>Microsoft has just announced codename "Astoria":

"Astoria exposes "data services" that enable applications to access and manipulate data over regular HTTP connections, using URIs to identify pieces of information within the data service, and simple payload formats such as XML and JSON to represent the data exchanged between the client and the server"

As far as I know this has been around since 2000 and is called REST. Personally I'm not a big believer in REST but if MS deems it mature enough to invest in it might be worth another try.