Microsoft Teams with Nortel Networks, HP and Intel to Deliver Next Generation Business Solutions that Span Data, Telephony and the Internet

SAN JOSE, Calif., March 15, 1999 — Microsoft today joined other industry leaders in announcing a new initiative that extends its ongoing commitment to develop simpler, more effective communications solutions for enterprise customers throughout the world. At the Technology Museum of Innovation in San Jose, California, Nortel Networks announced it is working with Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Intel to integrate voice technology into computing solutions for open, unified communications.

Customers worldwide will benefit from the flexibility, simplicity and economy of unified solutions that integrate voice and data without sacrificing the reliability and functionality of today’s communications and computing products. Microsoft Chairman and CEO Bill Gates gave a 15-minute presentation via video-link, in which he highlighted Microsoft’s role in this communications initiative.

According to Gates, companies will be able to meet their rapidly changing business needs by building a better “digital nervous system” through the use of complementary platforms and solutions. This approach allows them to build on existing technology to create highly efficient, integrated systems that collect, manage, organize, and disseminate information throughout an enterprise. Converged networks based on Windows NT Server will improve communication solutions manageability and interoperability for enterprise customers worldwide.

HP and Nortel Networks debuted two initial products based on this collaborative, open-systems effort – an all-in-one business communications server and an advanced unified messaging solution. The HP Business Communications Server integrates the full feature set of Nortel Networks telephony with Windows NT Server computing functionality. The HP Business Messaging Server incorporates Nortel Networks’ CallPilot advanced unified messaging capabilities.

This collaboration expands on Microsoft’s active role in transitioning the communications industry from closed or proprietary platforms to open platforms such as Windows NT Server. Cooperative efforts across the industry, such as today’s announcement, demonstrate that the Windows platform is enabling a wide range of innovative communications solutions while providing new opportunity and choice for enterprise customers.

To accelerate the deployment of integrated voice and data systems on a common infrastructure, Nortel Networks is building its enterprise communications product lines on the Microsoft Windows platform. In addition, Nortel Networks, HP and Microsoft will open a center of expertise, in Nortel Network’s Santa Clara facility, for the development and testing of mission critical enterprise communications solutions based on the Microsoft platform. Nortel Networks’ enterprise customers deploying these products will be able to expand and manage their voice and data communications infrastructure more effectively – ultimately creating and reaping the benefits of a “digital nervous system.”

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