26 May 2000 - Microsoft sources have informed TechnologyEvaluation.com
that Forum 2000 has been postponed. The conference, where Microsoft was
to roll out details of its Next Generation Windows Services, has been
postponed to June 22.
was a joint project of group vice presidents Jim Allchin and Paul Maritz.
On Monday, May 22, 2000, ZDNet revealed that Jim Allchin was taking an
extended vacation. In prior years, Microsoft vice officials such as Brad
Silverberg and Pete Higgins who took similar leaves never returned to
the Redmond software giant.
has also been rocked by recent development in the U.S. Department of Justice
antitrust action. On May 24, 2000, U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield
Jackson praised an SIAA amicus brief that called for a three-way breakup
plan for Microsoft. Judge Jackson also promised a swift end to the long
It's been hard trying to figure out what NGWS will be, and it's going
to get harder. Microsoft has been trying to develop a subscription-based
revenue model as Windows evolves. NGWS is part of an industry trend towards
more server-centric computing. NGWS is the logical next extension of a
trend that includes Object Linking and Embedding (OLE), ActiveX, DCOM,
and Windows DNA. Microsoft has been migrating towards distributed component
architecture; NGWS is expected to extend a framework to centralize these
disparate components on larger, Internet-enabled servers.
Without Allchin onboard, we expect Maritz to rework NGWS as a software
development platform. In the long run, this is good strategy for Microsoft
- part of the reason for its ubiquity is its historic and extensive support
for software developers.
But NGWS has remained an unfocused strategy, at best. Microsoft has been
extremely tightlipped about NGWS in recent weeks. At a minimum, Microsoft
needs a timeout to catch its breath while it digests the antitrust developments.
The Windows monopoly has been a focus of the case, so repurposing NGWS
as a development environment is logical.
If you're a developer, mark June 22 on your calendar - that's the rescheduled
announcement date from Microsoft. If you're an end user, none of this
relates to products you'll see in the next 18 months.