Microsoft Announces bCentral Commerce Manager Add-in for FrontPage, Eases Addition of E-Commerce Features to Web Sites

Add-in Brings Benefits of Microsoft's Vision of Software-as-Service

To Millions; Limited-Time Promotion Offers Three Free Months to Users

Of bCentral Commerce Manager



Apr 16, 2001, 01:00 ET from Microsoft Corp.

    REDMOND, Wash., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:   MSFT)
 today announced the immediate availability of the Microsoft(R) bCentral(TM)
 Commerce Manager Add-in for the Microsoft FrontPage(R) Web development tool.
 The add-in provides a simple way for millions of users of FrontPage to add
 powerful e-commerce functionality to their FrontPage 2000-based, or soon,
 FrontPage version 2002-based Web sites and to host those sites at any Web site
 hosting provider they choose.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO )
     The Commerce Manager Add-in includes templates for an online product
 catalog, product category pages and product detail pages, along with order
 management, shopping cart and order-processing features including optional
 credit-card processing. The add-in brings the benefits of Microsoft's
 software-as-service strategy to millions of current and potential users of
 FrontPage.
     "The new bCentral Commerce Manager Add-in for FrontPage enables companies
 to get started with e-commerce quickly," said Joseph Krawczak, director of
 product management for Office at Microsoft. "Customers want to extend their
 FrontPage Web sites with an easy, secure and inexpensive way to sell products
 on their sites. We're happy to be responding with the software and service
 they need to make this happen. We're also delighted that important third-party
 software vendors will be creating bCentral Commerce Manager-compatible
 services so their customers can tap into the service as well."
 
     The Benefits of Microsoft's Software-as-Service Vision
     "This new add-in is one step toward Microsoft's software-as-service
 vision, providing millions of users of FrontPage with the ability to take
 advantage of easy e-commerce capabilities in bCentral Commerce Manager," said
 Satya Nadella, vice president of bCentral at Microsoft. "Now, small and
 midsized companies can start selling on the Web with just a few clicks of the
 mouse."
     Adding the ability to sell products on a FrontPage-based Web site is easy
 with the bCentral Commerce Manager service and the bCentral Commerce Manager
 Add-in. Merchants subscribe to the bCentral Commerce Manager service, enter
 the list of products to sell into a simple Web-based form, and run a wizard
 that creates templates for product pages, category pages and a page that lists
 all the categories in which they are selling products.
     The merchant then uses FrontPage 2000 or 2002 to customize the templates
 with the merchant's own logos and themes, and runs the wizard to produce the
 product and category pages, complete with shopping cart functionality and
 "buy" buttons.
     For example, Creative-Web-Site.com, a Web site design firm that
 specializes in developing Web sites with FrontPage, was faced with the
 challenge of selecting an e-commerce solution for the Elite Bicycle Web site
 ( http://www.elitebicycle.com/ ). "After investigating various e-commerce
 solutions, we found that Commerce Manager provides us with the best ready
 feature set:  batch product uploads, on-line Seller Console for store
 management, sales reports, even inventory tracking," said Victor Wahby of
 Creative-Web-Site.com. "The power and simplicity of the bCentral Commerce
 Manager Add-in and its tight integration with FrontPage were keys to our
 decision to use it for Elite Bicycle."
     E-commerce sites created with this add-in are protected by
 industry-standard SSL technology, encryption codes and a firewall-protected
 backend database at Microsoft. The add-in also uses the industry-standard XML
 language to communicate between the FrontPage-based Web site and bCentral
 Commerce Manager.
     The bCentral Commerce Manager service also includes a subscription option
 that allows users to "push" their product lists to participating auction sites
 and marketplaces, including MSN(R) Marketplace, MSN Auctions and, in the near
 future, eBay.
     A software developer kit (SDK) for the bCentral Commerce Manager service
 will be available soon, so third-party e-commerce vendors such as Boomerang
 Software Inc., ComCity Corp, LaGarde Software Inc., PDG Software Inc. and
 others will be able to offer bCentral Commerce Manager "push" capabilities in
 their products and offer customers an upgrade path for additional
 functionality.
 
     Developers Support Commerce Manager Add-in
     The add-in is of interest not only to people looking to start e-commerce
 sites, but also to Internet service providers and software developers.
 Although the product databases and some services are hosted on bCentral, the
 e-commerce-enabled FrontPage Web sites themselves can be hosted anywhere, so
 ISPs can offer them as a new service to their subscribers. And because
 Microsoft will be offering an SDK for the add-in, independent software
 developers can easily create new features, products and services that offer
 additional value to customers.
     "The Commerce Manager Add-in for Microsoft FrontPage will be an effective
 solution to further enhance our customers' storefront presence," said
 David Snyder, president of PDG Software. "Integration of PDG Shopping Cart
 with the Commerce Manager service will make it easy for our customers to
 generate additional interest in the products they promote and sell on their
 FrontPage-based Web site."
 
     Pricing, Availability and Requirements
     The bCentral Commerce Manager Add-in for FrontPage is now available for
 download from Microsoft at
 http://www.microsoft.com/frontpage/commercemanager.htm . Users of FrontPage
 need to have a subscription to bCentral Commerce Manager, available for
 $12.95 per month or $99.95 per year.
     Microsoft also announced today that it is offering a free, three-month
 subscription to bCentral Commerce Manager for a limited time as part of the
 launch of the Commerce Manager Add-in for FrontPage. Users who wish to expand
 on the capabilities of the add-in can upgrade to the full version of bCentral
 Commerce Manager.
     To take advantage of the limited-time, three-month-free subscription from
 bCentral, or to download the add-in and other information, users can visit the
 primary resource for Commerce Manager Add-in information:
 http://www.microsoft.com/frontpage/commercemanager.htm .
     Computer users worldwide can obtain information about Microsoft FrontPage
 at http://www.microsoft.com/frontpage/ . Information about other Microsoft
 products can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/ .
 
     About Microsoft
     Founded in 1975, Microsoft 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.
     NOTE:  Microsoft, bCentral, FrontPage and MSN are either registered
 trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other
 countries.
     The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the
 trademarks of their respective owners.
 
 

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.
    REDMOND, Wash., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:   MSFT)
 today announced the immediate availability of the Microsoft(R) bCentral(TM)
 Commerce Manager Add-in for the Microsoft FrontPage(R) Web development tool.
 The add-in provides a simple way for millions of users of FrontPage to add
 powerful e-commerce functionality to their FrontPage 2000-based, or soon,
 FrontPage version 2002-based Web sites and to host those sites at any Web site
 hosting provider they choose.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO )
     The Commerce Manager Add-in includes templates for an online product
 catalog, product category pages and product detail pages, along with order
 management, shopping cart and order-processing features including optional
 credit-card processing. The add-in brings the benefits of Microsoft's
 software-as-service strategy to millions of current and potential users of
 FrontPage.
     "The new bCentral Commerce Manager Add-in for FrontPage enables companies
 to get started with e-commerce quickly," said Joseph Krawczak, director of
 product management for Office at Microsoft. "Customers want to extend their
 FrontPage Web sites with an easy, secure and inexpensive way to sell products
 on their sites. We're happy to be responding with the software and service
 they need to make this happen. We're also delighted that important third-party
 software vendors will be creating bCentral Commerce Manager-compatible
 services so their customers can tap into the service as well."
 
     The Benefits of Microsoft's Software-as-Service Vision
     "This new add-in is one step toward Microsoft's software-as-service
 vision, providing millions of users of FrontPage with the ability to take
 advantage of easy e-commerce capabilities in bCentral Commerce Manager," said
 Satya Nadella, vice president of bCentral at Microsoft. "Now, small and
 midsized companies can start selling on the Web with just a few clicks of the
 mouse."
     Adding the ability to sell products on a FrontPage-based Web site is easy
 with the bCentral Commerce Manager service and the bCentral Commerce Manager
 Add-in. Merchants subscribe to the bCentral Commerce Manager service, enter
 the list of products to sell into a simple Web-based form, and run a wizard
 that creates templates for product pages, category pages and a page that lists
 all the categories in which they are selling products.
     The merchant then uses FrontPage 2000 or 2002 to customize the templates
 with the merchant's own logos and themes, and runs the wizard to produce the
 product and category pages, complete with shopping cart functionality and
 "buy" buttons.
     For example, Creative-Web-Site.com, a Web site design firm that
 specializes in developing Web sites with FrontPage, was faced with the
 challenge of selecting an e-commerce solution for the Elite Bicycle Web site
 ( http://www.elitebicycle.com/ ). "After investigating various e-commerce
 solutions, we found that Commerce Manager provides us with the best ready
 feature set:  batch product uploads, on-line Seller Console for store
 management, sales reports, even inventory tracking," said Victor Wahby of
 Creative-Web-Site.com. "The power and simplicity of the bCentral Commerce
 Manager Add-in and its tight integration with FrontPage were keys to our
 decision to use it for Elite Bicycle."
     E-commerce sites created with this add-in are protected by
 industry-standard SSL technology, encryption codes and a firewall-protected
 backend database at Microsoft. The add-in also uses the industry-standard XML
 language to communicate between the FrontPage-based Web site and bCentral
 Commerce Manager.
     The bCentral Commerce Manager service also includes a subscription option
 that allows users to "push" their product lists to participating auction sites
 and marketplaces, including MSN(R) Marketplace, MSN Auctions and, in the near
 future, eBay.
     A software developer kit (SDK) for the bCentral Commerce Manager service
 will be available soon, so third-party e-commerce vendors such as Boomerang
 Software Inc., ComCity Corp, LaGarde Software Inc., PDG Software Inc. and
 others will be able to offer bCentral Commerce Manager "push" capabilities in
 their products and offer customers an upgrade path for additional
 functionality.
 
     Developers Support Commerce Manager Add-in
     The add-in is of interest not only to people looking to start e-commerce
 sites, but also to Internet service providers and software developers.
 Although the product databases and some services are hosted on bCentral, the
 e-commerce-enabled FrontPage Web sites themselves can be hosted anywhere, so
 ISPs can offer them as a new service to their subscribers. And because
 Microsoft will be offering an SDK for the add-in, independent software
 developers can easily create new features, products and services that offer
 additional value to customers.
     "The Commerce Manager Add-in for Microsoft FrontPage will be an effective
 solution to further enhance our customers' storefront presence," said
 David Snyder, president of PDG Software. "Integration of PDG Shopping Cart
 with the Commerce Manager service will make it easy for our customers to
 generate additional interest in the products they promote and sell on their
 FrontPage-based Web site."
 
     Pricing, Availability and Requirements
     The bCentral Commerce Manager Add-in for FrontPage is now available for
 download from Microsoft at
 http://www.microsoft.com/frontpage/commercemanager.htm . Users of FrontPage
 need to have a subscription to bCentral Commerce Manager, available for
 $12.95 per month or $99.95 per year.
     Microsoft also announced today that it is offering a free, three-month
 subscription to bCentral Commerce Manager for a limited time as part of the
 launch of the Commerce Manager Add-in for FrontPage. Users who wish to expand
 on the capabilities of the add-in can upgrade to the full version of bCentral
 Commerce Manager.
     To take advantage of the limited-time, three-month-free subscription from
 bCentral, or to download the add-in and other information, users can visit the
 primary resource for Commerce Manager Add-in information:
 http://www.microsoft.com/frontpage/commercemanager.htm .
     Computer users worldwide can obtain information about Microsoft FrontPage
 at http://www.microsoft.com/frontpage/ . Information about other Microsoft
 products can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/ .
 
     About Microsoft
     Founded in 1975, Microsoft 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.
     NOTE:  Microsoft, bCentral, FrontPage and MSN are either registered
 trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other
 countries.
     The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the
 trademarks of their respective owners.
 
 SOURCE  Microsoft Corp.

RELATED LINKS

http://www.microsoft.com