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DIGITAL AND MICROSOFT COMBINE STRENGTHS TO DELIVER POWERFUL, POPULAR CORPORATE COMPUTING SOLUTIONS

 DIGITAL AND MICROSOFT COMBINE STRENGTHS TO DELIVER
 POWERFUL, POPULAR CORPORATE COMPUTING SOLUTIONS
 MAYNARD, Mass., April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Digital Equipment Corporation (NYSE: DEC) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) today announced a major agreement designed to establish Digital's Alpha architecture and Microsoft's Windows NT as a premier RISC-based systems platform, and to better integrate Microsoft's Windows desktop environment with Digital's enterprise network environment. The combination of Alpha -- the world's most powerful computing architecture -- and Windows NT -- the new high-end version of Microsoft's popular Windows operating system -- will expand the scope of what people can do with their computers. The collaboration covers three major areas:
 -- establishment of Alpha and Windows NT as a high-volume
 platform for users, software developers, systems designers
 and chip manufacturers;
 -- short-term benefits and long-term development commitments
 across the array of application programming interfaces (APIs)
 to be delivered through Digital's Network Application Support
 (NAS) and Microsoft's Windows Open Services Architecture
 (WOSA); and
 -- expansion of Digital's systems integration, support and
 services, customer training, and consulting for Microsoft's
 products.
 By creating a common path for key desktop and systems technologies and products, Digital and Microsoft will enhance their current users' significant investments in existing products. Millions of current and prospective users also will benefit from the dramatic performance and capacity increases of Alpha and Windows NT, coupled with easy access to enterprise-wide resources and information access across multiple platforms. Application software developers will have access to the millions of users of both companies' products. Information system managers will have one-stop, worldwide support, service and systems integration.
 "Windows is emerging as a key user environment in the computing strategy of a large and growing number of major corporations," said Kenneth H. Olsen, president of Digital Equipment Corporation. "Corporate customers must deal with a multivendor, multi-standard computing reality. Together, we are addressing this reality by making it easy for Windows users, developers and administrators alike to gain the open advantages of Alpha's advanced computing environment."
 "Alpha has raised the bar for performance among RISC processors. Alpha and Windows NT will provide an extremely high-performance platform, and the availability of that platform from multiple sources will further enhance its popularity," said Bill Gates, chairman and CEO, Microsoft Corporation. "Our relationship draws upon and combines the unique vision, technical expertise, and marketing influence that each company possesses as part of its rich individual heritage," Gates added.
 Customers already are benefiting from the proven, seven-year track record of cooperation between the two companies. Digital is one of the largest providers of Microsoft's LAN Manager through its PATHWORKS local area network software, with over one million client licenses sold to date. TeamLinks for PATHWORKS provides Digital's fully integrated office environment for Microsoft Windows. Microsoft is integrating its personal productivity applications into TeamLinks by using several of Digital's Network Application Support services. Expanding the Scope of Computing Through Alpha and Windows NT
 The combination of Windows NT and Alpha, along with Alpha systems for Open VMS and OSF/1 platforms, will give customers a wide range of high-performance Alpha-based server systems and desktop clients. The details of the collaboration on Alpha and Windows NT include:
 -- Digital and Microsoft jointly will port Windows NT to Alpha
 platforms;
 -- Digital and Microsoft both will support Alpha as a premier
 RISC-based open systems technology for end users, system
 vendors, and chip manufacturers;
 -- Microsoft will make its Windows applications available on
 Alpha and Windows NT;
 -- Digital and Microsoft jointly are engineering the technology
 necessary so that applications written for Windows NT using
 Microsoft's compilers run on Alpha, Intel and MIPS platforms;
 -- Microsoft will provide a full set of Alpha development tools
 as part of the Windows NT Software Development Kit;
 -- Digital will port its DECtp Desktop for ACMS transaction
 processing client environment, a key element of the NAS
 program, to all Windows NT platforms;
 -- Microsoft will supply Digital's NAS-based eXcursion X-server
 for its Windows NT operating system, enabling interaction
 among X-applications on UNIX and VMS systems; and
 -- Digital will extend its PATHWORKS PC Integration products,
 another NAS service, to include support for Windows NT
 clients and servers. NAS and WOSA Makes Users of Windows Better Connected
 Digital and Microsoft are working closely together on the Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) used in both Network Application Support and Windows Open System Architecture, so that application developers can code to a consistent set of interfaces that will work across the Windows and enterprise environments.
 Common NAS and WOSA APIs assure that existing customers of both companies can continue to buy current products with confidence, knowing the applications they write or purchase today will move easily to tomorrow's systems, such as Alpha and Windows NT systems. The long term development commitments of both companies will extend the open advantage benefits of fully integrated enterprise-wide computing based on Alpha and NAS to the millions of users of Microsoft Windows applications.
 Initial work on common APIs will help customers build distributed, client-server applications without incurring the cost of rewriting their applications. People who use corporate information as a strategic asset will gain transparent access to global enterprise information through desktop applications on Windows, regardless of the location or format of the data. The two companies have initially agreed on the following for Windows platforms:
 -- Digital and Microsoft will market a new, jointly developed
 product, the SQL Server Gateway for Rdb/VMS, that enables
 users of Windows applications to access corporate information
 residing in Rdb/VMS databases. It enhances customers'
 investments in Rdb by providing high performance connectivity
 for the more than 125 applications designed for use with
 Microsoft's SQL Server, as well as any future applications.
 Availability is slated for July;
 -- Both companies are aligning their current interfaces for
 accessing relational database information (ODBC and
 SQL/Services in support of the SQL Access Group Standard
 (SAG) to provide a standard interface for transparent data
 access;
 -- Digital will support the Microsoft Message Applications
 Programming Interface (MAPI) with Digital's NAS-based X.400
 mail products, and in the future will use MAPI as the primary
 interface for Windows message-enabled applications;
 -- Both companies will adhere to the Remote Procedure Call API,
 reaffirming OSF/DCE as the industry RPC standard which
 enables distributed applications to communicate across the
 network; and
 -- Digital will support the WINsockets API, providing
 transparent access to multiple transports (DECnet/OSI, and
 TCP/IP). Digital Provides One-Stop Support for Microsoft Products
 The two companies also announced expansion of Digital's support for Microsoft products to include product service support for Windows NT, and a broad range of other key Microsoft applications and system products. The expansion also includes a master license agreement to offer Microsoft University courses and video products in Digital's 145 training centers around the world. In addition, Digital's and Microsoft's respective consulting services groups will work closely together to provide complementary expertise in the areas of enterprise engineering, user-centered design, computer rightsizing, graphical user interface designing, and databases in an open, global networked environment.
 Customers of both companies will benefit from one-stop support for all aspects of services from concept and design to implementation, training, and on-going support. "Digital's singular approach for service is particularly significant to customers running and managing applications from multiple vendors in open, networked environments, " said Patty Stonesifer, Microsoft's vice president of service. "Microsoft is pleased to work with Digital to help customers deal with complex computing environments."
 Through its 14 worldwide Customer Support Centers, Digital offers 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week telephone support. Digital also will provide on-site support if problems cannot be resolved remotely. Microsoft and Digital will share and exchange information electronically between their Service Databases, and Digital service engineers will receive training from Microsoft. Digital's System Integration and Support Services will provide customization of products for unique customer requirements.
 Microsoft, founded in 1975, has become the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.
 Digital Equipment Corporation, headquartered in Maynard, Mass., is the leading worldwide supplier of networked computer systems, software and services. Digital pioneered and leads the industry in interactive, distributed and multivendor computing. Digital and its partners deliver the power to use the best integrated solutions -- from desktop to data center -- in open information environments.
 ---
 Note: ALPHA, RISC, NAS, PATHWORKS, TeamLinks, VMS, DECnet, eXcursion, Rdb/VMS is a trademark of Digital Equipment Corporation. Intel is a trademark of INTEL corporation. OSF/1 is a registered trademark of Open Software Foundation, Inc. Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
 -0- 4/24/92
 CONTACT: Michelle Hoey, 508-486-6387, or Judy Carlson (editorial contact) 508-493-6177, of Digital Equipment; or Collins Hemingway, 206-882-8080, Linda O'Neill or Waggener Edstrom, 503-245-0905, of Microsoft Corporation/
 /FIRST ADD -- BACKGROUNDER FOR EDITORS -- TO FOLLOW/
 (DEC MSFT) CO: Digital Equipment Corporation; Microsoft Corporation ST: Massachusetts IN: CPR SU: JVN


SH -- NE001 -- 2434 04/24/92 12:01 EDT
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Date:Apr 24, 1992
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