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Internet

Firms want to open files

Microsoft next week will host a meeting with more than 35 vendors that could bring a Net file-sharing standard closer to reality.

Microsoft next week will host a meeting with more than 35 vendors that could bring a Net file-sharing standard closer to reality.

First submitted in June to the Internet Engineering Task Force, a Net standards body, Microsoft's Common Internet File System protocol promises to make the file-sharing capabilities that are common in proprietary corporate environments, such as NetWare, available on the Internet. While older Internet protocols such as FTP allow users to copy remote files to a local hard drive, they do not permit users to work remotely on a file that is stored on another hard drive.

Next week's meeting will bring together all of the leading operating system vendors that are evaluating the file system for incorporation into their products. Together, the vendors hope to finalize a version of Common Internet File System 1.0 specification that will ensure broad interoperability among their products. In attendance at the meeting will be AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, Apple Computer, IBM, Digital Equipment, and Sun Microsystems.

Common Internet File System "is beneficial for extending different kinds of business applications...over the Internet," said Gary Voth, group product manager for strategic technology and standards at Microsoft. "As the Internet becomes more interactive, we think a need for a richer protocol will exist there."

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