Simon Phipps, the evangelist who first recommended Java to IBM in 1995, says the next step in making business possible is widespread industry adoption of extensible markup language (XML). Phipps contrasts the old, platform-centric world of computing, where change was interpreted as damage, with a new solution- centric model. In the new model, the zero-impact deployment of a universal client like a browser exemplifies the ability to do new things without breaking systems that are already working. E-business doesn’t damage old business, Phipps says. It doesn’t require you to junk your old stuff. He explains that by providing a standard way for software to exchange and extract information from data, XML completes the puzzle. Now we can share data in an open, accessible and future-proof way. He warns, however, that XML is not a universal panacea. Phipps fears that some vendors will release proprietary technologies that use XML tags in ways that are not technically open. He names Microsoft’s Chromeffects as one such technology (CI No 3,497), using XML but concealing the way it implements its own XML tags. Phipps called on Microsoft to publish not only the tags but also the implementation of Chromeffects.