battle.net 2.0
Blizzard has been on a roll lately by announcing new projects such as Starcraft 2, Diablo 3, etc. What these games have in common is that they have a free online gaming service known as Battle Net. Battle Net is famous for being simple to use such as chatting and joining games with players from other countries. Now lets take a short history lesson on Battle Net.
 
Diablo shipped out to the public in 1997 and Battle Net had basic features such as chatting and joining games with others. At the time, only account date was stored on Battle Net and not game data. So players had to create a character in single player in order to play online since the character data has to be stored on the player’s computer.
 

Starcraft was released in 1998 and it was a huge hit. Not only was the game successful, but Battle Net improved as well. Improvements made to Battle Net was ladder ranking and game filtering such as Used Map Settings, Melee, Top vs Bottom, and so forth. Starcraft was the first Blizzard game to have a CD Key to ensure protection so only those with a legit copy of the game can play online.
 

When Diablo 2 was released in 2000, many gamers gave positive feedback on how their characters were stored on Battle Net servers instead of taking up more space on their computers like in Diablo. Diablo 2 also came with Open Battle Net where the player can use their single player character(s) for online play, but it is not protected by cheaters because many players modified their items illegally. Diablo 2’s Battle Net interface was more unique because the scheme was different to Starcraft’s and Diablo’s. When a player logged onto Battle Net, their character would be shown in the game lobby so other players can see what that player’s character looked like.
 

Warcraft 3 had an interesting new feature for Battle Net, which was Anonymous Matchmaking. It gave the player a faster way to join a game by clicking on a button and waiting to be paired up with a player who was close to skill based on ranking. This concept was also made for Arrange Teams where you can make a team with one or more people. Battle Net also featured frequent online tournaments, clan support, and players can unlock race icons depending on many wins they have.
 

 
Battle Net 2.0
 
Since Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 are new games being made by Blizzard, they will come with a new version of Battle Net called Battle Net 2.0 and at the moment there are no official news besides rumors. Below is a quote posted by  Highways from TeamLiquid.net and you can read the post here."Before the announcement of Diablo III, the Diablo related channels of Battle.net were fairly quiet. Hours later, they were jam-packed with players reacquainting themselves with one of PC’s most fondly remembered IPs.
Yet Battle.net is a creaky service indeed. Yes, it’s free, but it still lags far behind the online offerings from Xbox Live! and even some of the features of steam.
Blizzard promises a complete rejuvenation of Battle.net – which they already refer to as Battle.net 2 – to coincide with the launch of Starcraft II.
Specific details? Sadly, Blizzard remains quiet, and the reaction to the colour scheme in Diablo III won’t fill the developer with confidence when it comes to announcing actual important stuff like anti-cheating systems.
But we’re promised a much more sophisticated player-finding service, as well as the full suite of features we now take for granted elsewhere. Finding friends, organising matches, reserving space, filtering noobs, it’s all on the to-do list.
To impress us though, Blizzard needs to come up with a way to prevent experienced players from re-registering as a newbie so they can stomp true beginners. Is it even possible without the use of rootkits and other unpleasant elements to track how many hours a player has spent with the game? We like to think so.
The new Battle.net will also be more explicitly tuned to what Blizzard calls “e-sports” or professional tournaments. The existing ladder system is very mature, so it remains to see this fleshed out and integrated with the burgeoning spectator side of professional play. Starcraft II tournament championships, in real time, on your PC, in engine, only a few clicks away? Yes please!"
 

 
In an interview with Rob Pardo of Blizzard, he stated that they will announce new Battle Net features when Starcraft 2 goes into beta (around 2:30 in the video). You can watch the interview here.