Gates Intros Products for Net Apps

ORLANDO, FLA. (06/05/2000) - In a city visited by most to escape reality, Bill Gates today smiled for two hours and detailed his dream for Microsoft Corp.'s future, a future in which Microsoft remains undivided and assumes a leadership position in Internet software.

"We need a new generation of software tools to build" the Internet's new Web sites, he said during a keynote speech kicking off TechEd, the company's event for developers, which is being attended by about 14,000 people. Gates is chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft.

Gates' keynote amounted to a first detailed peek at the company's broad strategy for providing software for the Internet, called Next Generation Windows Services.

Microsoft will provide the software the world needs to take the Internet to the next level, he said. To that end, Gates announced the following products during his speech:

-- SOAP Toolkit for Visual Studio 6: This is a toolkit, now available on Microsoft's Web site, that adds capabilities to the existing Visual Studio 6 to build what the company is calling Web Services. It uses the Simple Object Access Protocol, a protocol for a common XML (Extensible Markup Language) messaging format for Internet applications. Web Services are designed to help create Web sites that can be personalized and can be accessed by various devices, not only PCs, Gates said.

-- BizTalk Orchestration: A component of the BizTalk Server 2000, BizTalk Orchestration is designed to let developers and business analysts work together to define and modify business processes in applications using a visual, workflow-like interface. BizTalk Orchestration will ship with BizTalk Server 2000, whose beta version is expected later this summer.

-- RAD for the Server tools: These tools will be included with the next version of Visual Studio, version 7. They are designed to make it easier for developers to create Web-based applications.

Gates also said that Microsoft will spend US$2 billion over the next three years in training and support for its community of developers.

Except for a video sketch that hinted at and made fun of the company's legal troubles, Gates himself didn't make any mention of the government's antitrust case against Microsoft, which could lead to the division of Microsoft into two independent companies.

More details to follow.

Microsoft, in Redmond, Washington, is at +1-425-882-8080 or at

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