Friday, November 10, 2006

Future of Commerce is Online

Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft Corp. sees good Indian presence in IPTV.

The World Wide Web is growing at a scorching pace with the number of applications, websites and users growing daily. However, a lot needs to be done since most transactions are still not digital.

“Most of the transactions are still in analogue mode, and there is a lot more work to be done. The magic of the Internet will increase when all transactions become digital. This will result in a spurt in e-commerce,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, while delivering his keynote address at IndiMIX ‘06 — Microsoft India’s event for Web designers and developers — here today.

IndiMIX ‘06 focused on popularising technologies for the next-generation Web. The event was attended by over 40,000 Web designers, developers and decision-makers.
“Customers are demanding more interactive and responsive experiences that take full advantage of the capabilities of the Web as well as the multitude of digital touch points that consumers use every day, ranging from the Web to the personal computer to the mobile phone. We at Microsoft are committed to innovating in this area,” said Ballmer.

Search is the entry point for many people on the Web. It is also the entry point for corporate intranets, and it will continue to be one of the most sought-after applications on the Web.

With the media moving into an interactive zone, digital advertising would emerge with multiple touch points like Web, video, mobile and gaming consoles, he said.

Dot.net technology is also emerging while Windows is becoming one of the most-used platforms in the world. Rich servers, rich in data and applications, are now serving rich clients (a computer that provides information to other computers on a network is called server, while the recipient computer is a client).

Ballmer pointed out that Microsoft was close to introducing major innovations in Windows XP (Special edition 2) and would launch enhanced functions in Windows Vista. On the gaming and music front, he said the Xbox line worldwide had grown into an online community.

“Microsoft will ship a path-breaking new product very soon, by the second part of next year,” he said. However, he did not elaborate further.

The future of television viewing, too, will change, with the emergence of Internet protocol television. India would have a good presence in the segment, while television viewing would depend on content and users’ needs, he said.

With blockbuster launches (software and hardware), emergence of increased business opportunities, new user experience and new forms of entertainment, there was an incredible year ahead for India, he added.

Later, Microsoft India and its partners showcased a range of Web solutions developed on its platform at the event that included a Rich Media Search for bharatmatrimony.com, an application aimed at enabling first-time non-computer savvy users to search for brides or bride grooms easily; a user interface from Satyam for customers to register with the system and apply for loans, view loan status, as well as an office application and interface for loan officers to approve or reject a loan and view status of loans; and a mobile phone solution from MSN that delivers a near real-time experience to mobile phone consumers with content like cricket, other match scores, news and entertainment through mobile RSS feeds from MSN India.

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