Microsoft Takes Stake in VerticalNet

Microsoft Corp. is taking a $100
million stake in online trading community VerticalNet Inc. as part of an
alliance to offer business-to-business e-commerce services and content to
enterprise businesses.

With the agreement announced late Thursday, (MSFT)
Microsoft will also lend VerticalNet (VERT)
distribution and marketing support through the MSN network, Microsoft
bCentral small-business portal and

VerticalNet will integrate key Microsoft technologies including the
Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition operating system, Microsoft SQL
Server and Microsoft Site Server Commerce Edition, as well as supporting
Microsoft’s Next Generation Windows Services and future enhancements to
Microsoft’s e-commerce technologies.

“This new alliance willprovide new and flexible ways for companies to buy
and sell products on the Internet. Companies will have the choice of using a
VerticalNet Storefront, E-Commerce Center, Auction technologies or other
commerce features all built on top of Microsoft’s platforms and Web-based
services,” said Mark Walsh, president and chief executive officer of

“These tools give companies a commerce platform and instant access to
communities of targeted buyers in any of our vertical markets.”

VerticalNet Inc. owns and operates 55 industry-specific Web sites designed
as online business-to-business communities, known as vertical trade
communities. These vertical trade communities provide users with
comprehensive sources of information, interaction and e-commerce.

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