"P-to-p is a successful phenomenon because it reflects society better than other types of computing architectures," Stutz said during the panel discussion. "It is similar to when, iin the 1980s, the PC gave us a better reflection of the user. P-to-p is going to become very important."
Although Stutz did not reveal any specific plans Microsoft has for p-to-p architectures, he said he envisioned p-to-p technology being used in the core development of business and consumer software products.
Many of the smaller ventures showcased innovative platforms and applications in hopes of capturing the fancy of the venture capitalist community, which was out in force at the show.
Often viewed as a visionary in the p-to-p market, Groove Networks founder and CEO Ray Ozzie played a prominent role in several panels and keynote speeches. For emerging p-to-p architectures to have a chance for success in enterprise environments, Ozzie said that applications and systems need to respect core enterprise values and concerns, including maintaining control of networks and bandwidth.
"We need to understand the enterprise mind-set: Do no harm," Ozzie said. "The enterprise has a need to know what is going on at the edge of networks."
New computing platforms must satisfy core business objectives or at least provide opportunity and competitive advantage, Ozzie said.
Despite the excitement and interest in p-to-p from a variety of enterprise-savvy vendors, Giga's Enderle cautioned of significant risks.
Jack McCarthy and Ashlee Vance, a reporter at IDG New Service, an InfoWorld affiliate, contributed to this article.