Microsoft Initiatives Strengthen Office

Wide range of initiatives are aimed at helping Microsoft's industry partners develop and deploy Microsoft Office System-based productivity solutions.

DALLAS—Microsoft Corp. on Monday announced a range of new initiatives to augment its Certified Partner Program and that it hopes will help a wide range of its industry partners develop and deploy Microsoft Office System-based productivity solutions.

The Microsoft Office System is due for release later this year, and more than 40 of Microsofts industry partners, including Citrix Systems Inc., EDS, EMC Corp., Factiva, Groove Networks Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., Intel Corp. and Xerox, will be demonstrating their Office System-based solutions at the Microsoft TechEd conference here this week.

The Microsoft Office System consists of Microsoft Office 2003 Editions, Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003, Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003, Microsoft Office OneNote 2003, Microsoft Project and Project Server, Microsoft Office Publisher 2003, Microsoft Office Real-Time Communications Server 2003, Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003, and Microsoft Office Visio 2003.

Among the new partner initiatives Microsoft will announce on Monday is the Microsoft Office System Solution Directory, which allows partners to showcase solutions at no cost.

Office Marketplace is a new section of the Office Web site designed to connect Office customers with products and services that enhance or extend a users ability to accomplish tasks with Office.

The Microsoft Office System Partner Solution Builder Program is designed to help partners in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Africa drive new business opportunities with the upcoming version of the Microsoft Office System via training vehicles, development support and marketing opportunities.

The Microsoft Smart Client Readiness Program, available in August, will give ISVs the resources to build software products on Microsoft smart client technologies

Joe Eschbach, corporate vice president of Microsofts Information Worker Product Management Group, said its customers want to access their information in whatever system it resides.

"The solutions we, and our partners, are building with the Microsoft Office System will help our customers do that and more," he said.