April 5, 2004 3:14 PM PDT

Microsoft forms its own RFID group

Microsoft is out to take a more formal role in the development of radio frequency identification technology.

The software giant on Monday announced that it is forming the Microsoft Radio Frequency Identification Council, which is set to hold its first meeting this month. Participants in the group include Accenture, GlobeRanger, Intermec Technologies and Provia Software.

Microsoft said it will be providing a "platform," on which the partners can create RFID-based products and services, drawing on its own Windows CE operating system, SQL Server database and BizTalk Server software.

The companies will be tackling a highly touted technology still in its early stages. RFID systems combine microchips and wireless gadgetry to provide tiny tracking devices for products, with the resulting set-ups expected to streamline supply chains and help retailers keep better records of their inventory.

But the switchover from bar codes to RFID tags isn't happening as fast as some had hoped. Suppliers to retailer Wal-Mart Stores, for instance, aren't likely to meet the target Wal-Mart set for adoption of the technology, according to a recent study.

"With RFID in the early stages of adoption, we are continuing to expand and evolve our partner-driven strategy based on the needs of the industry," said Javed Sikander, a program manager for RFID strategy at Microsoft.

Microsoft, like competitors Oracle and IBM, is working to develop middleware for RFID systems. In January, it added RFID technology to its Axapta Warehouse Management software for small and midsize businesses.

The company also said on Monday that it has joined forces with EPCglobal, an organization that is developing RFID standards for the Electronic Product Code Network.

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Embrace, Extend, Extinguish
Knowing the history of Microsoft I trust this initiative about as far as I can throw the Microsoft campus.
Rule #1 about dealing with the Redmond giant. Their reasons for doing ANYTHING almost always have an ulterior motive which usually ends up being to tie something so fully into Windows that it further binds users to the platform.
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GAME OVER WE HAVE LOST.
GAME OVER WE HAVE LOST. HITLER LIVES IN AMERICA! RFID IS THE END OF US ALL HERE IN AMERICA!
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GAME OVER WE HAVE LOST.
GAME OVER WE HAVE LOST. (10:59pm EST Sun Apr 11 2004)
YEAH! FIGHT! FIGHT RFID! FIGHT THE END OF FREEDOM AS WE KNOW IT! FIGHT THE MANGODS! DESTROY THE BEAST! DESTROY THE BEAST! DEATH TO THE BEAST! DEATH TO THE BEAST! GOD WILL PUNISH THE PARTICIPANTS! DESTROY THE BEAST! DESTROY THE END OF FREEDOM! NEVER LET THEM TAKE AWAY OUR FREEDOM! ITS TOO LATE ITS HERE. ITS NO USE. WE ARE ALL DEAD MEAT. NO ONE WOULD FIGHT. NO ONE KNEW HOW TO FIGHT. WE ALL EMBRACED THE TECHNOLOGY. WE WERE ALL TAKEN BY THE WONDER IT SPARKED IN US. HITLERS' DREAM IS ALIVE AND WE ARE ALL THE VICTIMS. WE ARE ALL SLAVES OF OUR ENTERTAINMENT DEVICES. WE HAVE LOST. THERES NO TURNING BACK IT HAS GROWN TOO FAR AND I TRIED TO WARN EVERYONE BUT THEY WOULDN'T LISTEN. NO ONE BELIEVED ME. AND TOMORROW WHEN WE WAKE UP THE GROUND WILL SPARKLE WITH THE NEW WAY OF LIFE AND OUR CHIDREN WILL BE PROTECTED MOMENTARILY BY THE EVIL THAT HAS BEEN PLACED INSIDE THEM, AND ALL OF A SUDDEN THEIR BODIES WILL ROT BECAUSE THEIR SOUL HAS HAD THE ULTIMATE PROGRAMMING. THE MARK OF THE BEAST. THERE'S NO BACKING OUT. AND WE HAVE TERRORISM TO THANK FOR ITS PROSPERITY. FIGHT TO THE DEATH OR JUMP IN THE MOUTH OF HELL. THESE ARE THE ONLY ALTERNATIVES. BUT WHO WILL LISTEN? - by OUTSIDER
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