Digital and Microsoft Announce Expanded Alliance to Accelerate Adoption of Windows NT Across the Enterprise

Digital and Microsoft Announce Expanded Alliance to Accelerate Adoption of Windows NT Across the Enterprise

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 28, 1998 — Building on the highly successful Alliance for Enterprise Computing (AEC), Digital Equipment Corp. and Microsoft Corp. today announced enhancements to the AEC to accelerate the implementation of enterprise solutions based on the Microsoft® Windows NT® operating system and BackOffice® family across the enterprise. Speaking at a press conference, the chief executives of the two companies announced Digital’s capabilities as a worldwide prime integrator for Windows NT, offering enterprise customers a single point of contact for the acquisition, design, implementation and support of BackOffice-based solutions. In support of Digital’s prime integrator capability, the companies will collaborate on new enterprise hardware, added-value software for the enterprise implementation of Windows NT Server and BackOffice, new life-cycle services, and increased services capacity. This collaboration is designed to bring highly scalable and innovative enterprise solutions, improved integration of heterogeneous systems, and lower total cost of ownership to customers.

First Worldwide Prime Integrator for Windows NT

As the world’s largest Microsoft-certified global services organization, and the first worldwide vendor to build full life-cycle competence in Windows NT, Digital is the first company with prime integration capabilities for Microsoft solutions. As a prime integrator, Digital will lead with Windows NT Server- and BackOffice-based solutions in enterprise accounts across all industries. In addition, customers get a single point of contact for designing, building, deploying and managing enterprise solutions on Microsoft products.

“Digital’s Alliance with Microsoft unquestionably has become the industry’s most productive partnership for delivering Windows NT-based solutions across the enterprise,” said Robert B. Palmer, chairman at Digital. “Our expanded role today as the first worldwide prime integrator of Microsoft products gives customers a single point of contact for the comprehensive Windows NT-based solutions they need to stay up to date with technology and gain competitive advantage.”

Market Initiatives

Building on the joint Digital and Microsoft success in implementing Windows NT and Microsoft Exchange across the enterprise, including today’s new milestone of 2 million Microsoft Exchange seats under contract, the two companies will collaborate on three market initiatives, with new levels of joint marketing, selling and customer support:

  • Enterprise infrastructure. An initiative to drive the adoption of Windows NT Server and Microsoft SQL Server for enterprise applications and data marts; drives rapid implementation of Windows NT 5.0 and SQL Server 7.0 on Intel and Alpha through early adopter programs; provides integration tools and services, such as Digital AllConnect, to deploy Windows NT Server and BackOffice in UNIX and other heterogeneous environments; and drives penetration of Windows NT Workstation and Digital’s powerful Alpha and Intel-based Personal Workstations into the enterprise desktop, engineering, mechanical design and media content creation markets.

  • Messaging. An initiative designed to extend Digital and Microsoft’s compelling lead with Microsoft Exchange. This initiative will add significant extensions for collaborative computing while utilizing Digital’s scalable and reliable platforms, consulting services and experience base.

  • Internet. An initiative designed to establish Microsoft and Digital as Internet leaders in the enterprise, including ISPs, Web commerce and intranet. The initiative will include new levels of sales cooperation for enterprise customers, backed by Digital’s global consulting Internet practices, scalable and reliable platforms and the Microsoft BackOffice family, including Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) and Microsoft Site Server Enterprise Edition.

“Our goal is to make corporate computing easier so customers can focus on their business. Enterprise customers all over the world will benefit dramatically from the expanded alliance and Digital’s prime integrator capabilities,” said Bill Gates, chairman and CEO of Microsoft. “Digital has proven its expertise with 2 million Exchange seats, and we expect to have similar success with the new joint initiatives. By aligning our technology and services strategies, our companies will offer organizations exactly what they demand: highly scalable, integrated, manageable and low-cost computing solutions based on Microsoft BackOffice technology.”

Technology Collaboration


Digital and Microsoft will collaborate on a new generation of high-performance servers for Windows NT Server. Joint work is under way on a revolutionary Windows NT-based hardware architecture that will drive symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) scalability and application performance to unprecedented levels. These efforts will combine Digital’s proven expertise in developing highly scalable enterprise servers with the next implementation of Windows NT Server Enterprise Edition. Digital’s new server has a design goal of linear SMP scalability using advanced Alpha chip and system technology, while maintaining absolute applications compatibility with all Windows NT-based systems.

Based on a design that incorporates a massive SMP architecture and support for very large memory (VLM), the new Windows NT Enterprise Server family will provide a quantum leap in performance beyond the fastest Windows NT Server-based systems running today. Digital’s experience as a leader in providing highly scalable SMP systems, combined with optimized operating system software and high-performance processors, is expected to drive tenfold performance increases in many types of applications. Initial Digital systems will use 32, 64 or more Alpha processors and are expected to debut in early 1999. Microsoft and Digital will contribute engineering and management resources for this joint development effort out of company facilities in Washington and New England.

In addition, Digital and Microsoft will do the following:

  • Collaborate to enable the first 64-bit systems to ship with Windows NT 5.0 and SQL Server. The work is focused on optimizing performance of Windows NT Server and SQL Server for VLM on 64-bit systems such as Alpha.

  • Collaborate in application development to expand the capabilities of clusters on
    Windows NT. This will include the development of sophisticated resource-sharing models to operate on top of Microsoft Cluster Server.

Lower Total Cost of Ownership

As part of a joint effort to lower the total cost of ownership for enterprise customers, Digital will continue to market a complete client family of low-cost, manageable PCs and will continue to support NetPC and the Windows® operating system-based terminal initiatives. Both companies will ensure that the implementation of Microsoft’s cost-reduction initiatives in Windows NT Server 5.0 execute flawlessly on all Digital clients.

Support for Digital’s Alpha-Based Systems

Building on the strong support and commitment currently provided for Alpha and to facilitate the integration of Windows NT Server into heterogeneous environments, Digital and Microsoft will extend technology collaboration in the following areas:

  • Windows NT 5.0 will provide a tightly integrated and supported emulation and translation environment on Alpha, based on Digital’s FX!32 technology, to allow seamless execution of x86 binaries. This run-time environment, combined with the new development tools, will greatly expand the range of software available on Alpha systems.

  • The companies will cooperate on a single programming model and a single API for 64-bit Windows NT running on Intel and Alpha systems. This cooperation will provide source code compatibility between Intel and Alpha systems for Windows NT application developers.

  • The current policy for concurrent release of Microsoft Server-based products on Alpha and x86 systems will continue and will be expanded to include the IA-64 architecture in the future.

  • The collaboration and release strategy will be extended for many client-focused products, including the complete set of Microsoft tools to enable application development on Alpha-based systems in native mode. In addition to the currently available Visual C++® and Visual Basic® development systems, developers will be able to use components of the Visual Studio
    development system to develop applications on Alpha for execution on Alpha.

Added-Value Software for BackOffice

Digital will develop and implement added-value software to enhance and extend the scalability, availability, manageability and security of Windows NT Server. Digital’s software solutions will enable customers to expand the functionality of mission-critical applications on Windows NT Server. Initial product offerings will provide increased capabilities for enterprise computing and application development based on Microsoft Exchange Server. Digital will also provide integration and implementation services for the new software products, which include these:

  • Collaboration solutions for Microsoft Exchange. Digital, the premier supplier of Exchange-related services, now offers software and a portfolio of services to help customers fully utilize their investment in the Microsoft Exchange messaging infrastructure. DIGITAL Expeditor for Microsoft Exchange enables customers to build, implement and deploy mission-critical work management and collaborative solutions using Microsoft Exchange as the communications infrastructure and the Microsoft Outlook
    messaging and collaboration client as the universal electronic desktop. Software pilot projects begin in March. Pilot service prices begin at $20,000.

  • DIGITAL Visual Batch. This fully visual, enterprise-class batch job scheduler brings mainframe-caliber automated processing to Windows NT Server. Automating job scheduling and processes saves time and computer resources, enabling customers to take full advantage of their distributed computing environment. DIGITAL Visual Batch will be available from Digital and its authorized partners beginning in late February. A single license is $799.

  • AltaVista Process Flow. This scalable business process management software automates multistep, multiparticipant workflow across existing production systems and new Web applications. AltaVista Process Flow helps customers dramatically reduce development costs and protect investments in existing systems and applications. Initial software to pilot AltaVista Process Flow is available now and costs $75,000, which includes two weeks of Digital on-site service.


In its role as the first worldwide prime integrator for Windows NT, Digital will significantly expand its service capacity and expertise to ensure that enterprise customers receive the most risk-free path for integrating or migrating to Windows NT Server and BackOffice. Digital will increase the number of Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers and Microsoft Certified Solution Developers from 1,600 to 3,000 by the end of 1999, with at least half of these to be certified on SQL Server, and the others focusing on Microsoft Exchange and Internet technologies.

Building on the portfolio of 14 targeted life-cycle service packages for Microsoft technology introduced within the past year, Digital today announced six new services that will be aligned with Microsoft’s Technology Consulting Blueprints and Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF):

  • Total cost of ownership. Digital Services will offer a new TCO service package to help enterprise customers identify and contain information technology costs as they integrate Windows NT Server and related applications into existing multivendor environments. In a three-step, “two hours, two weeks, two months” timeframe, Digital will apply best practice measurements to an organization’s IT environment to determine a cost-effective Windows NT Server integration strategy.

  • Migrating IBM PROFS to Microsoft Exchange. Digital will work with Microsoft to provide customers with easy migration from IBM PROFS to Exchange. This service is the latest in a series of migration services for Exchange.

  • MCIS version 2. As the world’s leading integrator for Microsoft Commercial Internet System (MCIS), Digital will provide integration services to help customers install or upgrade to MCIS Version 2. Digital’s extensive experience will help customers implement ISP services easily and quickly.

  • Enterprise intranet with Site Server. Building on its experience deploying mission-critical Windows NT Server-based ISP solutions, Digital will now offer industrial-strength intranet solutions based on Microsoft Site Server. These solutions, which include push technology, content replication and personalization, allow organizations to effectively deploy enterprise applications using Web-based technology. Digital’s intranet planning services help organizations develop and enhance their strategy and plan for implementing Site Server.

  • Implementing Web commerce with Site Server. Digital will now offer its Site Server-based virtualStore electronic commerce service to additional partners. This service is designed for ISPs, large financial institutions and other organizations that want to provide electronic-commerce services to their customers. As part of the program, Digital will implement a Site Server-based electronic-commerce capability, and provide on-site integration with customers’ business systems.

  • LAN readiness assessment. Recognizing that many customers can reduce their total cost of ownership by migrating from UNIX to Windows NT, Digital is offering this service to complement its new line of workstations. The three-day LAN readiness assessment service is targeted at managers of mechanical CAD and other technical environments who are considering a move to Windows NT Workstation. The service provides an assessment of the current environment and recommendations for achieving interoperability and network management objectives.

Digital Equipment Corp., recognized for product and service excellence, is a leading supplier of high-performance, Web-based computing solutions that help enterprises compete in the global marketplace. Digital gives its customers a winning Internet advantage through a comprehensive portfolio of Internet solutions based on award-winning systems, advanced networking infrastructure, innovative software, and industry applications, including those from its business partners. The expertise and experience of Digital employees help customers plan, design, implement, manage and support Internet solutions in countries throughout the world. For

the latest company information, visit Digital on the World Wide Web at ( or ( or ( .

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.

Microsoft, Windows NT, BackOffice, Windows, Visual C++, Visual Basic, Visual Studio and Outlook are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Digital and the Digital logo are trademarks of Digital Equipment Corp.

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

For more information, press only:

Troy Zaboukos, Waggener Edstrom for Microsoft, (503) 443-7000, [email protected]

Andy Pool, Digital, (978) 264-5675, [email protected]

Theresa Parenteaum, Digital, (978) 496-9981, [email protected]

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