Microsoft to Coordinate Effort to Develop Open Interface Specification For Hospitality Systems

CLEVELAND, Sept. 12, 1996 — Earlier this week at the Integrating Technology Conference in Cleveland, Microsoft Corp. announced plans to lead a multivendor cooperative effort to simplify the interconnections and integration issues associated with hotel and lodging systems. The initial scope of the effort is to develop an open set of interface specifications, named the Windows® Hospitality Interface Specification, for connecting disparate hotel and lodging systems. The proposed interface will allow any Windows Hospitality Interface Specification-compliant property management system (PMS) based on the Microsoft® Windows NT® operating system to operate easily with any Windows Hospitality Interface Specification-enabled hotel subsystem, such as central reservations, phone switches, voice mail or door-lock systems, running on other platforms.

Four Microsoft Solution Providers – Five Star Systems Inc. (whose products are distributed in the United States by ENCORE Systems Inc.), INSI Corp. and Lodging Touch International and MCORP – have agreed to contribute to the interface design process and are committed to supporting Windows Hospitality Interface Specification in their current Windows NT-based PMS solutions. Additional Microsoft Solution Providers in the hospitality industry will be invited to participate in defining and adopting Windows Hospitality Interface Specification.

Windows Hospitality Interface Specification will be based on specifications developed by Promus Hotel Corp. with Microsoft Consulting Services.
“Integrating our many systems is one of the largest problems we face in this industry,”
noted Tim Harvey, vice president of information technologies for Promus and developer of the specification.
“I’m delighted that Promus can help remedy this problem by contributing our interface specifications to Microsoft and this group.”

“Everywhere we go in the hotel business, customers and vendors alike tell us that interfacing disparate systems is their biggest technology headache, so we are responding by tacking the problem head-on,”
added Stan Julien, hospitality industry manager at Microsoft.
“Working in this way with industry leaders such as Promus and our Solution Providers, Microsoft can make a valuable and lasting contribution to the industry.”

Plans call for the Windows Hospitality Interface Specification group to define and document the overall framework and first selected interface specifications later this month. These will be submitted as a proposed standard to the Integrating Technology Consortium (ITC), which is the only hospitality standards-oriented body. The ITC will present the interface specifications to its members and facilitate their acceptance, implementation and conformance.
“Our job is to assist our members with implementation of standards such as Windows Hospitality Interface Specification,”
stated ITC Executive Director David Tobey.
“We’ll educate our members and affiliates about the specification’s availability and implementation.”

Windows Hospitality Interface Specification-compliant property management systems will begin to be developed in October with plans to demonstrate Windows Hospitality Interface Specification integration at the international Hotel/Motel and Restaurant Show in New York City in November. More information on Windows Hospitality Interface Specification and a self-registration form for the show are available at the Microsoft Hospitality Industry Web page at .

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