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Microsoft Takes to North Dakota

After announcing its intention to acquire Fargo, North Dakota-based Great Plains Software late last year, Microsoft Corp. this week completed its acquisition of the supplier of mid-market business applications, for approximately $1.1 billion in stock.

Under terms of the acquisition, originally announced on Dec. 21, 2000, Great Plains will become a division operating within Microsoft's Productivity and Business Services Group. The company will continue to be based in Fargo, N.D., and maintain its current team.

"Microsoft Great Plains will continue to enhance our solid reputation for customer service and innovative business solutions," said Doug Burgum, senior vice president of Microsoft and president of the Great Plains Division. "With the commitment of our 2,200 global channel partners, more than 2,000 team members, and the tremendous people and technical assets within Microsoft, we have the opportunity to reshape some of the basic assumptions that have guided commerce in the..."

Microsoft Great Plains will continue to develop, market, sell and support its business applications, Dynamics, eEnterprise and Solomon, under the Microsoft Great Plains Business Solutions brand.

As part of Microsoft, this division also plans to provide new capabilities that complement the Microsoft bCentral small-business service.

According to officials at Microsoft, the integration of technologies from both companies will also create business solutions built on the Microsoft .NET platform.

"This is a great combination that will benefit our customers, our partners in the industry and our company," said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. "The combined assets of Microsoft's global abilities, our depth of platform technology and Great Plains' leading expertise in business applications will make deep business solutions truly accessible to small and midmarket companies."

Great Plains shareholders of record on Feb. 21, 2001, will receive 1.1 shares of Microsoft common stock in exchange for each share of Great Plains common stock.