Microsoft Announces Strong Industry Momentum For Windows-Based Network Communications Solutions

ATLANTA, Oct. 22, 1998 — At this week’s NetWorld+Interop trade show, Microsoft Corp. announced strong and accelerating industry momentum for open, cost-effective network communications based on the Microsoft® Windows® operating system family. Microsoft also announced it is extending a number of its partner programs to provide corporate customers, channel providers and independent vendors with education, information and a well-defined community of interest focused on building compelling network communication solutions with Windows.

Adoption of Windows as a platform for network communications is growing because of its built-in remote access (RAS), routing, telephony and extensible communication services. Microsoft announced the 100,000th download of its Routing and Remote Access Service Update for the Windows NT® Server operating system version 4.0 in less than 14 months of availability. Routing and Remote Access Service enhances the routing, RAS and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services included with Windows NT Server.

According to an early 1998 survey conducted by International Data Corp. (IDC) of U.S. and European companies with more than 500 employees, approximately 1.5 times as many organizations use Windows NT Server than any other server-based remote access solution. IDC forecasts that for 1998, Windows NT Server will see twice the shipments of all other open-systems server-based solutions. In addition, Microsoft reported that more than 375 independent software vendors (ISVs) now offer telephony and fax solutions and more than 300 ISVs offer other networking infrastructure solutions on Windows. There are also several hundred vendors offering Windows-based LAN and WAN communications hardware.

“We are very excited about the tremendous industry adoption of Windows as a communications and networking platform and the opportunity this represents for customers, channels and vendors,” said Mike Nash, director of Windows NT Server and infrastructure marketing at Microsoft Corp. “By using an open platform, Microsoft and industry partners are providing customers with solutions that can reduce costs and offer more choice while providing the performance and reliability they’ve come to expect from their network communications solutions.”

Networking and telephony solutions historically have been closed. Recently there has been a shift toward using the Windows operating system as an open platform that can enable unified networks supporting both voice and data. Customers embracing this shift toward open platforms in networking can benefit from less expensive, easier-to-use and more flexible network communications solutions. Vendors are driving this trend by offering more open platform-based solutions, and channel partners are taking advantage of more cross-training and education to enhance their ability to support customers effectively. Microsoft is extending its efforts to build relationships that accelerate the innovative use of Windows as a communications solution platform to help vendors expand their business, to better empower channel partners and to maximize customer satisfaction.

“Compaq’s networking portfolio continues to be driven by an open systems, application-optimized networking strategy,” said Jeff Low, director of marketing, networks and access communications division, Compaq Computer Corp. “Customers want and need the flexibility, ease of use and application integration they can only get with a communications system built on an open, extensible platform. Windows NT Server is the strongest such platform. We’re pleased to have adopted Windows NT Server as the operating system for our remote access products and believe Microsoft’s increased focus on network communications will foster new growth and opportunity.”

“The integration of data, telephony and applications is essential to the creation of more manageable and affordable networking solutions,” said Jamie Lewis, president of The Burton Group. “Enabling that integration on Windows NT Server will allow developers to unify voice and data traffic and create policy-based network management systems that can apply to both simultaneously. Given the number of solutions now available and the upcoming release of Windows NT Server 5.0, the time is right to focus on enabling that integration.”

Channel and Partner Program Enhancements

Microsoft is adapting several channel, vendor, training and promotional programs to help customers make the most of Windows-based communications solutions. For example, Microsoft increased the size of the Microsoft Certified Solution Provider (MCSP) Alliance by 25 percent, adding 21 new vendors of Windows-based communications solutions, including such companies as AltiGen Communications Inc., Dialogic Corp. and FORE Systems Inc. (see related release). The MCSP Alliance is a Microsoft-sponsored affiliation of selected product and service companies that extend special product and training offers to MCSP channel partners. For more

information about these efforts and Windows-based communications, visit the new, updated Web site at .

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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