After months of delay, Microsoft has announced that it will hold Forum 2000 - where it will detail Next Generation Windows Services (NGWS) - 1st June at its infamous HQ in Seattle.

NGWS will be Microsoft's move to keep its Windows operating system relevant in a high-tech world that increasingly is moving away from desktop computing in favour of alternatives, such as wireless devices.

Microsoft officials have been stingy with the details of NGWS, which will aim to bring the software giant to a services-based model that blends Windows seamlessly with the Internet.

"We want to infuse into our system the services the way we infused Internet technology," Jim Allchin, a vice president who oversees Windows development, said in an interview with PC Advisor's sister publication InfoWorld in February.

Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates first discussed NGWS in January, and the company has pushed back Forum 2000 at least twice.

"The underlying concept [of NGWS] is to deliver services to the Net," said Rob Enderle, vice president at Giga Information Group, in Santa Clara, California. "This is the next direction. This is what they [recently] reorganised the company around."

In addition to Gates, a host of Microsoft executives will participate in Forum 2000, including President and CEO Steve Ballmer, and Group Vice Presidents Paul Maritz, who heads the Platform Strategy and Developer Group with Allchin; Bob Muglia, who oversees the Business Productivity Group; and Rick Belluzzo, who heads the Consumer Group.

The forum was scheduled at a strategic time for Microsoft, as the topic will be fresh on minds of attendees at its TechEd developers conference, which is scheduled for the following week in Orlando, Florida.