Merrill Lynch Selects Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 For Worldwide Internet and Intranet Solution

REDMOND, Wash., April 6, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Merrill Lynch & Company Inc., one of the world’s leading financial institutions and a member of the Fortune 25, has chosen Microsoft® Internet Explorer 5 for its Internet and intranet solution. In doing so, Merrill Lynch joins the more than 3,000 businesses that have licensed Internet Explorer 5 since it was made available on March 18. Having previously used Internet Explorer 4.0 and Netscape Navigator, Merrill Lynch chose Internet Explorer 5 based on the browser’s ability to reduce total cost of ownership and provide an unmatched development platform upon which to create enterprise-based business applications.

“For Merrill Lynch, Internet Explorer 5 is far more than software used to find and view data,”
said William Shea, assistant vice president, Merrill Lynch.
“Internet Explorer 5 is the foundation for cost-effectively delivering mission-critical applications via our intranet and for enhancing user productivity.”

“Merrill Lynch’s selection of Internet Explorer 5 is a great testament to the benefits that the Microsoft browsing solution offers businesses,” said Yusuf Mehdi, director of Windows® marketing at Microsoft.
“By offering premier performance and ease of use with powerful administration tools and support for intranet applications, Internet Explorer 5 is opening up the Web as a productivity tool for corporations.”

Merrill Lynch Finds the Ideal Solution in Internet Explorer

In 1997, Merrill Lynch began an intense re-evaluation of its approach to business by questioning its competition’s practices, as well as how the company operated in relation to its competition. At the heart of Merrill Lynch’s concerns was the need to improve the efficiency of the company’s most valuable asset: its financial consultants. Improving information access for this group was crucial to meeting the company’s business goal of helping clients accrue wealth. Merrill Lynch decided to recast its information systems around the information flow its financial consultants needed. The system the company developed, Trusted Global Advisor (TGA), provides technologically rich content and great analytical tools that help employees develop, implement and monitor financial plans for clients, and has robust audio, video and collaboration capabilities.

Internet Explorer is an important component of the TGA system. Merrill Lynch has a number of internally created applications designed to maximize the efficiency with which employees, specifically financial consultants, can serve the needs of customers. The company similarly provides Internet access to all employees to ensure they have the easiest way to obtain the latest news and information. Merrill Lynch determined that Internet Explorer 5 would offer the best solution for several key reasons:

  • Fastest browsing experience. From startup to rendering and interface responsiveness, Internet Explorer 5 offers a faster Web browsing experience. In addition to being an average of 39 percent and up to 60 percent faster than Netscape Navigator 4.5 in startup and rendering pages, respectively, Internet Explorer 5 is over 25 percent faster compared with Internet Explorer 4.01 on key performance benchmarks such as caching, editing, scrolling and hosting Microsoft Office documents.

  • Ease of use via IntelliSense
    technology. IntelliSense technology, which is built into Internet Explorer 5, makes the Web easier and more accessible – from detecting network status to simplifying basic navigation – satisfying Merrill Lynch’s desire to provide easy online access for all its workers.

  • Best platform for intranet applications. The ability to create and roll out Web-based applications was a critical factor in Merrill Lynch’s browser choice because the company is in the process of developing new intranet applications and moving a major client/server application to the intranet. With its unmatched support for open standards-based technologies such as Dynamic HTML, Dynamic HTML Behaviors and the Extensible Markup Language (XML), Internet Explorer 5 enables easier and faster creation and management of those intranet applications.

  • Administration. Merrill Lynch wanted the ability to completely customize the browser, deploy it throughout the organization and ensure that its over 100,000 users always had the latest technologies. The easy-to-use interface and extensive customizations of the Internet Explorer Administration Kit 5 provide an administrative solution designed to minimize total cost of ownership.

“With Internet Explorer 5, we estimate that our intranet development costs will be reduced 30 percent and that our costs of deployment will decrease by 15 percent,”
Shea said.
“In addition, we anticipate that the added features of IntelliSense, such as the Search Assistant, will enable users to be 25 percent more efficient in searching and navigating. These are the kinds of enhancements that will really improve the productivity of our employees and our total cost of ownership.”

Merrill Lynch joins leading corporations in industries ranging from pharmaceuticals to finance that are choosing Internet Explorer 5 as a premier enterprise browser solution. Included among these corporations are Compaq Computer Corp., Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, Eli Lilly and Co., Ernst & Young LLP, J.D. Edwards & Co., Vencor Inc. and Wheat First Union.

Pricing and Availability

Internet Explorer 5 is available for free (connect-time charges may apply) from the Microsoft Web site at and from the Microsoft Windows Update Web site at . The Microsoft Internet Explorer Administration Kit 5 is available for download free of charge at
/default.asp (connect-time charges may apply).

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services, 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 IntelliSense 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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