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CNET News.com: Where the Web will be won

Aug 06, 1999, 20:56 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Mike Ricciuti)

"Instant messaging is just the beginning."

"As is always the case, predicting what will be the next hot technology is a gamble. Few of the analysts, pundits, experts, and marketing managers contacted for this story would have wagered that instant messaging would become a point of contention between AOL and Microsoft.

Yet many pointed out possible new grounds where the giants could fight for control over software and new standards. Those include: business-to-business cross-platform data exchange via Extensible Markup Language (XML); e-commerce and 'digital wallets'; wide-scale directories to allow single Net sign-on; digital streaming and real-time video; and voice technology, with a focus on digital phone calls and voice-activated Web browsers."

"Microsoft may have the immediate advantage in many of these coming technologies, if only because it's played this game before. ... Moreover, Microsoft's vast resources let it invest research and development in virtually any area. Microsoft, unlike most of its competitors, can easily change direction, shift resources, or buy companies at will--especially when it's fallen behind in technology market such as instant messaging."

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