AMR Research Report Shows Microsoft Business Solutions Top Choice for Enterprise Resource Planning Solutions in Market Poised for Huge Growth

REDMOND, Wash. — Jan. 24, 2006 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that AMR Research Inc., a premier global provider of independent analysis to supply chain and technology executives, has published a survey report naming Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS) as the leading contender for businesses that will purchase or upgrade their enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions within the next year.

When asked which vendors would be considered for ERP software purchases in 2006, IT decision-makers from 271 surveyed companies most often chose Microsoft Business Solutions over all other major global brands. Behind MBS in the survey were Oracle Corp. and SAP AG, according to AMR’s Market Analytix Service Application Spending Series report, “Enterprise Resource Planning Spending Report, 2005–2006,” by Bob Locke, Jim Shepherd, and Wendy Davis.

“This AMR Research report validates what we’re hearing from our customers, that businesses prefer integrated and adaptable solutions over higher-priced products from companies such as SAP,” said James Utzschneider, general manager of product marketing for Microsoft Business Solutions.

MBS delivers best-of-breed financial management, supply chain management and customer relationship management solutions for organizations of all sizes. Microsoft’s ERP solutions were rebranded as Microsoft Dynamics™ late last year.

A Bull Market for ERP Investment

The AMR report also showed that more than 70 percent of organizations surveyed plan to increase their ERP spending in 2006, reflecting pent-up demand following several years of information technology (IT) cost-cutting. Improvement in the global economy is now allowing companies to shift their IT focus from cutting costs to creating revenue and improving operational efficiency.

ERP budget growth in 2006 is projected to increase by what the AMR report’s authors call an “astounding” 14.6 percent. On average, surveyed companies said they plan to spend $5.1 million (U.S.) on all ERP-related activities in 2006. Software purchases will approach 50 percent of total ERP spending.

“When we asked participants which vendors would be considered in 2006 for their ERP purchases, Microsoft Business Solutions led the pack,” said Jim Shepherd, research director at AMR and co-author of the recent report. “Our research indicates that there will be a huge surge in ERP spending in 2006. With companies of all sizes growing their ERP budgets, this is bound to be a banner year for top vendors in this space.”

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

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