Microsoft mines another vertical market with NT

Microsoft mines another vertical market with NT

Microsoft continued the drilling of its Windows NT and BackOffice server suite into vertical markets with the recent announcement of a new effort focused on the energy and utilities industry.

Microsoft will work with independent software vendors (ISVs) who make applications for industries like mining and oil refining to encourage and help them optimise their products for the NT platform, Microsoft spokesperson Donna Gibbs said.

For the past year, Microsoft has been on a mission to drive NT and its BackOffice software suite into vertical markets, most notably the finance and health care industries, in an effort to bolster its reputation as a solutions provider for large businesses, analysts said.

"This will help not just NT, but their whole business," said Wilson Haddow, an analyst with Input. "If they want to be more integrated with big business they have to show some kind of industry expertise. At the moment, they are still perceived more as a technology supplier than as a business partner."

To date, Microsoft has targeted almost 20 vertical markets. Other markets include retail, state and local government, and distribution and manufacturing. The process generally involves working with ISVs to encourage them to port industry-specific applications to NT and integrate them into the BackOffice suite, Gibbs said.

Features of the new Outlook client

By IDG staff writers

- Background synchronisation and filtered replication when working with Exchange Server- HTML code support so e-mail messages appear as Web pages- A simplified user interface with a new search tool; a customisable tool bar; an organising tool; folder creation and management; and a new e-mail, calendar, and task summary view

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