Key European Independent Software Vendors Demonstrate Early Commitment to Emerging Platform for Business Applications From Microsoft

ROME, Sept. 18, 2003 — Fourteen European ISVs, representing a strategic cross-section of business software developers in Europe, have recently committed to participate as early adopters of Microsoft Corp.’s forthcoming development framework for business applications. Each of the organizations has committed to migrate current or develop new business solutions in managed code on the Microsoft .NET Framework, the Common Language Runtime (CLR), and this new platform, code-named
“the Microsoft Business Framework”
“The Microsoft Business Framework”
is the working name for the common framework, tools and set of runtime services that enable developers to focus their efforts and more rapidly build solutions that add value to their end customers, rather than re-creating the common framework logic required in all business applications.

These commitments are the latest sign of continuing momentum for Microsoft’s ISV partner strategy in Europe, according to Microsoft, which made the announcement at a partner event held in Rome this week.

The ISVs participating in the
early adopter program represent a diverse cross-section of vertical industries, company sizes, customer targets and countries. They include Adonix (France), AP Automation & Productivity (Germany), Bedin Shop Systems (Italy), CEGID (France), CODA (UK), Distinction Systems (UK), Four Solutions (Italy), Mamut Software (Norway), Maritech (Iceland), MicroArea (Italy), Real Software (Belgium), Rebus HR (UK), Scala Business Solutions (The Netherlands) and STR (Italy). In addition to their commitment to develop on this new platform, these companies will provide extensive feedback to Microsoft, which in turn will help refine future iterations of the solution.

“We are delighted with the tremendous interest shown by the European software community in working with us to refine MBF,’ and ensure they are able to rapidly create powerful vertical and horizontal Windows-based business solutions,”
said Jean-Philippe Courtois, CEO of Microsoft EMEA.
“A core part of our strategy is to empower our ISV partners to achieve their potential through delivering solutions that meet their customers’ needs. Our partners have the expertise to deliver great solutions and we have the Windows platform and tools to support them in their endeavors. As the partner program grows, we will open it to the many additional ISV partners that have expressed strong interest in participation.”

“CODA is extremely excited and confident that the Windows platform, with the extensions being provided by the Microsoft Business Framework,’ will enable us to enjoy both significant productivity gains and a significant boost to the competitive advantages we already offer in the corporate performance management and financial systems markets,”
said Jeremy Roche, CEO of CODA Group.
“We believe these extensions to the Windows platform provide us, off the shelf, with more core technologies, and allow us to focus on continuously improving application value to our end corporate customers. Being given the opportunity to participate early in Microsoft’s Technology Adoption Program and to provide feedback, highlights Microsoft’s commitment to our partnership, to our business success, and to ensuring that the Windows platform continues to be key for business solutions around the world.”

Latest Step in Long-Standing Interest to Promote Partner Success

Today’s announcement is the latest, but not the last, in a series of moves by Microsoft over the past year that boost momentum for ISV and other channel partners worldwide. More than 95 percent of the company’s business is driven through partners, and in the critical small and medium-sized business segment, which represents over half of Microsoft revenue, the diverse partner ecosystem is essential to support the vast range of customer requirements. Recent investments include the following:

  • Creation of the Small and Midmarket Solutions & Partners group (SMS & P), tasked with improving the revenue models and opportunities for partners in this space, and bringing the full resources of Microsoft to bear on this segment.

  • Investment of $2 billion (U.S.) worldwide in FY04 to extend solutions, partner engagements and resources in this market.

  • Expansion of the Microsoft Certified Partner Program which provides additional resources to help ISVs to develop and certify commercially viable software products based on Microsoft technologies, enabling them to more quickly become Microsoft Certified Partners.

  • New technical enablement programs for ISVs to enhance access to key training to assist partners in the development of software solutions built on Microsoft platforms and products.

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

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