REDMOND, Wash., March 1, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that it has released Microsoft Ò Windows Òfor Express Networks 1.0 to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Windows for Express Networks, the first server appliance based on the Windows NT® Embedded operating system, powers a new category of small-office server appliance with easy-to-use, highly reliable shared file, print and secure Internet access for small businesses with up to 25 personal computers. Windows for Express Networks will come preinstalled as part of OEM server appliance solutions. Intel Corp. will be the first OEM to ship a Windows for Express Networks-powered device, which will be sold under the Intel InBusiness brand.
Historically, a significant percentage of small businesses have networked their personal computers using the peer-to-peer networking support built into desktop operating systems. Windows for Express Networks improves on this scenario by combining the ease of use of Web-based setup and Plug-and-Play server appliance printing with the robustness of Windows NT-based file sharing and the security of firewall-protected Internet access. By including fault tolerance and disk mirroring capabilities, the new server appliance operating system also provides the high reliability and low maintenance of an appliance.
“Windows for Express Networks enables small offices to easily and reliably access those networking features they need: file and print sharing and secure shared Internet access,”
said Deborah Willingham, vice president, Windows Marketing at Microsoft.
“Microsoft is excited to deliver Windows for Express Networks, the first server appliance operating system to be based on Windows NT Embedded technology.”
With growth anticipated in the server appliance device space, Windows for Express Networks demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment to delivering innovative, customer-centric server appliance products based on Windows NT Embedded. Microsoft will work with associates to deliver the innovation, performance and reliability of Windows NT Embedded to power the next generation of customer devices across a broad number of customer segments, from small offices to Internet service providers and enterprise customers.
“Intel is focused on delivering the key platforms and solutions that help small businesses join the Internet economy and enhance their e-business and communications efforts,”
said Brad Romney, general manager of Intel’s Small Business Networking Operation.
“Coupling the Intel InBusiness Small Office Network appliance with Microsoft Windows for Express Networks helps small businesses quickly and affordably realize the benefits of networked computing.”
According to Access Media International (AMI), a New York-based research firm, the number of small businesses with local area networks grew 50 percent in the four quarters ending March 1999 – a sharp increase over the past few years. Windows for Express Networks delivers popular networking features to small-office environments and is optimized for ease of use, reliability and performance.
“In our firm, groups of people are constantly collaborating on projects. We needed a way to share files and printers simply and reliably to help maximize our efficiency and avoid duplication of effort,”
said Jack Sell, vice president of Layton and Sell.
“We tend to be cautious about ease-of-use claims but were very impressed with the simplicity of setup, and we have been delighted with the file and print sharing, reliability and performance of Windows for Express Networks.”
Microsoft also delivers a high degree of Internet security and performance for small offices that want to access e-mail, the Web and Internet services such as the Microsoft bCentral™ small-business portal. According to Richard Hasslinger, estimator at Peter Davis Builders,
“We just turned the appliance on, and it has performed without a hitch. We haven’t had to reboot once in months.”
Service providers are always looking for better tools to provide their small-business customers with reliable and easy-to-use networking functionality as well as adding ongoing value through remote management of the device.
“2nd Century has evaluated Windows for Express Networks-based appliances, and we are extremely impressed with the high degree of reliability and remote manageability that they offer,”
said John Prisco, CEO of 2nd Century Communications, a nationwide next-generation communications provider.
“Windows for Express Networks-based appliances will allow us to more profitably deliver complete entry-level networking solutions to our customers.”
Windows for Express Networks will be available on server appliance devices from licensed OEMs and will not be directly available to customers through Microsoft’s other software distribution channels. Product availability information can be obtained directly from OEMs.
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