Microsoft Launches NetOp Partner Solutions Center For Quick, Turnkey Deployment of Public Network Solutions

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 11, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. launched a major new facility dedicated to the quick, turnkey deployment of large-scale public network solutions needed by telecommunications companies, ISPs and cable companies.

Microsoft’s multimillion-dollar NetOp Partner Solutions Center is co-sponsored by leading original equipment manufacturers, Microsoft® Certified Solution Providers, systems integrators, backbone providers and access providers, including Ascend Communications Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Compaq Computer Corp., Digital Equipment Corp., Lucent Technologies Inc., NEC Computer Systems, UUNET Technologies Inc. and WorldCom Inc.

“Telcos, ISPs and cable companies are under unprecedented competitive pressure to put new communications technologies to work across their networks,”
said Cameron Myhrvold, vice president of the Internet customer unit at Microsoft.
“The NetOp Partner Solutions Center is the resource they need to work closely with partners and suppliers to enable consumer online services, virtual private networks and other large-scale solutions. And it’s the latest proof of the depth of our commitment to our network operator customers.”

Bringing Together the Combined Expertise of Microsoft and Its Technology Companies

The center brings together the combined expertise resources, products and services of Microsoft and its technology companies. Together they provide network operators with design, development, testing, integration and deployment services. The 6,700-square foot facility includes laboratories, a data center, a network operations center, conference rooms, training rooms and partner offices.

It is staffed by engineers from Microsoft and other participating companies. The center includes the array of platforms and equipment needed to help develop and test world-class network solutions, including servers, workstations, large disk arrays, dial-up equipment, routers, switches, PRIs, T1 lines, E1 lines and DS3 lines with OCX access. It also provides access to the latest versions of Microsoft’s products and technologies for network operators, including the Windows NT® Server operating system, Internet Information Server, Microsoft Commercial Internet System, Site Server, Proxy Server, Microsoft Internet Explorer Administration Kit, the NetShow
server, NetMeeting
™conferencing software and the BackOffice® family.

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, Windows NT, NetShow, NetMeeting and BackOffice 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.

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.


Technology Companies Applaud Opportunity to Serve Network Operators

Ascend Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: ASND) has supplied a number of its leading network access products to the Microsoft NetOp Partner Solutions Center (NPSC), including the MAX 4004 remote access concentrator; the MAX TNT, the industry’s highest-capacity carrier-class WAN access switch; the GRF 400 and GRF 1600 multigigabit routers; and the CBX 500 Multiservice ATM switch. In addition, experts from Ascend will help customers incorporate Ascend products into the turnkey, large-scale networks designed at the center. The company expects that by helping network operators develop and deploy complex systems, the center will help significantly shorten Ascend’s sales cycle and improve customer satisfaction.

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO), the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, views Microsoft’s NetOp Partner Solutions Center as an important facilitator in the deployment of network solutions and networked applications. In September, Microsoft selected Cisco as its strategic networking vendor. As an expansion of the ongoing relationship with Microsoft, Cisco is providing the NPSC with carrier-class access servers, WAN and LAN switching, routing and directory products.

Cisco will offer service providers the networking knowledge and experience to quickly and successfully build, manage and deploy optimum network infrastructures to deliver intelligent new network services. News and information are available at .

Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ), as launch sponsor of the NPSC, continues its commitment to enable Internet service providers to prosper on the Internet by offering Web-hosting and value-added services to their customers. Customers at the NPSC can test system functionality in a simulated production environment, using industry-leading hardware and software for confident, rapid deployment in their own installations. The Compaq ProLiant server family, the preferred x86 platform and performance benchmark for Microsoft Windows NT- and Internet Information Server-based Internet services, was chosen for NPSC so customers could exercise ProLiant performance, manageability and scalability – factors critical to success in the Internet market.

Equipment Corp. provided both products and services to the center. In the NPSC Data Center, a Digital GIGAswitch/FDDI connects each of the three laboratories, and a Digital MultiSwitch 900 with four 12-port FDDI concentrators provides 48 ports to the servers and workstations in the lab. This provides high-speed switched networking to the routers for maximum local area bandwidth. Rack-mounted AphaServer 800 and 4100 servers and Prioris servers clustered with StorageWorks UltraSCSI RAID arrays will be used for customer testing of the Microsoft and partner software solutions and updated with the latest equipment.

The entire LAN architecture of the NPSC was designed and implemented by Digital’s award-winning services organization. In addition, a team of consultants provided project management, systems integration and installation support in helping set up the center. Digital’s systems integration Internet consultants will continue to reside in the center to provide ongoing assistance to visiting customers. Digital Services installed not only its own equipment, but other vendors’ products as well.

Lucent Technologies Inc. brings extensive knowledge of world-class network service providers to this initiative. This experience means that Lucent is uniquely qualified to integrate the service-provider MCIS systems with their existing systems and procedures to support integrated billing, systems monitoring and service provisioning. Lucent’s client base has always included large network service providers; consequently, Lucent knows how to scale services to support millions of users. Lucent also has broad experience in designing, integrating and testing Internet protocol (IP) and asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) networks. By integrating both the MCIS product suite and the underlying network infrastructure, Lucent offers a complete solution to ISPs.

NEC Computer Systems will be providing its quad-processor-capable Express5800 RM4000 servers for the NetOP Partner Solutions Center. The quad-capable, high-capacity RM4000 server is built to deliver the performance and capacity demanded of enterprise, telephony, cable and Internet applications. Suited for a broad range of telephony and Internet solutions, the RM4000 will be used in the NPSC by network operators to design and test applications in areas such as Web hosting, electronic commerce and video streaming.

Designed to showcase Microsoft products such as Windows NT, BackOffice and Internet Information Server and infrastructure solutions NPSC partners, network operators will take away valuable enterprise, telephony, cable and Internet turnkey solutions.

UUNET Technologies Inc. is the world’s largest provider of Internet services, offering a comprehensive range of access options, World Wide Web hosting services, security products and consulting services to businesses, professionals and online service providers. The company’s network comprises more than 1,000 points of presence (POPs) throughout the United States and in Canada, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, as well as connections to Internet service providers around the world. Founded in 1987, UUNET is recognized as the first commercial Internet service provider and is a subsidiary of WorldCom Inc. UUNET’s World Wide Web address is .

WorldCom Inc. is a global business telecommunications company. Operating in more than 50 countries, the company is a premier provider of facilities-based and fully integrated local, long-distance, international and Internet services. WorldCom’s World Wide Web address is . The common and depositary shares of WorldCom trade on the Nasdaq National Market (U.S.) under the symbol WCOM and WCOMP, respectively.

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