Microsoft Announces Web Delivery of Visio Network Equipment Shapes

LAS VEGAS, May 9, 2000 — Today at NetWorld+Interop 2000, Microsoft Corp. announced plans to deliver Visio® Network Equipment (VNE) shapes to customers and industry partners via the Internet. VNE SmartShapes® are vendor-specific symbols that represent equipment manufactured by leading networking and telecommunications vendors and are standard in Visio 2000 Enterprise Edition. Available in the third quarter this year, Web delivery of VNE will provide customers with immediate access to the most up-to-date VNE shapes and enable them to download only the shapes they need to accurately design and document their network infrastructure.

“Over the years, we’ve successfully established strong relationships with more than 350 of the industry’s leading networking and telecommunications manufacturers through the Visio Manufacturers Program to ensure that our customers and partners have the latest product shapes in our Visio IT solutions,”
said Jeremy Jaech, vice president of the Business Tools Division at Microsoft.
“Now with Web service, our customers will have immediate access to new content as it becomes available for creating high-quality network designs and documentation.”

Microsoft Visio Manufacturers Program

With its acquisition of Visio, Microsoft plans to continue the popular Visio Manufacturers Program (VMP), which currently includes such companies as Nortel Networks Corp., Cabletron Systems, Compaq Computer Corp., Dell Computer Corp., IBM Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., Hitachi Ltd., Lucent Technologies, Motorola Inc., NEC America Inc., ADC Telecommunications, Juniper Networks, Gadzoox Networks Inc. and Toshiba International Corp. The redefined Visio Manufacturers Program will enable leading hardware equipment manufacturers to collaborate to provide their mutual corporate customers and prominent resellers with access to up-to-date and port-level accurate equipment shapes through the Internet’s superior delivery capabilities. Using these shapes, customers can generate superior network proposals, designs and documentation, and – with the Visio AutoDiscovery TM and Layout functionality – logical diagrams of entire, global network infrastructures. The VMP’s strength lies in Microsoft’s development of one-to-one marketing programs with each of the participating partners. Companies interested in participating in the Visio Manufacturers Program should contact vmp@microsoft.com.

“Microsoft® Visio is a recognized leader in network design and documentation – it’s an essential tool for our customers and partners,”
said Pat Dornan, systems engineering manager, Americas channels, Marconi Communications.
“Through our participation in the Visio Manufacturers Program, we are able to ensure that our current product offerings are always accurately represented.”

“Strategic software delivery over the Web has often been a goal of many software developers. Now Microsoft with VNE SmartShapes is one of the first companies to deliver on that promise,”
said John Dunkle, president of Workgroup Strategic Services Inc.
“With VNE SmartShapes accessible on the Web to customers on a regular basis, gone are the days of waiting months for CDs to be manufactured and distributed and delivered – reducing both Microsoft’s production costs and customer deployment costs. With VNE, software delivery occurs in real time with the Web used as an extension to the customer’s own network environment. It would be our guess that Microsoft will continue to develop this software delivery model – to the benefit of other Microsoft application groups and customers alike.”

Pricing and Availability

Previously, new shapes added to the VNE library were delivered three times per year via CD-ROM to VNE update program subscribers. In June, Microsoft will deliver the final CD-ROM containing at least 2,000 new shapes, to all VNE subscription customers. The additional shapes will bring the total number to 22,000. Current VNE subscribers will receive an automatic subscription to VNE Online for the remainder of their subscription. Information on how to subscribe will be posted on the VNE Online Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/visio/ . Subscription pricing to be determined.

Business Tools Division

Visio is now a component of Microsoft’s new Business Tools Division, which provides knowledge workers with specialized tools to enable them to get an additional competitive advantage out of Microsoft Office. The Business Tools Division includes Visio, Microsoft Project, PhotoDraw TM business graphics software and MapPoint TM business mapping software. All four products are Office family applications that users can easily use to integrate data into

Office documents using Word, Excel, the FrontPage® Web site creation and management tool and the PowerPoint® presentation graphics program.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies 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.

Visit Microsoft Visio at NetWorld+Interop 2000 at Booth 7473.

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