SINGAPORE, April 9, 2002 — Microsoft and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) announced today the signing of a memorandum of intent (MOI) to jointly launch a nationwide web services initiative called .NET MySingapore.
Once completed, .NET MySingapore will encompass a range of community-oriented web services that will save people time and take the hassle out of many daily tasks. The project establishes web services as one of the key technologies enabling Singapore to become a connected island.
The MOI was signed by IDA Acting Chief Executive Officer Mr Leong Keng Thai and by Microsoft Corp, President (Asia Pacific and Japan), Corporate Vice-President, Mr Michael Rawding.
Mr Leong said the project would be valuable on several levels: “In an age of expanding connectivity, web services are an important emerging technology. Globally, Web services are expected to be a business worth US$34 billion by the year 2007. Singapore aims to be at the leading edge of this new technology, and this is a great opportunity for us to build national skills in Web services, improve the lives of Singaporeans, and create a new wave of opportunities for entrepreneurs.”
Mr Rawding emphasized Microsoft’s™
commitment to the project. “Microsoft is excited about showing people what web services can do. By collaborating with IDA on .NET MySingapore we can demonstrate the power of web services at a grass-roots level, bringing people closer to community services and organizations. By the time we complete this project, Singapore will be the first country to rollout community-based web services nation-wide. This sets a great example for other countries.”
The two-year collaboration between Microsoft and IDA will begin with the establishment of a steering group including representatives from the public and private sector. Studies will then be conducted with potential user groups to understand their needs.
Web services enable computers to compile and share information in a way to help users more conveniently manage their time and their tasks. Everyday tasks like booking a taxi, enrolling in a course, searching for a job, or even organizing dinner with friends are made so much easier with web services. All the user has to do is set the parameters for what information they are willing to share with whom. Then they can benefit from functions like MyAuthentication which offers one single log-in for all their on-line activities. MyCalendar allows them to sync their calendars with the calendars of their friends, colleagues or service providers. MyNotification gives them to ability to dictate how they want to be notified for certain messages, whether it is by telephone, SMS or email.
These functions will be available for community-based web services here in Singapore when the pilot launches in August 2002. Ten thousand people are expected to participate in the pilot. It will be the first pilot of community-based web services anywhere in the world.
Both Microsoft and IDA look forward to using Web services to enrich the lives of Singaporeans. Microsoft Singapore Managing Director, Ms. Natasha Kwan, said, “We envision a Singapore where citizens are always in touch with each other and whatever information they need, no matter where they are or what device they are using. .NET MySingapore will make this vision a reality, and demonstrate how technology is changing the experience of people every day.”
IDA Assistant Chief Executive Khoong Hock Yun added that the pilot would provide a great example for private developers, and would spur further development. “This program will provide an excellent platform on which application and service providers can create new and innovative products and community-based web services. We welcome partnerships such as this, as it is part of the IDA’s strategy to accelerate the adoption of web services locally, and a testimony to the fact that Singapore is a living lab for new and emerging technologies,” he said.
After the trial will come further initiatives in these areas:
1. Creation of additional community web services that enable Singapore citizens to easily access and utilize community services and organizations
2. Working with an academic partner to develop new training curriculum and the world’s first program for certifying web services professionals, and establishing a Microsoft .NET Professional Certification
3. Establishment of a Microsoft-IDA overseas development program designed give Singaporean developers better access to new web services technologies developed by Microsoft in the United States. This will involve the creation of a position at Microsoft’s™
research facilities in Redmond, Washington, co-funded by Microsoft and IDA.
4. Establishment of an emerging technologies lab with IDA and EDB (Economic Development Board) to jointly explore new technologies in cooperation with both academia and industry. This is another vehicle used to bring the .NET environment closer to Singapore. The lab would work with researchers to investigate new programming approaches and then test them in Microsoft’s™
real-world software development environment.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) 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.
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is a dynamic organization with an integrated perspective to developing, promoting and regulating info-communications in Singapore. In the fast-changing and converging spheres of telecommunications, information and media technologies, IDA will be the catalyst for change and growth in Singapore’s evolution into a vibrant global info-communications technology center. For more information, please visit http://www.ida.gov.sg .
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