Microsoft Announces Launch Venue for Visual Studio .NET, Unveils More Customers Building on .NET Platform

LAS VEGAS, Nov. 12, 2001 — During his COMDEX Fall 2001 keynote address, Microsoft Corp. founder, Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates announced that the launch of Visual Studio® .NET will take place at the VSLive! Conference in San Francisco on Feb. 13, 2002. In addition, Microsoft unveiled new customers deploying solutions on the Microsoft®
.NET Platform. ACCOR Services,, Canadian Pacific Railway Co. and Newport News Shipbuilding join a growing list of companies that recognize the business value of building solutions on the .NET Platform: increased productivity, improved time to market, increased revenue and operating margins, and the ability to quickly produce customized solutions.

“This has been an exciting year — full of hard work and significant accomplishments. As the industry is poised to forge ahead down the XML Web services road, Microsoft is pleased to offer customers powerful, productive tools that offer business value first,” said Eric Rudder, senior vice president of the Developer and Platform Evangelism Division at Microsoft. “Today, we are talking about new customers that have already recognized that value. When we launch Visual Studio .NET in February, you can expect to hear from more customers reaping the benefits of the .NET Platform.”

Customers Look to .NET to Increase Productivity and Sales, Speed Time to Market

ACCOR Services

ACCOR Services — a subsidiary of ACCOR, the European leader and one of the world’s largest groups in travel, tourism and services — reaches 12 million people in 31 countries a day by offering a wide range of creative and effective product solutions throughout its vouchers and cards offer.

ACCOR Services sought to upgrade its architecture to offer the broadest and easiest integration capabilities and interoperability throughout a large number of international offices and subsidiaries, each potentially having its own computing environment for back-office operations. ACCOR Services launched its first new Web application running on the .NET Platform called IPMT (Incentive Program Management Tool). This full Web application will allow the incentive subsidiaries from ACCOR in Europe (Incentive House, ACCOR Incentive Network, Marketplace and Any Performance) to manage online all the incentive campaigns for their customers, from the campaign definition to the points redemption.

“The collaboration environment of Visual Studio .NET lets our programmers address development issues in real time for faster problem resolution, which results in shorter development cycles and further accelerates our time to market,” said Brice Prunier, chief architect for at ACCOR Services. offers an outsourced e-commerce solution that allows individuals, groups and companies to sell a wide variety of merchandise without the typical hassles and overhead of doing business online. Before using the .NET Framework, found its development platform to be slow and problematic, preventing business from moving forward.

“Since moving to the .NET Framework, our development speed has increased dramatically,” said Fred Durham, chief executive officer of “Project time cycles have been reduced to approximately one-quarter of the previous development cycle times. That means more features and services for our users. With the .NET Framework, we can much more easily develop custom code for larger clients. It also means we offer more services and features at large. Again, this is because development times are compressed and the lines of code needed have dropped significantly.”

The .NET Framework decreased development cycle times by 75 percent and increased Web server efficiency to 2 percent to 3 percent utilization from 50 percent to 70 percent on the previous platform.’s Web site, a recipient of a Webby award, receives more than 50 million hits in Web traffic monthly.

Canadian Pacific Railway

Canadian Pacific Railway, a $3.65 billion shipping company and one of the largest railroad systems in North America, runs hundreds of trains on 13,959 miles of track. To maintain and grow those numbers, CPR implemented a dashboard-like portal enabling employees to retrieve and use data from any of its disparate back-end systems, regardless of the data source platform or application.

“The existing portal lacked a certain robustness. Integration and interoperability of the new portal was crucial,” said Terry Wood, IT strategist at Canadian Pacific Railway. “We looked at how our new portal architecture, based on the .NET Framework, would fit within the complex technical environment we have at the railway. We feel the flexibility of the .NET Framework and the productivity of the widely used Visual Studio .NET development environment will help us to achieve our goals.”

The CPR portal architecture is based on the .NET Framework, which served as a template for a scalable architecture reducing time to design, program and implement the project. Visual Studio .NET development tools enabled developers to choose the programming language they prefer, raising productivity.

Newport News Shipbuilding

Naptheon Inc. a wholly owned subsidiary of Newport News Shipbuilding, specializes in business process and technology integration solutions. Seeking to improve time to market, increase productivity and create applications that support complex project management while extending those applications to mobile wireless devices, Naptheon selected Visual Studio .NET as its application development environment and the .NET Framework as a platform to create applications that utilize XML Web services for integration and information sharing.

“We chose Visual Studio .NET as a development platform due to its ease of use and ability to create applications that can be used in a traditional client-server environment, as well as in a distributed computing model such as an application service provider offering Web- or wireless-based services,” said Stephen C. Hassell, president and chief executive officer of Naptheon and vice president and chief information officer of Newport News Shipbuilding. “Visual Studio .NET enables us to meet our current needs and innovate for the future.”

Naptheon’s current development effort is the creation of ShipRepair.NET, a Web-based application that facilitates project management for life-cycle servicing (i.e., building, servicing and decommissioning) of commercial and military ships.

Anticipation Building for Launch of Visual Studio .NET

Microsoft Visual Studio .NET, the comprehensive tool for creating XML Web services and applications, is redefining software development. On target to be released before the end of the year, Microsoft will officially kick off the worldwide launch of Visual Studio .NET at VSLive! in San Francisco on Feb. 13, 2002, with Bill Gates and Anders Hejlsberg, a distinguished engineer at Microsoft, addressing one of the largest independent gatherings of developers.

About Visual Studio .NET

Visual Studio .NET is Microsoft’s rapid application development (RAD) tool for building next-generation Web applications and XML Web services. Visual Studio .NET empowers developers to rapidly design broad-reach Web applications for any device and any platform. In addition, Visual Studio .NET is fully integrated with the .NET Framework, providing support for multiple programming languages and automatically handling many common programming tasks, freeing developers to rapidly create Web applications using their language of choice. Visual Studio .NET includes a single integrated development environment (IDE) with RAD features for building Web applications and middle-tier business logic, and RAD XML designers for working with data. More information about Visual Studio .NET can be found at .

About the .NET Framework

The Microsoft .NET Framework is a platform for building, deploying and running XML Web services and applications. It provides a highly productive, standards-based, multilanguage environment for integrating existing investments with next-generation applications and services as well as the agility to solve the challenges of deployment and operation of Internet-scale applications. The .NET Framework consists of two main parts: the common language runtime and a hierarchical set of unified class libraries that includes a next-generation Web application environment, ASP.NET; a loosely coupled data access subsystem, ADO.NET; and an environment for building rich Windows®
-based applications, Windows Forms.

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.

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

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