Microsoft plans to unveil a new programming language called C# that's intended to make it easier for Windows operating systems to interoperate with other platforms such as rival Sun Microsystems' Solaris.
The announcement is expected within the next few days.
But several users said the introduction of the Microsoft development language (pronounced "C sharp") is off-key.
Microsoft officials claim the language will simplify the building of distributed applications that run on Windows 2000 or NT and can easily connect to applications written in different languages and on different operating systems. Microsoft officials declined to say when it would ship.
"C# is a way of graphically building applications and components for Web services," said Tony Goodhew, a Microsoft product manager. "This solves the problem that customers actually have; they want interoperability between platforms, not the same code running on all platforms." Writing code once and being able to run it on any platform has been one of the prime promises of Java, a development language promoted by Microsoft rivals IBM and Sun.