Microsoft Solutions Powering Majority of Shopping Web Sites

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 9, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today announced significant momentum behind its e-commerce efforts, citing recent statistics that show the Microsoft® Windows® operating system platform, including the forthcoming Windows 2000 platform, is used to power more than half of the top shopping Web sites. As preliminary holiday estimates demonstrate an ongoing boom in the growth of Web-based shopping, Microsoft continues to focus on helping companies get online quickly and easily for enhanced sales and customer relationships.

“The feedback we’re receiving from customers regarding Windows-based e-commerce solutions is extremely positive, and we think the current numbers only serve to validate those sentiments,”
said Peter Boit, vice president of e-Business Solutions at Microsoft.
“We have a very solid platform and are working closely with thousands of software vendors to deliver new e-commerce applications, site management tools and Web integration services that help companies make the Internet a practical reality for their business.”

According to Netcraft, 52 percent of today’s top 100 shopping sites (as rated by Media Metrix in October 1999) run on Microsoft platform products, including the Windows NT® operating system, Internet Information Server and the forthcoming Windows 2000. Remarkably, more than 6,000 Web sites are currently running on Windows 2000, Microsoft’s successor to Windows NT 4.0 that is scheduled to be available Feb. 17, 2000. Also, seven out of the top 10 shopping sites use SQL Server TM 7.0.

Reaping the Rewards Inc. , a leading Internet retailer, recently redesigned its e-commerce portal using Microsoft Windows NT 4.0, Microsoft Internet Information Server and SQL Server 7.0. The new site links eight specialty stores with one shopping basket, contains a sophisticated search engine and gives consumers the control to track shipments 24 hours a day. offers customers over 850,000 computer, software, books, videos and DVDs, games, music, electronics and clearance products at competitive prices.

“Microsoft has given us the tools to handle the demands of our growing e-commerce business,”
said Tony McAlister, vice president of Information Systems at is the online subsidiary of CVS/pharmacy, the nation’s largest retail prescription provider. The site, built on Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 and Site Server 3.0 Commerce Edition, offers CVS customers thousands of prescription drugs, over-the-counter remedies, and health and beauty products with features such as dual shopping carts, credit-card validation and secure transaction processing. also uses Microsoft Message Queue technology to integrate its Web site with the pharmacy’s more than 4,100 bricks-and-mortar stores.

Thanks to Microsoft products, the number of hits and unique visitors to the site has increased by 150 percent a month,
“said Jason Ma, director of e-commerce at” believes Microsoft’s forward-thinking technology allows to provide seamless service to customers nationwide.

Burton Snowboards , a world leader in snowboard equipment and apparel, recently decided to expand its ERP capabilities to the Web for enhanced supplier, dealer and customer relationships. The company launched two sites for dealer and vendor e-commerce, both of which were built on Site Server 3.0 Commerce Edition, SQL Server 7.0, Internet Information Server 4.0 and parts of Microsoft Exchange Server. The dealer site allows Burton dealers to check product availability and review and place orders online. The vendor site allows suppliers to enter and update delivery date and shipment information via the Web. The solution also integrates with Burton’s back-end systems, which eliminates time-consuming manual data entry processes and quickly disseminates critical deliveries information from suppliers to its global dealer network. Burton is projecting significant savings by streamlining and automating the company’s dealer and supplier support processing costs.

Supermarkets Online Inc.’s Web site,, works with leading brand manufacturers to provide offers including coupons, rebates and contests for more than
50 different product categories each week. Users do not need to register or download any software to print ValuPage offers for redemption in the more than 11,000 participating supermarkets nationwide. They simply log on to the site and enter their ZIP code to determine participating supermarkets in their area. ValuPage uses a bar code that, when printed out and presented along with promoted items at the checkout counter, issues Web Bucks to the customer. Web Bucks are cash rewards that may be used for nearly any purchase during the customer’s next visit to the store. ValuPage has several opt-in options including e-mail addresses and the use of frequent shopper card numbers for maximum targeting. The ValuPage e-commerce solution is built on the Microsoft Windows 2000 platform.

“We built on the Windows 2000 platform because we needed a flexible platform that could easily handle heavy volumes and unique queries,”
said Steve Blyth, chief technology officer for SuperMarkets Online.
“With our ValuPage e-mail service reaching more than 2 million subscribers, and with more than 3 million site visitors per month, it is important to have a platform that enables our customers to easily use our service.”

MSN, Microsoft Passport Valuable Web Services

Microsoft is also providing e-commerce value beyond the Windows platform. Numerous businesses are utilizing services such as MSN TM and Microsoft Passport to reach new customers, sell products online and complete secure transactions. TM ( ) is currently the second most popular Web site with more than 30 million visitors per month (according to Media Metrix in October 1999), surpassing for the first time. The MSN network of Internet services delivers enhanced search, shopping, communications and personal finance services that enhance users’ buying experience and provide extensive reach and exposure for online merchants.

Microsoft Passport, the new e-commerce service that allows consumers to use a single
sign-in name and password across participating Web sites, is now live at 25 leading merchant sites and has received commitments from over 100 e-commerce sites to support the wallet service, a 90 percent increase since the service was launched in October. Merchants are benefiting from exposure to a large customer base, easy implementation and the extensive customization available from the service. Passport continues to deliver on its promise to make purchasing online easier, faster and more secure.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

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

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