Leading Digital Certificate Vendors Support Advanced Security Technology In Microsoft Office 2000 and Visual Basic for Applications

REDMOND, Wash., May 10, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today announced support from leading digital certificate vendors VeriSign Inc. and Thawte Certification for digital signature technology in Microsoft® Office 2000 and the Microsoft Visual Basic® for Applications (VBA) 6.0 development system. Digital signatures provide advanced security features for safer development and use of macro code in productivity applications. In addition, Microsoft is launching new online security information and resources pertaining to the more than 2.3 million professional developers who are building business solutions with Office and VBA.

Microsoft Office 2000, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, the Microsoft PowerPoint® presentation graphics program and the Microsoft Outlook® messaging and collaboration client provide technology to digitally sign VBA macros and projects by using a digital certificate. Both VeriSign and Thawte are offering digital certificates for Office 2000 and VBA 6.0 from their Web sites, enabling developers to purchase and install certificates and other security features online. Links to the certificate vendor sites and other resources are available on Microsoft’s new Web site for developers who want to learn more about obtaining and using digital certificates with Office documents, http://www.microsoft.com/officedev/articles/digcert.htm

“We are pleased to extend our code-signing certificate services to Microsoft Office 2000 developers, assuring customers that solutions downloaded over the Internet are safe and have not been altered or corrupted,”
said Richard Yanowitch, executive vice president of marketing for VeriSign, Microsoft’s preferred provider of certificate services.
“VeriSign and Microsoft are continuing to build powerful applications that enable secure transactions and promote confidence in conducting business online.”

“With millions of developers targeting Microsoft Office and Visual Basic for Applications, we recognize the importance of providing powerful security technology,”
said Jenni Fair, marketing manager for Thawte Certification.
“That’s why we’re excited to be able to offer our digital certificate services to anyone creating solutions with Microsoft Office 2000 and other VBA-enabled applications.”

With support for digital signatures provided in the Microsoft VBA 6.0 development environment – which is the development environment for Microsoft Office – developers are able to sign their code before sharing it over a network or the Internet. IT administrators and end users benefit because the support for digital signatures in Office 2000 ensures that only macros digitally signed by trusted sources will run. End users and administrators can easily configure Office 2000 to run code from approved sources only, thereby realizing all the benefits of productivity gains along with increased virus protection. Additional information on digital signatures and other anti-virus resources for developers, IT professionals and end users is available on Microsoft’s recently announced Web site for Microsoft Office security issues, http://officeupdate.microsoft.com/info/security/ .

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, Visual Basic, PowerPoint and Outlook are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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