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Web services are frequently described as the latest incarnation of distributed object technology. This misconception, perpetuated by people from both industry and academia, seriously limits broader acceptance of the true Web services architecture. Although the architects of many distributed and Internet systems have been vocal about the differences between Web services and distributed objects, dispelling the myth that they are closely related appears difficult. Many believe that Web services is a distributed systems technology that relies on some form of distributed object technology. Unfortunately, this is not the only common misconception about Web services. We seek to clarify several widely held beliefs about the technology that are partially or completely wrong. Within the distributed technology world, it is probably more appropriate to associate Web services with messaging technologies because they share a common architectural view, although they address different application types. Web services technology will have a dramatic enabling effect on worldwide interoperable distributed computing once everyone recognizes that Web services are about interoperable document-centric computing, not distributed objects.