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Redmond, Wash., Oct. 28, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today announced an initiative that will allow companies to significantly reduce the cost of owning PCs while maintaining their existing investments in industry-standard hardware and software. The Zero Administration initiative for Windows® builds on the existing investment companies have in the Microsoft® Windows operating system, while allowing them to automate PC management and deploy the widest choice of applications in a controlled way.

“Microsoft is committed to solving the hard problems customers face today,”
said Bill Gates, chairman and CEO of Microsoft.
“Customers want to be able to update software without touching every machine and allow users to seamlessly move from one machine to another. And they want to gain these benefits without introducing the unnecessary complexity of new, incompatible hardware and operating systems.”

Gives Administrators New Tools, Control to Manage PC Environments

The Zero Administration initiative gives IT professionals new levels of control and manageability over their Windows-based environments by automating such tasks as operating-system updates and application installation, and by providing tools for central administration and desktop system lock-down. Administrators can let users roam between PCs without requiring their applications and files to be reinstalled each time. The Zero Administration initiative also enables application software developers to more easily develop and deploy a wide range of applications.

Specific features of the Zero Administration initiative for Windows include the following:

  • Automatic system update and application installation. The operating system will update itself when the computer is booted, without user intervention, seeking the latest necessary code and drivers from a server, intranet or the Internet, if available. The Automatic Desktop feature will provide users with all available applications, installing them automatically when invoked.

  • All state kept on server. Users’ data can be automatically
    to servers, ensuring high availability and allowing mobile users to have access to information whether connected to the network or not. Additionally, users will be able to roam between PCs while maintaining full access to their data, applications and customized environment.

  • Central administration and system lock-down. All aspects of client systems will be controllable by a central administrator across the network. In a few simple steps, the system can be
    “locked down”
    to maintain controlled, consistent and secure configurations across sets of users. The degree of flexibility can be altered on a per-user basis by the central administrator, without having to change hardware and software.

  • Application flexibility to design the best solutions. A full implementation of the Active Platform – key client and server Internet technologies – on Windows offers the flexibility to deploy both Web-style
    “thin client”
    applications and the full wealth of personal productivity and client-server applications. When combined with the lock-down feature, administrators will be able to tune the client environment to the exact needs of each user, and be able to change these as business needs dictate.

These functions will be available to varying degrees on future versions of Microsoft Windows 95 and Microsoft Windows NT® Workstation, and will be supported by Windows NT Server.

Leverages Existing Investment, Provides Widest Choice of Applications

In addition to giving IT managers increased flexibility and control in their Windows-based environments, the Zero Administration initiative will continue to give users all the benefits of the more than 100,000 Windows-based applications, which range in complexity from simple HTML applications to technical workstation applications. Additionally, the Zero Administration initiative will leverage investments customers have in existing management infrastructure, such as DMI and SNMP.

With the Zero Administration initiative, customers can be assured that the value derived from their investment in Windows will increase over time as more solutions become available. Currently, over 1.7 million software developers are creating ActiveX TM – and Windows-based applications because they can take advantage of the richness of the Windows environment and exploit the new opportunities provided by the Internet.

“SAP is embracing the new Internet standards and is continuing its focus on Windows integration,”
said Dr. Hasso Plattner, co-founder and vice chairman at SAP AG.

SAP’s intranet solutions, such as the new BAPI and Java TM components, are exploiting both Windows and new Internet capabilities. It provides our customers with the best of both worlds. We like Java as a language; however, it will not remove the need for an operating system such as Windows. SAP’s three-tier client/server architecture with its lightweight front end is ideally suited to reduce the cost of owning and managing PCs.”

Windows 95 and Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Lay Foundation for Reduced Costs

Windows 95 and Windows NT Workstation 4.0 provide the foundation for the Zero Administration initiative by providing the reliability and manageability benefits of a 32-bit platform. According to computer industry analysts such as The Gartner Group and Forrester Research, features such as remote diagnosis and management of key system services, standardized system policies and centralized user profiles, and Windows NT Workstation’s ability to securely lock down system configurations result in savings on support costs and improved manageability.

In addition, Microsoft and Intel Corp., with other industry partners, are working together to make PCs even easier to configure and manage by creating a standard device driver model across all Windows offerings and by adding more advanced power management capabilities through the OnNow design initiative announced in April.

“As a result of these important Microsoft initiatives, we’re confident that our current and future PC customers will reap the benefits of lower total ownership cost and higher productivity,”
said Jacques Clay, general manager in charge of HP’s worldwide commercial PC business.

Broad Support for Zero Administration Initiative for Windows

“We have been working closely with Microsoft on its plans for the Zero Administration initiative,”
said Brian J. Roberts, manager of PC LAN technology at Westpac Banking Corp.
“We expect these new features to reduce the cost of owning and maintaining software by 50 percent.”

“With the boom in Internet technology and electronic commerce, we feel our accounting applications need to be Internet savvy,”
said Ben Tse, CEO and president of AccountMate Software Corp.

For AccountMate, that means leveraging our existing skills in PC technology to Internet-enable our Visual FoxPro TM -based accounting applications. Our customers want power on their desktop.”

“We are embracing Microsoft’s strategy of combining the best of the Internet with that of the PC,”
said Warren Fletcher, general manager at Geac VisionShift.

For example, we developed a purchasing application with Microsoft Access 97 and Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0. Through Microsoft Internet Explorer, our users can create purchase orders on either their intranet or the Internet to be entered into Microsoft SQL Server TM . In the Access 97 releases of our product, users of all our applications will have the ability to access our support site on the Web through the application for questions, enhancement requests and frequently asked questions.”

Microsoft has created a great architecture for distributed enterprise computing based on Windows NT and BackOffice TM , and their distribution model is built to deliver high-capability solutions at the lowest possible cost,”
said Pat Higbie, chairman and CEO of DataFocus, the makers of NuTCRACKER UNIX to NT migration tools.
“There is a niche for Network Computers, but Microsoft can capture this too with ROM-based Windows devices that can match NC purchase and support costs while providing additional capabilities that users are hooked on.”

“Information Dimensions is aligned with Microsoft’s plans to combine the best of the Internet with the best of the PC,”
said Bruce Duff, vice president of marketing at Information Dimensions.
“In the area of document management, our customers have a vested interest in leveraging people and technology investments to accelerate Internet-enabled applications.”

“Compaq’s strives to maximize customer value by delivering systems solutions with the lowest Total Cost of Ownership in the industry,”
said John T. Rose, Senior Vice President and Group General Manager, Enterprise Computing Group, Compaq Computer Corporation. Compaq supports Microsoft’s Zero Administration Windows(R) technology and intends to deploy it across our commercial computing products, adding to our already rich portfolio of products for reducing the Total Cost of Ownership of client/server solutions.

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

Java is a trademark of Sun Microsystems Inc.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

Industry Leaders Support Zero Administration Initiative for Windows

@Work Technologies

Microsoft’s Zero Administration initiative promises to bring the benefits of reliable low-cost network computing to the masses while protecting people’s investment in Windows-based software. As a Java and ActiveX developer, we applaud this effort and feel that it will help make our products available to a much wider audience.

– Jim Flynn, General Manager


(212) 334-9229

Alameda Group

As a company that builds its business model on the Internet, Windows NT Server and the BackOffice family, we are excited to hear that Microsoft is tying the Zero Administration effort into its existing Internet initiatives. We are already using many of these technologies, and we are looking forward to making setup and installation of our Internet applications even easier for our subscribers.

– Kevin Hamilton

Online Information Manager



This Windows initiative will help foster the growth of Windows NT and Windows 95

for the design and drafting community. Autodesk and Microsoft have

long been committed to providing value on the desktop – this initiative lets

Autodesk customers more easily upgrade to Windows 95 and Windows NT, further

exploiting the power of Autodesk applications.

– Jim D’Arezzo

Vice President of Corporate Marketing

Jennifer Reidy, PR Manager


Blue Sky Software

The new Zero Administration initiative is what customers have been wanting for a long time. We have been working with Microsoft and fully support this exciting initiative with RoboHELP’s new AutoUpdate Program via the World Wide Web. The new Zero Maintenance Windows features significantly reduce the cost of owning and maintaining software. Best of all, customers can continue to fully take advantage of the rich support, functionality, and services provided by Windows and by other high-end Windows programs such as RoboHELP, Help Authoring Tools from Blue Sky Software.

– Jorgen Lien


Press contact: Marylin Guardino


Borland International

The Zero Administration initiative is complementary to Borland’s Goldengate Strategy to help corporate customers bridge between the client-server and the Internet architectures and create more maintainable applications. We look forward to incorporating these new operating system technologies into Borland’s family of interoperable tools for client/server and Internet developers.

– Zack Urlocker

Director of Product Management


Computer Associates

Computer Associates Open Desktop Management Initiative (ODMI) fully supports industry standards such as the Network PC reference platform and the Zero Administration initiative. ODMI builds upon the integral work we are doing with Intel and Microsoft to ensure lower cost through Enterprise Management. This supports our CA -Unicenter and Jasmine strategy.

– Sam Greenblatt

Vice President Advanced Technology

Documentum Inc.

This new Microsoft initiative will allow us to gain a significant advantage in meeting our corporate goals of helping document management customers access business critical information. The NetPC and Zero Maintenance Windows shows great promise in ensuring that our customers will continue to enjoy a rich user experience while also maximizing reduced total cost of ownership.

– Robert Reid

VP of Marketing

Dun & Bradstreet Software

Microsoft’s Zero Maintenance lowers the corporate users total cost of ownership. We welcome this initiative which further increases the End User and IT/IS staff productivity gains that SmartStream provides on the Windows and BackOffice platforms. The goal of making Windows and other Microsoft applications maintenance free further exploits the technology and integration between SmartStream, Windows, and BackOffice providing the power of enterprise business applications and a Rapid Results(add trade mark (TM) symbol) solution.

– Steve Ely

VP of Market Development

Press contact: Randy Renbarger


Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc.

ESRI supports this initiative because it makes the adoption of computer technology easier, allowing more people to access information and make better decisions. These goals are key in the use of geographic information systems (GIS) software, one of the fastest growing software technologies today.

– Karen Hurlbut

PR Manager


Fujitsu Software Corp.

We have been working very closely with Microsoft on their plans for the Zero Maintenance initiative. We expect this new initiative to substantially reduce the total cost of owning software. This initiative ties into our making substantial investments in Java and new Internet solutions. We get the best advantage by using the rich services provided by Windows and the ability to integrate with our existing base of applications.

– Todd Yancey

Executive Director


Intuitive Manufacturing Systems

By delivering new functionality and technology to significantly reduce PC ownership costs, Microsoft’s Zero Maintenance initiative will clearly address the needs of our customers in the manufacturing industry. The added capabilities, such as automatic upgrade of the operating system and applications, and the user’s ability to roam between PCs will add flexibility, stability, and significant efficiency to PC systems as well as enhance the deployment of our MRP9000 manufacturing control system.

– Barbara Carey


Keyfile Corp.

As a developer of applications that empower our customers to automate their critical business process, we are very excited about Microsoft’s initiative to reduce the customer’s cost of deployment. Our customers have made substantial investments in systems and application software, not to mention user training. Microsoft’s approach not only preserves the customer’s investments, but offers an even more cost-effective path for future growth.

– Stephen Marchesano

Group Product Manager

PowerCerv Corp.

As a provider of enterprise-level client/server applications, we support technology directions that help our mutual customers lower their cost of acquiring, implementing and maintaining distributed systems. Microsoft’s Zero Administration initiative allows organizations to lower their infrastructure cost and yield better returns for their investment in applications for both knowledge-workers and dedicated application users.

– Marc Fratello



Press contact: Bernie Borges

Marketing Manager

813-226-2600 x1008

Macola, Inc.

This new, smarter version of the Windows operating system promises full compatibility with our Macola applications, no matter what PC configurations our users have. It’s always helpful to our users when a technology advance means greater flexibility and ease of use while reducing ongoing maintenance costs.

– Bruce Hollinger

President and CEO


Press contact: Suzanne Maclean

Marketing Director


Marcam Corp.

It is exciting to see Microsoft and Intel teaming to lower PC cost of ownership. Our customers have thousands of PCs and face these issues daily. Our Protean enterprise application is delivered as object-oriented components. Combining our architecture with the ActiveX Server Framework, our customers can choose whether an Internet/intranet terminal or a full function Windows PC is right for the job. The software doesn’t make them choose. NetPC and Zero Administration Windows enhance those customer options, and lower their costs.

– Mike Ehrenberg

Chief Technical Officer

Marcam Process Business Unit

Seagate Software, Information Management Group

Once again, Microsoft is driving forward on a key industry issue. This initiative fits neatly with our mandate to get business information to end users quickly and easily and addresses one of the biggest issues faced by large corporations-the IS time involved in deploying and updating software.

– Greg Kerfoot

Executive Vice President and General Manager

Software AG

The Zero Administration strategy provides a vital link where the enterprise-wide integration of

applications, transactions, and resources is concerned. This action by Microsoft and its system vendor partners means that advanced communications infrastructures like Software AG’s DCOM FOR THE ENTERPRISE and ENTIRE BROKER can rely on consistent and up-to-date end-user configurations. And our customers will realize this efficiency without sacrificing the comfort level delivered by fully-functional PCs.

– Charles Hogan

Senior Vice President

Synon Corp.

Application management is one of the biggest headaches faced by our customers today. Embedded support in the operating system is a great way to handle this issue for enterprise systems. Applications created with Synon tools will maximize the benefits of Zero Administration Windows providing dramatic returns on investment and end-user satisfaction.

– Simon Williams

Founder and CTO

Utopia Technology Partners

Utopia wholeheartedly supports this initiative from Microsoft. Lowering the TCO is a

big concern for our customers, and we are behind Microsoft’s efforts in this regard. The Windows PC platform continues to be the technological standard for today and the future, and is the backbone of our development efforts.

– Steven A. Hammersly



Press contact: Laura Rime

PR Manager

415-646-4500 x201


Today’s announcement is tremendous news for our customers who rely on Windows technology being up and available. The ability for call center customers to maximize system availability or quickly respond to a machine outage is a critical part of how they do business as well as rapidly achieve return on investment.

– Matthew Capoccia

Vice President

Product and Portfolio Management Group

Vision Software Tools Inc.

We are working closely with Microsoft on their Zero Maintenance initiative. We expect these new features to reduce the cost of owning and maintaining software by 50 percent. This initiative is in line with Vision Builder’s technology for Windows, which is already helping customers reduce their deployment costs by orders of magnitude for business applications.

– Naren Bakshi


Press contact: Abby Mates

Kaufer-Miller Communications

206-450-9965, [email protected]

Wang Software

At Wang, we have learned that one of the biggest barriers to enterprisewide deployment of strategic solutions like Wang Work Management is total cost of PC ownership. As Microsoft’s preferred provider of imaging and workflow, and a Microsoft Authorized Service Center, we applaud Microsoft for offering cost-effective alternatives like the NetPC and Zero Maintenance initiative. These initiatives will give our customers the flexibility to better focus their IT resources on strategic solutions.

– Bob Weiler


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