Microsoft Announces Key Initiatives and Technologies to Deliver on Vision Of Knowledge Workers Without Limits

DALLAS, May 25, 1999 — Today at the Microsoft® TechEd 99 conference, Microsoft Senior Vice President Bob Muglia announced the company’s specific plans for achieving Bill Gates’ recently announced vision of knowledge workers without limits. Muglia presented forthcoming technologies and outlined four initiatives to meet the needs of 21st century knowledge workers: digital dashboards to deliver the right information to knowledge workers at the right time; Web Store technology to integrate applications with knowledge sources of all kinds; mobility and wireless solutions to provide access to information any time, anywhere; and intelligent interfaces to revolutionize the way people work.

Muglia previewed the next version of Microsoft Exchange Server, code-named
“Platinum”
; a new set of document library and search services based on
“Platinum,”
code-named
“Tahoe”
; and forthcoming tools for Microsoft Office Developer for building integrated Web- and Microsoft SQL Server TM -based solutions that automate team business processes, code-named
“Grizzly.”
The event also included a first look at the new Exchange
“Platinum”
Web Store, which will create a single location for storing information and building and running collaborative Web applications.

“The mission of my team is to revolutionize the way knowledge workers create, share and use information by providing exciting new technologies and products to increase people’s effectiveness within an organization,”
said Bob Muglia, senior vice president, Business Productivity Group, Microsoft.
“We believe that the power of technology is unleashed only when it simplifies access to information and ideas. That is why we are focused on making it easier for people to access and use information, whether it sits in a database, on the Web or in the mind of a co-worker.”

Knowledge Workers Without Limits: Four Key Initiatives

Microsoft’s four initiatives will be delivered over the next year through a combination of new technologies, services and collaborative efforts with industry partners. These initiatives, along with increased integration of client/server technologies, will remove existing barriers to collaboration faced by today’s knowledge workers.


Digital Dashboards


Deliver the Right Information to the Right People

The
“digital dashboard”
initiative gives users one place in which to share knowledge, view critical business information and access personal information like e-mail and schedules. Built with Microsoft Office 2000 using Web standards such as HTML and XML, digital dashboards provide a rich display of information and enable knowledge workers to customize the information optimized for the device they are using. Elements include the following:

  • Office 2000, which allows users to view, create and manage information of all types to create their own digital dashboards with a single set of familiar tools

  • A new set of technologies, code-named
    “Tahoe,”
    that provide relevant, targeted and categorized information to knowledge workers via their dashboard

  • A platform for unified messaging, which allows knowledge workers to access personal information such as their calendar and contacts as well as e-mail and voicemail messages using a variety of devices including laptops, wireless phones or handheld computers

  • The recently announced Team Productivity Update for BackOffice® Server 4.5, which helps knowledge workers, with IT control, quickly create a secure, structured Team Workspace where all team members can collaborate on documents, view team calendars and contacts, and analyze line-of-business data

Web Store Integrates Knowledge Sources

The Exchange
“Platinum” Web Store combines the features and functionality of the file system, the Web and a collaboration server in a single location for storing and managing information as well as building and running applications. It establishes a platform for information management that includes consistent search and data categorization. Information in the Web Store will be accessible via products users have today, including Microsoft Office 2000, a Web browser, Windows® Explorer and other applications.

To enable solutions such as digital dashboards, information from the Web Store must be integrated seamlessly with business information in transactional systems. Microsoft is working with industry partners to establish a standards-based way to exchange vocabulary between systems so categories of information are consistent throughout an organization. Concepts like
“customer”
and
“product,”
for example, would mean the same thing, regardless of the system storing the information. For developers,
“Grizzly”
will enable solutions to be built quickly that empower teams of knowledge workers to easily track and share information.

Wireless Solutions Provide Access to Information Any Time, Anywhere

As knowledge workers become more and more mobile, new types of devices – phones, pagers, tablet PCs and handheld computers – will ensure they have the information they need when and where they need it. Microsoft is working to enable connectivity on all of these devices to ensure that being more mobile doesn’t mean being any less productive.

Intelligent Interfaces Revolutionize the Way People Work

The fourth initiative highlights Microsoft’s significant investment in natural language processing, as well as handwriting and speech recognition, to enable applications like Microsoft Office to work in a more natural and human way. Microsoft is also working to bridge the gap between the appeal of paper and the power of the PC with developments such as ClearType, a new display technology designed to bring the quality of text on an LCD screen to near parity with paper, thus removing a key barrier to reading online.

Industry Partners Provide Support

Industry-leading global alliance partners, independent software vendors (ISVs) and Microsoft Certified Solution Providers (MCSPs) have demonstrated their support of Microsoft’s vision for the knowledge worker without limits. These partners are working closely with Microsoft to ensure that their solutions are complementary to Microsoft initiatives. Customers have told Microsoft that there is no single knowledge management solution, and that organizations across all industries from retail to engineering have varying needs for their knowledge workers. For this reason, the combination of Microsoft technology with partner solutions and expertise are essential to ensuring that businesses are able to create, share and access the information they need to make better decisions. Additional information on partners is available at http://www.microsoft.com/
presspass/events/teched99/doc/word/knowledgeqs.doc
.

More information about Microsoft’s strategy announcements and related materials are available at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/teched99/ .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) 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, BackOffice and Windows 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.

For more information, press only:

Cara Walker, Waggener Edstrom, (503) 443-7000, caraw@wagged.com

Phyllis McNeice, Waggener Edstrom, (425) 637-9097, phyllism@wagged.com

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