Microsoft flexes its muscle - on all fronts

Rohit Khare (
Tue, 5 Nov 1996 10:34:29 -0500

I like the 'anti-theft' features -- I always thought running NT alone made
a machine repulsive enough :-)

NT Home Server? Be very afraid... RK

Microsoft flexes its muscle - on all fronts

By Jim Balderston and Bob Trott
InfoWorld Electric

Posted at 1:31 PM PT, Nov 4, 1996
LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Microsoft Corp. Group Vice President Paul Maritz gave
a standing-room-only crowd of developers a taste of the future and left
virtually no stone -- nor market -- unturned in doing so, at the company's
Professional Developer's Conference here today.

During his keynote, Maritz showed off a wide array of development
opportunities ranging from enterprise networks to computer games, in a
significant departure from many of the company's Internet rivals, which
have been focusing on the market for intranet software within large

"There are new opportunities for the broadening of Windows development,"
Maritz said. "These are platforms that address every part of life."

Maritz noted that the strategy of turning Microsoft software into
components, from browsers to server architectures, would allow developers
to create an "adaptive user interface" that would make life easier for
present-day users of Windows technology, as well as opening up entirely new
markets in the future.

Maritz demonstrated familiar business applications, and also new areas in
which the company expects developers to find profitable business

"The number of sockets into which you can sell your products is rising
exponentially," Maritz said.

For example, Maritz demonstrated a "home server" that could be used for
controlling lights, telephone messages, televisions, and computers at home.

"There will be an increasing number of home servers that will live in the
garage or basement and will be left on 24 hours a day," Maritz said.

Maritz also demonstrated a Windows-based PDA, featuring a "pocket version
of Excel," which can be linked to and synchronized with a desktop computer.

Maritz also showed of a ticket-dispensing kiosk -- based on Windows NT --
that will go into use on the New York subway system in the near future. The
touch-screen kiosk dispenses magnetic strip subway tickets, and features a
bulletproof screen and anti-theft features.

Maritz also demonstrated a home entertainment system that uses Windows
technology -- specifically Explorer -- to select and view television with
synchronized HTML pages.

"The HTML component has been broken out for use on television," Maritz

Maritz said Microsoft was also working on "satellite delivery of Web pages"
in concert with Castle Rock Entertainment.

Maritz told the show audience that the company was also working on
Windows-based technology that would give air travelers access to computers
without setting up their own laptops. It would be available within a year.

"On the way, every seat-back on planes will have a computer," Maritz said.

Maritz wrapped up his presentation by reiterating Microsoft's commitment to
the enterprise computing market, noting that the company was going to offer
customers the opportunity to integrate everything from business
applications to Web sites under Windows technology and the distributed
computing model based on the component architecture of Windows

"We are building into Windows a common user metaphor," Maritz said.

By integrating Windows technology across the company's product line, Maritz
said, developers would be able to extend their Windows development
expertise far out into the future.

"We needed to do this to get the next leg of return on your investment,"
Maritz said.