Jeff Raikes’ FOSE Keynote Discusses Use of Technology To Create “The Connected Government”

WASHINGTON (, March 18,1997) — At his FOSE keynote address today, Jeff Raikes, Group Vice President of Microsoft Corporation, discussed the benefits of using technology to create
“The Connected Government.”
His remarks, delivered to more than 650 government IT professionals, detailed the evolution of technology, Microsoft product development strategy and initiatives designed to simplify and reduce the cost of using technology. The keynote was also multicast around the globe using Microsoft NetShow 2.0 providing audio and video via the Internet.

“The connected government is all about communication and connectivity,”
said Raikes.
“The ability to tie together computers and people from around the world has a profound affect and implication on the business of governing.”

Internet technologies, including intranets, allow organizations to communicate with, and gather information from, users with greater efficiency. Whether the communication involves static information, or interactive sharing of data, technology makes it simpler for people and organizations to collaborate with each other regardless of where they are in the world.

“The connected government will use technology to create greater efficiency and productivity in the work environment, improve interagency and intragency communications and increase its ability to provide services and support to the public in a cost effective and efficient manner,”
said Raikes.

Evolution of Technology:

The evolution of the PC is marked by huge advances in computing power, and the changes present software developers with both opportunities and challenges.

“Microsoft was created with a vision that putting power into a personal computing package would empower users in their work and personal lives,”
said Raikes.
“The semiconductor industry has consistently increased computing power and memory, providing software developers more to work with, and Microsoft has created an extremely flexible architecture that has adapted to opportunities and challenges over the years.”

Throughout the history of the PC, the evolving Microsoft Windows operating system could have taken a turn in another direction. The graphical user interface, networking and multimedia all created challenges that were addressed by developing the architecture for the increasing hardware and memory resources in a way that was compatible with the user’s needs.

The PC today is the most popular architecture for a broad range of applications, from the traditional personal productivity tool to edutainment. It is the most popular server platform and has become the most popular Internet platform.

Microsoft Product Directions

Microsoft’s product development strategy ties into key objectives to manage the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), providing more power and simplicity for the PC at a lower cost, while strengthening communication capabilities across the platform and applications, Raikes said. He provided details on the development of products achieving this goal.

Office 97 reduces the complexity out of desktop applications software, increases integration between applications and allows users to get connected, get organized and get results.

“Office97 is designed to enable ease of communication within the enterprise,’ said Raikes.”
By making the applications dramatically easier to use while seamlessly integrating web and collaboration technology into the products, Office97 lets users more easily share information.

Microsoft Office 97 is designed to address changing user needs, allowing them to create, analyze, locate and manage their documents and information more easily. At the same time, it gives users more efficient means to collaborate with others and communicate information.This includes the Microsoft Outlook desktop information manager that can be used for powerful workflow and communication solutions. Outlook manages e-mail, calendars, contacts, tasks and to-do lists and documents or files on the hard drive.



Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0
is designed to be the absolutely best browser on the market,”
said Raikes.
“It’s easy to use, with terrific performance using Dynamic HTML (Trident) and the Java AFC. Microsoft is committed to providing the best tools to develop a Java application and best way to run Java with Visual J++ development software and the Application Foundation Classes. We are100% compatible with JDK 1.0. We will provide developers with choices to support cross platform (write once run anywhere) and to support rich applications that make use of the operating system.”

Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0, he said, will offer:

  • Complete Collaboration and Communication: By providing new innovations such as NetShow networked multimedia software, NetMeeting conferencing software, Outlook Express and FrontPage, Microsoft will enhance users’ ability to disseminate and gather information in ways never before offered.

  • Personal Information Delivery: With Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0, users will have the ability to subscribe to content, whether this is stock reports or the latest news on a national crisis provided by MSNBC, end users will be able to customize the information they receive as a natural extension to their desktop.

  • True Web integration: To simplify the user experience with Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0, users can have a common view of information, irrespective of whether it is internet content or the directory of a hard drive. This will greatly reduce training time and increase productivity.

  • Easy Administration and Support : With the Microsoft Internet Explorer Administration Kit Microsoft is simplifying administration and support and allowing network administrators to administer the user’s experience.

Windows Family: “Microsoft is continuing to develop two desktop operating systems, one optimized for the general purpose user, the other for business users,”
said Raikes.
“These two products are Windows 95 and Windows NT Workstation operating systems.”

An incremental upgrade of Windows 95 will incorporate Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 and deliver on the concept of a PC as a communication appliance, with a single user experience for accessing information, whether its on the Internet, intranet or the hard drive. A major release of Windows NT 5.0 will make it the preferred answer for business solutions.

Back Office :
“Businesses today demand efficient management and sharing of information,”
said Raikes.

An intranet provides an easy, cost-effective means of locating, organizing, and distributing information. Microsoft has created a set of server applications called the BackOffice
™family, that seamlessly combines information stored in a variety of formats including databases, messaging systems, and legacy systems.”

BackOffice includes Windows NT Server, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SQL Server
™
, Microsoft SNA Server, and Microsoft Systems Management Server. New server applications are being added to this family constantly.

For Internet service providers, network operators, cable companies and commercial Web sites, Microsoft has created a suite code named
“Normandy,”
that is built on Windows NT Server. Originally created to support Microsoft’s MSN service, the Normandy platform is being made available so that commercial services can easily customize their information to fit the personal interests of their subscribers. Normandy combines community (bulletin board/news and chat), SMTP/POP3 e-mail, information retrieval, personalization (content that is dynamically tailored for each user), white pages, replication, and security components. CompuServe Inc. will be the first customer to use the Normandy platform

“The BackOffice integrated suite of services is based on the Windows NT Server, giving each service the opportunity to grow as the needs of the business grows,”
said Raikes.
“The different services have been designed to work well together, simplifying the management of distributed systems which play a key role in managing cost of ownership. Leveraging existing systems using SNA Server is another significant factor in managing costs while delivering solutions that align IS and business objectives.”

Key Initiatives

Microsoft is addressing key issues affecting enterprise customers, including the cost and complexity of technology, with Total Cost of Ownership initiatives and the NetPC.

The Zero Administration Windows initiative controls costs while providing the following functionality:

  • Centralized configuration – An IT manager can specify exactly what business application users may run, the look of the desktop and where user data resides. This is all managed centrally, requiring no personal visit to the actual PC.

  • No local access to the desktop computer – Users can be prevented from installing applications on their desktop or making changes to the configuration of the system, preventing costly downtime.

  • Application and data storage on the network server – The system can be pre-configured to load applications off the network, using the local hard drive as a cache for better performance. This provides the IT manager with centralized control and management of both applications and data, allowing for easy upgrades of applications as well as central backup and security.

“Total Cost of Ownership is probably the most important initiative underway at Microsoft today. The Zero Administration Initiative is key to that effort,”
said Raikes.
“We’re systematically going through the operating system and desktop applications to see where we can make hands-off administration of the Windows environment a reality.”

The NetPC also focuses on creating a simpler computing environment with more controlled administration, while allowing the user to maintain a rich computing environment. Many hardware vendors are supporting the Net PC specification, which will lead to a very competitive marketplace for the platform. The goal of the NetPC initiative is to apply minimal touch to hardware, finding a way to spec out tighter configurations of the PC that will require minimal touch over time.

“We really want to focus on what people tell us they want, which is simplicity and lower operating costs, not reduced functionality and incompatibility,”
said Raikes.

The NetPC is a sealed box, which will reduce the amount of time required to setup and maintain the systems. The administrator creates a profile of the user’s needs and permissions, and that profile follows the individual regardless of which machine they are using. Key features of the NetPC:

  • Member of the PC family

  • Fully functional and compatible Windows-based PC

  • Lower price (~$1200.00)

  • Provides uniform, controllable hardware configuration

  • Ideal for production worker functions

  • Reference Platform 1.0 in final review, pre-production units weeks away.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, BackOffice, MSN, NetMeeting, NetShow, Outlook, Visual J++, Windows and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. Java is a trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc.

For Online Information About Microsoft and Microsoft products: http://www.microsoft.com/

Media Contact: Mark Thomas, Microsoft Corporation, 206/882-8080

Related Posts

Executive Q&A: What Is a “People-Ready” Business?

Microsoft Business Division President Jeff Raikes discusses the company’s focus on people as the core driver of business outcomes, and how that means helping businesses bridge the gap between their people and the technology required to realize better business performance.