Microsoft, Xerox to Bridge Digital and Paper Worlds

PALO ALTO, Calif., May 18, 1999 — Microsoft and Xerox Corporation today announced a far-reaching technology and market-development initiative designed to accelerate the pace and simplify the process for sharing knowledge in the mainstream office.

Announced by Microsoft President Steve Ballmer and Rick Thoman, president and CEO of Xerox, this collaboration links the Microsoft vision of the digital nervous system and the Xerox vision to bridge the paper and digital worlds to streamline information management. In particular, Microsoft and Xerox have agreed to share technology and work together to create new collaboration and communication solutions based on Microsoft Windows NT Embedded and Exchange Server, leveraging the powerful capabilities of the Xerox Document Centre Systems.

“We are empowering knowledge workers by unifying the digital and paper worlds,” Ballmer said. “Xerox’s dynamic vision and leading role in the office will allow our customers to more easily share, communicate and manage company information.”

Thoman, added, “Integrating the technologies and product capabilities of Xerox and Microsoft enable the timely delivery of information – and they are the catalysts for knowledge sharing to become a realistic and relevant capability in the office today.”

The vision of the paperless office continues to change as digital technology evolves. The collaboration between Xerox and Microsoft offers further proof that the future of the digital world is one that combines paper and digital worlds in a seamless manner, not one where paper is eliminated. By working together, Microsoft and Xerox are enhancing their commitment to the enterprise by linking the industry’s leading gateway for paper and digital documents, the Xerox Document Centre System, with Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5, the leading messaging and collaboration server on the market today.

This partnership will provide Xerox Document Centre users with the ability to scan documents directly into Exchange Server Public Folders, a secure, replicated database that provides the centerpoint for workflow, document and knowledge management services. By scanning documents to email, or directly into Exchange public folders, Xerox Document Centre will enable application developers to leverage the workflow capabilities of Exchange.

This solution gives administrators a reliable, easy-to-manage infrastructure for document sharing, and gives users the power of all the information management tools in Microsoft Outlook for sorting, filtering, grouping and searching. Information can be easily and reliably shared across a team or enterprise, and will leverage the workflow and information management capabilities of Exchange and Microsoft Outlook.

Under the agreement, Xerox will also license Windows NT Embedded 4.0 as the operating system for future generations of Xerox Document Centre products, enabling Microsoft to extend Windows NT operating system into a new category of products. Windows NT embedded 4.0 provides Xerox with an open, fast and economical operating system, building interoperability and additional functionality into products such as the Xerox Document Centre.

Customers benefit from greater integration of the Xerox Document Centre platform into the Microsoft environment, because new value-added applications can be introduced with greater speed and at lower cost. Document Centre Systems, in a range of models and configurations, represent the heartland of the Xerox digital office, and integrate scanning, faxing, printing and copying into a network document gateway.

In addition, Microsoft has licensed the Xerox PARC-developed WebForager, a user-interface technology that enables Web surfers to leaf through the virtual pages of the Net as easily as a reader flips through the physical pages of a book. The technology will be used in combination with Microsoft’s current 3D-user interface research.

The new Document Centre solutions, currently under development, are expected to be available the third quarter of 1999. They will be sold and installed through Xerox’s network services organization, Xerox Connect, a Microsoft Solutions Provider that has been newly named a Microsoft Enterprise Alliance Partner.

In this role, Xerox Connect will provide customers with IT consulting and deployment services for Microsoft products, and has committed to maintain a number of employees who have achieved Microsoft Certified Professional status. This reflects Xerox Connect’s long-term commitment to provide a high level of professional services, including IT consulting, custom application development, and deployment services for Microsoft products. Xerox and Microsoft are committed to increasing these capabilities with special focus on the solution announced today.

Separately, Xerox Connect has announced a distribution and marketing alliance with Compaq Computer Corporation, to provide delivery channels for the Exchange-Document Centre solutions.

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