Microsoft Readies Products and Tools To Empower Knowledge Workers

DALLAS, Oct. 10, 2000 — Today at the Microsoft Exchange and Collaboration Solutions Conference 2000 (MEC 2000), Microsoft Corp. unveiled a set of products designed to empower knowledge workers with new forms of communication, providing easier ways to manage and share business-critical information. The announcement includes the Microsoft Exchange 2000 product family and related products – Local Web Storage System, Mobile Information 2001 Server, a new server application code-named
and a new visual development tool code-named
“Office Designer” which all take advantage of the new Web Storage System, a powerful, native XML information repository. As a result, knowledge workers will have access to the information they need, when they need it, regardless of where it resides across the enterprise.

“In Exchange 2000, Microsoft has delivered a rock-solid platform for communication and collaboration,”
said Russ Stockdale, vice president of the Knowledge Worker Solutions Group at Microsoft.
“We’re now taking the core technology of Exchange – the Web Storage System – and using it as the foundation for a new set of products that will make it easier for users to work with the right people and information, and that will enable companies to quickly build and deploy custom solutions to address specific business needs.”

Connecting People Across the Enterprise

Exchange 2000 is the most thoroughly tested version of the product ever. Microsoft has deployed Exchange 2000 across 100 percent of its worldwide infrastructure, and at product release, 250,000 seats of Exchange 2000 were already in production at customer sites. Customers deploying Exchange 2000 benefit from a reliable, easy-to-manage communications infrastructure that continuously connects people and information.

With the rapid pace of business today, knowledge workers are looking for better ways to speed decision-making and more easily manage a wide array of business communications. To address these requirements, Exchange 2000 delivers several new forms of communication for knowledge workers:

  • Instant messaging with presence information, giving immediate visibility and access to colleagues for real-time decision-making

  • A platform for unified messaging, providing third parties with a way to build applications that enable single inbox access to e-mail, voice mail and fax

  • Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server, which includes Microsoft NetMeeting® conferencing software, enabling knowledge workers to schedule, manage and participate in multiparty voice, video and data conferences. Conferencing Server makes it possible for workers to collaborate across different locations and time zones without leaving their desks.

“We needed to enable our employees to collaborate more effectively,”
said Vicki Fredrick, information technology director at Aventis Corp.
“Exchange has met our need to get people connected with their information anywhere and any time by giving us a new set of tools such as instant messaging and real-time conferencing.”

Allowing Freedom From the Network

As knowledge workers increasingly become true mobile professionals, enterprises are recognizing that business doesn’t stop when people are on the road. Until now, it has been difficult to achieve the same level of productivity working offline, as compared to online. Today, customers demand consistent access to business information and applications for employees. Microsoft enables this accessibility with the following technologies:

  • For business users with laptops, the next version of the Microsoft Office family of business applications, code named
    “Office 10,”
    introduces the Local Web Storage System, a desktop version of the same technology first delivered with Exchange 2000. Exchange 2000-based information and selected business applications can be automatically synchronized between the desktop and server, allowing seamless, consistent access when users go offline.

  • For roving users, Outlook® Web Access, delivered as part of Exchange 2000, provides convenient access to e-mail, appointments and contacts from any Internet-connected PC using a Web browser.

  • Mobile professionals can take advantage of new wireless devices to get real-time access to their Exchange data, corporate intranet resources and other important business applications with Microsoft Mobile Information Server, Outlook Mobile Access and Outlook Mobile Manager.

Managing Information Overload

Knowledge workers spend most of their business day creating, managing and using information. However, many are faced with an overload of information and tasks and need better ways to manage this complexity.
the code name for a new server application from Microsoft that delivers a flexible portal solution, enables users to easily find, share and publish information. Key design functionality of
includes the following:

  • Search and organization. “Tahoe”
    includes an out-of-the-box Digital Dashboard-based portal providing one-step access to business-critical information. Using Web Parts, the portal can be customized with information and resources most valuable to users’ jobs. The search technology simplifies finding and aggregating information from across the company’s other
    servers, Exchange public folders, file servers, intranet servers and Internet servers, as well as Lotus Domino databases.

  • Document management. Knowledge workers can easily manage information from Office, the same place they create and work with documents. Documents can be checked-in and checked-out, sent through an approval process and published to the
    portal from within Office 2000,
    “Office 10,” a Web browser or the Microsoft Windows® Explorer.

  • Collaboration application platform. Built on the Web Storage System,
    provides developers with a rich set of services for building Web-based collaborative applications using common tools and interfaces.

“Air Products is very excited about Microsoft’s new product, Tahoe,”
said George Witmer, manager of technical data systems at Air Products and Chemicals Inc.

The combination of document management and search capabilities will provide a powerful tool to improve

knowledge management throughout our company.

Over time, we anticipate broadening
our use of Tahoe by incorporating these features into other applications and integrating Tahoe into our overall corporate portal strategy.”

Simplifying Collaborative Solutions Development

Enterprises are looking for faster ways to develop Web-based applications that automate business processes and connect people to information. The Web Storage System delivers a rich application platform that makes it easy to build these applications with native XML and WebDAV support, friendly URL addresses for all items in the store, and tight integration with IIS and Active Server Pages. Web Storage System applications can be built and deployed by developers using familiar programming environments and interfaces, such as the FrontPage® Web site creation and management tool and the Visual Studio® development system, eliminating the need for proprietary tools.

To further speed and simplify the development of collaborative applications on the Web Storage System, Microsoft today introduced
“Office Designer,”
the code-name for a new visual development tool in
“Office 10.”
Over 2.6 million existing Office developers have the skills required to use
“Office Designer”
to quickly build applications that speed communication and enable teams to work together more effectively.
“Office Designer”
includes seven Web application templates that help teams do such things as manage projects, share information, hold discussions and track issues, as well as a visual design environment that allows developers to create solutions from scratch.

“‘Office Designer’ introduces new opportunities for our consulting business, as we will be able to easily build custom Web-based applications on the Web Storage System that can run in an offline environment,”
said Mark Jones, practice manager of ASCENDANT, a Microsoft development partner.

Workflow applications for the Web Storage System can be quickly developed using the Workflow Designer for Exchange 2000 Server, a visual design tool that allows developers to automate the routing and approval of Office documents, business forms and other Exchange data.

Product Availability and Information

Exchange 2000 Server, Exchange 2000 Enterprise Server and Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server are available today to customers and application solutions providers. The
beta is available for download from the Web, and general
availability is scheduled for the first half of 2001. More information about
is available at .
“Office 10,”
containing the Local Web Storage System and
“Office Designer,”
is currently in beta and will also be available in the first half of 2001. Microsoft Mobile Information 2001 Server was recently announced and is currently in beta. More information about Mobile Information 2001 Server is 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, NetMeeting, Outlook, Windows, FrontPage and Visual Studio are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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

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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