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March - 2003 - issue > Cover Story

Microsoft And The Enterprise

Karthik Sundaram
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Karthik Sundaram
MUCH OF HUMAN PROGRESS HAS COME ABOUT because someone invented a better and more powerful tool. Informational tools are symbolic mediators that amplify the intellect rather than muscle the users...A great deal of work now involves decision making and knowledge, so information tools have become, and will continue increasingly to be, the focus of inventors,” wrote Bill Gates in The Road Ahead.

In the last half-a-decade, the metaphorical road saw numerous traffic jams, overtakes, crashes—and now debris that is slowly clearing up—as enterprise software companies, big and small, hacked up markets; selling stand alone products supported by long hours of consulting. In all this, the rationale at Redmond, WA was to wait and watch. Finally, as the road shows signs of clearing and there is now a dire need for some sane methodology to keep up the traffic flow, Microsoft is gearing up to move in.

At the recent Comdex, Gates announced that the company intended to pursue development in Web Services as a core business strategy. “Interconnection needs to be done around one architecture. Not one architecture for e-commerce, one for management, one for interoperability; a single architecture, applied very broadly. For Microsoft, this is the center of our .NET strategy. This is what we committed our company direction to be several years ago. It’s a very profound commitment. We had to rebuild Visual Studio to release the .NET version early this year. We’re doing substantial rebuilding in our database to not only support XML, which we already do, but to bring XML into the core of that database,” said Gates, in his demo-laden keynote.

In 2001, when Microsoft released Visual Studio.NET, it marked the seriousness of the giant’s intentions in the business.

.NET Evangelist: Parthasarathy
Well-known for building low total cost of ownership (TCO) solutions for the desktop and the enterprise, Microsoft is playing out its time-tested strategy again in the enterprise application space. Productivity, flexibility, connectedness (linking customers, employees, and business partners)—all three platforms designed to deliver a low TCO—form the core of Microsoft’s enterprise technology strategy. In the past few years, a new technology has emerged and matured that—Microsoft feels—will deliver enhanced productivity, flexibility and connectedness, while lowering the TCO. XML Web Services’ time has come, says Sanjay Parthasarathy, corporate Vice President of Strategy and Business Development Group, who also plays evangelist to the .NET platform developer community. “.NET is an ingredient,” explains Parthasarathy. “You can think of Web Services as the underlying technology, and .NET as Microsoft’s method for making it happen.”

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