Web services are still really big at Microsoft. I can't wait for the public releases of Indigo to make this all much easier to do. On the MSDN and SDK teams there has been a lot of talk about exposing web services, adopting RSS as a standard syndication mechanism, etc. I distinctly remember in the V1 .NET Framework when Jeff Richter worked with Jim Gray to create the TerraServer web services. This is really a great use of a simple API backed by a huge system that provides real value that you would never want to try to build yourself. Looks like they are still up at http://terraservice.net/webservices.aspx The API is pretty much the same as in 2000... that is goodness!!
Google seems to have a pretty straight forward set of APIs via a web service too. http://www.google.com/apis/ It is great to see them support VB with their samples. I can't seem to find the MSN Search web services...maybe someone can point me to them.
Where are you successfully using web services?
What are the next big ideas for the services in the consumer space?
Thoughts, rants, and raves welcomed. -Bret