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Middleware first meant software between an operating system and applications. Now it means between the Internet and applications. Microsoft now has admitted that Windows per se will soon be obsolete (beyond 'Main Street') and has openly shared that their new direction will be middleware.

However, it is easy to see that the gleam in Bill Gates' eye is an operating system for the whole internet, with their new Microsoft.NET being just the 'bowling alley' version of the new OS!

This new concept is a bit late because B2B market has already started and many others in the middleware business, especially BEAS, are already in their tornado.

Therefore, I predict middleware wars becoming a cresendo, starting about a year from now and running for many years as the marketplace tries to keep Microsoft in it's niche markets.

Any comments or elaborations would be greatly appreciated.

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