Microsoft Primes Millions of Developers for the Next-Generation Web

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 15, 2000 — Steve Ballmer, newly appointed president and CEO of Microsoft Corp., today spoke with over 2,000 developers for the Microsoft®

Visual Basic® development system in his keynote address at the Visual Basic Insiders Technical Summit (VBITS), delivering on the Microsoft vision of the programmable Web and reinforcing the company’s deep commitment to developers.

Ballmer outlined the Microsoft vision for Next Generation Windows® Services, highlighting the Windows 2000 operating system, the cornerstone of Windows DNA 2000, and announcing key features for the Visual Studio® 7.0 development system – Web Services, ASP+ Web Forms and language innovations for Visual Basic – that will simplify the development of enterprise Web applications. These enhancements will dramatically build on the existing skill set of over 3.2 million developers using Visual Basic, representing over half of all professional developers worldwide.

“Microsoft’s vision of the programmable Web means that developers will play an indispensable role as their organizations take advantage of the incredible opportunities in the next generation of Internet business,”
Ballmer said.
“Microsoft is focused on arming the millions of developers using Visual Basic with a comprehensive Web development tool featuring deep XML support and complete object-oriented programming capabilities.”

“Based on what we’ve seen so far, Microsoft has hit a home run with the next generation of Visual Basic,”
said Don Fosen, vice president and chief information officer, Art.com.
“At Art.com, we’ve made extensive use of Visual Basic to create a highly scalable and available e-commerce site. The new features available in the next version of Visual Basic will open up a whole new world to our developers that will build on that foundation and enable us to deliver an improved solution and an enhanced Internet user experience.”

Web Services

Today, Microsoft demonstrated features in Visual Studio that let developers create Web Services to directly link applications, services and devices with one another over the Internet using HTTP, XML and SOAP, an XML-based standard for cross-platform object invocation. Web Services are created the same way that developers using Visual Basic build business objects today, so developers will be able to use their existing knowledge and skills to build next-generation enterprise Web applications. Developers on any platform can reuse Web Services in their Web applications regardless of the hardware and software running the Web Service.

ASP+ Web Forms

Building on the concept of the programmable Web, Microsoft also today announced ASP+ Web Forms. Based on XML and COM+, this drag-and-drop environment utilizes the RAD model that made Visual Basic successful. With Web Forms, developers will be able to quickly build HTML-based forms that are rendered on the Web server in the same way that they build an application for Windows with Visual Basic today. ASP+ Web Forms work with any Visual Studio language, and because all the processing executes on the server, Web Form applications run on any browser and any platform.

Language Enhancements

The next generation of Visual Basic will be further enhanced with object-oriented language features, improving scalability, reuse and reliability and simplifying the development of enterprise Web applications. Key feature updates include free-threading, increasing scalability by enabling concurrent processing of components on the Web; inheritance, improving reuse by allowing the creation of base classes that can be inherited; and structured exception handling, creating greater reliability and manageability by centralizing error-handling code. With these new language features, Visual Basic delivers all the power of C++ or Java while maintaining the instant accessibility that has made it the world’s most popular development tool.

Today, Microsoft continued to deliver on a vision for the programmable Web, outlining key features in Visual Studio 7.0 that will empower developers with the tools needed to build Next Generation Windows Services. With Web Services as the foundation for next-generation applications, Visual Studio 7.0 with Visual Basic will power tomorrow’s Web applications and catapult businesses into the next generation of the Web.

About Visual Studio

The Microsoft Visual Studio development system includes a complete suite of award-winning tools for building scalable enterprise solutions. These tools provide comprehensive support for building all aspects of a multitier solution based on the Windows DNA platform. This includes building cross-platform Web applications, as well as client/server applications based on the Windows operating system.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, Visual Basic, Windows and Visual Studio are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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