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Microsoft Office to gain Net software

Later today Microsoft officials will announce plans to purchase Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Vermeer Technologies, a Web authoring software company.

At 11 a.m. PT, Microsoft officials will unveil plans to buy Vermeer Technologies, a Web authoring software company. The move is in sync with the Microsoft's Internet strategy that company officials outlined in early December.

Vermeer's FrontPage software allows users to create Web pages without complex programming. Microsoft is expected to announce a plan to add FrontPage to its Microsoft Office suite of business applications. At its Net strategy announcement on December 7, Microsoft officials said they would immediately mobilize to erode Netscape Communications' lead in the intranet market.