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Microsoft drives flexible net programming

Australia’s IT industry is being held back because of the cost of broadband cable and lack of wireless services, according to Microsoft Australia spokesman Philip Meyer.

He says “WAP is crap” and the Internet is the future, although not the current HTML/Java-based system but a new much more flexible programmable XML-supported industry standard defined by the World Wide Web Consort-ium.

Microsoft says its Net will drive the next generation Internet.

In the next three years, Microsoft plans to pour $2 billion on industry partners, independent developers and corporate IT developers to build a Microsoft.NET service.

He said that Microsoft had already signed with 11 ASP (Application Service Provider) companies in Australia including Foxgold in Western Australia.

This new NET platform will revolutionise computing and communications in the first decade of the 21st century by being the first platform that takes full advantage of both.

Microsoft promises it will spawn a new generation of Internet services, and enable tens of thousands of software developers to create revolutionary new kinds of online services and businesses.

Microsoft.NET will provide a range of complementary services to serve customers in ways that today’s dot.coms can only “dream of”.

It will make information available any time, any place and on any device.

Mr Meyer says the future of the Net and industry lies in the marriage of corporate computing with mobile phone and pocket PC technologies.

But Australia is trailing the USA and Asia simply because the lack of availability of affordable broadband and wireless connection, he told Western Australian IT industry representatives last week.

“It is just too expensive,” he said. “Business is being asked to pay too much for it.”

When broadband data connections are affordable and wireless services more plentiful, Microsoft promises a new generation of software that melds computing and com-munications in a revolutionary new way.

Meanwhile he urged attendees at the Citrix seminar launch of the new MetaFrame XP for Windows last week that all businesses should be working towards making their companies accessible on the Internet – even the current, less-than-satisfactory version.

“When you plan your company network don’t think in terms of tens or even hundreds of users. You should think in hundreds of thousands,” he said.

“1.7 million people in Australia now have access to the Web. They are all potential customers. In the 1980s Microsoft had a mission statement that said ‘a computer on every desk’.

“In Australia 70 per cent of all desks now have a computer and 56 per cent of all homes have at least one computer.

“We at Microsoft see ourselves now on the third generation of industry development.

“We have embraced the net.

“Microsoft now has a new mission statement ‘access anywhere, anytime, on any device’.

“Whether it is via a TV set, PDA, or mobile telephone, people need easy fast access to their work via the Net.”

But, he said, this couldn’t happen without affordable broadband and extensive wireless connections and currently in Australia broadband cable was too expensive and data wireless services too restricted.

“The fundamental idea behind Microsoft.NET is that the focus is shifting from individual web sites or devices connected to the Internet, to constellations of computers, devices and services that work together to deliver ‘broader and richer solutions’,” he said.

“Essential to this new vision is the mobile telephone and pocket computer.”

Mr Meyer dismissed WAP as “crap” technology because it isn’t Internet-based.

“Who really cares about looking up horoscopes and share prices?” he asked. “WAP is crap.”

“What people want is business applications and access to the Internet on the move.

“They want to run their business on their pocket computer from anywhere and everywhere, they want access to email and the Internet.

“For that we need broadband and wireless and it has to be affordable and widely available.

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