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THE NEXT GENERATION INTERNET Built on Internet standards such as XML and SOAP, Microsoft .

NET is a platform for building next generation distributed applications XML Web services. Previou sly, programming models mainly focused on a single system, even making interacti ons with other systems to work as if they were local interactions, such as DCOM. Microsoft .NET is explicitly designed to allow the integration or orchestration of any group of resources on the Internet and local application code into a sin gle solution. Today, if possible at all, this type of integration is extremely c omplex and costly. Microsoft .NET will make it intrinsic to all software develop ment. The loosely coupled XML-based Microsoft .NET programming model introduces the co ncept of creating XML-based Web services. Whereas today's Web sites don't work w ith other sites without significant additional development, the Microsoft .NET p rogramming model provides an intrinsic mechanism to build any Web site or servic e so that it will federate and collaborate seamlessly with any others. Just as t he introduction of interchangeable components accelerated the industrial revolut ion, Microsoft .NET promises to hasten the development of distributed computing over the Internet. None of this will be possible without many partners and the millions of independ ent and corporate developers who have helped build today's computer industry. As Alexander Graham Bell put it, "Great discoveries and improvements invariably in volve the cooperation of many minds." When the disk operating system (DOS) becam e popular on the PC, it created opportunities for a new generation of independen t developers to build businesses around DOS-based applications. The Microsoft Wi ndows® operating system took those opportunities to an even higher level. The oppo rtunities for every developer afforded by Microsoft .NET will be greater still. For developers, Microsoft is evolving its set of development tools specifically for the Web, spanning client, server and services. These tools will enable devel opers to transform the Web from today's static presentation of information into a Web of rich interactive XML Web services. Microsoft's breakthrough next-genera tion Visual Studio® tool suite automates development of XML Web services via the d rag-and-drop rapid-application development paradigm pioneered by the Visual Basi c® development system. These XML Web services can be consumed on any platform that understands XML. Visual Studio even automatically generates the XML code necess ary to turn applications into XML Web services.. The Microsoft .NET programming model gives developers the opportunity to focus f ewer resources on where or how an application runs and focus more resources on w hat the application does - where they can add real value. Microsoft .NET address es some of the biggest challenges facing developers, particularly the tradeoff b etween functionality and manageability. It takes application service providers ( ASPs) and application hosting to a new level. This enables the integration of ho sted applications with other applications, the customization of those applicatio ns, the ability to program against those applications, and the option to run the applications offline. In addition, developers will be able to leverage and customize a range of core M icrosoft .NET building block services in their own applications and services, re ducing the effort required to create compelling products. These include HailStorm -- the codename for a set of user-centric XML Web services -- that will provide for identity, notification, calendar functions, storage and other services. By allowing developers to leverage these core set of XML Web services, they free t he amount of plumbing they would normally have to create such as authentication services while providing for the personalization that is inherent from the .NET platform. With the option of subscribing to these core .NET XML Web services off the shelf , developers can make a "buy or build" decision as to where they want to spend t heir development resources. Some may elect to build basic service capabilities t hemselves. Many will likely opt for a well-packaged solution with strong develo pment tools support, as many developers choose not to write their own printer dr ivers or windowing system with Windows and instead focus their resources on diff

erentiating their own higher-level products. .