||With the release of the .NET Framework, Microsoft is taking the most significant risk
in its history. Microsoft has spent billions of dollars, representing over 80 percent of
its R&D budget, on designing and constructing this fundamental shift in its development
tools in order to build a framework for the future of application development. Microsoft
has effectively realized its vision of Windows in every PC and a PC on every desktop. Its
current problem is that the desktop represents only a portion of the new Internet universe.
With the huge shift brought on by the Internet and its pervasiveness into everything from
watches to cell phones to cars, Microsoft must now shift its view of the future from a
PC-centric orientation to a service-centric orientation.
So what is the future? From Microsoft’s point of view, the future is delivering software as
a service. Instead of purchasing a shrink-wrapped installable solution, you will instead rent,
borrow, or purchase application logic across a distributed network. Software will of course
still be sold on store shelves. However, most, if not all of the business logic and power of
these applications will reside across a set of distributed applications using open Internetbased
standards such as XML and HTTP. This framework will open extensive new possibilities
for you in the process of designing, constructing, delivering, licensing, and collecting fees
for your software.