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Microsoft stands shoulder to shoulder with its industry partners for the
launch of Windows 2000

The line-up for the UK’s Windows 2000 launch team of 12 partners has been
announced today by Microsoft. The Partner Rapid Deployment Programme (PRDP)
team is made up of partners who will work on deployments and pilots for
early adopting customers.

The UK partners who will be launching Windows 2000 are:
- Cap Gemini UK Limited
- Compaq Computer Limited
- Compel
- Computacenter
- Data General Corp
- ESOFT Global  Hewlett Packard
- ICL
- Morse
- OS Integration plc
- Pygmalion Computer Group
- Unisys

The programme is designed for partners to provide consultancy to early users
of Windows 2000 in areas such as systems integration, training and support.
By participating in the programme, the team members will be able to develop
their skills for Windows 2000 ahead of its launch, ensuring they are ready
to implement solutions for customers when the final product is available.

The partners will also receive significant support from Microsoft through
its consultants, technical support service, online chats and briefings.
Anne Mitchard, business and enterprise marketing manager for Microsoft
comments:

"We have complete confidence in all the partners we have to launch Windows
2000 with Microsoft in the UK. Microsoft’s business model ensures tailored
offerings are provided through the partners’ strong expertise in a variety
of skills and we see the launch of Windows 2000 as an industry event that
will succeed or fail on the strength of our relationship with our partners.
When the final product goes to market we intend to have all our partners
standing shoulder to shoulder with us on launch day."

Team reactions

Jim Proctor of Cap Gemini says:
"In the E-Commerce world users and tasks will require complex capabilities
and functionality. Windows 2000 is a fundamental foundation for Cap Gemini
to deliver innovative E-Business solutions to the new business world"

Mark Yates of Compaq says:
"As a provider of professional services to the Enterprise it is important
for Compaq to work with Microsoft and benefit from our alliance, and be a
member of the Partner Deployment Programme for Windows 2000. There is a
mutual advantage to be gained by Compaq, Microsoft, Partners and enterprise
customers. This advantage is obtained from the collective knowledge and
experience of the PRDP partners, applied to each company that migrates to
the enterprise operating system environment provided by Windows 2000."

Peter McCartney of Compel says:
"We know many of our customers are already very interested in knowing more
about Windows 2000 and some will be rolling out Windows 2000 as soon as
possible. It was important to both us and our customers that Compel took
part in the PRDP programme to ensure our customers were first in line to
receive the latest information and highest level of support from Compel in
adopting Windows 2000. Over the last twelve months we have invested heavily
in extensive training for every consultant within our consultancy group
which allow us to deliver high-productivity Windows 2000 business solutions
that have the lowest cost of ownership."

Mike Davies of Computacenter says:
"Computacenter is delighted to be chosen by Microsoft as a PRDP partner; we
believe it is a natural extension to our Alliance with Microsoft and
illustrates our continued investment around the Microsoft platform. In
terms of its impact on our customers, Windows 2000 represents one of the
most important technical developments for many years. As a PRDP partner we
will be at the forefront of the Windows 2000 revolution allowing us to bring
the benefits of Windows 2000 to our customers early. Early design and
deployment by our customers will mean they can quickly start reaping the
benefits of Microsoft’s enterprise class computing infrastructure."

Ali Shirnia, Data General says
"The launch of SQL Server 7.0 last year enabled our customers to deploy core
business applications on Microsoft Windows NT and SQL Server. These
applications would further benefit from the additional scalability and
reliability features built into Windows 2000. We have partnered with
Microsoft to build our combined consulting and professional services,
solutions design and customer services skills in Windows 2000 to help our
customers deploy their 24 x 7, mission-critical applications as rapidly as
possible."

David Sidwell of ESOFT Global says:
"ESOFT Global has developed Windows 2000 Cell Technology. It enables
existing applications to be delivered to specific groups of users of Windows
2000 quickly and easily, but under measurable, controlled conditions to
enable the collection of accurate cost and benefit information. The
technical skills developed, and experienced gained by our consultancy
division have made ESOFT Global a natural choice as one of Microsoft’s Key
Partners in the delivery and management of early Windows 2000 pilots."

Graham Stewart of Hewlett Packard says:
"Windows 2000 is the technology that will take commodity computing to the
Datacenter. Windows 2000 delivers significant benefits to customers
deploying Mission Critical Infrastructures through superior scalability,
reliability and manageability. Pivotal to Windows 2000 success in the
Datacenter will be datacenter disciplines, processes, and skills.

"HP is an acknowledged leader in Mission Critical Computing with Proven
Intel Server technology, effective processes, and high quality support and
consulting capability. Being a Microsoft PRDP Partner allows HP’s newly
formed Microsoft Services Organisation to quickly build a high level of
Windows 2000 knowledge and expertise. The MSO will provide a range of
services to enable customers to gain early skills and experience of using
Windows 2000 in the fastest and most economic way."

Paul Lynch of ICL says:
"Windows 2000 is the future of enterprise computing. It is crucial that
ICL, as a leading IT services company, has early and detailed experience in
deploying the technology for the benefit of our customers. Participation in
the Partner Rapid Deployment Programme builds on our substantial experience
with Windows 2000 and ensures our customers will get early benefit from this
powerful new product."

Mark Byatt of Morse Group, says:
"Morse has many years’ experience of building secure, robust enterprise
computing infrastructures. We have worked closely with companies like
Compaq, IBM and Hewlett-Packard to deliver Windows NT solutions in the past,
and Windows 2000 represents a major step forward in this technology. We have
a dedicated consulting team working on server-centric (thin client)
computing, and are particularly excited by Windows 2000’s built-in support
for such projects. We plan to provide Windows 2000 proof-of-concept
facilities for our customers at our Enterprise Computing Centres throughout
Europe."

Juliet Camp of OS Integration says:
"It’s about competitive advantage for our customers. We are one of few
Microsoft skilled consultancies with an existing and broad experience in
Directory Services. This, combined with our early access to Windows 2000
means our customer development and implementation teams can leverage the
product to build better global, enterprise-scale e-business and knowledge
management oriented solutions for our customers. We can begin work with our
customers the moment Windows 2000 is released and be quick to deliver. Being
early to implement, our customers will gain over their competitors."

Aine McGuire of Pygmalion Consulting Services says:
"A large number of our customers are telling us that they see many benefits
in moving to the Windows 2000 platform and 90% of these are advising us that
Windows 2000 is in their short - medium term plans. The Pygmalion
Consulting Services division wanted to be part of the programme as it is it
is important for us to be there to assist our customers with early ‘limited
implementation’ programmes, that are a natural precursor to a full blown
implementation. Our consultants have put together a range of ‘packaged
service offerings’ that will help customers easily identify the various
steps involved in the deployment process. In addition Pygmalion is offering
specialist expertise in the powerful security features of W2K based on PKI
(Public Key Infrastructure) and & smart-card technologies. A range of
seminars and demonstrations will be available.

"Undoubtedly our customers will gain competitive advantage by deploying
early, and ensuring that important business applications are ready and
tested on Windows 2000. Customers will get the benefit of working with a
Microsoft Partner that has spent 12 months skilling and preparing for this
product. In addition they will also get the support of the Microsoft
Consulting Services division that in turn is giving direct support to the 12
Rapid Deployment Partners that were appointed to the programme."

- end -

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ "MSFT") is 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.

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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 customer product enquiries please advise readers to contact Microsoft
Connection on 0345 00 2000.

For further press information, please contact:

Microsoft
Microsoft Press Office
AUGUST.ONE COMMUNICATIONS
Tel: 0181 242 4242
mspressoffice@text100.co.uk

Cap Gemini UK plc
Jim Procter
Cap Gemini UK plc
0870 904 5832
jim.procter@capgemini.co.uk

Compaq Computer Limited
Hilda Herterich
Firefly Communications
0207 386 1532
hilda.herterich@firefly.co.uk

Compel
Peter McCartney
Compel
07971 007067
peter.mccartney@compel.co.uk

Computacenter
Louise Lawson
Computacenter
0171 593 4157
louise.lawson@computacenter.com

Data General Corp
Simon Sharwood
Grant Butler Coomber
0181 322 1922
simons@gbc.co.uk

ESOFT Global
David Sidwell or Claire Pitman or Dionne Barlow or David
Angwin
ESOFT Global
01865 386900
David.sidwell@esoft-global.com

Hewlett Packard
Graham Stewart
Hewlett Packard
01344 365164
graham_stewart@hp.com

ICL
Sandra Richardson
ICL
01753 604668
sandra.richardson@icl.com

Morse
Jane Harris
Citigate Technology
0207 282 2952
jane.harris@ctech-lon.co.uk

OS Integration plc
Derek Harris
OAST Communications
01959 568512
derek@oast.co.uk

Pygmalion Computer Group
Aine McGuire
Pygmalion Computer Group
0171 680 9499
Aine.mcguire@pygmalion.com

Unisys
Jill Pearcy
Unisys
01895 862951
jill.pearcy@unisys.com

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