Bill Gates Announces Expansion of Windows DNA for Financial Services During Address at Financial Markets Summit

Bill Gates Announces Expansion of Windows DNA for Financial Services During Address at Financial Markets Summit

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 20, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. Chairman and CEO Bill Gates today announced that the Windows® Distributed interNet Applications architecture for Financial Services (Windows DNA FS) will be expanded to the securities industry.

The Windows DNA FS framework, originally announced at a retail banking conference last month, will be expanded to provide a framework to help the securities industry achieve straight-through processing (STP), a term denoting the automation of the life cycle of an investment transaction. Currently, significant sections of the trade-settling process require a blizzard of paper forms and manual reconciliation because the disparate computer systems in place at many institutions can’t easily communicate with each other.

Leveraging existing industry standards including FIX, SWIFT, ISITC and OFX, DNA FS is an industry framework that will allow different financial industry software applications to exchange information with each other and legacy mainframe systems seamlessly.

“In today’s brokerage and investment firms, a single trade often makes its way between computer systems and paper forms several times during the course of the trading and settlement process,” Gates said. “We believe the DNA FS framework will provide a low-risk way to allow market participants to integrate computer systems internally and with other companies. What that means to the industry is a better digital nervous system and the streamlining of operations to achieve the goal of straight-through processing.”

Gates made the announcement during a satellite keynote address from Redmond to more than 1,000 securities industry executives and software partners attending the Financial Markets Summit in London, a one-day pan-European conference and exhibition on technology in financial markets hosted by Microsoft, Reuters, Compaq Computer Corp. and Desktop Data Corp.

Several leading software vendors immediately announced support for the Windows DNA FS framework in securities: Advent Software Inc., Comprehensive Software Systems Ltd., Dow Jones Markets, Financial Technologies International and TIBCO Finance Technology Inc.

Using Windows DNA FS, financial institutions can enable their computer systems to speak a common “language” and freely exchange information contained in small software components, based on the Component Object Model (COM). For example, information regarding a trade could be dropped into a COM wrapper, which provides a virtual “envelope” that transports the information across different computer systems – including mainframes – either inside or outside an individual company.

“Manual intervention during the trading and settlement process currently costs market participants a fortune,” said Larry Tabb, senior analyst at The Tower Group. “The problem boils down to data and application integration. By using a common architecture framework with industry-standard communications protocols, firms can more easily leverage technology across the industry. Given the continued convergence of brokerage firms, banks and insurance companies, industry standards will become increasingly prevalent and important to business acquisition, transaction execution and streamlined processing. Microsoft’s umbrella strategy with Windows DNA is the only industrywide architectural framework aligned toward helping the

industry solve these integration problems.” The Windows DNA FS framework was announced by Gates at the Bank Administration Institute’s Retail Delivery Conference in New Orleans on Dec. 3, 1997. It will be made freely available to software developers and financial institutions. A Microsoft® Solution Developers conference for Windows DNA FS is scheduled for April in Redmond, and a software development kit is scheduled to be released in the first half of this year.

“STP is a hot topic for the industry and DNA FS can help make it a reality,” said Rob Knourek, senior vice president at TIBCO. “Microsoft’s COM is a proven technology ideally suited for enabling different applications running on different computer systems in the front or back office of a company to talk to each other. We’re committed to working with Microsoft and the industry to solve these problems using our proven financial messaging middleware. The integration of COM with TIB in the Windows DNA FS framework will provide a compelling value proposition for the global financial enterprise.” Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) 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.

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