Microsoft Unveils Vision for Future of Computing And World of Next-Generation XML Web Services

NEW ORLEANS, April 11, 2002 — Today at Microsoft Tech
·Ed 2002, Microsoft Corp. provided developers with a vision for the future of computing based on XML Web services. In his keynote address, Microsoft Senior Vice President of .NET Enterprise Servers Paul Flessner outlined three pillars of computing — application models, data and Trustworthy Computing — that will bring innovations and new technology and provide the foundation for the next generation of XML Web services platforms. David Green, a software architect at Nationwide Building Society, accompanied Flessner onstage to outline the business value his company has derived to date by building with Microsoft®
.NET and to discuss the company’s plans for continuing its leading-edge work in XML Web services by rearchitecting legacy systems to achieve greater business efficiencies and deliver increased value to customers.

“Our company needs to build deep, interconnected relationships with our customers, partners and employees, and do so by most efficiently utilizing development and IT resources,” Green said. “The Microsoft platform has helped us achieve these business goals, while increasing the productivity of our developers and reducing the complexity of our applications. By working with Microsoft during the early development stages of .NET and XML Web services, we’ve witnessed its commitment to software innovation that directly benefits developers and IT professionals trying to solve tough business problems. Today, Microsoft demonstrated that it has a long-term vision for XML Web services-based computing that will continue to benefit our business into the future.”

“With our continued contributions to important industry standards, the successful launches of Visual Studio®
.NET and the .NET Framework, and the tremendous progress we have made toward adding XML Web services capabilities across the entire family of .NET Enterprise Servers, Microsoft continues to demonstrate its leadership and vision in this new, exciting area of computing,” Flessner said. “In the relatively short time that businesses have been building and running XML Web services, it is clear that the benefits of this technology are numerous and bountiful, but there is still tremendous opportunity to innovate and continue to improve the experience and value for our customers. Indeed, this is the sort of challenge that keeps us motivated.”

Pillars of Transformation for the Next-Generation XML Web Services Platform

Also joining Flessner onstage was Pat Helland, senior architect in the .NET Enterprise Server division at Microsoft. Before joining Microsoft in 1994, Helland held architect positions at Tandem Computers and HaL Computers. In the keynote address, Flessner and Helland discussed how the evolution of standards for XML Web services will dramatically expand the ability of businesses and people to benefit from technology, potentially resulting in accelerated worldwide economic growth. However, Flessner emphasized that innovation around standards alone will not drive this expansion; Microsoft and the industry at large must make significant investments in innovation in the computing platforms that take advantage of these standards, going well beyond the current state of the industry.

Application Models: From Interconnected Monoliths to Autonomous Computing

Today, many companies are achieving significant business benefits by using XML Web services to integrate their internal systems and to connect those systems with their partners’ and customers’ systems. To achieve these benefits, existing technology investments are “wrapped” with a layer of XML Web services. As demonstrated by the recent shipments of Visual Studio .NET, the .NET Framework, BizTalk®
Server 2002, Commerce Server 2002, and XML Web services toolkits for Office XP, SQL Server (TM) 2000 and Exchange 2000 Server, Microsoft leads the industry in shipping new software designed to help customers utilize this strategy.

Although the strategy of wrapping existing systems delivers immediate and tangible benefits, in the future, businesses will be able to achieve even greater benefits by decomposing monolithic applications into smaller, autonomous XML Web services. With this new architectural approach, and with related standards and platform advancements, customers will be able to achieve even deeper and more flexible digital relationships through XML Web services than they are able to achieve today. This new approach also will make it easier to achieve the highest levels of scalability, availability and reliability.

Data: Unification Through XML

Today, businesses often store critical data in a variety of formats and locations that are difficult to bring together. Structured data, such as inventory information, is most often stored in databases. Unstructured data, such as documents and messages, may be stored in the file system, in e-mail and collaboration servers, in media servers, and many other places. The current generation of tools and technology, on which businesses rely to make critical decisions, lacks the capability to accurately find data wherever it may be located and to easily integrate structured and unstructured data. Microsoft has made significant advancements toward the goal of unifying data by allowing for the storage and/or representation of both structured and unstructured data in XML format. Furthermore, Microsoft has begun to unify the programming model across the variety of data storage mechanisms by delivering support for XML Web services-based access, for example, with SQL Server 2000 and Exchange 2000 Server.

In the future, Microsoft will extend storage mechanisms through the use of rich, XML-based schema, which will make it easier for end users to find any type of data stored in any location. Microsoft also will continue to unify the programming model across all possible data stores through the use of XML Web services. Finally, through additional platform innovations, Microsoft will make it possible for end users to use their applications and access their data regardless of whether or not they are connected to a network or the Internet.

Trustworthy Computing: Secure, Available, Private

In the same way that businesses and individuals depend on the reliable delivery of basic utilities such as water, electricity and telecommunications to be successful, the aim of Trustworthy Computing is to make technology equally reliable and trusted.. The overall goal of Trustworthy Computing is to make technology safe, private and available by building software and services that are inherently more secure, and to empower customers to make clear and informed choices about their security and privacy. The key, interrelated pillars of Trustworthy Computing are security, availability and privacy.

To achieve these goals, Microsoft is working to create a tight feedback loop between customers, support, development and industry partners. This feedback will enable Microsoft to identify and resolve issues more swiftly and to proactively alert customers to the availability of software updates. Microsoft also is making progress in delivering software that is designed to be self-managing and self-tuning, and that is securely locked down by default — resulting in dramatic decreases in the cost of managing solutions.

In the future, through continued investment in industry standards and through innovation around secure, available and manageable systems, Microsoft and the industry will be able to achieve the goals for Trustworthy Computing. In addition to advancements in the way that software is designed and tested, the combination of commodity hardware and networking, new XML Web services standards, new operating platform advancements, and data storage innovation supporting massive redundancy, will deliver inherently resilient systems. Furthermore, evolving the unit of manageability from clients, server hardware and applications to XML Web services will simplify the effort required to keep systems running and secure.

Along these lines, Microsoft today jointly announced with IBM and VeriSign the publication of a new XML Web services security specification, WS-Security. WS-Security is the foundation for a comprehensive, flexible security model for Web services. In addition, Microsoft and IBM jointly published a broader road map, including an additional set of proposed XML Web services capabilities, designed to tackle the growing need for the consistent support of more secure XML Web services. The proposed road map outlines additional XML Web services security specifications that Microsoft and IBM plan to develop along with key customers, industry partners and standards organizations. Both documents are available at .

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.

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