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Microsoft has again expanded Office Suite, its most lucrative product line, with Office 97, Small Business Edition, which is due out in the first quarter of 1997, and BackOffice 2.5, which was released to manufacturing. The latter will ship too early to include some of Microsoft's latest product releases, such as Exchange Server 4.5 and IIS 3.0.

America Online drastically revamped its pricing strategy. Like most ISPs, AOL will charge a monthly plan of unlimited use for $19.95.

One of UNIX's biggest proponents pulled an about-face and embraced Windows NT. Tandem announced plans to port its entire enterprise software line-including a robust family of transaction processors, databases and clustering gear-to NT.

Microsoft's FoxPro database, the subject of a deathwatch in recent months, got a new lease on life with the FoxPro 5.0 Professional Edition release.

You've heard about Microsoft's "embrace and extend" strategy? Netscape announced plans to "embrace and integrate" Microsoft platforms and technologies in its client/server software and the Netscape ONE open-network environment.

Startup Exponential Technologies claims its X704 series of PowerPC microprocessors will come in three flavors-466MHz, 500MHz and 533Mhz.

Microsoft's Internet Information Server (IIS), included with Windows NT Server 4.0, made further inroads into the world of big business. The company claims more than 150 Fortune 500 corporations are standardizing their intranets on IIS.

Copyright 1997 CMP Media Inc.

(From Windows Magazine, January 1997, page 75.)