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Microsoft Bets the Ranch

The software giant sees it as a matter of survival. Not its battle with the Justice Department. Its next generation platform it calls Microsoft.Net. Chief Operating Officer Bob Herbold says it will move software, the way you know it today onto the Internet. Instead of buying programs on CD ROM, you'll subscribe to software and access it online. Bet the company? Herbold says..

"We've really bet it three times. One is on the disk operating system, DOS, the second time was on the graphical user interface with an operating system Windows, and this one is really all about a human interface, based on the XML technologies…and the name it will carry is Microsoft.Net."
It seems to tie the operating system, the Internet component and applications more tightly together than ever. Dangerous ground considering the court ruling to break up the company…

"We continue to work that through…and now at the appeals level or Supreme Court level….but we'll take that in stride working our best to make our case and we're confident that that will get resolved in a positive manner for Microsoft. Meanwhile, we have to do what consumers want us to do, which is to build the simplest, most useful kind of software we can."
The plan is…to begin rolling out Windows.Net services over the next two to three years. You can find us on the Web at Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin for CBS News.

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