FINA Oil and Chemical Co. Chooses Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 For Corporate Intranet

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 30, 1997 — FINA Oil and Chemical Co., one of the leading companies in oil and natural gas exploration, production and marketing, today became the latest corporation to chooseMicrosoft Internet Explorer 3.0 for its corporate intranet and the Internet. FINA has already deployed Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 on 90 percent of its 2,000 U.S. desktops and plans to complete the rollout on all of its U.S. desktops by the end of the first quarter of 1997.

In making the switch from another browser, FINA evaluated not only the features and ease of integration of Microsoft Internet Explorer but also Microsoft’s vision for the future of the browser.

“We selected Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 because it offers better integration with applications and technologies we use than other browsers,”
said Phil Farr, director of information technology at FINA Oil and Chemical.
“We’re convinced that Microsoft’s Internet vision supports our projected IT needs as we move into the next millennium.”

Taking full advantage of Microsoft Internet Explorer’s integration with existing applications, FINA used Microsoft Systems Management Server to easily deploy the browser and now uses the Microsoft BackOffice
family of applications, such as Microsoft SQL Server
, to access data over the intranet. Microsoft Internet Explorer also offers excellent integration with Microsoft Exchange Server, including auto URL highlighting of Internet addresses in e-mail messages, so users can open links to Web addresses with a single mouse click.

One of FINA’s goals in creating an intranet and enabling Internet access was to provide vast additional sources of data for its employees, who need to keep abreast of the energy markets and the latest regulatory requirements. To facilitate this, a browser that lets them view content on the Internet was necessary. Microsoft Internet Explorer gives them that ability with support for the widest selection of Internet technology, including support for ActiveX
technologies, Java
and the latest HTML standards.

FINA also said that Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 was the ideal solution for its in-house development staff, permitting them to take advantage of the same tools with which they are already familiar to create new intranet and Internet applications that can simplify internal processes. Native support for ActiveX in Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 allows FINA’s in-house developers to make optimal use of their experience with the Microsoft Visual Basic® programming system. For example, FINA can simplify human resources processes by creating an online form with Visual Basic that employees can use to fill in data about their background, experiences and preferences. Once submitted, this information allows human resources to search quickly and easily for particular employee characteristics, such as employees who speak French or employees who are willing to take foreign assignments, streamlining this previously time-consuming process.

Microsoft Internet Explorer’s consistent interface also allows developers to easily integrate the browser into custom solutions using other Microsoft applications, such as Microsoft Office. The consistent interface also lowers training and support costs for the Windows® 95 operating system and Office 95 software in use at FINA.

“FINA judged Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 to be the best-of-breed browser, as well as the most seamless fit with its current multimillion-dollar investment in IT hardware and software,”
said Yusuf Mehdi, group product manager in the Internet client and collaboration division at Microsoft.
“We are delighted that FINA, like more and more companies throughout the world, is leveraging its current IT investments and switching to Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0.”

Fina Oil and Chemical Co. joins the growing number of leading companies that have selected Microsoft Internet Explorer as their corporate standard, including Arthur Andersen, Baltimore Gas and Electric, Sprint PCS, Compaq Computer Corp., Intergraph Corp., Coopers & Lybrand L.L.P and Reynolds Metals.

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, BackOffice , ActiveX , Visual Basic 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.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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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