Microsoft to detail web services for devices

Microsoft is to detail the next steps it is taking to extend web services to devices such as printers, digital cameras and...

Microsoft is to detail the next steps it is taking to extend web services to devices such as printers, digital cameras and consumer electronics.

At next week's Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) in Seattle, an annual event for hardware makers, Microsoft is scheduled to discuss a "Web Services for Devices API" (application program interface), or WSDAPI, described in the conference agenda as an implementation of a new devices profile for web services.

WSDAPI includes a runtime and tools to generate code for specific device classes and services. It expands on WS-Discovery, a web services specification Microsoft introduced in February, according to a source familiar with the technology.

WS-Discovery describes a way for devices to find and connect to web services in a simple way and could replace universal plug-and- play technology. Intel, Canon and BEA Systems helped develop WS-Discovery.

WSDAPI is part of a long-term Microsoft strategy and is unlikely to show up in products for a few years yet, another source familiar with the announcement said.

At WinHEC, Microsoft's Windows Printing and Imaging team will also describe how web services would work with printers and imaging devices. The team will discuss security, discovery and eventing models for the technology as well as device protocols.

Microsoft is also planning to introduce a management protocol based on Soap (Simple Object Access Protocol), called Web Services for Management Extension, or WMX. Microsoft will pitch WMX as a successor to the Simple Network Management Protocol, or SNMP, which is commonly used today for network and systems management.

The web services announcements are expected to be part of a keynote presentation on Tuesday by Microsoft chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates, who is also expected to highlight long-term trends in processors, storage, networking, graphics and peripherals.

On-stage demonstrations are scheduled to include a peek at the future of home computing, with participation from Hewlett-Packard.

Joris Evers writes for IDG News Service

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