Reuters: Microsoft a Problem for Software Rivals

My spin:Web services will only grow. Some users will support Web services, in its purest form and some will support Microsoft’s.Net more proprietary platform – it’s that simple.
MONTEREY, Calif. (Reuters) – The software industry has two problems as it looks to jump-start Web services — expected to be the next big thing in business computing — the economy is weak and Microsoft is strong.
So, when executives and chief technology officers gathered in Monterey, California on Wednesday for Merrill Lynch’s Shaping Software 2002 conference, conversation centered on Microsoft Corp. (NasdaqNM:MSFT – news) — the industry’s 800-pound gorilla — and still-slumping corporate spending.
Web services refers to advanced data integration that promises to allow information to be packaged as building blocks for easy use and reuse by different computer systems and devices. And, for an industry that has seen its revenues whacked for going on two years, it represents the greatest potential for spurring a new software spending boom.
Behind the scenes, Sun Microsystems Inc. (NasdaqNM:SUNW – news) — with its Web services platform based on the Java programming language — is battling Microsoft and its.NET architecture for the hearts and minds of big-spending corporate customers.
(full story)