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CNET News.com: Microsoft fights talent drain with new tools, API

Aug 12, 1999, 16:53 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Mike Ricciuti, Wylie Wong)

"It's Microsoft's game to lose. With a hammerlock on the Web browser and PC operating system markets, if Microsoft loses sway with developers it has only itself to blame.

Executives at the Redmond, Washington-based software maker admit that in order to maintain Windows' appeal as a development platform, the company needs to make Web application development on Windows as simple as writing a Windows-only program. ... To stem the flow of developers away from the fold, the company needs a development tool that does for Web development what its Visual Basic tool did to revolutionize Windows development back in 1991."

" 'It's not easy to [build server-side applications], especially in a Microsoft environment, because there's been no cohesive tool that combines all of their technology,' said Craig Roth, an analyst at the Meta Group. 'You still have to pretty much do all the coding yourself. Visual InterDev is a lower level tool for Web page design and scripting. But there has been no equivalent of Visual Basic--a very easy to use, visually oriented tool that ties all of the services together.'

Roth cites tools from SilverStream and Elemental Software as good examples of what Microsoft should emulate. 'They need a more cohesive vision of how to do Web development in the Microsoft environment,' Roth said. 'So that means adding a series of missing features: state and session management and a tool that ties all of [their] technologies together.' Roth said a number of Java application server makers already offer such features."

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