More server software from MS

Microsoft announces the delivery of Net-based financial software and a Web options package for its Windows NT 4.0 operating system.

Microsoft's(MSFT) year-end onslaught of server software continued today, as the company announced the delivery of Net-based financial software and a Web options package for its Windows NT 4.0 operating system.

The Microsoft Internet Finance Server Toolkit, formerly code-named Marble, is a software bundle intended to allow banks and other institutions to build applications for delivering financial services to their customers. The toolkit, based on Windows NT Server, enables applications that allow bank customers to pay bills, check account balances, transfer funds, and view banking and brokerage statements online, the company said.

Microsoft has targeted the financial services industry as a key market for adoption of Windows NT-related technologies. The company is battling IBM and other vendors for control of the technology for delivering banking services to customers.

The toolkit is compatible with OFX (Open Financial Exchange), a common protocol for consumer online banking launched earlier this year by Microsoft, CheckFree, and Intuit.

OFX compliant applications, such as Microsoft Money and Intuit Quicken, can work with applications developed with the toolkit, as can Web browser-based applications.

The toolkit costs $9,999. Microsoft is also providing solution providers, or system integrators, with the toolkit at a discounted price of $2,000.

Microsoft also said today that the Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack has been released to manufacturing. The pack adds Internet Information Server 4.0, Transaction Server 2.0, Message Queue Server 1.0, Certificate Server 1.0, Internet Connection Services for RAS, new data access components, Site Server Express, Internet Explorer 4.01, and Service Pack 3 for Windows NT 4.0. The pack also includes Personal Web Server 4.0 for Windows NT Workstation and Windows 95.

Beginning in January, the pack will be included with all new copies of Windows NT Server 4.0. Users of Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 95 can download the pack free of charge from Microsoft's Web site. The pack is also available on CD-ROM from resellers, priced at $99.95.

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