PlaceWare, Inc. Announces Its Acquisition by Microsoft Is Complete

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA., April 30, 2003 — PlaceWare, Inc., a leading provider of Web conferencing services that enable businesses to conduct real-time, interactive presentations and meetings over the Internet, today announced its acquisition by Microsoft Corp. is complete. Placeware now becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft. Through this acquisition, the companies plan to deliver innovative and easy-to-use online conferencing solutions that will help connect more people seamlessly in a real-time conferencing environment. Additionally, the companies aim to provide industry partners with improved technologies to develop and deliver new custom business solutions that take advantage of advanced real-time collaboration capabilities.

“With the acquisition of PlaceWare now complete, the newly formed Real-Time Collaboration Business Unit moves forward with an even stronger team and best of breed solution allowing real-time communications and collaboration from anywhere, anytime,” said Anoop Gupta, Corporate Vice President, Real-Time Collaboration Business Unit at Microsoft. “Together, we will help customers incorporate real-time communications into the fabric of their daily work activities and achieve substantial productivity gains while reducing costs.”

Microsoft’s Real-Time Collaboration Business Unit will be led by Anoop Gupta and a seasoned team of PlaceWare and Microsoft executives to drive marketing, business development, engineering and sales. The leadership team will include:

  • Gurdeep Singh Pall — General Manager, Real-Time Messaging & Platform

  • Amit Mital — General Manager, Web Conferencing

  • Dana Manciagli — General Manager, Real-Time Collaboration Sales

  • Zig Serafin — Senior Director, Business Development & Strategy

  • Dustin Grosse — Senior Director, Marketing

  • Jawaid Ekram — Senior Director, Operations

Grosse and Ekram are PlaceWare’s executives leading marketing and operations today and both will continue in these leadership roles for the Real-Time Collaboration Business Unit at Microsoft.

“We’re in the middle of an exciting Information Worker revolution that includes convergence across traditional telephony and IP-based communication and collaboration technologies. Companies of all sizes are reaping the benefits of improved employee and team productivity made possible by our collaboration solutions,” said Dustin Grosse, who will serve as Senior Director of Marketing for the Real-Time Collaboration Group. “Combining the strengths of Microsoft and PlaceWare will help accelerate our delivery of collaboration services and servers to ensure we extend the reach of our powerful new real time capabilities to Information Workers around the globe.”

Microsoft is moving the PlaceWare marketing, operations and engineering functions to its corporate headquarters in Redmond where Mr. Gupta and the leadership team will be based. The PlaceWare sales force will continue to sell the company’s solutions as a hosted service and will work in partnership with the Microsoft World Wide Sales Organization. PlaceWare’s existing sales and support staff will continue its high quality service to customers. Clients and prospects can also look forward to a new release of PlaceWare Conference Center 5.0, which includes a new native Windows®
client console, currently planned to be available in the summer of 2003.

“I am extremely proud of the success we realized at PlaceWare that brought us to this point with Microsoft,” said George Garrick, chairman, CEO and president of PlaceWare. “The closing of the acquisition represents new and exciting opportunities for our joint customer base, our employees as well as for the future of real-time collaboration technologies.”

About PlaceWare, Inc. — A Microsoft Company

PlaceWare is a leader in real-time “carrier class,” multimedia platform and application services for Web-based communication and collaboration, both inside and outside corporate firewalls. Enterprise customers prefer PlaceWare Web conferencing because of its scalable, reliable and security-enhanced browser-based architecture, which is based on technology developed and tested at Xerox PARC. The company offers unparalleled performance for all types of Web-based collaboration, from large-scale meetings with up to thousands of attendees to small collaborative meetings, presentations and e-learning sessions. Founded in 1996, PlaceWare has already attracted more than 3,300 leading organizations that see Web conferencing as a natural evolution in helping their businesses compete more effectively in the global marketplace. PlaceWare helps companies host thousands of simultaneous Web meetings, simply using Web browsers and telephones. More information about PlaceWare can be found at or by calling (888) 526-6170 to reach the company’s Mountain View, Calif., headquarters.

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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