Microsoft and VeriSign Announce .NET Alliance

REDMOND, Wash., and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., July 10, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. and VeriSign Inc., a leading provider of Internet trust services, today announced a .NET alliance in which VeriSign will provide authentication and security technologies support for future .NET offerings, the adoption of Microsoft® .NET technologies into VeriSign Internet-based trust services, and the deployment by VeriSign of the Microsoft Windows® 2000 Server operating system for its Registrar-hosted Domain Names and Web sites.

“This alliance is great news for customers because it combines Microsoft’s expertise and pioneering work in the new world of XML Web Services with the experience and leadership of VeriSign in delivering Internet-based trust services,”
said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft.
“We are excited to be taking our relationship with VeriSign to a new level as well as being able to enhance the security of the services we deliver to users.”

“VeriSign and Microsoft are working together to make the foundation for Web-based services including online transactions more secure,”
said Stratton Sclavos, president and CEO of VeriSign.
“Customers will see the benefits of our joint efforts through a set of new services that facilitate secure storage and access of consumer and business information, online collaboration and workflow management and e-commerce transaction processing.”

Support of .NET Technologies

As part of the alliance, VeriSign will support the deployment of .NET services currently code-named
including the Passport single sign-on and authentication system as well as the
notification technology.
is a set of user-centric XML-based Web Services that will enable developers to build solutions that work seamlessly with one another over the Internet to deliver a more personalized and consistent user experience. With such services, VeriSign customers will experience increased efficiency and ease of use through single sign-on with Passport authentication.

Collaboration on Trust and Security Services

Microsoft and VeriSign also have agreed to collaborate on efforts to enhance the delivery of future .NET services, providing a more secure and trustworthy experience for users. For instance, Microsoft will support VeriSign’s server digital certificates to help verify and manage relationships with developers of applications that use
services. VeriSign’s server digital certificates ensure that information sent via smart clients stays private and confidential through the use of high-strength encryption. The benefit for business customers will be the delivery of the highest levels of integrity, allowing their customers to be certain of the authenticity of the XML services they use.

In addition, the companies will work together to integrate VeriSign’s Personal Trust Agent technology as part of Microsoft’s Passport authentication, single sign-in and secure messaging capabilities. VeriSign’s Personal Trust Agent is a customizable microclient that provides users with an intuitive tool to manage their digital credentials and preferences.

VeriSign Deployment of Windows 2000 Servers

Windows 2000 Servers provide Web and application development services in a highly scalable and secure computing environment. VeriSign has adopted Windows 2000 Servers to host more than 1 million domain name-hosted sites for its Registrar and to host Web sites for customers of its ImageCaf
éTM Web site design service, giving VeriSign the flexibility to rapidly evolve its Web infrastructure and benefit from decreased time to market with new and innovative software services. The companies also are exploring other applications for Windows 2000 Server in VeriSign’s trusted Internet infrastructure to enhance performance, scalability and reliability.

Today’s alliance builds on an existing relationship between the companies that dates back to 1996 when Microsoft and VeriSign jointly launched the first technology to allow for the secure downloading of software on the Web.
“While our overall relationship with VeriSign is not new, this latest alliance is evidence of how both companies remain committed to developing and deploying cutting-edge technologies that will enhance the experience and security of our mutual customers,”
said Sanjay Parthasarathy, vice president of .NET Platform Strategy at Microsoft.

Microsoft .NET, Microsoft’s XML-based Web Services platform, will benefit businesses and end users. For businesses, it changes the way they build software and sell products, making information technology a significant contributor to corporate success and introducing new business models. For end users, .NET will produce unparalleled access to a dramatically more personal, integrated computing experience. XML Web Services are constructed using XML for data exchange to help applications, services and devices work together. Sharing data through XML allows them to be independent of each other while simultaneously giving them the ability to loosely link themselves into a collaborative group that performs a particular task.

Providing secure access to user information, facilitating online collaboration or processing billions of dollars of e-commerce transactions among multiple parties requires a scalable, interoperable infrastructure. VeriSign, the Internet’s first trust utility, is the leading provider of Internet trust services with more than 225,000 server digital certificates deployed for businesses and 3,120 enterprises using the company’s managed PKI solutions. VeriSign’s combined Domain Name System (DNS) servers process more than 3.5 billion DNS queries daily.

About VeriSign

VeriSign Inc. (Nasdaq
) is the leading provider of trusted infrastructure services to Web sites, enterprises, electronic commerce service providers and individuals. The company’s Domain Name, digital certificate and payment services provide the critical Web identity, authentication and transaction infrastructure that online businesses require to conduct secure
e-commerce and communications. VeriSign’s services are available through its Web site or through its direct sales force and reseller partners around the world.

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.

Statements in this announcement other than historical data and information constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause VeriSign’s actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, VeriSign’s limited operating history under its current business structure, uncertainty of future revenue and profitability and potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results, increased competition, risks associated with the company’s international business and risks related to potential security breaches. More information about potential factors that could affect the company’s business and financial results is included in VeriSign’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, especially in the company’s Annual Report on

Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2000, and its Quarterly Report on Form 10_Q for the period ended March 31, 2001. VeriSign undertakes no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this press release.

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

VeriSign is a registered trademark of VeriSign Inc.

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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