Microsoft Tackles Global High-Tech Manufacturing Challenges, Previews Solution Areas at Inaugural Summit

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Sept. 28, 2006 — Targeting challenges facing the high-tech manufacturing industry, Microsoft Corp. today at its inaugural Global High-Tech Summit unveiled four key solution areas addressing the need to innovate new products faster, streamline operations, improve value chain integration and collaboration, and increase sales.

The four solution areas, which include product life-cycle management, plant operations and lean manufacturing, supply chain visibility and collaboration, and sales and customer service, encompass both Microsoft® platform technologies and partner solutions linked through industry standards. Microsoft built the solution areas based on feedback from industry leaders, partners and customers about the major pains facing the high-tech industry, particularly the need for improved collaboration between employees, customers and suppliers.

“Microsoft is focused on empowering people to drive the business forward,” said Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner, who keynoted the event and spoke of Microsoft’s own experiences in the high-tech manufacturing marketplace. “Microsoft is deeply committed to the advancement of the high-tech manufacturing industry, and we are working closely with our partners to deliver solutions that amplify the impact of people, enabling individuals to work smarter and more effectively to address the complex challenges of their business.”

Among more than 400 attendees at the event, Microsoft outlined its vision for the high-tech manufacturing industry, focusing on empowering people to anticipate, innovate and deliver world-class products and services through enhanced collaboration. At the event, Microsoft partners Applied Materials Inc., Asyst Technologies Inc., Brooks Software, Camstar Systems Inc., Cognizant Technology Solutions, Dell Inc., EMC Corp., Fullscope Inc., HP, i2 Technologies, Kinaxis, OSIsoft Inc., The PEER Group Inc., PRTM, Sopheon, UGS Corp., Unisys Corp. and Wipro Ltd. also announced their support of Microsoft’s high-tech manufacturing vision.

In addition, Microsoft announced the establishment of a customer advisory board composed of companies representing various market segments, including Applied Materials, Flextronics International, Juniper Networks Inc., NVIDIA Corp., Xilinx Inc and others.

This formal creation of an advisory board builds upon ongoing industry insight Microsoft obtains from customers and partners and will help the company guide its strategic direction and future investments in the industry. It also aligns with Microsoft’s continued commitment of listening to the voice of the customer to stay on top of the challenges and opportunities facing high-tech companies.

High-tech manufacturing is shifting from leveraging IT investments primarily for automation to helping people work toward achieving peak performance. As a result, instead of focusing solely on efficiencies and cost-cutting, many industry leaders are beginning to invest in technology to spur innovation and business growth.

“According to Eric Austvold, research director at AMR Research Inc., “High-tech companies in particular are more likely to increase their IT budgets, but at a moderate level. … While moderate, this increase still says two things about the economic environment today. First, future forecasted business is favorable, and companies are willing to reinvest in the business. Second, companies believe productivity gains can be made by investing in IT, especially in fragmented supply networks more often found in the high-tech industry.*

“Microsoft’s high-tech customers are faced with tremendous pressures to drive innovation and productivity, while removing costs in operations and supply chain processes,” said Tyler Bryson, U.S. high-tech industry solutions director at Microsoft. “At the same time, they are more dependent than ever on design and manufacturing partnerships to deliver products to market. We believe that by connecting people and business processes across organizations, Microsoft is helping high-tech businesses better compete in the global marketplace.”

About Microsoft’s Global High-Tech Summit

Microsoft’s first-ever Global High-Tech Summit seeks to bring together industry experts, companies, vendors and other thought leaders in the high-tech manufacturing space with a goal of discussing current challenges facing the industry and potential solutions for the future. Keynote speakers at the day-long conference include leaders from Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Dell, Flextronics International, HP, Intel Corporation, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and STMicroelectronics, as well as well-known New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. More information on the summit can be found at

About Microsoft’s “People-Ready” Business Initiative

Microsoft’s “People-Ready” Business initiative showcases the company’s commitment to providing software tools that empower employees to create business success. Centered on the four pillars of driving innovation, improving operations, building connections and developing relationships, the initiative focuses on helping high-tech manufacturing firms achieve success by leveraging their greatest assets — people — as a competitive differentiator.

About Microsoft’s High-Tech Manufacturing Group

Microsoft’s High-Tech Manufacturing Group provides high-tech companies with the tools to improve performance. Through Microsoft’s Peak Performance Initiative and its vast partner ecosystem, the company strives to help people innovate new and better products faster and cheaper, increase collaboration across the manufacturing value chain, improve sales and customer service, and streamline plant-floor operations with visibility from the shop to the top floor.

Microsoft offers an integrated set of environments to help companies handle their most difficult challenges. The company’s technology solutions enable people to meet global demands, increase quality, and reduce costs in new ways, throughout the value chain. More information on the group is available 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.

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