ASPs court developers
Some ASPs are now courting developers to write applications integrated under strict guidelines set by the ASPs. US-based SoftwareMarkets has announced its new online application catalogue service. If developers write easily integratable applications using SoftwareMarkets' proprietary Java extensions, the company will certify the application's ability to integrate, market it and provide users with other services such as security and tech support. Last month another US company, FreeMe, which recently introduced its U-Platform, added its own suite of integrated software, such as e-mail, groupware and calendaring, as a basic package for customers and to prove its integration capabilities. While SoftwareMarkets uses Java with its own extensions, FreeMe uses proprietary technology that outputs XML to browsers.
Room for everyone
Recognising it takes a broad base of technologies to drive the Internet economy, Intel is expanding the content of its upcoming Intel Developers Forum Conference to include a wider range of vendors, according to Matt Haller, platform evangelism manager at the company. Using the theme of "Powering the Net, connecting the Net," the expanded program "is now an industry developer forum, around technology and initiatives", Haller said. The event, which is being held at the San Jose Convention Center in the US, will host more than 150 non-Intel vendors. The number of software vendors attending the event has tripled since the previous show, which took place earlier this year. Haller said that Intel would even welcome its competitors to the three-day event as they are "part of the equation."www.developer.intel.com/design/idfXbox developer kitsHoping to garner support for its forthcoming Xbox game console, Microsoft has said it will ship software developer kits allowing the global game developer community to start developing games for the Xbox. Microsoft aims to deploy more than 1000 XDKs (Xbox software developer kits) at more than 100 companies developing games for the game console, which is scheduled to start shipping in the second half of 2001, the software vendor said in a statement. The XDK is based on chips designed by Intel and Nvidia which will provide the processor and graphics engine respectively for the Xbox, and Microsoft's DirectX 8 API (application programming interface) development tools. Kicking off a three-phase program, which according to Microsoft is scheduled to culminate with the delivery of customised consoles in early 2001, the first XDK is an upgradeable PC-based development system.