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Microsoft’s Bill Gates Previews New ‘HailStorm’


Bill Gates previews the new ‘Hailstorm’ Technologies as part of the new era of more consistent, personalised and user-centric experiences.

Frequenters of the Microsoft Network – MSN – will be familiar with Microsoft’s 'Passport' (an identity and notification service). One of Microsoft’s first new .NET services is code named ‘Hailstorm’ intended to be the companies new generation of their existing user identification Passport. The .NET building block service, which is scheduled for release in the second half of 2002, is a .NET service for attributes, profiles and digital rights management.

A Press Release from Microsoft this month announced -:

A set of new technologies to advance it's Microsoft® .NET strategy. The technology, code-named ‘HailStorm,’ is a set of user-centric XML Web services that enable developers to build solutions that work seamlessly with one another over the Internet to deliver a more personalised and consistent user experience. In addition, Microsoft showcased five industry partners: American and under their control.

'HailStorm’ is a key .NET milestone to deliver on the Microsoft mission to empower people through great software, any time, any place and on any device,’ said Mr Gates. ‘We believe this innovation will take individual empowerment to a new level, create unprecedented opportunity for the industry and trigger a renewed wave of excitement about the Internet.’

Instead of people having to adapt to each technology, ‘HailStorm’ services help different technologies cater to the user and provide a consistent experience across an individual’s entire ‘personal network.’ ‘HailStorm’-based solutions allow users to manage and protect their personal information, as opposed to today’s world in which it is scattered across the technology landscape, with no ability to control the privacy of their information. In addition, these solutions will allow different technologies to work together in tandem, saving the individual from acting as the integration point between all the technologies in their life.

‘HailStorm’ technology is a result of work being done in the .NET Services Group, which is responsible for building XML-based Web services for businesses and consumers and is led by Bob Muglia, group vice president for .NET services, who also participated in today’s briefing.

‘HailStorm’ is a new breed of platform, consisting of a set of XML-based Web services and an underlying services architecture. The ‘HailStorm’ services are oriented around the individual and allow developers, with the user’s consent, to access for example an individual’s calendar, contact information or documents, from any application, device or service connected to the Internet. ‘HailStorm’ employs the Passport user authentication system to secure an individual’s identity and information. Both Passport and the ‘HailStorm’ services require affirmative consent and explicit opt-in by the user for the release of any personal information.

‘‘Hailstorm’ turns the industry debate over online privacy on its head,’ said Muglia. ‘It starts with the fundamental assumption that the user owns and controls their personal information so only the user decides with whom they share their information and under what terms.’

Open Access from Any Application, Device or Service
‘HailStorm’ adheres to an open access model in which all interactions are conducted via XML-based SOAP protocols. Use of the industry-standard XML and SOAP protocols means any application, device or service connected to the Internet can interact with ‘HailStorm,’ regardless of the underlying operating system, programming language or online service. No Microsoft software is required on any client or server that accesses ‘HailStorm.’ Microsoft today demonstrated various platforms accessing ‘HailStorm’ services, including Microsoft Windows®, Apple Macintosh, Pocket PC, Palm and various flavours of UNIX. Windows XP, Microsoft’s next-generation operating system now under development, will enable users to access ‘HailStorm’ services and developers to build ‘HailStorm’-enabled applications.

‘Today’s briefing and demonstrations for the first time publicly drill down into the technology that we believe will play a key role in the future delivery of rich .NET services. These services place the individual at the centre of the technology in their life,’ said Muglia. ‘We believe developers will derive significant benefit by building services that offer enhanced value to their customers. This includes enabling users to automatically log onto their favourite Web sites, receive timely and relevant notifications, and securely share their calendar, contact and other information with anybody, anywhere and on any device.’

‘HailStorm’ Partner Support
Joining Microsoft were several leading companies with prototypes and conceptual demos of how ‘HailStorm’-enabled services will extend their ability to build better services that seamlessly integrate with the other technologies in their customers’ lives. These companies illustrated the benefits of ‘HailStorm’ as a set of building-block services that can be incorporated into any solution. Companies that take advantage of ‘HailStorm’ can reduce their development and operational costs by exploiting Microsoft’s ‘HailStorm’ investment, enhance existing customer relationships and attract new customers through more relevant and personalized offerings and better integrate with other solutions in a customer’s ‘personal network.’ ‘HailStorm’ is the result of an open design process utilising design previews with the developer community.

For more details on.Net or Hailstorm visit Microsoft UK Website at


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