Microsoft Announces Industry Meeting To Map Out Transition of ActiveX Technologies

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 16, 1996 — Delivering on its commitment to shift ActiveX
technologies to an independent standards body, Microsoft Corp. today announced that the first meeting of stakeholders in ActiveX will be held Oct. 1 in New York City. More than 70 stakeholders in ActiveX and other interested companies have already agreed to join this meeting and collectively determine the process for shifting ActiveX, including the Component Object Model (COM) and Distributed COM (DCOM), to an independent organization that will guide the direction of the technology. The goals of the meeting are to detail options for the process that will govern the future licensing and management of ActiveX technologies and to poll the participants to help determine the best option. The meeting will be moderated by The Burton Group, a research firm specializing in emerging network computing technologies.

Opening ActiveX to an independent standards body will help ensure that the technology continues to meet the dynamic needs of software developers and customers. Microsoft’s goals in this transition are to expedite the adoption of ActiveX on multiple operating system platforms, to ensure interoperability between ActiveX components, tools and applications on those platforms, and to provide a public forum for customers and vendors to give feedback and direction on future initiatives involving ActiveX.

Computer industry leaders including Hewlett-Packard Co., Intel Corp., SAP AG, Digital Equipment Corp., Powersoft Corp. and many other platform vendors, ISVs and customers plan to participate in this effort and help determine the best way to drive the standardization and continuing evolution of ActiveX technologies. As part of this effort, Microsoft has announced that it will provide specifications and source-code reference implementations of key interoperability technologies, including COM and DCOM and supporting technologies, to accelerate their adoption on non-Microsoft platforms.

“We look forward to collecting input from a cross section of industry stakeholders in ActiveX,”
said Paul Maritz, group vice president of the platforms group at Microsoft.
“This way, we can make sure that the technology is made available to the industry in an open manner and ensure that there is an efficient, open process for the future.”

Industry Voices Support for ActiveX Open Process

“HP has taken an active leadership role in the creation of industry standards, and we are pleased to help Microsoft build an open standards process for the ActiveX technologies,”
said Douglas R. Johnson, manager of HP’s Computer Systems Strategic Programs.
“We look forward to exploring ways to make this a truly independent, open standards process for the industry.”

“Intel is very supportive of Microsoft’s decision to open ActiveX to an industry standards process,”
said Craig Kinnie, vice president of Intel Architecture Labs at Intel Corp.
“The standards-based approach of ActiveX will help enable a rich multimedia experience on the connected PC.”

“Digital supports Microsoft’s approach in taking ActiveX to an open standards body and in forming a working group to plan for this transition,”
said Robert Bismuth, vice president of corporate strategic alliances at Digital Equipment Corp.
“Digital has been working with Microsoft since our joint announcement of COM in November of 1993, and is actively porting DCOM to a number of platforms, including Digital UNIX, OpenVMS, and NT.”

“Borland is enthusiastic about Microsoft’s commitment to an open process and standardization for DCOM, ActiveX and related technologies,”
said Paul Gross, senior vice president of research and development at Borland International.
“We believe our participation in the ActiveX working group will enhance our ability to integrate our customers’ Delphi and Borland C++ applications with the rest of their enterprise.”

“We are excited that Microsoft is announcing its commitment to take ActiveX into a formal open standards process,”
said Guenther Tolkmit, vice president of technology marketing at SAP AG.
“This promises to accelerate our joint business content specification initiative, BAPI (business API), which is designed to use ActiveX as a technology foundation.”

“The release of ActiveX technology into an open consortium will give customers and software developers a way of sharing innovation while at the same time continue to fulfill the original objectives of the ActiveX platform,”
said Bob Zurek, vice president of research and technology for the Powersoft business group of Sybase Inc.

“ActiveX promises a simple-to-use yet powerful foundation for cross-platform, distributed computing,”
said Stephen Vandor, vice president of enterprise technology at Software AG.
“After extensive study of alternative object models, Software AG determined that users would be best served by a new generation of our enterprise-class middleware based on the ActiveX technologies of COM and DCOM. We are very encouraged that Microsoft is taking steps to ensure that ActiveX will be more than a paper standard, and one that meets and responds to customer needs.”

Cross Section of Industry to Provide Input

More than 70 companies have already agreed to participate in the Oct. 1 meeting. Participants represent a broad spectrum of the industry, including a wide range of platform vendors, UNIX vendors, Macintosh ISVs, leading Java
™developers, developers of Windows® operating system-based applications, and corporate customers.

The current list of participants includes the following companies:

3M Corp.

Adobe Systems Inc.

America Online

Autodesk Inc.

Barclays Bank

BGS Systems Inc

BMC Software, Inc.

Borland International Inc.

Bristol Technology Inc.


Candle Corp.

CompuServe Inc.

Computer Associates International Inc.




Diamond Head Software

Digital Equipment Corp.

Dimension X

Dun & Bradstreet

Electronic Data Systems Inc.

Future Tense

Harper Collins

Hewlett-Packard Co.

Honeywell Inc.

Hughes Aircraft

Intel Corp.

Intergraph Corp.

J.P. Morgan

Jet Propulsion Lab

Landmark Systems


Macromedia Inc.

Mainsoft Corp.



Merril Lynch

Metrowerks Inc.

Micrographix Inc.


Montgomery Securities

Motorola Inc.

Narrative SW

nCompass Labs Inc.


Netscape Communications Corp.

networkMCI Services


Phillips Petroleum

Proto View Development Corp.

Prudential Insurance

Rockwell Software Inc.


Sax Software Corporation


Seagate Technology Inc.

Shell Oil

Sheridan Software Systems Inc.


Software AG

Software FX

Spatial Technology Inc.

Sybase Inc.

Synon Corp.


Tivoli Systems Inc.

Userland Software


Visio Corp.

Wall Data Inc.

Wang Laboratories Inc.


For more information on the standardization of ActiveX and the companies participating in this process, please visit ( is a set of technologies that integrate software components in a networked environment, regardless of the language in which they were created. This integration of components enables content and software developers to create interactive applications and Web sites easily. As a leading commercial object model, ActiveX has been widely adopted by corporate MIS and ISV communities and is used by millions of application and content developers today. Hundreds of ISVs currently market more than 1,000 ActiveX Controls.

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, ActiveX and Windows 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 on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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