Microsoft Previews New Web Technology in Microsoft Office 97 To Help Organizations Realize the Full Potential of Intranets

New Microsoft Outlook to Bring Desktop Information Management To Next Version of Office

SAN JOSE, Calif., June 13, 1996 — Today, Microsoft Corp. Chairman and CEO Bill Gates outlined Microsoft’s strategy to help users work together on an intranet using Microsoft®
Office. Gates previewed the next version of the world’s most popular desktop suite, Office 97, which includes built-in hyperlinking, searching and navigation functionality. This powerful combination of Microsoft Office and Web technology introduces a new standard for collaboration by providing users with the tools to create, analyze and share information easily on an intranet.

As part of its intranet strategy, Microsoft also unveiled an innovative desktop information-management application, Microsoft Outlook
, which facilitates both internal and external corporate communications. The addition of Microsoft Outlook to Office 97 redefines communication and collaboration as integral parts of the desktop-application suite category. Together, these new Web technologies and products are designed to combine the best of the Web and the best of the desktop, to empower users to realize the full potential of intranets.

“Intranets provide a great infrastructure for communicating, but they are only as valuable as the information they contain,”
said Pete Higgins, group vice president of the applications and content group at Microsoft.

Office 97 delivers a powerful solution for business users who want to take advantage of intranets. By integrating Web technology into Office 97, we brought the ease of use of desktop applications to intranet users.

“The addition of Microsoft Outlook now makes it possible for Microsoft Office users to seamlessly integrate communications with their desktop information – everything from financial data to electronic forms to calendar information,”
Higgins said.
“Outlook will revolutionize the way people collaborate across the desktop and beyond.”

Gates introduced the new technology and applications for intranets as part of Microsoft’s Intranet Strategy Day briefing here today for customers and industry influentials. The briefing, including presentations by Higgins and other top executives, was also carried on the Internet and broadcast worldwide.

Office 97 Integrates the Best of the Web With the Best of the Desktop

With more than 22 million users worldwide, Microsoft Office is broadly used today to create business information within organizations. Intranets introduce a powerful network infrastructure based on Web protocols and standards for managing and distributing information. By integrating Microsoft Office with Web technologies such as linking, searching and navigating, Office 97 makes it dramatically easier for users to create, analyze and share information. This powerful combination enables customers to take advantage of the best of both worlds and dramatically enhances business collaboration.

“Our employees need to create content very easily, to share that content and to work collaboratively – all without having to learn new tools or rip out the existing software and start over,”
said Lyle Anderson, senior vice president and CIO at HarperCollins Publishers.
“Microsoft’s strategy of building Web technology into Microsoft Office is the best roadmap to a cost-effective and productive intranet that we’ve seen, and we’re tremendously excited about putting it to use here.”

Office 97 integrates Web standards and protocols with the world’s best-selling desktop applications by adding:

  • Hyperlinking. Users can create hyperlinks to and from any Office file. These links can link any Office, HTML or third-party file on any internal or external Web site, as well as any file server.

  • Searching. Web FindFast enables users to search for any key word or property within an intranet using full-content index searching. Web FindFast can search across multiple servers and a broad range of files, including both HTML and Office files.

  • Navigating. The Office Web toolbar provides easy navigation between linked documents. Users can use the forward and backward buttons to move between documents, as well as link to other frequently visited locations.

  • Active Document support. Using ActiveX
    ™Technologies, Office files can be viewed with Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 or a Netscape® Navigator plug-in. This enables users to have the powerful tools, including all toolbars and menus of Microsoft Excel, Word and the PowerPoint®
    presentation graphics program, seamlessly integrated within their browser.

  • Creating HTML content. Building on the Internet Assistants available for Microsoft Office, Office 97 includes the ability to create and save documents in native HTML format within each of the Office 97 applications. In addition, users can publish Microsoft Access databases in HTML, complete with the ability to query and update the data dynamically.

Microsoft Outlook Unifies Communications, Information Across Desktop and Intranet

In a technology preview, Microsoft demonstrated its innovative desktop information-management application, Microsoft Outlook, which unifies communications and information for users. Microsoft Outlook provides an integrated environment for managing e-mail, schedules, tasks, contacts and files. Outlook is designed to work seamlessly with Microsoft Office 97 for tight integration with other desktop applications.

Microsoft Outlook gains much of its enterprise-messaging capability from its integration with Microsoft Exchange Server. For example, groups can share Outlook calendars, contacts or tasks in a Microsoft Exchange Public Folder. With the dynamic views in Outlook, users can organize and view this shared information in powerful and flexible ways.

The Microsoft Outlook desktop information manager is also designed to integrate with the external world, supporting all the major Internet mail protocols including POP3 and SMTP. Users can create hyperlinks to internal or external Web sites in an Outlook e-mail message, calendar item, contact or task. Users can also jump to any Web site associated with a contact in the Outlook Contact Manager. This combination of internal and external information management makes Microsoft Outlook a crucial communication component for both intranet and Internet scenarios.

Microsoft FrontPage Makes Web Publishing and Management Easy

Microsoft also demonstrated FrontPage
, its award-winning Web authoring and management tool. As users increasingly create and share content using intranet solutions, they need tools to help them manage the Web publishing process. Designed to look and work like Microsoft Office, Microsoft FrontPage delivers a complete, easy-to-use Web publishing solution offering visual site and hyperlink management as well as WYSIWYG HTML page creation.

In the five weeks before its retail availability, more than 430,000 users downloaded the beta version of Microsoft FrontPage from the Internet. These downloads, plus the more than 600,000 downloads of the Internet Assistants for Microsoft Office, make the Microsoft Office family of applications the most popular tool for creating and managing Web content. FrontPage version 1.1 is currently available in reseller outlets for approximately $109 after a $40 rebate for any current Microsoft Office 95 user. Microsoft Office 97, including Outlook and new Web technology, is scheduled to be available by the end of this year. For online product information, view Microsoft’s Web site at

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, Outlook, ActiveX, PowerPoint and FrontPage are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Netscape is a registered trademark of Netscape Communications Corp.

For online product information:

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