3Com to Migrate to Microsoft Windows Media Technologies For Internal and Commercial Streaming Media Applications

SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 16, 1999 — At the first gathering of its Convergence Leaders Alliance today, 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq
“COMS” ) announced that it is migrating its worldwide corporate network to the Microsoft® Windows® Media Technologies to provide desktop video to its thousands of employees. In addition, 3Com and Microsoft Corp. announced that they are working together in 3Com’s state-of-the-art Convergence Laboratory to integrate, test and document 3Com® enterprise networking systems with the Microsoft Windows Media Technologies platform and will jointly train systems integrators on how to design, deploy and support streaming media solutions for business enterprises.

The backdrop for this announcement is a gathering of major and emerging vendors in the growing market for converged business applications. There are software applications and network infrastructures that provide a richer desktop-computer communication experience by integrating voice and video with data. The 3Com Convergence Leaders Alliance includes application vendors such as Microsoft, Dell Computer Corp. and Siemens ICN, emerging software vendors, and large enterprise businesses in a variety of industries including health care, education, hospitality and retail.

3Com to Migrate to Microsoft’s Advanced Streaming Media Platform

Like many Fortune 500 corporations today, 3Com is challenged to effectively communicate with its employees across the United States and worldwide. 3Com sees converged networking and streaming media as a way to bring employees closer together, beyond mere
e-mail and telephony. Companies also find that videoconferencing can often replace costly travel by providing a rich online communication experience.

3Com plans to migrate to the Microsoft Windows Media Technologies for its Large Intranet Video Event (LIVE) system for conducting companywide employee forums. The company will conduct a pilot program for providing a worldwide executive forum for its global information systems staff. In addition, 3Com foresees Windows Media Technologies as the solution for conducting its Worldwide CEO forums for nearly 14,000 employees, replacing the current technology that 3Com is using.

3Com will also use this technology for ad hoc desktop videoconferencing between individuals, wide-scale online training and electronic business over the Web. This will include providing streaming video-based marketing presentations as well as product training to customers via 3Com’s Web site using Windows Media Technologies.

“We are pleased to work closely with Microsoft as we migrate to its streaming media technology,”
said Jef Graham, 3Com Senior Vice President, Client Access Business Unit.
“Our technical assessment has shown the Windows Media Technologies to be the superior streaming media platform, and we’re pleased to present Microsoft with the 3Com Convergence Leader Award. Windows Media-based e-business applications will soon be light years ahead of today’s graphic-intensive Web-based applications, providing a much richer and satisfying way to communicate over networks.”

3Com and Microsoft to Work Together in the Lab and in the Field

The two companies have now established a program to work together in the laboratory and in the field, enabling business enterprises to quickly deploy a new generation of rich streaming media-based applications. At the new Santa Clara-based, state-of-the-art Convergence Laboratory, 3Com and Microsoft will test, integrate and document converged solutions based on their respective products (3Com’s enterprise networking systems, Microsoft Windows Media Technologies and Microsoft NetMeeting® conferencing software). In the field, the companies will distribute training materials to the 3Com and Microsoft sales forces as well as third-party systems integrators and value added resellers on designing and deploying streaming media solutions at customer sites.

“We’re really pleased that 3Com is adopting the Windows Media Technologies for intranet and commercial use,”
said Anthony Bay, general manager of the commercial systems division at Microsoft.
“3Com’s and Microsoft’s customers implementing business-critical applications such as e-commerce and online training will greatly benefit from 3Com’s knowledge and experience with the Windows Media Technologies.”

The solutions, based on 3Com’s broad range of networking systems and Microsoft’s streaming media software, can provide businesses as diverse as brokerages, banks, hospitals, hotels, retailers, manufacturers, cruise lines and schools with videoconferencing, news broadcasts, video-based help desks and distance-learning applications. These applications can be deployed on corporate intranets as well as over the Internet for electronic commerce.

As organizations contemplate converged network applications, they face many technical challenges, especially understanding how these new power-hungry applications – such as streaming media – will affect their traditional data-only networks. The joint Microsoft and 3Com effort, through the 3Com multivendor Convergence Leaders Alliance program, will ease this burden on customers by delivering test-proven solutions with documented network designs and network management guidance. For more details on the Convergence Leaders Alliance program, see the related release issued today,
“3Com Breaks New Ground With New Program to Accelerate Deployment of Voice/Video/Data Converged Network Solutions.”

About 3Com

With more than 200 million customers worldwide, 3Com Corp. connects more people to information in more ways than any other networking company. 3Com delivers innovative information access products and network system solutions to large, medium and small enterprises, carriers and network service providers, PC OEMs, and consumers. 3Com – More connected
. For further information, visit 3Com’s World Wide Web site at http://www.3com.com/ or the press site at http://www.3com.com/pressbox/ .

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

3Com is a registered trademark and More connected is a trademark of 3Com Corp. and its subsidiaries.

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

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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