Microsoft Strengthens Presence in Business Intelligence Industry

SAN FRANCISCO, March 26, 2004 — Today at Fawcette Technical Publications’ VSLive! San Francisco 2004, Microsoft Corp. unveiled a new reporting and development feature that will be in the next edition of Reporting Services, available with Microsoft®
SQL Server (TM) 2005. The company also announced that it achieved increased growth numbers in the online analytical processing (OLAP) industry for 2003, as confirmed by the results of The OLAP Report, a leading source of independent research and analysis for the OLAP industry ( ). According to the report, while other vendors Hyperion Solutions Corp., Cognos Inc. and Oracle Corp. experienced a decline in the 2003 OLAP sector, Microsoft increased its No. 1 ranking and is expected to continue growing in 2004.

In his keynote presentation at VSLive!, Microsoft SQL Server Business Intelligence General Manager Bill Baker confirmed these results, which state that Microsoft’s 26.1 percent share of sector sales grew once again faster than the overall OLAP industry. As part of Windows Server System (TM) , SQL Server provides customers and partners with a complete, integrated business intelligence (BI) platform at no additional cost. With these tools, every employee at every level in a company will have better access to information, thereby increasing their ability to make more-informed decisions.

“OLAP continues to be a lucrative market, and with a 7 percent growth in 2003 it is increasing more rapidly than most other enterprise software sectors,” said Nigel Pendse, lead author of The OLAP Report and The OLAP Survey. “Despite the wave of vendor consolidation in 2003, Microsoft confirmed its position as OLAP market leader and is growing faster than any other large vendor.”

Microsoft entered the OLAP sector in 1998 with its SQL Server 7.0 OLAP services and upgraded these offerings with SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services. Healthcare, telecommunications and entertainment are just a few of the industries in which customers are utilizing SQL Server OLAP technologies to increase performance, stability, scalability and flexibility. Cingular Wireless uses Analysis Services because of its cost-effective approach that enables the company to perform numerous, concurrent and very specific queries for mission-critical applications.

“The inherent flexibility and functionality in SQL Server Analysis Services allows us to do mass allocations at the database level for forecasting and budgeting,” said Trevor Rigby, senior manager of Financial Planning at Cingular Wireless. “We can now easily organize our vast amounts of data in a way that is instantaneous and easier to manage and provides more complete insight for decision-making.”

Reporting Services Visual Studio Controls Slated for SQL Server 2005

Furthering its move into the reporting sector, Microsoft also announced an exciting reporting feature scheduled for the next version of Reporting Services, available in SQL Server 2005. Customers are very enthusiastic about the new embeddable Visual Studio® controls that will allow distribution of report processing capabilities within packaged or custom-built applications, without the need for a separate report server. This provides application developers, ISVs and end users with greater flexibility and convenience. Extending the whole developer experience, the new functionality also is targeted to ship with Visual Studio 2005 and works both in Windows®
-based and Web applications.

Microsoft launched SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services in January; at the time, customers such as ASB Bank Ltd., Coldwater Creek Inc., Cox Communications Inc., Menlo Worldwide and PREMIER Bankcard Inc. announced they already were using the cost-effective, integrated reporting solution, which makes building custom BI applications easier.

“We are extremely happy with our decision to go with Reporting Services as our corporate reporting standard,” said Dan Moen, vice president of marketing and business intelligence for Coldwater Creek. “Our business intelligence team has found it extremely easy to use, and we’re capitalizing on its flexibility more every day. Even more important, our users love the interactive reports we’re creating, especially the intuitive navigation.”

“Customers have been asking for an end-to-end BI solution,” Baker said. “With Reporting Services and Analysis Services, SQL Server has responded by offering the single most comprehensive BI platform on the market, with integrated analytics, data mining, data warehousing and reporting functionality that enable companies to do more for less. The OLAP Report results and Reporting Services momentum are the first of many vital milestones that will substantiate SQL Server’s significant contribution to the BI market.”

About The OLAP Report

The OLAP Report, published by Optima Publishing Ltd. since 1995, is a strictly independent source of information about OLAP products, applications, case studies and the industry. It is not vendor-sponsored and does not take advertising. It can be accessed at .

About SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server, part of Windows Server System, is the complete database and analysis offering for rapidly delivering the next generation of scalable e-commerce, line-of-business and business intelligence solutions. It dramatically reduces the time required to bring these applications to market while offering the scalability needed for the most-demanding environments. More information on Microsoft SQL Server can be found at .

About Windows Server System

Microsoft Windows Server System is an integrated and interoperable server infrastructure that reduces IT complexity to enable IT professionals to deliver innovative solutions that meet the changing needs of business. With Windows Server (TM) 2003 at the foundation, Windows Server System is engineered from the ground up for XML Web services based on Microsoft .NET technologies to connect information, people, systems and devices. Based on a common software architecture that spans all facets of IT from design, development and deployment through ongoing management and usage, Windows Server System provides comprehensive IT infrastructure for operations (security, systems management, networked storage), applications (data management and analysis, e-business), and information work (messaging, communications and collaboration). More information on Microsoft Windows Server System can be found at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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