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Microsoft exec unwraps Jupiter plan

[OCTOBER 16, 2002] - Microsoft officials last week unveiled the long-awaited Jupiter, code name for the company's vision for an ''IT ecosystem of information'' based on XML Web services, during presentations at the Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC 2002) in Anaheim, Calif.

Microsoft officials disclosed that the new XML-based products, including .NET developer tools, e-business servers and BPM systems, as well as new releases of Exchange, Outlook and Office, will be shipped within the next 18 months.

Paul Flessner, senior vice president of the Microsoft .NET Enterprise Server Division, told the conference audience that the Jupiter plan meets the criteria set by analyst groups preaching the need for integrated solutions. Flessner specifically touched on a report from Stamford, Conn.-based Meta Group that cited a trend to more unified IT systems.

''Through 2004,'' the Meta reported stated, ''vendors will continue to meld portal frameworks with process management/automation facilities, Web services standards and content awareness.''

The Meta report concludes that platform vendors will need to have solidified this fully integrated approach by 2005/2006 if they wish to ''thrive'' in the market. Microsoft's Jupiter plan will meet this deadline, maintained Flessner. In the Jupiter vision, everything from word processing and spreadsheets, to complex business processes and e-business transactions will be integrated based on XML standards, he said.

As part of the new release, Flessner said Microsoft will provide support for the Business Process Execution Language for Web Services (BPEL4WS). BPEL4WS is a proposed XML specification for describing business processes interacting with multiple Web services that is supported by IBM, BEA and Microsoft.

Jupiter will also provide better integration between Visual Studio .NET and a new release of Microsoft Office scheduled for late 2003, promised Flessner. Jupiter also includes new releases of Exchange -- code-named Titanium -- and Outlook, which are scheduled for late 2003.

In early 2004, the second phase of the Jupiter plan will include the release of new Microsoft products for content management, commerce services, catalog management, site management and site analytics.

For more information, click on http://www.microsoft.com.

About the Author

Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.

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