Borland brings .Net into view

On the eve of the release of Microsoft Corp.'s important Visual Studio .Net software development suite, tools maker Borland Software Corp. pledged to add support for Microsoft's .Net development environment in future versions of its products.

During the second half of the year, Borland will release versions of Borland Delphi, Borland C++ Builder and other development products that will be capable of building .Net applications for Intel Corp.-based systems, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

The products will include support for Microsoft's .Net Framework, the environment needed to run applications built for .Net. That would also include support for ASP.Net (Active Server Pages. Net), Microsoft's server software for Web hosting, as well as industry standards such as XML (Extensible Markup Language), Borland said.

The development tools will also include support for the Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL), an intermediary format for turning applications written in other languages into .Net programs. Microsoft has said its own Visual Studio .Net will allow developers to write applications in more than 20 different programming languages; those applications would be compiled into MSIL before they can run in the .Net environment.

Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates is set to officially launch Visual Studio .Net, along with the final version of the .Net Framework, at an event planned for Wednesday morning in San Francisco.

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