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Microsoft's Bill Gates Previews New "HailStorm"

News Release For Immediate Release

Microsoft's Bill Gates Previews New "HailStorm" Technologies to Usher In New Era Of More Consistent, Personalised and User-Centric Experiences


Advances .NET Strategy; Showcases American Express, Click Commerce, eBay, Expedia.com and Groove

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND -Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - Microsoft New Zealand today announced a set of new technologies to advance its Microsoft® .NET strategy. The technology, code-named "HailStorm," is a set of user-centric XML Web services that enable developers to build solutions that work seamlessly with one another over the Internet to deliver a more personalised and consistent user experience.

In a technology briefing to press and industry analysts, Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect at Microsoft, publicly demonstrated "HailStorm"-based technologies for the first time. "HailStorm" technologies will enable a new world of computing where all the applications, devices and services in an individual's life can work together, on their behalf and under their control

'HailStorm' is a key .NET milestone to deliver on the Microsoft mission to empower people through great software, any time, any place and on any device," said Terry Allen, Technical Marketing Manager, Microsoft New Zealand. "We believe this innovation will take individual empowerment to a new level, create unprecedented opportunity for the industry and trigger a renewed wave of excitement about the Internet."

Instead of people having to adapt to each technology, "HailStorm" services help different technologies cater to the user and provide a consistent experience across an individual's entire "personal network." "HailStorm"-based solutions allow users to manage and protect their personal information, as opposed to today's world in which it is scattered across the technology landscape, with no ability to control the privacy of their information. In addition, these solutions will allow different technologies to work together in tandem, saving the individual from acting as the integration point between all the technologies in their life.

The "HailStorm" services are oriented around the individual and allow developers, with the user's consent, to access for example an individual's calendar, contact information or documents, from any application, device or service connected to the Internet. "HailStorm" employs the Passport user authentication system to secure an individual's identity and information. Both Passport and the "HailStorm" services require affirmative consent and explicit opt-in by the user for the release of any personal information.

Open Access from Any Application, Device or Service

"HailStorm" adheres to an open access model in which all interactions are conducted via XML-based S OAP protocols. Use of the industry-standard XML and SOAP protocols means any application, device or service connected to the Internet can interact with "HailStorm," regardless of the underlying operating system, programming language or online service. No Microsoft software is required on any client or server that accesses "HailStorm."

Microsoft today demonstrated various platforms accessing "HailStorm" services, including Microsoft Windows®, Apple Macintosh, Pocket PC, Palm and various flavors of UNIX. Windows XP, Microsoft's next-generation operating system now under development, will enable users to access "HailStorm" services and developers to build "HailStorm"-enabled applications.

"HailStorm" Partner Support

Joining Microsoft were several leading companies with prototypes and conceptual demos of how "HailStorm"-enabled services will extend their ability to build better services that seamlessly integrate with the other technologies in their customers' lives. These companies illustrated the benefits of "HailStorm" as a set of building-block services that can be incorporated into any solution.

Companies that take advantage of "HailStorm" can reduce their development and operational costs by exploiting Microsoft's "HailStorm" investment, enhance existing customer relationships and attract new customers through more relevant and personalised offerings and better integrate with other solutions in a customer's "personal network." "HailStorm" is the result of an open design process utilizing design previews with the developer community.

-end-

About Microsoft Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") 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.

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

For more information: Terry Allen, Technical Marketing Manager, Microsoft New Zealand, 09 357 5824, terryal@microsoft.com Carol Leishman, PR and Marketing Communications Manager, Microsoft New Zealand, 09 357 5820, carolle@microsoft.com Lee Ah Chong, General Manager, AUGUST.ONE COMMUNICATIONS, Microsoft Press Office 09 357 5844, lee.ahchong@augustone.co.nz Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft New Zealand Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/nz/ on Microsoft's corporate information pages.


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