In just over a week's time Microsoft will officially unveil its Next Generation Windows Services, a strategy for delivering the infrastructure to provide services that run across the Web.
Microsoft's Web Services will allow applications, services and devices to talk to each other over the Internet using HTTP, XML and Soap (Microsoft's XML-based cross-platform object architecture).
Speaking at a developers' conference earlier in the year Microsoft president Steve Ballmer said, "Microsoft's vision of the programmable Web means that developers will play an indispensable role as their organisations take advantage of the incredible opportunities in the next generation of Internet business."
Although it is not officially an operating system, Next Generation Windows Services offers plenty of operating system-like features, including a new user interface, natural language processing, application development support, schemas and new file system.
The US government's anti-trust lawsuit against the software giant could play a significant role in moulding the actual direction the strategy takes. Microsoft may be inclined to trim back some of its more far-reaching goals for Next Generation Windows Services to avoid possible accusations of trying to control the Internet.