Although he didn’t offer many specifics, Kevin Browne, general manager of
Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit, said in a special Macworld Expo New York presentation that Mac users would be available to be part of Microsoft .NET.
Microsoft’s goal with the .NET platform includes a family of products built on XML and Internet industry standards, that provide for each aspect of developing, managing, using, and experiencing XML Web services. The company says that “XML Web services will become part of the Microsoft applications, tools, and servers you already use today — and will be built into new products to meet all of your business needs.” There are lots of implications to that, which MacCentral will be looking into later.
Microsoft .NET will offer a “wide ranging way of interacting with digital devices,” Browne said. It was designed with the goal of solving the problem of syncing “islands of data” from a variety of digital devices, such as computers, cell phones, and personal digital assistants.
“.NET is Microsoft’s platform for XML Web services,” Browne said. “XML Web services allow applications to communicate and share data over the Internet, regardless of operating system or programming language.”
More specifically, there are five areas where Microsoft is building the .NET platform today: Tools, Servers, XML Web Services, Clients, and .NET Experiences. The goal is to offer a solution for communications and service integration.
“We’re looking at it as a solution for the end user,” Browne said. “They will have user-centric Web services where you can access such things as your calendar and favorite Web sites. Some of the services Microsoft will define, others will be designed by third parties.”
He said that you could experience XML services today with Microsoft Passport, Hotmail, Entourage 2001, and MSN Messenger 2.0. It will be part of next generation versions of Internet Explorer, MSN Messenger, and Office, he added.
“It will be your choice whether to be a part of it,” Browne said. “And we’ll be filling in the roadmap as we go.”