For all those interested in the state of play as regards the major players
in the OS and web services arena I can recommend this article.
Astute analysis, business and legal.
"Are you XPerienced?"
by John Hogan
"This commentary analyses Windows XP and its part within Microsoft's broader
'.Net' initiative. Some discussion of the ongoing antitrust case is
inevitable, but the primary aim here is to explain Microsoft's plan for
moving computing to the Internet, and to put it in context. While the
arguments advanced by Microsoft's critics are not without merit, it should
also be recognised that the company is currently creating and presenting a
vision of the future of computing. Bill Gates is gambling the company on the
success of .Net."
"Windows XP will also feature an integrated browser called MSN Explorer.
This will sit on the desktop with the latest version of Microsoft's standard
browser, IE6. Importantly, MSN Explorer is tightly tied to Microsoft's
Internet properties: links with labels such as 'Money', 'Shopping' and
'Music' lead to Microsoft-owned or Microsoft-partnered sites. MSN Explorer
seems set to be the user interface for .Net My Services: links lead to
offerings from .Net MyServices such as 'MyCalendar', 'MyStocks' and
'MyPhotos'. Windows Messenger may offer an additional user interface. It
will support '.Net Alerts', instant messaging subscriptions that can track
dynamically changing online information such as share prices and auctions.
.Net Alerts will allow companies such as McAfee to send out virus warnings
to its customers."
"Whereas AOL and Yahoo have developed consumer-oriented messaging
applications, Microsoft's Windows Messenger is aimed at both consumers and
corporate users. For example, it includes a document-collaboration feature,
and will allow corporations to set up closed messaging groups that rely on a
corporate server. Against this backdrop, it is hardly surprising that Sun
and AOL's iPlanet joint venture is developing corporate instant messaging
software (which will presumably have the advantage of interoperability with
AOL's existing messaging network)."
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