Microsoft Licenses FORE SYSTEMS’ Lan Emulation Client Code For Integration With Future Versions Of Windows

PITTSBURGH and REDMOND, Wash. —
, Oct. 29, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. and FORE Systems Inc. today announced that Microsoft has licensed ForeThought ™ATM LAN Emulation Client software for integration with future versions of Microsoft® Windows® operating system products. This cooperative effort between industry leaders in PC software and ATM products will result in easy-to-use, cost-effective and interoperable ATM solutions for PC users.

ATM LAN Emulation allows people to begin using ATM technology without changing their software applications because it makes an ATM network card appear to the PC software as an Ethernet or token ring LAN adapter card. As a result, millions of PC users worldwide can easily and economically migrate to ATM while ensuring interoperability with their current Ethernet or token ring LANs.

Today, ATM LAN Emulation client software is developed independently of the Windows operating system and must be provided by an ATM product vendor. The integration of ForeThought ATM LAN Emulation client software into future versions of Windows reduces the cost, complexity and time-to-market for ATM solution developers because the ATM vendor will no longer need to provide this software. This reduced development cost is expected to translate into more affordable and more interoperable ATM solutions.

ì
This initiative will be welcomed by network planners and administrators,
î
said John McConnell, president, McConnell Consulting Inc., Boulder, Colo.
ì
With tight integration and simple configuration of the LAN Emulation Client, desktops can now be ATM-ready out of the box. Customers will be able to take advantage of ATM without altering their applications or networking protocols.
î

ATM is widely recognized as a breakthrough networking technology for delivering time-sensitive data, voice and video. Unlike other networking technologies, such as Ethernet or token ring, ATM provides guaranteed quality of service, supports a wide range of speeds, and is used in both local area networks and wide area networks.

This announcement is an extension of Microsoft’s recent inclusion of ATM LAN Emulation in its Windows Compatible Logo Program, an interoperability testing and verification program for third-party vendor products. The program offers the industry’s first such interoperability testing for ATM, providing ATM vendors with worthwhile interoperability and performance benchmarks. The logo program also provides customers with an added measure of confidence that today’s ATM LAN Emulation solutions will interoperate with their Windows operating system and applications. FORE Systems’ products have already met the current requirements of the logo program.

“Windows is the platform of choice for communications,”
said Jim Allchin, senior vice president of the desktop and business systems division at Microsoft.

And ATM support is an increasingly important part of that communications offering for our customers. By licensing and incorporating FORE Systems
íATM LAN Emulation Client into our operating system, we intend to make it even easier and less expensive for vendors to deliver ATM solutions to our mutual customers.”

ì
We are delighted to have our LAN Emulation software receive the stamp of approval from a leader such as Microsoft,
î
said Eric Cooper, chairman and CEO of FORE

Systems.
ì
Microsoft and FORE have teamed to address today
í
s growing user demand for high-speed networking services, both in the workplace and at home. The deployment of FORE
í
s ATM software in Microsoft products will allow ATM to showcase its performance benefits to the largest segment of computer users worldwide
ó
consumers.
î

FORE
í
s LAN Emulation is an integral part of FORE
í
s ForeThought Internetworking software. With industry-leading ForeThought, a suite of components that work in concert with all FORE products, network managers can migrate smoothly to ATM while protecting investment in existing infrastructure and applications. ForeThought supports current ATM standards and provides additional features required to build large-scale ATM networks.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
“MSFT”
) 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.

About FORE Systems

FORE Systems (Nasdaq: FORE) is a worldwide leader in the design, development, manufacture and sale of high-performance networking products based on ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) technology. FORE offers the most comprehensive ATM product line available today including ForeRunner® ATM switches and adapter cards, PowerHub® LAN switches and CellPath ™ WAN multiplexers for ATM connectivity, ForeThought Internetworking Software, and ForeView ™ Network Management Software. FORE has delivered ATM and LAN switching solutions to approximately 2,000 customers including Fortune 500 companies, telecommunications service providers, government agencies, research institutions, and universities. FORE Systems’ headquarters are located at 174 Thorn Hill Road, Warrendale, Pa., 15086. FORE Systems can be reached by telephone at (412) 772-6600, by fax at (412) 772-6500, and via the Internet at (http://www.fore.com/) or info@fore.com.

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

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