Microsoft's Big Bet

Can the software giant head full steam into the Net--and still cling to Windows? It's going to try

It was 10:30 p.m. on June 21, and Microsoft Corp.'s top executives were verging on giddy as they gathered in the company's spiffy new conference center. In less than 12 hours, they would unveil .Net, the most important new strategy since the launch of Microsoft's Windows software 15 years ago. For half a decade, Microsoft had been wrestling with how to reinvent itself as an Internet titan with the same indomitable clout it held in the computer industry. Finally, the top brass had the answer: a technology that could link thousands of Web sites together in an Internet-style bucket brigade. With this new software, one mouse click would have the wallop of dozens of steps on the Web today.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.