Microsoft Certifies Compaq as First Systems Manufacturer In Windows Datacenter Program

REDMOND, Wash., and HOUSTON, July 17, 2000 — Microsoft Corp.(NASDAQ: MSFT) and Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ) today announced that Compaq is the first systems manufacturer certified to join with Microsoft in delivering the Microsoft® Windows® Datacenter Program. The Windows Datacenter Program marks the first time that Microsoft has required system vendors to meet rigorous criteria to be authorized to offer a Microsoft operating system on specific hardware platforms. The primary objective of the program is to provide the highest level of reliability, scalability and serviceability for line-of-business and e-commerce solutions.

“Compaq is working with Microsoft on the Windows Datacenter Program to harness all of the necessary elements for successful implementation and operation of a standards-based computing platform to meet our customers’ stringent data center reliability requirements,”
said Michael Capellas, CEO of Compaq.
“This unique program, coupled with Compaq’s worldwide services capability, industry-leading ProLiant servers and StorageWorks systems, highlights a number of the strengths we have developed in our enterprise portfolio.”

“For the first time, customers can have a solution that combines the economics of an industry-standard platform with the absolute highest-end performance and reliability that was previously only available through far more costly proprietary systems,”
said Steve Ballmer, president and CEO of Microsoft Corp.
“Microsoft and Compaq have worked together for a long time to advance standards-based computing. Compaq’s involvement in the Windows Datacenter Program represents the leading edge of our efforts to jointly bring innovative solutions to the enterprise.”

Focus on Enterprise Functionality

The Windows Datacenter Program is designed to support longer system life cycles with fixed hardware and software configurations. A full range of Compaq services, from planning and design to deployment, management and support, will be offered to help ensure maximum system performance. Part of Compaq’s offering for the Windows Datacenter Program is its new comprehensive Availability Assessment service, which will help customers focus on system availability.

Microsoft’s system qualification process for the Windows Datacenter Program, the Datacenter Hardware Compatibility List (HCL), ensures that all servers qualified to run Windows 2000 Datacenter Server will undergo rigorous testing, qualification and configuration control.

Microsoft and Compaq are committed to ensuring that hardware and software updates are delivered as a single system. As changes are made to the hardware and the operating system, Compaq will deliver update releases to include drivers, service packs and hardware updates. Enterprise customers will have the flexibility and opportunity to implement changes as needed.

The certified solutions will be offered from Compaq, providing fixed configuration, increased stability, tuned performance and consistent rollout. Initial Compaq Datacenter configurations will be based on the industry-leading ProLiant 8500 8-Way platform, with ProLiant 32-way configurations slated for availability later this year. This powerful combination of server platforms, combined with a Compaq StorageWorks Enterprise Storage Solution, will position Compaq with a comprehensive portfolio of Datacenter offerings.

Full Range of Life-Cycle Services

Compaq’s industry-leading portfolio of life-cycle service offerings will be available for the program. Customers will be able to utilize the planning, assessment, design and implementation services as they initially deploy their systems and can then take advantage of Compaq’s management, support and availability services to maximize performance. These full life-cycle services also will help ensure that a datacenter implementation will be fully integrated and functional in the larger IT environment.

With the largest Microsoft-certified work force in the industry, and as Microsoft’s Worldwide Prime Integrator for Windows 2000, Compaq is well positioned to provide the services customers need to support the Windows Datacenter Program.


Windows 2000 Datacenter Server is scheduled for release to manufacturers this summer. The complete Windows Datacenter Program will be available to Compaq customers later this year.

About Compaq

Compaq Computer Corp., a Fortune Global 100 company, is the largest supplier of computing systems in the world. Compaq designs, develops, manufactures and markets hardware, software, solutions and services, including industry-leading enterprise computing solutions, fault-tolerant business-critical solutions, and communications products, commercial desktop and portable products, and consumer PCs.

Compaq products and services are sold in more than 200 countries directly to businesses, through a network of authorized Compaq marketing partners, and directly to businesses and consumers through Compaq’s e-commerce Web site at . Compaq markets its products and services primarily to customers from the business, home, government and education sectors. Customer support and information about Compaq and its products and services are available at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) 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.

Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Compaq is registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

This release contains forward-looking statements based on current expectations that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The potential risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially include implementation of new distribution systems; changes in product mix; unanticipated component shortages; increased competitive factors and pricing pressures; market responses to pricing actions and promotional programs; inventory risks because of shifts in market demand; volatility of certain equity investments; and instability in developing countries that may affect operations. Further information on the factors that could affect Compaq’s financial results is included in the company’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, including the latest annual report on Form 10-K and the latest quarterly report on Form 10-Q.

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