Computerworld

Microsoft rivals dismiss proposed "push" standard

Microsoft's proposed standard for 'push' technology, the Channel Definition Format (CDF), is drawing only passing interest from the company's competitors. Kim Polese, CEO of Marimba describes the proposal as 'pedestrian' and says even if CDF is someday accepted as a standard, it would have little impact on Marimba.

Microsoft's proposed standard for "push" technology, the Channel Definition Format (CDF), is drawing only passing interest from the company's competitors.

"We'll take a look at it when and if it is something that the W3C [World Wide Web Consortium] or IETF [Internet Engineering Task Force] asks for participation in from other companies," says Daniel Klaussen, group product manager for client marketing at Netscape. "Right now, this is nothing more than a proposed standard."

Another executive characterises the standard as pedestrian. Kim Polese, CEO of Marimba says even if CDF is someday accepted as a standard, it would have little impact on Marimba.

"This is a very simple protocol," Polese says. "It is very low-end."

Polese says Marimba had "been made aware" of Microsoft's intent to submit CDF to the W3C, but has few concerns.

"It is very tangential to what we are doing," Polese says.

Microsoft announced the CDF standard proposal on Tuesday.

Microsoft's move to bring some standard to the hurly-burly world of competing push technologies comes just as the company is showing off new technology in the next revision of its World Wide Web browser that will provide much of the same functionality as many push vendors' products.

Separate from CDF, Microsoft is showing off technology in Internet Explorer 4.0 that will "poll" and cache Web pages, alerting the user to when those pages have changed, much like many of the push vendors that have signed up to support CDF.

Meanwhile, industry analysts continue to predict a major shakeout in the push market.

This week, IDC Research released a report indicating that a number of push companies would be feeling the pressure of increased competition and shrinking markets.