BUSINESSWEEK ONLINE : JULY 3, 2000 ISSUE
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Fishing for Dollars: Casting a Wide.Net


Microsoft's .Net initiative promises to help consumers and corporations use 
the Web to organize data and automate routine tasks. Over the next year, the 
company will roll out a dozen or so software products and services. Here's a 
sampling:

PRODUCT                                PROSPECTS

BIZTALK SERVER 2000
Will let different operating-          This new area barely exists today
system software and application        but is core to Microsoft's vision.
programs swap information over         It could approach $4 billion by
the Web. This enables direct           2004. Microsoft will face competi-
communication, with little             tion from players such as Software
human intervention.                    AG and Computer Associates

SQL SERVER 2000
The next update of the company's       The database market last year
database server, due out late          stood at $10.5 billion and
this year, will be infused with        should reach $16.6 billion
.Net software. Then databases          by 2003. Winning this one
will be able to talk over the          will be a slog. Oracle is
Web with non-Microsoft programs.       the database king, with 40%
                                       of the market, and it is
                                       developing similar software.

EXCHANGE SERVER 2000
This e-mail and calendar               Some $2.4 billion of e-mail
program today trails IBM's             and calendar servers were
Lotus Notes. Microsoft hopes           sold last year. By 2004, that
to give it a lift by integra-          market, plus new Web-delivered
ting .Net, which would let             packages, should top $3 bil-
users check e-mail from any-           lion. Lotus is introducing
where on the Net with any              similar features and will
device.                                fight to hold its turf.

STORAGE
Microsoft plans to sell                America Online's You've Got
storage as a service. Sites            Pictures service is a likely
enabled with .Net could                rival. And streaming-audio and
then offer customers online            -video leader Real-Networks is
music collections or Web-              developing music-storage tech-
based photo albums.                    nology.

MESSAGING
Microsoft will add .Net                The biggest rival is AOL, which
technology to its Messenger            holds some 90% of the market with
Service program. The service           its Instant Messenger and is
could then be plugged into             rolling out a version to work
interactive-TV offerings or            on TVs and wireless phones.
handheld devices.

CALENDAR
Scheduling capabilities                Companies such as Yahoo! and
would be expanded with .Net.           AOL offer Web calendars now,
For example, calendars of              although none have the range of
co-workers kept at dif-                features Microsoft is planning.
ferent Web sites could be
automatically synchronized.


DATA: MICROSOFT, IDC


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