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New Microsoft team to promote .Net

Microsoft has formed a "Developer and Platform Evangelism" division in an effort to improve services for developers and users of its .Net software platform.

The division, made up from parts of several other divisions, will be responsible for promoting developer tools for Microsoft's .Net software platform with books, online learning, courseware and exams. The division will also run Microsoft's corporate Web site.

Developer and Platform Evangelism will push Microsoft's XML Web services as part of Microsoft's Platforms Group, which also includes Windows and Microsoft's .Net Enterprise Services platforms. The company faces competition from rivals such as IBM and Sun Microsystems in the Web services market.

Winning over developers to support the .Net framework is one of the major tasks for the new division, headed by senior vice president Eric Rudder, former general manager for the Visual Studio development system. Rudder's primary responsibility will be the promotion of the Visual Studio.Net developer package.

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