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Microsoft and Invensys Forge Alliance

The two companies will focus initially on the hydrocarbon market, then extend to additional target industries.

Microsoft and Invensys announced an alliance, during the ISA Expo 2003, Oct. 21-23, in Houston, to promote Microsoft’s architecture within the Invensys domain expertise of manufacturing. The companies will work together and invest resources to optimize the development of Invensys applications, systems and solutions by building those systems on the Microsoft platform of products. The companies will also engage in joint marketing, sales and training activities at selected manufacturing accounts.

During this three-year alliance, which includes options to extend, the companies expect to grow their businesses while initially focusing on the hydrocarbon market. Future target markets include power and utilities, food and beverage, and pharmaceuticals.

Invensys Chief Operating Officer Leo Quinn, in an exclusive interview with Automation World editors, stated that the company decided to look for partnerships as a way to expand its business. Initially considering IBM, the company then began to focus on Microsoft.

“Our business relationship with Microsoft goes back to Wonderware in 1987,” said Quinn. “We have similar cultures and have been working together successfully for many years. In fact, we have invested more than $50 million in developing our ArchestrA platform that is built on Microsoft .Net, so it is only natural for us to forge an alliance with them for future products and sales.” As part of the partnership, Microsoft will provide expertise in technology and marketing, while Invensys will provide deep domain expertise in the key industrial markets.

Quinn noted that in today’s business environment, the company would probably not have decided to invest $50 million in a new software platform. But now that it has, it intends to continue development. “Other companies would be reluctant to make that investment today. Perhaps ArchestrA will become a standard that other companies will license to rebuild their products on .Net.”

In other Invensys news, the company has launched the ArchestrA Community Web Site at www.ArchestrA.biz. The site is designed to serve as an applications aid and communication tool for people who are interested in leveraging ArchestrA technology. It also serves as a resource center for application engineers and product developers and a central repository for technical and application information. Part of the site is an application object warehouse, which contains downloadable ArchestrA objects via shareware.

Also, Wonderware announced that its InTouch human-machine interface software now supports the Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC operating system.

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