Microsoft .NET Hailed

ORLANDO (07/11/2000) - Attendees at the Microsoft Professional Developer's Conference here were urged to prepare for the company's .NET platform, in a keynote speech Tuesday by Paul Maritz, vice president of Microsoft Corp.'s platforms group.

".NET represents a new generations for Microsoft," Maritz said.

Maritz also announced the initial availability of the .NET framework and the Visual Studio.NET suite of tools that developers can use to build on top of the framework. Developers will receive an alpha copy of the Visual Studio.NET suite.

The .NET framework, according to Maritz, is a multi-language development and execution environment for building and running Web services, with features such as cross-language inheritance and debugging.

Maritz said that Visual Studio, meanwhile, is a little less than a year from a formal release.

"It's functional and complete," he said. There will be a beta release in the first half of next year.

Maritz also mentioned for the first time XLANG, an XML-based workflow language that is a key technology of BizTalk Server.

Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft is working to infuse .NET into the Windows family, as well as extending it out to non-PC devices, such as cellular phones and handhelds.

Maritz also discussed a compact version of .NET Compact Framework, designed to enable PDAs and cell phones to receive and send XML-based Web services.

"I don't want to say these thing happen overnight," he said.

Tom Sullivan is an Infoworld senior writer.

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