more than information exchange between organizations based on dedi-
cated interfaces at the system level. Web services will enable businesses to
interoperate at the business process level in dynamic and emergent ways as
new processes arise in response to changing business conditions and chang-
ing corporate priorities.
Rise of the Wintel Duopoly
While client-server computing rode the PC-driven Wintel (Microsoft
Windows operating system and Intel microprocessor) wave, the Internet
began exposing this architectural paradigms weaknesses. Web browsers
removed application-specific user interfaces as the method of choice for
navigating applications and content, and the rapid adoption of the Web
meant that desktop computing wasnt really what users wanted. PCs were
not used as computing devices; they were used as communication devices.
As mobile computing has increased in popularity, and as the inherent diffi-
culties in business-to-business integration have been realized, a new para-
digm of computing is being hailed as the solution. Web services are here.
The inevitable saturation of homes with PCs, combined with the rapid
rise of wireless devices, has huge implications for Microsoft and for Intel.
First, slowing license revenue from Windows and related desktop software
is forcing Microsoft into new ways of revenue and profit creation, such as
set top boxes and gaming devices. Microsofts core business of desktop
operating systems and desktop software will be increasingly threatened as
computing devices move away from the desk and become increasingly
mobile. Slowing sales of perpetual software licenses has Microsoft concoct-
ing new ways to drive revenue growth, and one of those ways spells the
end to these licensing arrangements. Some see a future in which software is
sold as services through subscription fees. Microsoft is already considering
a rent-for-use model for Microsoft Office, much like subscribing to cellular
service and cable television. ERP vendors might consider licensing modules
on a metered, per-click basis as opposed to licensing on a per seat basis.
Some speculate that Web services will help to revive the flagging
Application Service Provider (ASP) market and perhaps make business
applications more affordable for all organizations, especially those in the
mid-market that can not expend the millions of dollars required for a typi-
cal ERP implementation.
Web services are perceived by some skeptics as an attempt by Micro-
soft and other large enterprise software platform vendors to halt eroding
license revenues by providing software as services. This action will help
stave off declining revenue from slowing PC sales and the shift from desk-
top computing toward mobile computing. Others see IBMs Web services
EXECUTIVES GUIDE TO WEB SERVICES
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