Gates Rallies Developers For New Era of Computing

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 23, 2001 — Today at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2001, Microsoft Corp. founder, Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates announced a slew of major deliverables for third-party software developers and highlighted surging developer and partner support for the .NET Platform, Microsoft’s next-generation software foundation to connect the world of information, devices and people in a more unified and personalized way. Attendees received release candidate software for the Microsoft® .NET Framework and Visual Studio® .NET as well as technology previews for a wide range of forthcoming .NET technologies. Among the new software development kits delivered are the .NET My Services SDK and the .NET Compact Framework, which brings .NET to a variety of
devices. Gates called on developers to use these tools to create a new generation of distributed applications built on XML Web services.

“Our mission is simple: enable developers to be at the forefront of the XML Web services revolution with powerful, productive tools that deliver business value fast,”
Gates said.
“Customers are demanding a software platform that not only delivers world-class client, server and service solutions, but also makes it easy for these solutions to work with each other and with existing investments. .NET delivers on these goals, breaking down the complexity of integration and helping developers use the power of XML Web services to solve business problems quickly and effectively.”

Delivering on .NET

Gates heralded significant progress made toward delivering on Microsoft’s comprehensive strategy for XML Web services with the .NET Platform. Specifically, he announced the delivery of key .NET technologies, including the following:

  • Visual Studio .NET and .NET Framework release candidates. Microsoft delivered the Visual Studio .NET and .NET Framework release candidates to all PDC attendees, marking the development tool’s final milestone on the road to release. The release candidates cap a beta period during which more than 2.5 million developers tested the upcoming product, more than for all betas of previous versions of Visual Studio combined. Visual Studio .NET and the .NET Framework provide the core development tools and programming model for the .NET Platform.

  • .NET development for smart devices. Gates announced the extension of .NET to smart devices, delivering on the company’s mission of enabling rich computing on any device. Smart devices include any computing device capable of downloading and running applications locally, providing a rich user interface and handling network resources intelligently. Specifically, Gates unveiled the technology preview for the Smart Device Extensions (SDE) for Visual Studio .NET and the Microsoft .NET Compact Framework. With these technologies, Visual Studio .NET developers can transfer their skills and knowledge to application development for smart devices such as smart phones and PDAs, including the Pocket PC. Because the new tools enable a vastly enlarged pool of developers to target these devices and deliver the sophisticated functionality enterprises are demanding, the number and capabilities of applications for smart devices are expected to increase drastically. In addition, Gates announced that the next generation of the Windows® CE operating system, formerly code-named ‘Talisker,

    will be named Windows CE .NET and will natively support the .NET Compact Framework and XML Web services.

  • .NET My Services SDK technology preview. The .NET My Services SDK includes documentation, code samples and the .NET My Services Developer Edition (the engine that enables developers to run a local instance of .NET My Services for development purposes). This innovative new breed of user-centric services promises to spur development of more consistent, more personalized applications, devices and services. Over a dozen new solutions built on the .NET My Services SDK are being previewed during PDC by early adopters that take advantage of .NET My Services in variety of ways to reduce development and operational costs, enhance existing customer relationships and attract new customers through more relevant, personalized and opt-in offerings. These companies include Accenture, Centerpost Corp. (for United Airlines), Expedia Inc., Groove Networks Inc., Microsoft Great Plains Business Solutions, on board info, Onyx Software Corp., Siemens AG, Starbucks Corp., the State of West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, T-Mobil International Mobile Business Solutions, Vis.align LLC and Inc.

  • .NET Alerts SDK technology preview. The recently announced .NET Alerts service is delivering developer tools that will enable developers to begin building solutions to reach the broad range of .NET Alerts clients, including Windows XP. With .NET Alerts Developer Edition, developers will be able to quickly and easily build on the .NET My Services technology, when available, to create more powerful consumer XML Web services.

  • Microsoft .NET Speech SDK technology preview. The kit provides speech control extensions and development tools to the .NET Framework, Visual Studio .NET and Microsoft Internet Explorer that will enable Web developers to seamlessly embed speech enhancements into existing and new HTML, XHTML and XML Web applications. This will allow speech-enabled access to Web-based information and applications via PCs, telephones, tablet PCs, cell phones and wireless personal digital assistants (PDAs).

  • Commerce Server 2002 technology preview. Microsoft distributed to all PDC attendees the Commerce Server 2002 technology preview, which speeds commerce site development by providing seamless integration with the Visual Studio .NET integrated development environment (IDE) and through native support for .NET Framework components. In addition, Commerce Server 2002 extends its .NET integration with built-in support for .NET Passport and .NET My Services, including .NET Alerts for sending instant notifications.

SQLXML 2.0 for SQL Server 2000. Microsoft released to the Web for immediate download SQLXML 2.0, a set of components that extend the industry leading XML functionality of SQL Server™ 2000. These capabilities allow developers to efficiently and flexibly create standardized schemas to improve interoperability and simplify data integration, improve XML bulk data capabilities, and provide XML capabilities on the data tier, middle tier and client tier. SQLXML 2.0 further enhances developer productivity by making these capabilities available through Visual Studio .NET and through a set of native .NET Framework components.

  • Microsoft XML Core Services version 4.0. This offering provides developers with an updated suite of XML services that offer improved performance, standards conformance, interoperability and documentation over MSXML 3.0. MSXML 4.0 enables developers to easily add XML functionality to their applications using the same XML services that are used by the .NET Enterprise Servers. MSXML 4.0 features a new, faster XML parser, the fastest XSLT engine available, and superior standards support including extensive support for the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) XML Schema (XSD) Recommendation.

  • Tablet PC Beta SDK. This technology enables developers to immediately begin creating pen- and speech-enabled applications for this innovative mobile platform based upon the Windows XP operating system. The Tablet PC Beta SDK provides detailed design guidelines for user interface, a comprehensive API reference and an extensive set of sample applications and source code. Microsoft also disclosed that the Tablet PC operating system is a full-fledged .NET client and will natively support the .NET Framework when the Tablet PC ships next year.

  • Office XP Web Services Toolkit. Available later this year, the Office XP Web Services tool kit will enable developers to combine the power of Web services with the power of Office XP. Developers can discover Web services through the UDDI service and then integrate a Web service into Office XP solutions using Visual Basic® for Applications (VBA), giving developers access to a wide array of integrated Web services that meet today’s business needs.

  • Visual Studio .NET Toolkit for Windows XP. Available on MSDN® , this set of sample code and libraries enables developers to use .NET components to take advantage of new Windows XP features including real-time communication for building interactive audio and video chat applications, CD burning and server-based downloads of software over the Internet.

Gates also announced that that developers will be among the very first to receive packaged Windows XP product, as Microsoft will be providing free copies of Windows XP Professional to every attendee of Thursday’s simulcast of the Windows XP Launch. Finally, Gates announced the .NET Contest, in which developers are invited to compete for prizes based on their use of the .NET Platform to create innovative XML Web services that deliver the most business value in the least amount of time. Developers should visit for more information.

Sponsors of PDC 2001 include Compaq Computer Corp. and Intel Corp.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies 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.

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