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Microsoft Forecasts HailStorm

Microsoft Corp. this week got into specifics of what its .NET services will entail, nine months after first outlining its .NET plans for the computing world.

The specifics came Monday under the name HailStorm, a set of services end users will buy from Microsoft, which then plans to act as the safeguard for all their personal information. Microsoft expects that users will want the HailStorm services in order to consolidate and simplify their digital information and to gain control over how third parties use that information such as whether or not they can sell it to telemarketers.

HailStorm builds on several current Microsoft products including Passport, which Microsoft claims has 160 million subscribers, Hotmail and MSN Messenger.

An initial set of HailStorm services will enter a broad beta in late 2001. A full release of the services is expected in 2002. Meanwhile, users who upgrade to Windows XP, slated for a fall release, will gain automatic integration with HailStorm services through Windows Messenger integration with the new myNotifications service.

Microsoft on Monday outlined 14 services that fall under the HailStorm name:

myAddress – electronic and geographic address for an identity

myProfile – name, nickname, special dates, picture

My Contacts – electronic relationships/address book

myLocation – electronic and geographic location

MyNotifications – notification stream

myInbox – inbox items like e-mail, voicemail

myCalendar – time and task management

myDocuments – raw document storage

myApplicationSettings – application settings

myFavoriteWebSites – favorite URLs

myWallet – receipts, payment instruments, coupons

myDevices – device settings, capabilities

myServices – provisioned services for an identity

myUsage – usage report for above services

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.