Bill Gates has sheepishly admitted that, two years after announcing .Net, most people haven't the faintest idea what it is.
According to a report by Reuters, Gates said that Microsoft had been unsuccessful in getting companies to join a subscription service that gives them automatic upgrades of Microsoft programs, which is a crucial part of the .Net process.
And it has not had much luck developing an authentication system for computer users that balances convenience with privacy concerns.
Gates told US analysts at a briefing at the company's headquarters that he wants them to remember the phrase: "Software to connect information, people, systems and devices."
But it is uncertain whether this marketing mantra can actually instil itself in people's heads, particularly as he also explained that the .Net process will take five to six years to achieve some of the goals outlined at launch.
Gates insisted that Microsoft had been making some ground over the past two years in promoting the key components of .Net, and had successfully pushed for the industry-wide adoption of XML as a universal standard for programs and applications.
In February, the company released a set of programming tools for developers who want to write applications based on the .Net platform.
Microsoft also used the briefing to showcase its forthcoming .Net Server operating system.
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