With the outline of its .NET "software as a service" strategy on the table, Microsoft will exercise marketing muscle and try its best to win over an important group that must help it fill in the blanks: software developers.
Microsoft will pepper the attendees of its Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in Florida this week with product announcements. The software giant will give developers a technology preview of Visual Studio.NET, and release the Internet Explorer 5.5. Web browser.
"This is the critical audience for .NET now," said Dwight Davis, an analyst at US-based Summit Strategies. "The strategy is so far out, and there has to be so much development industry-wide for it to materialise, that step number one is to get as many developers on board as possible. This is the proving ground to sell .NET to [Microsoft's] core constituency."The .NET platform will incorporate various user interfaces and building block services that rely heavily on XML and the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) standard, which uses XML to provide a common messaging format, in order to make Microsoft software available over the Internet to PCs and other devices.