Microsoft & manufacturing


Michael Griffin

I read it, and I must say I am impressed at how so little can be expanded out into so many words. I believe I can summarise it as follows:

1) Delphi Packard Electric has something (some PCs?) in some of their plants which use Windows.

2) Microsoft will talk about "Microsoft.NET" at an ISA show. It will use XML and other stuff. It has something to do with helping companies connect to their suppliers' and customers' computer systems more easily. Delphi Packard
Electric is thinking about using it.

3) A piece of software called "Biz Talk Server 2000" can be used to help create larger pieces of business software. A company called VerticalNet is
trying it out on a small scale.

4) Microsoft has a database called "SQL Server 2000".

5) "Windows CE 3.0" is available, and Siemens is working on an operator panel (the MP370), which will incorporate it.

6) Something called "Visual Studio.Net" will have some sort of vague relationship with translating information between the internet and application programs.

7) Microsoft has upgrades of some of their standard office software available.

I think the above captures the essence of what I read. The main item seemed to be #2 (Microsoft.NET), and #5 (Windows CE 3.0). The rest seems to be mainly padding.

The only other thing I can really comment on is the Siemens MP370 which will use Windows CE 3.0. I believe this is the same (or a later
version of) a product I saw at an seminar a year or two ago (in Kitchener or Mississauaga I think). This turned out to be a joint Siemens/Microsoft
travelling sales talk.

Siemens announced their "Multi Panel" product, which they saw as a means of filling what they believe is a market gap between PCs and PLCs. They intended to port cut down versions of their PC based products (such as WinCC) to the Multi-Panel line. Windows CE was being used as the operating system for this device because Siemens hoped this would be a straight forward port that way. The Siemens person seemed rather dissappointed with Windows CE at the time, and was hoping that version 3.0 would clear up some
of the problems they had.

I don't remember much of the Microsoft half of the talk, because I think that I and the rest of the audience fell asleep about 10 minutes into his spiel. The press release you brought to our attention reminded me a lot of his talk. There was a lot of arm waving and spouting of acronyms, but very little in the way of real applications or of information that the audience would actually care about. I don't think he made much impression on the audience of control system designers and programmers.

Michael Griffin
London, Ont. Canada
[email protected]

Ranjan Acharya

Does this type of stuff remind you of the story you heard when you were just a lad (or lass). I think that the story was called "The Emperor Has No Clothes".