20 Major Companies Standardizing on Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 1, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that 20 major corporations representing a broad range of industries intend to deploy Microsoft® Internet Explorer 4.0 as their standard Web browser across more than 300,000 desktops. These leading companies are the first of the more than 200 enterprise customers that are actively evaluating Internet Explorer 4.0 for use in their organization.

The businesses announcing selection of Internet Explorer 4.0 as their Web client of choice are Bechtel Corp., Compaq Computer Corp., Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp., Countrywide Home Loans Inc., Dell Computer Corp., Ernst & Young LLP, General Mills, Mellon Bank Corp., Merrill Lynch, Monsanto Co., Ontario Hydro, Reynolds Metals Co., Nabisco, Shell Services Co., Siemens Energy and Automation Inc., Sprint PCS, The Dow Chemical Co., Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. and Wheat First Butcher Singer.

“The level of investment and commitment by these 20 industry-leading organizations on the day Internet Explorer 4.0 is released is a testament to the business value offered by technologies like Active Channel
and Active Desktop
,” said Brad Chase, vice president, marketing, application and Internet client group at Microsoft. “Among our top corporate accounts, Internet Explorer has taken the lead as the browser standard. We are confident this trend will bring millions of new users to the Internet and intranet over the coming year.”

Active Channel, Active Desktop Help Make Internet Explorer 4.0 Best Choice for Corporations

One of the major reasons companies are rapidly adopting Internet Explorer 4.0 is its support for Active Channel content. Active Channel technology enables companies to deliver mission-critical information to their employees more quickly and easily, so employees can make better, more informed business decisions to keep their companies competitive. Corporations can use Active Channel to deliver their own custom, specialized information directly to the desktops of employees who need it, without employees having to search an intranet to retrieve it.

“With features like Active Channel, companies gain access to valuable intranet and Internet content,” Chase said. “This dramatically increases their ability to make quicker business decisions and maintain a strong competitive advantage.” For example, General Mills is using Active Channel content and Dynamic HTML – an Internet Explorer 4.0 standards-based technology that enables highly interactive Web pages – to create a new sales force application that lets managers subscribe to personalized sales reports and analyze sales data, whether they are connected to the network or working offline. This solution also uses Microsoft Internet Information Server, Microsoft SQL Server
and Microsoft Transaction Server.

“Before Internet Explorer 4.0, our employees spent significant time finding the specific information they needed,” said Lohr LeSueur, director of strategic planning for consumer food sales at General Mills. “With our custom Active Channel content, our users now have access to all the information they need, wherever they are.”

In addition to building Active Channel content, businesses are taking advantage of the Active Desktop interface, a feature of Internet Explorer 4.0 that allows the Windows® operating system-based desktop to become a customized Web page. Customers are creating custom Active Desktop items to offer employees direct access to a broad range of continually updated corporate resources and information services, from simple utilities to complex business applications.

Toyota has created an Active Desktop item to give employees instant access to market data and competitive information – including demographics and sales information – without employees having to launch a separate window or application. Toyota and other companies are also using the Active Desktop to provide instant access to intranet search tools, corporate phone directories and other utilities.

Microsoft Internet Explorer Administration Kit Lowers Cost of Ownership, Speeds Internet Explorer 4.0 Deployment to Thousands of Desktops

The Internet Explorer Administration Kit 4.0 helps lower the overall cost of PC ownership by giving corporate IT managers unmatched flexibility to customize and manage Internet Explorer 4.0 on all of their enterprise desktops. IT managers can easily configure and lock down virtually all the features of Internet Explorer 4.0 – including full control over Active Desktop items, Active Channel content that is available to users, and Security Zones – and quickly and easily change settings on thousands of desktops from a single, central location.

“The Internet Explorer Administration Kit has made it very easy for us at Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation to customize, deploy and lock down Internet Explorer 4.0,” said Keith Perry, director, application technology at Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. “Also, the Profile Manager included with the Internet Explorer Administration Kit allows our IT staff to change the settings of the browser or the Active Desktop remotely from one centralized location.”

IT managers using the Internet Explorer Administration Kit also gain the flexibility to deploy Internet Explorer 4.0, along with additional custom applications and components, in virtually any way they want – via e-mail, an intranet Web page, CD-ROM, floppy disk or Microsoft Systems Management Server – producing additional savings of staff time and money.

In addition to providing advanced control over their desktop environments, the Internet Explorer Administration Kit, which will be available this week, gives companies access to premium Active Channel content from the world’s top business information providers, including Bloomberg Financial Markets, ConnectedHealth.Net LLC, Desktop Data Inc., Dow Jones Markets, Economist Intelligence Unit, Elsevier Science, First Call Corp., LEXIS-NEXIS, The Official Airline Guide and Variety Magazine. The Internet Explorer Administration Kit 4.0 will be available for download from the Microsoft Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/ie/ieak/ .

This announcement continues the unprecedented wave of industry momentum for Internet Explorer 4.0, including support from more than 50 of the top PC manufacturers, the top 10 Internet service providers, the top 200 solution providers, and over 500 of the world’s leading publishers of business and consumer Web sites. Similarly, figures from a recent browser market-share report from Zona Research Inc. as well as a browser mind-share survey of corporate users by ComputerWorld Magazine indicate that Internet Explorer is taking the lead among enterprise users. Both reports cited Internet Explorer browser share among corporate users at approximately 36 percent, up from 8.5 percent in April 1996.

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

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

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