The next MS direction

Bill Gates has issued a high-level memo to the company about future direction. You might recall the 1995 memo that famously turned them onto the Internet, and started the browser wars. In 2000 a similar change got them heavily into XML and web services… which has obviously been a factor in highlighting XML to the world (and thus helping companies like the one I work for, eVision, which specialises in messaging technology, and XML).

This time it’s about Internet services — the next step on from web services.

Of course it may just be a big PR stunt. But given the examples from Google (people integrating Google maps into their web sites) and elsewhere, you can understand why people see it as the way forward: opening up the myriad of useful services out there on the Net for use and re-use, and critically, making them economically viable (through advertising or otherwise).

Whatever we’re about to see, if Microsoft is turning to move into it, it’s bound to be big.