Microsoft Completes Acquisition of Great Plains

REDMOND, Wash., April 5, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the completion of its acquisition of Great Plains Software Inc., a leading supplier of midmarket business applications, for approximately $1.1 billion in stock.

Under terms of the acquisition, originally announced on Dec. 21, 2000, Great Plains will become a division operating within Microsoft’s Productivity and Business Services Group, led by Microsoft Group Vice President Jeff Raikes. Microsoft Great Plains will continue to be based in Fargo, N.D., led by Doug Burgum, senior vice president of Microsoft and president of the Great Plains Division, and his current leadership team.

“We are thrilled to welcome Doug Burgum and all of the Great Plains team members to the Microsoft® family of productivity offerings,”
Raikes said.
“We share a vision of the future of business applications for small and midsized companies and how we can provide the solutions needed for these companies to succeed in an increasingly interconnected economy.”

“Microsoft Great Plains will continue to enhance our solid reputation for customer service and innovative business solutions,”
said Burgum.
“With the commitment of our 2,200 global channel partners, more than 2,000 team members, and the tremendous people and technical assets within Microsoft, we have the opportunity to reshape some of the basic assumptions that have guided commerce in the past and truly improve the lives and business success of our customers.”

Microsoft Great Plains will continue to develop, market, sell and support its award-winning business applications, Dynamics, eEnterprise and Solomon, under the Microsoft Great Plains Business Solutions brand. As part of Microsoft, this division also plans to provide new capabilities that complement the Microsoft bCentral™
small-business service. In addition, the integration of technologies from both companies will create a fully interconnected generation of business solutions built on the Microsoft .NET platform, accessed via a wide range of devices (such as PCs, terminals, handheld and wireless devices) and deployed either as Web-based services (hosted applications) or as on-premise, locally managed solutions according to the customer’s business need, support requirements and customization requirements.

“This is a great combination that will benefit our customers, our partners in the industry and our company,”
said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft.
“The combined assets of Microsoft’s global abilities, our depth of platform technology and Great Plains’ leading expertise in business applications will make deep business solutions truly accessible to small and midmarket companies.”

Great Plains shareholders of record on Feb. 21, 2001, will receive 1.1 shares of Microsoft common stock in exchange for each share of Great Plains common stock. Fractional shares will be paid in cash.

About Microsoft Great Plains Business Solutions

More than 140,000 businesses in 132 countries count on Microsoft Great Plains Business Solutions. Microsoft Great Plains provides business applications that help small and midmarket companies become more agile in today’s interconnected economy by extending specific information and procedures to employees, customers, vendors and partners. The business applications automate end-to-end business processes across financials, distribution, project accounting, electronic commerce, human resources and payroll, manufacturing, supply chain management, business analytics, sales and marketing management, and customer service and support. More information about the solutions offered by Microsoft Great Plains can be found 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 bCentral 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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