Ballmer Renews Microsoft’s Commitment to Industry Partners at Fusion 2002

LOS ANGELES, July 15, 2002 (updated 1:30 p.m. PDT) — During his closing address to more than 3,000 Microsoft Corp. partners at Microsoft Fusion 2002, company CEO Steve Ballmer underscored Microsofts commitment to partner success and the vital role of partners in delivering Microsofts technology vision to customers.

Microsoft is 100 percent committed to delivering new opportunities for our partners and enabling them to realize their potential, Ballmer said. Our $500 million investment in partner programs and services underscores our commitment to partner satisfaction and our focus on delivering the strongest technology platform through Microsoft .NET and XML Web services.

Expanded Partner Support

To help partners map their technology to Microsoft .NET, Microsoft announced the Microsoft .NET Connected Logo Program. The new program is an easy way for customers to identify partners building applications and Web services that have been optimized for the next generation of Internet-enabled computing. .NET Connected solutions are built on XML Web service standards, enabling new and existing applications to connect with software and services across platforms, applications and programming languages. To enable easier creation of .NET Connected applications and services, Microsoft also announced the Optimized for .NET Development logo, which will help software developers identify components, tools and languages that take advantage of the .NET Framework and the Common Language Runtime.

Microsoft .NET takes full advantage of XML Web services standards and is revolutionizing the computing environment, Ballmer said. We believe it is critical to provide our partners with a clear road map showing how they can use this technology to bring more innovation and greater value to the marketplace.

Innovative Technology Enables Information Worker Possibilities

In a preview of upcoming technologies designed to deliver better productivity solutions to customers of all types, Ballmer announced Titanium, the code name for an update to Exchange 2000 that will ease deployment, provide greater scalability and availability, and lower total cost of ownership for IT professionals. Titanium will enable information workers by making mobility pervasive with seamless integration of wireless functionality that gives users the ability to stay connected any time, any place and on any device. Titanium is the premier application for Windows .NET Server, and it will take advantage of Active Directory enhancements, improved clustering, and faster backup and restore. Based on the current Exchange 2000 technology, Titanium is expected to ship in the middle of 2003.

In addition to Titanium, Ballmer highlighted upcoming changes to the Outlook messaging and collaboration client. We are adding functionality to the next version of Outlook that will greatly improve the way people read, search and manage their e-mail, calendar, contacts and other personal information, Ballmer told the audience. Improvements to the client include making it easier for users to view their mail by better utilizing the screens real estate; new and improved ways of allowing users to sort their Inbox views and to search across multiple folders seamlessly to facilitate accessing information; and improved follow-up management of information.

Responsible Leadership and Innovation

Ballmer concluded his address by underscoring Microsofts history as an industry innovator and talking about the need to deliver a clear engagement and opportunity road map to its partner community, which Microsoft considers one of the companys most valued assets.

As an industry leader, Microsoft has a unique responsibility to hit a very high bar in terms of product support and quality, delivering on commitments and providing excellent customer service, Ballmer said. Our mutual customers and you, our partners, demand that of us. We are committed to working together with our partners to provide innovative technologies that change the ways people live and work.

About Fusion

Since its debut in 1996, Microsoft Fusion has become the largest and most anticipated worldwide partner event of the year, providing valuable information, networking opportunities and product exhibits for Microsoft partners. Premier event sponsors for Fusion 2002 are Intel Corp., Compaq Computer Corp. and IBM Corp. More information can be found at .

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.

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