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The Standard: Can Microsoft Reinvent Itself Through Dot-Net?

Jun 24, 2000, 11:55 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dominic Gates)

[ Thanks to Doug Bostrom for this link. ]

"Blocking out all gloomy thoughts of a court-ordered breakup, on Thursday, Microsoft (MSFT) finally unveiled its much-anticipated plan to transform itself from a desktop leader to an Internet software company. he plan, formerly called Next Generation Windows Services, has a new name, "Dot-Net," and is being propelled by a simple market realization: If Microsoft doesn't produce software for the non-Windows world, then it won't survive in the emerging Internet-driven marketplace."

"...it could be a hard sell. At the company's conference center in Redmond, Wash., Microsoft executives struggled to promote their abstract vision of Dot-Net as a "platform for the Internet." They showed videos that looked like beautifully shot Hollywood movies burdened with weak plot lines and heavy product placement. Handsome actors played citizens of the future, leading brightly-lit lives and executing complex transactions and interactions from their cell phones, PCs and handheld computers."

"I think we underwhelmed you," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer after one demo. Later, when both Ballmer and Microsoft chairman Bill Gates separately cited Napster and Gnutella as examples of the type of powerful Web services to expect in the future, it only served as a reminder that real innovation has not been coming from giant software companies of late."

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