Q&A: For Developers, Microsoft Group VP Muglia Says Microsoft is Delivering on .NET Now

Bob Muglia, Group Vice President of Microsoft’s .NET Services Group

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 23, 2001 — With the release this week of new, XML-based Microsoft .NET technology previews at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference here — including .NET Alerts and .NET My Services — Microsofts vision for a future where people will have seamless access to information from any device, anytime, anywhere, is coming into sharper focus. As that future nears, it becomes increasingly clear that .NET technologies will bring with them a host of new opportunities for developers and businesses. With .NET as the foundation, developers will have powerful new tools for creating a whole new generation of applications that will bring new utility to end users, and new value to the businesses that create them.

On the eve of this years Professional Developers Conference, PressPass spoke with Bob Muglia, group vice president of the .NET Services Group at Microsoft, about the new opportunities created by .NET and .NET My Services (formerly codenamed

PressPass: .NET is a critical part of Microsoft’s strategy. What is .NET and what does it mean for the industry?

Muglia: .NET is Microsoft’s platform for XML Web services. It is the foundation for the next generation of software, which will connect our world of information, devices, and people in a unified, personalized way. And what does this mean? It means that .NET is all about enabling anyone to access information anytime, anywhere, on any device; putting users more in control of the technology that surrounds them.

Fundamentally, .NET is all about providing developers with a massive new opportunity to create and deliver exciting new applications and services. .NET experiences are XML Web services that will allow people to access information across the Internet and from standalone applications in an integrated way that saves them time and offers unprecedented convenience. Developers who build on the .NET platform will have the best, fastest and least expensive way to build XML Web services and the ability to leverage a programming model that has been designed from the ground up for XML Web services.

PressPass: What is .NET My Services, and how does it fit into the overall .NET picture for Microsoft?

.NET My Services is part of the group of .NET building-block services that also includes .NET Passport and .NET Alerts. By utilizing Microsoft .NET My Services platform, developers can focus on their core business value and build on Microsoft platform investments to enhance applications services and provide a rich user experience. An integral component of the .NET initiative, .NET My Services provides a platform that enables developers and partners to create user-centric services that deliver new levels of value and convenience to users.

For example, today you likely have a cell phone that does not have all of the same phone numbers that you store in the contact list that you have stored on your desktop — in Outlook or whatever e-mail application you use. The.NET My Services vision is that you are able to synch and connect all of the information that is relevant to you where and when you want it. So, instead of islands of information that are not easy to connect — such as the contact information on your cell phone, PDA and desktop, which may not be the same — you can have all of your contact information connected so that you can access that information via any of those devices, based on your control and consent.

PressPass: What will the advent of the .NET My Services

mean to developers and business customers? To consumers?

Muglia: For developers, it means a powerful platform for building Web services that offer real value to customers. The value comes from providing users with the ability to log on to Web sites easily, and receive timely and relevant notifications that they’ve consented to receive. By doing this, we think that businesses will see more demand for their products. At the same time, consumers will benefit from the new breed of applications that result — applications that deliver more convenience and value than ever before.

For example, eBay has deployed the .NET Alerts service on their Website to make sure that their customers are notified when they are outbid. That way, customers can act on that information quickly and easily, and avoid losing an auction item they really want.

PressPass : How does .NET My Services fit into Microsofts overall .NET strategy?

Muglia: The creation of user-centric services are central to our .NET strategy. . NET My Services takes advantage of the. NETbased technologies and architecture that make it possible for applications, devices, and services to work together. These services make user consent the basis for who can access user information, what they can do with it, and how long they have permission to do so.

PressPass: Can you give us examples of the kinds of things that developers will be able to do with the .NET My Services platform?

Muglia: Starbucks is one early adopter of .NET My Services. They’re enabling some really forward-looking, cutting-edge wireless applications that may make standing in line inside a store a thing of the past. They are working with Ontain on new services that will enable people to have their coffee preferences preset with Starbucks. Then they can place their order via their mobile phone, and when they arrive in the store, their drink is already made and paid for.

PressPass: Who are some other .NET My Services early-adopter partners?
Muglia: We are working with a dozen companies who are already developing applications and services for .NET My Services. Besides Starbucks, there’s Visalign, T-Mobile, the State of West Virginia, Accenture, Centerpost, Onyx and Avanade, youknowbest.com, Groove Networks, Onboardinfo, Seimens, and Expedia.

PressPass: When you think about future role of .NET, what do you envision?

Muglia: Whenever Microsoft has provided powerful new tools to the industry, we have been amazed by the creativity and innovation that developers and businesses have shown in putting them to use

.NET and .NET My Services will open the door to a new breed of user-centric applications that allow for greater collaboration, while at the same time providing users with the much-needed power to control access to their most private data.

PressPass: Some people claim that Microsoft is going to store all of a persons data and be able to do whatever they want with it.

Muglia: This is simply not true. The reality is that one of the key tenants of .NET My Services is that the user is in control of his or her data. We have been very clear, very forthright in saying that Microsoft will not mine or sell user data collected in .NET Passport and the .NET My Services. In our model, users decide if they offer information at all and how their information is shared and with whom. Also, we will be federating the .NET My Services, as well as .NET Passport. This will enable enterprises and Web-site operators to host their own .NET My Services and .NET Passport services, giving users choice as to who stewards their data.

The fundamental principle behind .NET My Services is that the user has full control over all data stored in his or her .NET My Services
“digital safe deposit box.”
People will be able to specify who has permission to access each piece of data.

PressPass: What can a developer who wants to develop .NET My Services applications do right now?

Muglia: The first thing to do is read more on the .NET My Services Website, and to implement the authentication engine by downloading the Microsoft Passport SDK from the Microsoft Developer Network site

http://msdn.microsoft.com/downloads/default.asp?URL=/code/sample.asp?url=/MSDN-FILES/027/001/644/msdncompositedoc.xml . Then we want developers to rip open the .NET Alerts and .NET My Services SDKs and crank away and think about

what great solutions they’ll be able to build with our technologies!

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