So...um...What Is Application-Oriented Networking Exactly?

I've been reading various articles lately talking about Cisco's big push into AON and how it's going to be this great new growth center for them. I've tried reading the trade press articles, I've tried reading company announcements, I've tried reading other web sites' analysis. But I keep coming back to square one. I feel a little silly admiting it, but...I have no idea what the hell Application Oriented Networking is. Apparently it's some kind of XML message router. Only, I don't know what an XML message router is, either. What are these things for?