Microsoft gathers industry support for CDF; Netscape counters

Microsoft announced wide industry support for their Channel Definition Format (CDF), an open "push" standard, claiming the high-ground in its battle with Netscape. The announcement came at "Push Day" in San Francisco, where Fortune, Dow Jones Markets, Dun & Bradstreet, Forbes, PointCast, The Wall Street Journal, among others, all stepped up to the plate and pledged to support Active Desktop "channels" served via CDF.

"IT managers will have a good variety of leading business content, if they choose, to deliver to their users," said Brad Chase, vice president of the Applications and Internet Client Group at Microsoft.

Another small development: Microsoft is using the word "Webcasting" now, instead of the more general "push" in another attempt to distance themselves from Netscape. Microsoft also announced the Internet Explorer 4.0 Administration Kit, which will enable IS managers to control the Active Desktop on workgroup computers.

In a move designed to slow acceptance of CDF, Netscape announced their own content partners today with 16 companies pledging to support their Netcaster push component. Charles Schwab, Kaplan Educational Centers, Sesame Street and others will publish channels for Netcaster sometime this year. Netscape plans to charge these companies for "pushing" viewers to their sites, a distinct difference with Microsoft's plan: the Redmond company plans to directly compete with Active Desktop publishers with MSN

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