In essence, Microsoft has restructured its e-commerce site. The DotSmart Web site at www.microsoft.com/e-commerce features product and service information from the company and its partners, as well as architectural guidance, customer case studies, and opportunities to connect with Microsoft support staff.
However, the initiative is "more than just a portal", said Peter Boit, Microsoft's vice-president for e-commerce. "Not only can customers find the information they need," he said, "they can connect directly to the partners and suppliers that can help them put information to use."
Bloor Research analyst Mat Hanrahan said the DotSmart initiative was "very much part of the .net marketing strategy", which he defines as being focused on the third stage of building an Internet business.
"Microsoft claims that all the cheapest programs and easy to create are available with .net," said Hanrahan. "Its message is that by building up applications incrementally, firms will not have to shell out for a mainframe for their datacentre."