Windows Powered NAS Unit Share Continues to Grow

REDMOND, Wash., July 7, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that new data* from the analyst firm IDC shows impressive growth for Network Attached Storage (NAS) appliances built on the Microsoft® Windows®
operating system. Adoption of Windows Powered NAS appliances in the first quarter of calendar year 2003 helped Microsoft gain 8 percentage points over the previous quarter, for a total of 41 percent, as measured in units.

“We continue to track significant growth for Windows Powered NAS, delivered by a broad range of OEMs. The numbers speak for themselves: it is on fire,” said Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst with the Enterprise Storage Group.

Microsoft sees enterprise adoption as a key source of Windows Powered NAS unit share growth. Windows Powered NAS offers enterprise customers a reliable, scalable storage solution that integrates seamlessly with Active Directory®
services for improved data security and ease of management. Most important, Windows Powered NAS provides enterprises with a low total cost of ownership than competitive offerings.

“We wanted to ensure we were making the right data storage decision, so we decided not to limit our research to Microsoft,” said Simon Gale, IT Systems Service Manager of the British Airport Authority (BAA). The BAA is the largest private airport operator in the world and owns seven airports in the United Kingdom, including the world’s busiest international airport, Heathrow. “We also considered a Network Appliance system, which had a proprietary operating system with its own file system. However, since this system would have required an additional platform, with technology virtually unknown to BAA’s IT personnel, it would have been a more costly option — and BAA was looking for cost savings and lower total cost of ownership as well.”

Increased adoption in the small and medium business (SMB) market has also contributed to unit share growth for Windows Powered NAS.

“More and more enterprise organizations are tapping into the outstanding reliability and economics of Windows Powered NAS,” said Zane Adam, director of product management and marketing in the Enterprise Storage Division at Microsoft. “And with the new sub-$1,000 Windows Powered NAS appliances, we are continuing to gain ground on our competition in the SMB market as well.”

About the Microsoft Enterprise Storage Division

Microsoft’s Enterprise Storage Division was formed to bring greater focus to Microsoft’s customers’ increasingly complex storage requirements. The division is focused on three primary objectives: to make Windows a better platform for storage, to catalyze the industry to develop innovative storage solutions, and to bring to market Microsoft storage products.

Additional information on Microsoft’s storage offerings can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/storage/ .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

* IDC Worldwide Quarterly Appliance Server Tracker, June 2003

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