are a way of life in the computer industry. Only 20 years ago, the world
was still in the mainframe era. Few people had access or used computers,
and when they did, it was only through the nearest computer center.
Three innovations changed all that: the PC, the GUI, and the Internet.
Since then, standards such as HTML and HTTP have exponentially increased
people's use of the Internet. This base protocol for viewing content on
the Web (and the associated software for browsing this content) grew Web
usage to what you are familiar with today. The Web became a key activity
in the daily lives of businesses, employees, and consumers.
As a result of the changes in how
businesses and consumers use the Web, the industry is converging on a
new computing model that enables a standard way of building applications
and processes to connect and exchange information over the Web. This new
Internet-based integration methodology, called "XML Web services,"
enables applications, machines, and business processes to work together
in a revolutionary way. The widespread support around XML assures that
businesses will cooperate in the Internet-based economy with this XML
Web services model.
Microsoft would like to convince us that
Web services is the next revolution after the Web and HTTP. Judging from
the Sun-Microsoft war on which Web services environment is better,
Microsoft may be able to prove it.