"Microsoft's leaders themselves had trouble defining the ".Net
vision" at the rollout event last week. There was a lot of talk
about "the cloud" -- a network engineer's term meaning "the whole
mess of stuff that's out there somewhere on the Net" -- and the
cloudiness seemed to seep into the language every time someone
tried to explain .Net to the crowd. Here, for instance, is
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer attempting to clarify:
.Net represents a set, an environment, a
programming infrastructure that supports the next generation of the
Internet as a platform. It is an enabling environment for that ...
.Net is also a user environment, a set of fundamental user services
that live on the client, in the server, in the cloud, that are
consistent with and build off that programming model. So, it's both
a user experience and a set of developer experiences, that's the
conceptual description of what is .Net."
"So ... it's an environment and an infrastructure and a
platform and a set of services and a whole bunch of different
experiences. This is the classic language of vaporware: Software
products that do not yet exist but that companies feel compelled to
announce in an effort to cow competitors and wow investors."
"...there's one big problem with .Net that I think is likely to
prove an Achilles' heel. Gates and his team made a point last week
of bowing in the direction of Napster as an example of how the
Internet is moving toward many-to-many interactivity, where every
computer connected can be both server and client. That's true
enough -- but Napster is also an example of how today's Net
generates its own software winners in bubble-up-from-below
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