12th > November > 2000 Archive
Special reportMicrosoft's .NET initiative can generally be seen as a view of the future where applications are broken down into online services that can be utilized over the Internet. These application services will be rented or leased. While packaged software isn't expected to disappear entirely, many believe that this new model will radically impact on how businesses and consumers obtain up-to-date products from companies like Microsoft. Individual and corporate users will be able to dial-up applications on demand through either a subscription agreement or rental arrangement.
Special reportMicrosoft is working on two future releases of Windows 2000 that will maximize the integration of .NET Framework facilities. The two-stage release is designed to provide the earliest possible availability of major features.
The development of applications that take full advantage of .NET is critical to its ultimate success. Microsoft is preparing Visual Studio.NET for release in early 2001. There will be a number of significant changes available in this developer suite. The most important revolve around the new C# (C sharp) language that is a hybrid of C/C++, and also incorporates the best feature of Java.
In the long term, all applications software may well be provided as a service, subscribed to over the Internet. This will allow Microsoft and other software service providers to provide better customer service, transparent installation and backup, and a positive feedback loop into the product-development process. Software delivered as a service might also allow Microsoft and independent developers to respond more swiftly with backups and anti-virus protection.