REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 14, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced an agreement with FirstWorld, a rapidly growing provider of Internet services and data center solutions, to develop and incorporate Microsoft® products into its application service providers (ASP) portfolio. The agreement includes a $12 million investment by Microsoft, subject to customary closing conditions, and is focused on working with FirstWorld to develop a packaged ASP solution that provides a complete IT environment for small to medium-sized businesses. The agreement complements other investments made by Microsoft in this industry by extending FirstWorld’s new Microsoft-based ASP services. FirstWorld, one of the participating sponsors of the local Windows 2000 launch event in Denver on Feb. 17, offers a range of Internet, ASP and data center solutions, including the Microsoft BackOffice® family, to more than 70,000 customers.
As part of the agreement, FirstWorld will use Microsoft products, including Site Server Commerce Edition and Microsoft Exchange, to create a variety of ASP services focused on knowledge management, e-commerce and line-of-business solutions. In addition, FirstWorld will offer the Managed Web Services, a packaged solution consisting of a combination of hardware, software and services provided to customers for a monthly fee, with no initial cost of ownership. Scheduled to be available in late 2000, these new ASP services and the Managed Web Services are geared to small businesses that are trying to avoid the costs associated with developing in-house resources to manage IT and network applications.
“With the Microsoft platform as the foundation for these new ASP services, and FirstWorld’s development of the new Managed Web Services, small and medium-sized businesses will have access to the leading-edge applications they need to effectively compete in their markets,”
said Thomas Koll, vice president of the Network Solutions Group at Microsoft.
“FirstWorld has taken an important step in delivering these important services to this particular market.”
“FirstWorld is a customer-focused company, and as such, we are constantly looking to develop and deliver products to our customers that will save them time and money and allow them to focus on their core business,”
said Sheldon S. Ohringer, president and CEO of FirstWorld.
“In addition, when coupled with our previous licensing agreement for BackOffice, it enables us to deliver a cost-effective, best-of-breed solution for customers who are looking to focus on developing applications and businesses, rather than on developing back-end IT departments.”
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