A USA Today article, posted today in the Money section, focused on the use of Web Services in the Internet software industry. The article introduced Macromedia Central as "a new tool to surf the internet".

Highlights from the article:

Unlike text-based Web browsers, Macromedia Central is finely tuned to handle complex data transactions and multimedia displays, the stuff Web services does best. It could become more popular than the browser as the dynamic applications now starting to percolate at Amazon and Google come into wider use. At least that's what Macromedia hopes.

The company plans to introduce Macromedia Central free to consumers this year. It will feature highly interactive movie listings and weather. But for it to become more than a novelty, major banks, merchants and media companies must begin turning to Macromedia Central to introduce cutting-edge Web services, says Kevin Lynch, Macromedia's chief software architect. "The power of the Internet is that news of a better mousetrap spreads fast," says Lynch. "We're counting on grass-roots adoption. Think Netscape, Google or even Napster."

While Amazon, Google and Macromedia play outside the box, big tech suppliers, led by Microsoft and IBM, are stepping up efforts to sell corporations expensive, complex systems to do Web services. According to the tech giants, it boils down to choosing camps. Companies must inevitably commit to using Microsoft's full line of tightly integrated Web-services software. Or they can choose to go with software built around the Java programming language, which IBM, BEA Systems, Oracle and others support.

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