Interest in software that enables companies to build marketplaces on the Web is not as keen as it used to be back in the early days of e-commerce. However, Microsoft made a commitment Wednesday to keep developing its offering in this space for at least the next three years.
Microsoft released roadmap information for Commerce Server, saying it would release the next major update of the product in mid-2010. The announcement put an end to speculation that the company was not interested in staying competitive in the e-commerce enablement market.
The next version of the product is code-named Commerce Server 7, a name Microsoft's Ryan Donovan joked was in line with Microsoft's "creative" names for forthcoming products. (The company code name for the next major version of the Windows client is Windows 7). Donovan is a product line manager for Microsoft.
Microsoft has several goals for the design of Commerce Server 7, including tight integration with new versions of complementary Microsoft products, such as the .NET Framework and SQL Server, that also will be released around the same time. Microsoft also plans to include the ability for companies to build social networking features into their e-commerce sites using Commerce Server, as well as giving them the ability to integrate product catalogs with blogging and content-syndication sites.