Microsoft, HP Team for $50M .NET Push

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) each will spend US$25 million during the next two-and-a-half years in an effort to foster more widespread adoption of the .NET Web services initiative among e-businesses.

The $50 million campaign, announced late Monday by the two tech giants, calls for the training of 5,000 HP sales professionals on the finer points of .NET and the certification of another 3,000 HP service workers on the software.

HP, a longtime partner and reseller of Microsoft’s products, said it also will add up to 1,800 new sales professionals worldwide to spread the word about .NET products.

Cause, Effect

While analysts have puzzled over seemingly slow adoption of .NET — and Web services in general — Microsoft and HP claimed their partnership is designed to meet demand that already exists.

Mike Sinneck, corporate vice president of worldwide services at Microsoft, said better-trained HP sales staff will enable companies that are already implementing .NET to realize more gains from their investment.

As if to underscore the point that .NET is already being implemented and is not a coming attraction, the companies cited the example of food giant General Mills (NYSE: GIS), which is using .NET to communicate directly with 25,000 stores. The Web-based communications have replaced a paper-form system that hampered sales efforts, the companies said.

Sue Simonett, director of information systems at General Mills, said the company’s .NET platform will be used to roll out new grocery items to the marketplace and eventually will be expanded to track all products.

Back on Track

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates has admitted that the software giant initially stumbled in the timing and execution of its .NET strategy. Specifically, Gates said his company may have moved too quickly on the effort, first launched in 2000, and may have failed to adequately communicate the benefits of the Internet-based software initiatve to users.

Businesses seem to agree. A Gartner survey released in August found that the majority of mid-size businesses are reluctant to adopt .NET right now.


Gartner analyst David Smith told the E-Commerce Times that .NET and Web services in general have suffered from confusion and failed attempts to broadly define the initiative. “Microsoft is improving in how it delivers the message, but it’s got a long way to go,” Smith said.

He noted that the HP partnership may be aimed at helping to shore up Microsoft’s Web services push against its competitors, which include IBM and Sun Microsystems.

Last month, Microsoft unveiled a .NET-based partnership with consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Nasdaq Stock Market. That deal is intended to enable investors to access and perform analysis on Web-based data using Microsoft software.


  • I don’t know yet what this .NET is all about. A X-platform library, a c# compiler, a passport service, Office .NET? Marketing Buzz! Sun One is similar, the salesman was unable to explain the basic concept at hanover CeBIT 02.

  • $25 million isn’t that much money for either HP or Microsoft. Microsoft spent about $200 million on in-house training in only a month. This is about $5 million a year. Big deal. I know that HP is spending more than that pushing their Linux Servers. Dell is doing the same thing and so is IBM. Microsoft is spending more for charity donations. So don’t get so hyped about .NET. I have no idea what Microsoft is doing or where they are going, but when Charles Simonyi quit this month I think that said it all. He was one of the last holdouts from the old hard-core engineers originally from Xerox who brought the Windows GUI to the PC. After hacking over the Microsoft languages and tool group for about two years, he is leaving to develop new development tools. 🙂 Yes, we all know where the real security and math problems live at Microsoft.
    Ten years ago I was trying to convince Gates that splitting the company would allow his own Systems, Applications and Multimedia groups to use other development tools. He didn’t let it go, and they have a mess today. The Multimedia group has never been successful and Charles was the designer for Excel, a product known to have major math errors. So what is with this stock market? Fuzzy math of course. Trust that spreadsheet or math program at your own risk.
    Charles doesn’t see a fix to the problem. What is the problem? They don’t teach how to do computer math in the colleges now. The engineers don’t understand when and why they need to use integer math and they are using floating point in all the wrong places. It’s worse than the West Nile Virus.
    The bug? Well it’s definitely sucking the economic blood from all of us.
    Well, I wish Charles the best. But I have my doubts that he can create a fix for the bad development tools and shabby computer programming being taught today in time to prevent a major economic disaster. D.C. can create any diversion they want, but the facts are the same. Our technology is a bigger mess than any other epidemic from a blood sucking bug. It’s going to be years before Charles can help… There is a temporary fix. That is to tell the truth about the problem. You never know, the truth might work… Billg.

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