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SJ Mercury: Microsoft Net initiative draws yawns from rivals

Jun 23, 2000, 13:15 (2 Talkback[s])

"The Microsoft.Net initiative announced Thursday is aimed at allowing individuals to access data and software from a wide array of devices via the Internet and letting Microsoft sell software services rather than pre-packaged products. But many high-tech providers said they already are developing or selling such services over the Web."

"Microsoft's latest strategy amounts to a ``retrofit model,'' said George Paolini, vice president of Java community development at Sun Microsystems Inc. in Palo Alto, a longtime rival of Microsoft. ``If you read between the lines, Microsoft is looking for a way to extend the life of their Windows-based products. . . . It's a new face on an old approach,'' Paolini said."

"This is several years late on two fronts. The operating system is not the center of gravity anymore. They are also late in recognizing the function of what the Internet is all about,'' said Scott Hebner, director of e-business marketing at IBM, which is based in Armonk, N.Y. IBM started to focus seriously on network-based computing in late 1995, Hebner said."

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