REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 13, 1999 — Microsoft this week embarked on a new era of enabling Web development when it introduced Windows DNA 2000, a comprehensive, integrated platform for building and operating state-of-the-art distributed Web applications as well as the next wave of Internet-based Web services. Microsoft’s new programming architecture builds on existing technologies and tools to make Web services into reusable, universally programmable building blocks that can be easily created, combined and augmented by the millions of developers worldwide.
Despite its massive growth over the past five years, the Internet is still at the beginning of the revolution. Much of the accelerating momentum is built on companies creating services on the Web. Customers are demanding richer, deeper, more personalized and more proactive services that add more value to their work or personal lives. These services must touch a wide array of devices to gather information and perform tasks as well as being widely accessible.
According to Microsoft’s Charles Fitzgerald, the release of Windows 2000, Windows DNA 2000, and the host of additional products presage a fundamental transformation in the way people build and use Web sites. Until now, the Web has been a collection of hyper-linked text and graphics. The new Microsoft technologies will give rise to a new generation of Web services that communicate with each other and work directly on the user’s behalf.
“Web sites will be transformed into Web services that are richer, more personal, and more active,”
“They will be capable of doing tasks that are almost unimaginable today.”
One example, according to Fitzgerald, is the potential to easily create a personal Web site that securely links to all of your brokerage and bank accounts from a single page, with instructions to conduct specific transactions based on pre-programmed parameters. Another example: an extranet site that allows a company to automatically search the intranet sites of all its suppliers to find the best prices on parts and services.
The foundation for this new way of thinking is a series of protocols and standards that are just emerging, including XML (eXtensible Markup Language), which will make it possible for Web-site users to share information of much more depth and complexity than they can today using HTML. Another important emerging standard is DAV (Distributed Authoring and Versioning), which will open the door to new forms of Internet-based collaboration.
Equally important, says Fitzgerald, is the fact that the Web is about to become programmable. With the release of Windows 2000, developers can write code that gives their Web site the ability to visit another Web site and use its services and information, without human intervention.
“These new technologies will change the Web from a connectivity medium to an integrated fabric that will tie everything together,”
“The result will be incredible new opportunities for companies in virtually every industry.”
This is a way of looking at the Web that many companies are finding impossible to resist.
“Microsoft’s technology vision is already yielding lower entry costs, lower telecommunications costs, and lower support costs, and we haven’t even realized all the benefits yet,”
says Qualcomm’s John Harvey.
“Their vision of the future incorporates strategies for directory services, security, and data management that are a really good fit for us.”
“Retailers who offer their customers a fully integrated combination of stores, catalog, and Internet shopping with have a significant service advantage,”
explains Dan Nordstrom, who serves as both chief executive officer of the newly formed subsidiary Nordstrom.com and co-president of Nordstrom, Inc.
“We are interested in solutions that allow us to control our destiny as we continue to evolve the site and offer our customers the best possible online shopping experience. The Microsoft platform allows us both the flexibility and the scalability that we need.”
“The Microsoft platform was a clear choice for us,”
adds Tom Page, Nordstrom.com MIS manager.
“It had all the key elements we were looking for in one integrated platform–the ease of implementation, the extensibility and development tools, the speed, scalability, and the ability to customize site features to fit what we need today and next year. And we have the confidence that Microsoft is addressing the needs of the Internet-commerce marketplace.”