another source told eWEEK he had heard that Microsoft has terminated work on its Web services project code-named Blizzard, believed to be a set of enterprise/business-to-business services. "This was not something that was going forward inside of Microsoft," he said.

The next version of its current .Net My Services Web services initiative, currently code-named Indigo, would replace that and would have a component for enterprise services as well as those for consumers.

The source also confirmed, as first reported in eWEEK, that Microsoft is working on a project code-named Iris that deals with the infrastructure needed around Web services –making them more scalable, and adding transaction support and guaranteed message delivery.

"There are various things that have to be there for Web services to make the type of impact Microsoft is hoping for and to have enterprise businesses adopt them," the source said, adding that Microsoft already has existing technologies in COM+ (Component Object Model+) like transactions and asynchronous message delivery.

At the 1997 Professional Developers Conference in San Diego, Microsoft announced plans for COM+, which builds on COMs integrated services and features, making it easier for developers to create and use software components in any language, using any tool.

"Getting some better additional stuff along the lines of federation and being able to automatically push things around different servers so you can better load balance is very important for Web services, particularly for enterprises," the source concluded.