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Microsoft Unveils Microsoft Commercial Internet System 2.5, A Comprehensive, Integrated, Commercial-Grade Server Suite

MCIS 2.5 Enables Commercial Service Providers to Offer Communications, E-Commerce, Internet Access and Hosting Services

REDMOND, Wash. - June 14, 1999 - Building on the momentum of Microsoft® Commercial Internet System (MCIS) version 2.0 launched last year, Microsoft Corp. today unveiled MCIS 2.5, a comprehensive, integrated suite of server applications that makes it easy for commercial service providers (CSPs) to deploy higher-margin Internet services more cost effectively.

MCIS offers a full-featured, Internet-standards-based suite of powerful and integrated applications that provides rich communication services, including mail, news and conferencing, and hosting of advanced Internet, intranet and commerce-enabled Web sites, and enables enhanced Internet access services for deploying virtual private networking and roaming solutions. The Microsoft Commercial Internet System 2.5 is targeted to CSPs, such as Internet and online service providers, telephone and cable network operators, and communities of interest that provide software services.

"More than 200 CSPs to date have worked with Microsoft to design and deploy Internet access and hosting services on MCIS," said Jon DeVaan, vice president, Consumer Commerce Group, Microsoft. "With the release of MCIS 2.5, Microsoft has underscored its commitment to commercial service providers with new feature enhancements that specifically address their growing needs."

MCIS 2.5 includes the following new and improved features:

  • MCIS 2.5 HTML Mail Interface (HMI). HMI adds to basic e-mail services by enabling CSPs to include Web-browser-based access to e-mail accounts. This allows users to access their e-mail either from home or on the road by simply connecting to the Internet and using a Web browser.
  • MCIS 2.5 Personal Web Page (PWP) services. These enable CSPs to provide large numbers of users with simple personal Web sites, by allowing users to create Web pages on their own computer and upload those files to their CSP's data center.
  • MCIS Administration and Provisioning Service (MAPS) framework. CSPs can extend the MAPS framework to provide Web-based forms, enabling consumers and business users to sign up for the services they want. After customers complete these forms, MCIS calls a series of COM objects that automatically create user accounts and configure user-selected services. In this way, CSPs do not have to spend countless hours manually configuring a service for each customer.
  • Updated resource kit. This includes guides and tools to help administrators deploy their commercial service. These guides, through detailed examples and step-by-step instructions, help administrators deploy their service quickly and reliably.

Commercial-Grade, Integrated Services and Rapid Deployment

MCIS 2.5 scales to millions of users, supports Internet standards, and can be managed from multiple interfaces such as browsers, set-top TV boxes, command lines and the Microsoft Management Console (MMC), which enables CSPs to easily expand their businesses. MCIS also provides interoperability with UNIX systems, which preserves existing infrastructure investments.

"The features offered in the new MCIS 2.5 release provide tremendous flexibility and functionality for Web deployments for my end-user customers," said John Peters, executive vice-president and general manager of the applications services division for Concentric Corp. "Whether we are implementing communications, hosting or network services, we now have an improved, comprehensive tool that affords easy administration, high scalability and enhanced reliability."

MCIS 2.5 enables CSPs to create and deploy new services quickly, because of its range of authoring and development tools, including the FrontPage® 98 Web site creation and management tool and the Visual InterDev™ 6.0 Web development system; an updated resource kit; and MCIS Administration and Provisioning Services. MCIS 2.5 will enable CSPs to host Internet and intranet sites, and also enable e-commerce solutions using Site Server 3.0 and Site Server Commerce Edition 3.0.

Microsoft Commercial Internet System 2.5 is a member of the Microsoft BackOffice® family of server suites and runs on the Microsoft Windows NT® Server 4.0 operating system with Microsoft Internet Information Server 4.0. Further information on MCIS is available at


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