Microsoft proposes uniform interface for receiving "push" content

Microsoft has chosen Internet World to propose to the World Wide Web Consortium a new format for standardising how content is sent from 'push' delivery services to Web browsers. Called the Channel Definition Format (CDF), the proposed standard is meant to provide users with a uniform interface for receiving content from different Web sites and push delivery services,

Microsoft has chosen Internet World to propose to the World Wide Web Consortium a new format for standardising how content is sent from 'push' delivery services to Web browsers.

Called the Channel Definition Format (CDF), the proposed standard is meant to provide users with a uniform interface for receiving content from different Web sites and push delivery services, Microsoft officials say.

Roughly 30 vendors have said they would support CDF as a key delivery platform, including

PointCast, BackWeb, SoftQuad, Dimension X, and America Online.

In addition to providing an interface for push delivery, CDF will enable users to pull and cache filtered updates from any Web site. For instance, rather than pulling the entire ESPN site, users will be able to fill in a form to select preferred areas of content, such as baseball and sailing. Then, users will receive only updates having to do with those areas.

Microsoft plans to build CDF into the final version of Internet Explorer 4.0, which is now slated for a mid-year ship date.

However, CDF will not appear in the first beta release of Explorer, which Microsoft calls the Platform Preview, scheduled to ship a few weeks behind schedule at the end of March,.

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