“Microsoft Corp. is unveiling a plan to dominate software
development in the post-personal-computer era, extending its
Windows technology to include building blocks for creators of new
Web-based applications and electronic-commerce services. The
strategy… represents Microsoft’s… most decisive shift yet away
from the PC-centric approach that has long encouraged software
developers to create programs that work mainly with its Windows
The new strategy recognizes that the Web, rather than
stand-alone computers, is the new target for software developers,
and seeks to extend Windows into that decentralized environment.
Several elements of the strategy must still be worked out, and it
is unclear whether Microsoft can successfully create technical ties
between the Web and Windows and thus preserve its privileged
position in the software industry. But the company said it is
nonetheless reorienting all of its products around the
approach, dubbed Windows DNA 2000, much as the company
shifted to broadly embrace the Internet in December
“At stake is nothing less than dominance of the software
infrastructure of the rapidly expanding digital economy.
High-volume sales of Windows PCs have given Microsoft control of
the specifications used by most independent computer programmers,
who in turn have developed software that serves to keep people
buying Windows-based PCs.
But the advent of the Internet has made it possible to develop
server software that can be manipulated with only a Web browser.
Browsers can run on non-Windows PCs, handheld devices, phones and
TV set-top boxes, reducing the need for Windows. The trend is
heavily supported by Microsoft’s biggest rivals, including
International Business Machines Corp., Oracle Corp. and the
alliance between Sun Microsystems Inc. and America Online Inc.”