BT and Microsoft to Deliver Pioneering Implementation of Item-Level RFID Tagging

LONDON and PARIS — June 14, 2005 — BT and Microsoft Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) announced today that they will be working together to provide an RFID managed service to the retail sector.

The new offering combines BT’s RFID data management and systems integration expertise with Microsoft’s proven experience in data capture and analysis to make it easier for European retailers and their suppliers to adopt item-level RFID technology for pilots or full-scale rollouts. The first customer to take up this managed service is Marks & Spencer.

In February 2005, BT was selected by Marks & Spencer as the main contractor to extend the RFID trial in its clothing supply chain. From spring 2006, the number of stores participating in the trial will extend from nine to around 50. BT’s Auto-ID Services venture has chosen to deliver its solution for Marks & Spencer as a Microsoft® .NET application on Windows Server™ 2003 with SQL Server 2000.

Ross Hall, CEO of Auto-ID Services, BT said, “As prime contractor for the Marks & Spencer RFID Intelligent Label project, BT is delighted to be working with Microsoft to make the deployment of RFID more affordable and less risky. It also makes adopting a uniform RFID strategy across Europe a whole lot easier. The data management expertise delivered by the BT Auto-ID Platform perfectly complements Microsoft’s analytical platform skills.”

Dilip Popat, Managing Director, Microsoft EMEA Retail Industry Unit, said the solution sets an industry precedent. “By offering RFID as a managed service, BT has greatly reduced the risks associated with the adoption of the technology. Combining BT’s proven RFID track record with Microsoft’s Smarter Retailing Solutions including data infrastructure and analytics will give retailers the improved business intelligence, better inventory accuracy and the real-time visibility they need to face the growing demands of today’s consumer.”

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.

About Microsoft EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa)

Microsoft has operated in EMEA since 1982. In the region Microsoft employs more than 12,000 people in over 55 subsidiaries, delivering products and services in more than 139 countries and territories.

About Microsoft’s Smarter Retailing Initiative

The Microsoft Smarter Retailing Initiative helps retailers win today by leveraging current investments, and win tomorrow by easing delivery of new retail experiences. Consisting of Smarter Shopping, Smarter Selling and Smarter Operations, the Smarter Retailing Initiative is designed to close the loop between the retailer’s strategy, the in-store execution and familiar technologies already in the consumer’s hands. More information can be found at

About BT Auto-ID Services

BT Auto-ID Services is a market leader in the provision of complete, scalable and affordable Automatic Identification solutions including RFID and barcoding.

As part of the BT Retail business, it combines the resources of a large corporation with the agility and flexible approach of a new technology start-up.

The BT Auto-ID Platform managed service is helping customers manage inventory control, increase sales, provide electronic proof of delivery, and comply with mandatory track, trace and authenticate requirements throughout the supply chain.

For further information, visit

About BT

BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications solutions serving customers in Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific. Its principal activities include networked IT services, local, national and international telecommunications services, and higher-value broadband and internet products and services.

BT consists principally of three lines of business:

  • BT Retail, providing a comprehensive range of communications and related services to more than 20m UK consumers and businesses.

  • BT Wholesale, providing network services and solutions within the UK to more than 600 fixed and mobile operators and service providers including the provision of broadband and private circuits.

  • BT Global Services, providing networked IT services to meet the needs of multi-site organizations globally. BT Global Services operates in more than 130 countries and also offers international carrier services.

In the year ended March 31, 2005, BT Group’s turnover was £18,623 million with profit before goodwill amortization, exceptional items and taxation of £2,085 million.

BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York. British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group.

For more information, visit

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