Microsoft Launches .NET Alerts Preview
More than 20 companies, including eBAY, McAfee.com and VeriSign have implemented beta versions of the .NET My Services feature.Eager to show that its .NET vision is more than just vaporware, Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) Monday said 24 companies will begin offering the .NET Alerts Service to their customers in the near future as part of a preview of the technology.
.NET Alerts Service is a component of Microsoft's .NET My Services (formerly known as HailStorm). The service offers consumers the ability to receive alerts from Web sites on auction bid updates, stock quotes, travel changes and bank transaction notifications. While a number of Web sites already offer alerts capabilities, .NET Alerts Service offers a high degree of user customization by allowing users to choose to receive alerts via e-mail, MSN Messenger (or Windows Messenger once Windows XP launches), or on Web-enabled mobile devices like mobile phones, PDAs and alpha pagers.
"The .NET Alerts Service is an early but tangible example of how Microsoft is delivering on the .NET My Services vision, helping consumers access their information any time, anywhere on any device, and just scratches the surface of the power of Web services," said Christopher Payne, vice president of .NET My Services at Microsoft. "In addition to providing convenience for consumers, .NET Alerts also will jump-start new ways for businesses to serve existing customers and attract new ones."
Online marketplace eBAY is one of the companies that has already taken the technology live as a beta in an effort to give its users more notification options.
McAfee.com Corp. has also adopted the technology in an effort to keep customers notified of new computer viruses.
"Microsoft is giving us a new and compelling tool to better protect users everywhere from the increasing threat of computer viruses," said Doug Cavit, chief information officer for McAfee. "With .NET Alerts, McAfee customers can request that we notify them immediately about when they need protection from newly discovered threats, and they can ask us to reach them at home, at work, at school or on the road. Users will be able to click on the Alerts to go instantly to our Web site to get the information and protection they need. By providing Web Services that we and our customers can easily use, Microsoft is enabling McAfee to delight our customers and to focus our resources on what we do best -- providing superb anti-virus protection."
.NET Alerts is built on an explicit opt-in model, giving users control of what information they are willing to receive. Users can choose which companies send .NET Alerts and how those Alerts will reach them. For instance, users can choose to have an Alert sent to their desktop when their Messenger status is Online, and have the same alert routed to a cell phone when the Messenger status is Away or Offline. Users could also choose to route less important Alerts to an e-mail address.
The system works with both Microsoft's Windows operating system and the Apple Macintosh. Customers can choose to receive Alerts via any e-mail client (including AOL mail, MSN Hotmail, Microsoft Outlook, IBM-Lotus Notes, MCI Mail, etc.), and on any device that supports MSN Mobile (i.e. Web-enabled mobile phones and other PDAs, including alpha pagers, Pocket PCs and handhelds using the Palm OS).
Participants in the preview include eBAY, Alibre, Bank One Corp., Centerpost Corp., Click Commerce Inc., CNM Network Inc., ComponentSource, E*TRADE Corp., Expedia Inc., Groove Networks Inc., Jessops, Keen Inc., lastminute.com, McAfee.com Corp., MSN Carpoint, MSN Calendar, CNBC on MSN Money, NASDAQ.com, Tesco, uBid Inc., QXL.com, Virgin Entertainment Group, VeriSign Inc., and youknowbest.com Inc.