Microsoft Ships Beta Version of “Catapult” Windows NT-Based Proxy Server

Easy, Secure Way to Bring Internet Access to Corporate Desktops

REDMOND, Wash., June 26, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. has released for broad beta testing its proxy server, code-named
making it available today for downloading from the World Wide Web at Catapult is the easy, secure way to bring Internet access to every desktop in an organization.
Catapult, the newest member of the Microsoft® BackOffice
™family of server applications, is highly integrated with the Windows NT® Server network operating system, resulting in high performance, a high level of security, and ease of management.

Catapult supports all Internet protocols, including WWW (HTTP), FTP, RealAudio (streaming audio), VDOLive (streaming video), IRC (real-time chat), and mail and news protocols, bringing Internet applications to every desktop. Support for Novell’s IPX/SPX transport means that deployment of TCP/IP on a private network is unnecessary. Internet sites can be accessed by Web browsers running on any operating system, and by all 16-bit and 32-bit Windows® Sockets applications, with no modifications to the applications.

“Catapult is another major milestone in our Internet server product family,”
said Jim Allchin, senior vice president of the desktop and business systems division at Microsoft.
“Catapult is a key technology to help corporate customers integrate their intranets with the Internet. Our goal is to provide a single infrastructure to support both private and public networks.”

Catapult Acts As Secure Gateway

Catapult is a proxy server, acting as a secure gateway between a LAN and the Internet. It filters and replicates Web content for corporations or Internet service providers. Catapult proactively caches frequently accessed documents to ensure the availability of refreshed data, automatically updating cached copies of popular Web pages based on heuristics of usage. This caching conserves network bandwidth, improves response time for clients, reduces network congestion, and improves control over network resources without burdening end users or network administrators. Catapult supports dial-up lines; it does not require a leased line to the Internet.

Catapult leverages the C2-level security features built into Windows NT Server and allows network operators to have fine-grained control over access to or from the Internet. Administrators can grant or deny inbound and outbound connections according to user, service, port or IP domain. Access to specific sites can be blocked.

Catapult builds upon the high performance and scalability of Windows NT Server for application services. Catapult has provided Microsoft’s internal corporate Web access for the last nine months. Even in its early beta version, one Catapult server is supporting more than 3,500 Microsoft employees per day.

Catapult Integrates With Windows NT Server, Microsoft BackOffice

Catapult is designed to integrate with Windows NT Server. This means administrators can use a single set of tools, including the performance monitor, user manager, event log and access logging to manage their intranets. Developers can use the Microsoft Internet Server API (ISAPI) to add features to Catapult, such as custom authentication and access control or customized logging. Catapult complements Windows NT Server, which includes a built-in Web server, the Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS), a search server, and the Microsoft FrontPage
Web authoring and management tool.

As a member of the Microsoft BackOffice family, Catapult can be managed remotely on the LAN or over the Internet. It works seamlessly with all members of the Microsoft BackOffice family, including Microsoft SQL Server
, to provide logging of access information for administrative and security purposes, and Microsoft Exchange.

Catapult can be downloaded from the Web at The Microsoft Developer Network plans to ship the Catapult beta software and final product for development and testing to its Level III Enterprise and Universal subscribers as a benefit of membership. The Microsoft Developer Network is a worldwide program with more than 120,000 subscribers. (For more information on the Microsoft Developer Network, visit

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

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