Wednesday, February 7, 2001
Microsoft's announcement this week that it would call its new
array of products "XP" symbolized another step away from the desktop and toward
the Internet, the company said. The suffix will be first attached to the new
Windows desktop operating system, and to the Office desktop applications suite.
Microsoft (www.microsoft.com) says the letters stand
for "experience," in reference to the broad computing power that users will gain
by embracing its Web-based services. The company's .NET strategy dictates that
customers "move beyond disconnected applications, services, and devices to
complete, connected computing experiences that redefine the relationship between
people, software, and the Internet."
But Microsoft might be counseled to keep an eye on its
competition, rather than coming up with clever acronyms.
Also this week, Sun Microsystems (www.sun.com) announced its own version of a
Web-based computing services strategy, called ONE (Open Net Environment). Sun's
vision is an array of applications that can run anywhere, from PCs to pagers,
and from your cell phone to your car. Sound familiar? That's pretty much
Microsoft's plan for .NET.
Sun ONE will be based on its Forte tools (for software service
creation), on server packages developed by iPlanet in alliance with Netscape,
and on Sun's Webtop technology (which will make the browser a two-way tool and
allow developers to deliver more personalized software). The combination will be
phased in over the next two years.