Q&A: FRx Software Reveals New Development Direction and Enhanced Capabilities for Microsoft Forecaster

REDMOND, Wash., March 17, 2006 – FRx Software Corp., a Microsoft company, today announced a new development direction for Microsoft Forecaster 7.0, thus extending the release date of the budgeting and planning application designed to help give small and midsize businesses, corporations and divisions of large enterprises the ability to gain immediate control over their budgeting process.

PressPass asked Andy Kamlet, vice president of marketing at FRx Software, to explain the extended timeframe further and to also highlight new functionalities planned for Microsoft Forecaster 7.0.

PressPass: Why has the release timeframe of Microsoft Forecaster 7.0 been extended?

Kamlet: As our customers and partners know, we have been actively working on the next release of Microsoft Forecaster, version 7.0. While reviewing and assessing the functionality planned for this release, we concluded that some of the functionality should be implemented differently than originally planned to help our customers realize a better budgeting experience. We also feel that there is a list of additional, highly requested features that, by taking some additional time in development now, will make a meaningful impact on our customers’ budgeting and planning processes.

PressPass: With the new development direction, what new functionalities will be included with Microsoft Forecaster 7.0 and what benefits will they provide customers?

Kamlet: Microsoft Forecaster 7.0 will provide similar functionalities previously announced, plus include additional features requested by customers. Though not an exhaustive list, some of the most important new functionality includes robust reporting capabilities including if/then/else calculations. Customers can also expect flexible data input capabilities, including support for a greater number of periods per plan, additional spread method options, and screen layout customization. Additionally, customers will see a more highly customizable workflow capability and enhanced security features. Microsoft Forecaster 7.0 continues to focus on enabling organizations to implement quickly while enabling more flexibility for customers in how they budget, including organizations with complex accounting structures.

We consulted with Mark Smith, CEO and SVP of Research at Ventana Research, a leading Performance Management research and advisory services firm that covers FRx Software. Mark reviewed the new development direction and confirmed the change is a good decision for FRx customers and partners because we’re providing a product that offers the functionality they are looking for and the capabilities they need to better run their business.

PressPass: Does the delay in releasing Microsoft Forecaster 7.0 reflect a decline in commitment from Microsoft?

Kamlet: No. As a part of Microsoft, we are committed to providing products and capabilities that meet the needs of our customers. A delay in the next release of Microsoft Forecaster does not indicate a change in commitment by us or our parent company. In fact, the change in development direction for Microsoft Forecaster 7.0 is evidence of the company’s commitment to improving the product, providing functionalities that our customers have asked for, and allowing this application to be in a position to take advantage of other Microsoft developments, both now and in the long term.

PressPass: What is FRx Software doing for customers who are affected by this delay?

Kamlet: In June 2006, we will make a pre-release version of Microsoft Forecaster 7.0 available for customer review and feedback. For customers who volunteer to review the pre-release version, they will be offered an opportunity to provide feedback and assessments of the release, its functionality and its quality. If customers would like to be a part of the release preview, they can provide their name and contact information to me (akamlet@microsoft.com) or Gregg Gracheck, our product marketing manager for Microsoft Forecaster. We will follow back up with further details.

PressPass: Can you tell us when to anticipate the release of Microsoft Forecaster 7.0?

Kamlet: Microsoft and FRx Software are both committed to delivering Microsoft Forecaster 7.0 as soon as possible, and following this pre-release preview in June, we will assess the feedback. We anticipate delivering a final release of Microsoft Forecaster 7.0 to customers in the early part of 2007. We regret the inconvenience that the extended development time may cause our partners and customers, but feel the development direction will provide the functionality that customers want and need from Microsoft and FRx Software.

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