Leading Hardware, Software Resellers Standardize on Microsoft Internet Commerce Technologies, Including Merchant Server

SAN JOSE, Calif., Oct. 30, 1996 — Three of the computer industry’s largest resellers are building state-of-the-art solutions using Microsoft® Merchant Server and ActiveX
technologies as the basis of their Internet commerce storefronts, which will sell Microsoft products as well as hardware and software products from other manufacturers, to generate additional sales.

Today’s announcement of the launch of Microsoft Merchant Server (see related releases) has met with overwhelming market response. More than 40 companies will build Merchant Server commercial sites within the next two months, making Merchant Server the most popular software solution for selling on the World Wide Web.

The first PC channel resellers to standardize on Merchant Server are computer superstore retailer CompUSA, direct mail reseller Micro Warehouse, and corporate software reseller Software Spectrum.

“It’s no surprise to see these industry-leading resellers on the vanguard of electronic commerce on the Internet, and we are pleased that they selected Microsoft tools and technology to implement their cutting-edge solutions,”
said Velle Kolde of Microsoft Corp.
“Microsoft is committed to providing the reseller channel with the best in Internet commerce technology to maximize their efficiency and success, and that includes complete end-to-end solutions based on Microsoft Internet Explorer and Microsoft Merchant Server.”

In addition to building their commercial sites on Microsoft Merchant Server, these companies are taking advantage of Microsoft technology to implement functionality such as electronic software distribution (ESD), online catalogs, back-end inventory control, and ordering and payment systems. By taking advantage of the use of component technology in Microsoft Internet Explorer, ActiveX productivity tools, and style sheets, these companies are also offering significantly enhanced shopping experiences to customers with the Microsoft Internet Explorer version 3.0 environment.

Merchant Server, shipping today, is the only software for selling over the Internet that can enable companies to establish selling sites with minimal development cost, to help attract and retain customers through a compelling and secure buying experience, and to help generate higher sales and profits through targeted, dynamic sales promotions. Merchant Server is a member of the Microsoft Backoffice
family. Industry observers and participants consider Merchant Server an important catalyst for growth in the nascent era of Internet commerce.

Resellers Praise Support of Internet Commerce in Merchant Server

PC resellers using Merchant Server praised its role in supporting their efforts to do business with customers via the Internet.

“Software Spectrum has embraced electronic commerce from its inception,”
said Bob Mercer, CIO of Software Spectrum, the world’s largest reseller of Microsoft products.
“Using Merchant Server and ActiveX technology, we have developed customer-specific sites and market-specific catalogs for immediate access to product and services information. Organizations around the globe are able to view their product lists, pricing and volume licensing information in the secure domain of their own online catalog.”

“The direct mail market is defined by fast turnaround and prompt customer service,”
said David Lokes, director of new media at Micro Warehouse.
“Merchant Server and the component-based Microsoft Internet Explorer allow us to rapidly create a new and unique Internet-based shopping experience. In addition, we can give our customers with Microsoft Internet Explorer a way to view product presentations that are richer and more interactive.”

“Using Microsoft tools and technology, CompUSA is building a Web site with state-of-the-art functionality that will provide us with a solid foundation on which we can expand our Internet presence in the future,”
said Jim Halpin, president and chief executive officer of CompUSA.
“Our goal is to offer our customers a Web site that is dynamic, fun and informative while providing them with a personalized, convenient Internet shopping experience.”

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

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

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