Microsoft creates new team to promote .Net

In an effort to improve service and marketing to developers and users of its .Net software platform, Microsoft Corp. said Tuesday it has formed a "Developer and Platform Evangelism" division.

The division, made up of parts of several other divisions, is responsible for developer tools and promotion of Microsoft's .Net software platform with books, online learning, courseware and exams for developers, IT managers, decision makers and consumers. The division also runs Microsoft's corporate Web site, the company said in a statement.

Developer and Platform Evangelism will push Microsoft's Web services based on XML (Extensible Markup Language) as part of Microsoft's Platforms Group, which also includes Windows and Microsoft's .Net Enterprise Services platforms, Microsoft said. The company faces competition from IBM Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc., among others, in the Web services market.

Winning over developers to support the .Net framework is one of the major tasks for the new division, headed by Senior Vice President Eric Rudder, previously general manager for the Visual Studio development system. Hawking the Visual Studio.Net developer package, expected to ship by year's end, will be top of his list.

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