Microsoft Expands Commerce Platform to Deliver Comprehensive, Integrated Software and Services

SAN FRANCISCO, March 4, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today announced plans to expand its popular Commerce Platform with three new software products and services – Microsoft® BizTalk Server, Microsoft Small Business Commerce Services and Microsoft Commerce Server – to provide a comprehensive and integrated platform for businesses of all sizes. By supporting the BizTalk framework, also announced today, these products and services make it easier to effectively conduct business with partners and reach consumers over the Internet. The company also demonstrated new points of integration between its platform and MSN
commerce services to enable businesses of all sizes to promote products and services easily to qualified consumers. Several companies announced support for the platform, including MasterCard International Inc., PeopleSoft Inc. and other leading business-to-business e-commerce vendors. (See related releases.)

“We have thousands of customers who have successfully deployed e-commerce solutions using our platform. We know from their experiences that we need to simplify the process in order to accelerate the growth of e-commerce,”
said Bob Herbold, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Microsoft.
“With today’s announcements, we are not only making it easier for businesses of all sizes to set up shop on the Web, but also helping to make them successful through integration with the services that bring buyers and sellers together online.”

Comprehensive and Integrated Software and Services

Microsoft is expanding its Commerce Platform with three new offerings to enable e-commerce for businesses of all sizes.

Microsoft BizTalk Server is new technology that will make it easier for companies to take advantage of BizTalk. By supporting BizTalk and the underlying Extensible Markup Language (XML) technology, BizTalk Server will enable companies to exchange data and integrate applications over the Internet. The server extends Microsoft’s Commerce Interchange Pipeline features found in Site Server Commerce Edition version 3.0 with scalable and reliable interchange and data transformation capabilities, as well as enhanced trading partner management tools. A number of important e-commerce and enterprise application integration software vendors, including Active Software Inc., Clarus Corp., Concur Technologies Inc., DataChannel Inc., Emercis Corp., Harbinger Corp., Level 8 Systems Inc., Oberon Software Inc., SAQQARA Systems Inc., Sterling Commerce Inc., Vitria Technology Inc. and webMethods, will support the Microsoft BizTalk framework and BizTalk Server.

Microsoft Small Business Commerce Services, a new offering by Microsoft, will enable small businesses to quickly build a site, promote their business and sell their products on the Web. These services provide customers with a browser-based, wizard-driven site builder for easy creation of e-commerce sites that are compatible with the Microsoft FrontPage® Web site creation and management tool. Small Business Commerce Services help drive traffic to customer sites through tight integration with MSN promotional services including LinkExchange for Web advertising, search engine registration and affiliate networking. In the future, these commerce services will support BizTalk to make it easy for customers to publish their products and offers to MSN and other online consumer marketplaces. Customers will be able to choose to work with MSN or other Internet service providers for these small-business services.

Microsoft Commerce Server, the next-generation version of Site Server Commerce Edition version 3.0, will greatly simplify the process of deploying sophisticated business-to-consumer and business-to-business e-commerce marketplaces. Commerce Server will help make it easier for business managers to more effectively control and manage their online business. Business managers will benefit from Commerce Server’s real-time marketing capabilities including a higher-performance personalization and targeting system, advanced catalog management, and sophisticated business analysis with OLAP services. For the IT manager, Commerce Server will provide a more scalable and robust commerce platform utilizing the Windows® 2000 Active Directory
directory service and tight integration with Microsoft SQL Server
version 7.0. Commerce Server will also integrate with promotional services of MSN, including LinkExchange, and will support BizTalk to enable businesses to easily connect with MSN and other online consumer marketplaces.

Customers can implement e-commerce solutions today using the Microsoft Commerce Platform and will be able to upgrade easily to incorporate these new products and services. Microsoft BizTalk Server, Microsoft Small Business Commerce Services and Microsoft Commerce Server are scheduled to be available in beta in the second half of 1999. More information on the Microsoft Commerce Platform is available at .

Founded in 1975, (Nasdaq
) Microsoft 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 easer and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

For more details on Microsoft’s Commerce Strategy, see the related release and refer to .

Microsoft, MSN, FrontPage, Windows and Active Directory 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.

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