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The Product Catalog System does show that Microsoft is trying to move its Commerce Server architecture in a competitive direction. There are roadblocks that are significant, and .NET will be only partially responsible for the road being cleared if Microsoft gets traction in the sell-side of the market. The biggest roadblock of all is the fact that Microsoft needs to get the message across that it has adopted a more platform-agnostic architecture. It will be a long time before .NET gets that message conveyed. In the interim, it's clear that Commerce Server and its associated features will be most often used in the existing Microsoft customer base. As large as that base is, it is providing the software maker a measure of insurance until it can create a stronger pull through competitive leadership in both content management and the broader sell-side e-commerce arena.

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