Microsoft and GigaNet Announce Joint WinSock and System Area Networking Development Effort

REDMOND, Wash., and CONCORD, Mass., Jan. 5, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. and GigaNet Inc. today announced a joint effort to provide WinSock-based applications with direct access to the award-winning GigaNet® Cluster LAN (cLAN
™) interconnects. By using cLAN’s high throughput and low-latency interconnect products and the widely used WinSock API, enterprises running Microsoft® Windows® 2000 operating system-based networks will experience dramatic performance improvements to existing and future WinSock-based applications such as Web servers, databases, file transfer and backup.

The Microsoft Windows Socket Direct Path Open Industry Initiative links the WinSock API to emerging system area network (SAN) technologies such as GigaNet’s cLAN interconnect products. This innovation protects existing application and programmer investments in the WinSock API, while delivering low latency, high bandwidth interconnect benefits on cost-effective Microsoft Windows 2000-based systems using SAN technologies. Support from GigaNet for the Windows Socket Direct Path is expected to be released in beta in the first quarter of 1999, with final release anticipated to coincide with the release of Windows 2000.

“Microsoft believes that the WinSock API implemented over this type of high-speed interconnect is a breakthrough for the industry and for the tens of thousands of developers for Windows who want industry-leading performance and reliability,”
said Ed Muth, enterprise marketing group manager, Microsoft.
“Although this technology is broadly applicable, ERP solutions, Web applications such as e-commerce, database vendors, and technical and scientific developers will benefit most dramatically. The Windows Socket Direct Path open initiative is a key element in the advanced application infrastructure of Windows, complementing COM+, clustering, reliable queuing, public key security and Active Directory.”

GigaNet worked closely with Microsoft and others on the development of the Virtual Interface (VI) architecture, an industry-standard framework. Now, through this joint effort, Microsoft and GigaNet are bringing the combined cLAN and VI benefits of low-latency, high-bandwidth communications to Windows 2000. Microsoft and GigaNet recently demonstrated WinSock-based applications for Windows-based communicating at gigabit speeds over cLAN.

“GigaNet, through our long-standing relationship with Microsoft, is committed to providing our cLAN users with links to the leading Microsoft APIs and system technologies,”
said David Follett, GigaNet’s founder and CEO.
“cLAN has measured dramatic enterprise performance improvements of 100 percent or more with communication-intensive applications. Linking the WinSock API to cLAN will achieve immediate performance improvements for a broad range of applications.”

About GigaNet

GigaNet Inc. is the leading developer and provider of high-performance, low-cost switches and host adapters for today’s Windows NT-based environments. GigaNet’s cLAN product family is uniquely optimized for server clustering and represents the second generation of award-winning technology that increases application performance. Headquartered in Concord, Mass., the company is privately held and can be reached at (978) 461-0402 or .

About Microsoft

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

GigaNet and cLAN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of GigaNet Inc.

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

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