Microsoft Announces “Normandy,” a New Platform for Commercial Internet Services; First Solution Designed Specifically for ISPs, Commercial Web Sites

Powerful, Open, Scalable Solution Offers Easy Administration; CompuServe Is First Customer, Will Use Platform to Deliver Next-Generation Services

REDMOND, Wash., June 4, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today announced its platform for commercial Internet services, code-named
the first solution designed specifically for Internet service providers (ISPs), network operators, cable companies and commercial Web sites.

The Normandy platform is built on the powerful Microsoft® Windows NT®
Server network operating system with integrated Microsoft Internet Information Server. The new platform offers the power to support tens of thousands of concurrent users, the scalability to support millions of users per day, and the openness to work with applications and extensions developed by Internet developers. The platform also provides consistent, intuitive graphical tools that allow easy, highly automated setup and administration.

Also today, Microsoft announced that CompuServe Inc. will be the first customer to use its Normandy platform. CompuServe is licensing the technology as a major step in the evolution of CompuServe’s services from proprietary to open standards technology.

“Internet providers now have an extensible, scalable and open solution that combines the power and reliability they require with the simplicity and ease they demand,”
said Brad Silverberg, senior vice president of the Internet platform and tools division at Microsoft.
“Our platform allows commercial services to easily customize their information to fit the personal interests of their subscribers.” “Microsoft’s ‘Normandy’ platform is the solution that gives us the scalability and reliability we need to support five million CompuServe users in 185 countries around the world,”
said Bob Massey, CompuServe president and CEO.
“Microsoft is a crucial component of our new strategy to bring CompuServe services to the Internet.”
In addition to extensive testing under lab conditions, components of the Normandy platform have been field-tested for more than a year as an underlying technology for the Internet services on MSN
, The Microsoft Network.All the services that are part of the platform share consistent set-up and administration. The Normandy platform includes the following components:

  • Internet Mail Component provides support for SMTP and POP3 protocols as well as the MIME message format.

  • News Component provides a highly scalable and robust implementation of the NNTP Internet protocol for Windows NT Server. The Internet News Component is compatible with popular third-party NNTP servers and NNTP news readers.

  • Chat Component is a high-performance, scalable component that can be deployed as a stand-alone server or in a chat-server network. The Chat Component supports standard IRC clients as well as its own family of Microsoft Internet Chat clients.

  • White Pages

    stores information about the users of a commercial service. White Pages Component features HTTP and LDAP interfaces. It supports very large directories and also allows searches for names across multiple servers.

  • Personalization Component uses ActiveX
    technology to make it easy for ISPs to create dynamic, highly customized content that is tailored to each user.

  • Information Retrieval Component lets users search Web sites easily. The Information Retrieval Component indexes text, HTML, Microsoft Office document formats and NNTP news feeds. Millions of documents can be easily indexed.

  • Replication Component is a powerful tool for publishing multiple gigabytes of content reliably, quickly and easily, from a local or remote host server to many content servers in local, remote or multiple remote sites. It is designed for large Web sites with complex configurations. The Replication Component can update content while the target server remains online to users. The Replication Component is transaction-based, so it can roll back to a previous version of the content or update only changes to the content.

  • Security Component in Normandy is based on the recently announced Microsoft Internet Security Framework.

Microsoft is previewing Normandy to network operators, cable companies and ISPs at its NetOp Summit, being held June 4-5, 1996, at the Microsoft corporate campus in Redmond, Wash. The platform for commercial Internet services will be available in August through a special preview program and is scheduled to be broadly available to ISPs and others during the fourth quarter of 1996.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, Windows NT, MSN and ActiveX are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

CompuServe is a registered trademark of CompuServe Inc.

The Microsoft Network is operated by Microsoft Corp. on behalf of Microsoft Network LLC.

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