Microsoft and Xerox to Put Office Equipment on NT Networks

An operating system vendor and a company known for its copiers may not be the likeliest of bedfellows, but Microsoft Corp. and Xerox Corp. ( entered into a dual faceted agreement late last month.

The two companies, in fact, claim the agreement is a result of separate company visions that are colliding: The collaboration extends Microsoft's vision of the digital nervous system and Xerox's vision of bridging the paper and digital worlds.

The main component of the deal is a joint technology and market-development initiative. The companies agreed to share technology and work together to create collaboration and communication solutions based on the Windows NT Embedded operating system and Microsoft Exchange Server, as well as Xerox's Document Centre Systems.

With the Xerox Document Centre family, users can scan documents directly to Microsoft Exchange Server. These documents can be shared locally by a team or replicated across a global enterprise through the use of Exchange Public Folders. Scanning, faxing, copying and printing also can be integrated into a network document gateway.

Xerox will license Windows NT Embedded 4.0 as the operating system for a future generation of Document Centre products.

In the second aspect of the deal, Microsoft licensed the Xerox PARC-developed WebForager, a user-interface technology that will be used in combination with Microsoft's current 3-D user interface research.

Xerox separately announced a distribution and marketing alliance with Compaq Computer Corp. Initially, Xerox Connect, Xerox’s systems integration service, and Compaq will constitute the primary delivery channels for the Exchange and Document Centre solution, forming the backbone of a knowledge-sharing solution for the office environment.

The Microsoft Exchange and Document Centre solution is scheduled to be available in the U.S. in the third quarter of 1999.

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