Tech Industry

Polese pushes for Net change

Interop In her Interop keynote, Marimba CEO Kim Polese echoes the now-familiar theme of huge change and challenge as the Net gains popularity.

Interop LAS VEGAS, Nevada--In her opening keynote at Spring Networld+Interop '97, Marimba CEO Kim Polese echoed the now-familiar theme of huge change and challenge as the Net gains popularity.

Like others who have donned on the Internet sage cap, Polese envisions a period of profound change as companies use the Internet as the platform for critical applications and interaction. She also used her speech to note that--like the electrical and telephone systems before it--the Internet will gain mass acceptance only when the computing complexity of the medium becomes transparent to the user.

She traced the history of computing, from the mainframe days to client-server, ending up in the current dichotomy of bandwidth limitations and explosion of network-based applications and delivery vehicles. "The [Internet] experience has to be consumer experience," Polese said. "The current software model really was not designed with the networked world in mind."

Marimba provides a software platform called Castanet that consists of a server "transmitter" and a client-side "tuner" program that taps into information being pushed down from this server application. Polese, a former Sun Microsystems employee who aided the development of the Java programming language, has found herself at the center of two of the hottest topics in networking: how push technology can be utilized without hogging network bandwidth and how Java can be used for business-critical applications, not just applets that flash or move.

Polese sketched a new era in which application content and software code is blurred. With the use of push methods to deploy and update mission-critical applications, the concept of the version will forever change, she said.

But she was also critical of simple content push methods, such as rival PointCast, dubbing her company's approach "ecological" in terms of bandwidth conservation, as it only uses the network when necessary. She also noted that alternative purchasing methods--such as leasing and charging per application use or feature--will play a huge, flexible role in the new network-based computing world.