Microsoft Commercial Internet System Available To Commercial Service Providers

REDMOND, Wash., March 12, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that version 1.0 of Microsoft® Commercial Internet System (MCIS) is available to commercial service providers, including Internet service providers (ISPs), telecommunications carriers, cable network operators and Internet content providers (ICPs). Formerly code-named “Normandy,” MCIS is a comprehensive set of standards-based, commercial-grade server applications that delivers next-generation Internet services for managing and personalizing Web content, enabling electronic commerce, creating virtual communities of interest with rich communication tools, and managing distributed membership privileges for those communities.

During an extensive beta test, more than 100,000 customers downloaded MCIS components for trial and evaluation. Key MCIS product features include content replication, personalization, membership, address book, locator, mail, news, chat and merchant services.

In late January, a limited release of MCIS went to 500 key commercial service providers who attended Microsoft Corp.’s Public Network Sales Executive Summit in Seattle.

New Customers Announce Support for MCIS

At the Public Network Sales Executive Summit, Microsoft announced a number of MCIS customer relationships with providers that include 1-800-FLOWERS, Alameda Newsgroup, Apollo Travel Services, Asia Connect, Canal Plus Spain, China Infohighway Communications Co., CompUSA, CompuServe Inc., Crabtree & Evelyn, DACOM Corporation, Dell Computer Corp., Ernst & Young LLP, Gateway 2000 Inc., Great Universal Store, INet Corporation, MicroWarehouse, Software Spectrum Inc., Televisa S.A., Tesco Stores, Tower Records, University of California at Los Angeles, UUNet Technologies Inc. and Virtual Books Co.

The following companies are announcing today that they have embraced MCIS and are already working to deploy exciting new MCIS solutions: GridNet International, InfoSel, Lycos Inc., North Willamette Telecom, Pearson PLC, Planet Direct, Talk City and Ziplink LLC (a Worldcom Inc. company).

“Planet Direct is the Web’s next-generation Internet service, providing an easy-to-use, highly personal and local experience to over 500,000 subscribers of our partner Internet access companies,” said Hans G. Hawrysz, president and CEO of Planet Direct. “With its broad functionality including personalized news, chat, local weather, maps, yellow pages and more, creating the service was no small task, and MCIS has been a critical element. The platform provides superior development and integration advantages that are unrivaled on other platforms currently available.”

“As the amount of information available on the Web continues to grow dramatically, personalized review services have become increasingly important,” said Mark Simmer, vice president of online publishing at Lycos. “The combination of our industry-leading Top 5% review service and Microsoft’s MCIS has enabled us to personalize the user’s search and review of tens of thousands of the Web’s best sites.”

“GridNet International, a subsidiary of Worldcom, the third-largest U.S.-based long distance company, has selected MCIS for GridNet InternetGo!, a service that provides Internet access and MCIS services to the wholesale and reseller channels,” confirmed Robert P. Ollerton, marketing manager for IP Services at GridNet.

New Systems Integrators Offer MCIS Services

Microsoft today also announced support for MCIS in the systems integration arena. Lucent Technologies Inc. and Intergraph Corp. today join the ranks of previously announced system integrators Axime I.S., CAP Gemini Innovation, Cogita Business Services International Ltd., Computer Sciences Corp., Digital Equipment Corp., Electronic Data Systems Inc., KiZAN Technologies Inc., Mulder Communications, Praxa Ltd., Science Applications International Corp., Siemens Internet Solutions, Telefonica Sistemas and Wang BISS Ltd. These companies offer a broad range of design, deployment and support services for MCIS.

“MCIS and Windows NT® integrate tightly to provide an unparalleled platform for establishing Internet services,” said Rick Mace, vice president of Digital’s Internet services business. “Digital has helped more than 100 ISPs around the world to establish and grow their business for the Internet. We are now coupling this knowledge with our unequaled Windows NT and network expertise and a strong suite of products from Microsoft to enable network operators to go online.”

Independent Software Vendors Provide Complementary MCIS Solutions

In addition, independent software vendors including Claremont, HP Openview ITO, Kenan Systems Inc., LHS, NetIQ Corp., The Portal Information Network, SunTech Systems Inc. and Tivoli Systems Inc. are already developing solutions that complement MCIS and allow customers to integrate MCIS with their existing business applications.

More detailed MCIS product information is available on the new MCIS-based Microsoft

Live Web site at ( . Commercial service providers interested in obtaining MCIS 1.0 can inquire at .

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