Tech Ed: Microsoft steers to the .NET

Microsoft's Tech Ed 2000 machine went into top gear yesterday before 1500 delegates at a critical time in the software company's evolution.

Faced with renewed competition in the hotly contested enterprise markets, Microsoft is making a concerted attempt to demonstrate before the developers and solution providers here it has the answers for the information economy.

Michael Risse, Microsoft's general manager of .NET solutions group, explained the company's ".NET" strategy now underpins its entire product range from smart cards and pocket PCs, through to PCs and server cluster solutions.

With the evolution of the Web now set to demand integrated IT systems based on the XML standard, Risse believes Microsoft must provide developers with the tools to more efficiently build scalable solutions for the enterprise.

"Microsoft needs to evolve with the Internet or we will be left behind," Risse conceded.

Each of the technical sessions have focused on how the software giant is migrating each of its Windows-based products here to the Nirvana expected next year when the entire Windows code-base is built on a single platform, a project code-named Whistler.

For example, Windows 2000 server, Windows 2000 Professional and the consumer-level Windows Me are set for a new life in the coming future as each migrates to the .NET technology of Window 2000 divided into segments for the server, professional client, personal client and embedded application markets.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has announced its flagship enterprise product, SQL Server 2000, now in beta, will be released to manufacture this week. The product features native XML support, Web-based access, querying and analysis, is highly scalable, has failover clustering and SMP support, and offers developers a fast time to model approach through integrated extensible analysis services.

Mark Jones attended Tech Ed 2000 as a guest of Microsoft.

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