May Blossoms

The summer may be hot, but credit card debt is even hotter. American consumers piled on $2.1 billion in revolving debt during May, compared to paying-down of $600 million last May. Revolving credit grew at an annual rate of 4.4% during May compared to -1.4% last May, according to preliminary figures released Thursday afternoon by the Federal Reserve. Overall consumer credit is growing sharply, at an annual rate of 10.4%. Since last May, American consumers have added more than $30 billion to revolving debt, according to the FRB. Revolving credit is mostly credit card debt. At the end of May, American consumers were $1.344 trillion in debt, exclusive of home mortgages.

May99 Apr99 Mar99 Feb99 Jan99 Dec98 Nov98 Oct98 Sep98 Aug98
%GRWTH: 4.4% 5.9 -0.9 3.4 11.6 8.6 -2.4 13.0 7.5 10.7
$OWED: $572.2 570.1 567.3 567.5 565.9 560.5 556.5 557.6 551.7 548.3

Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 07/08/99; For complete
historical data visit


Tidel’s Record Pace

TX-based Tidel Technologies reported yesterday that is sold 1,939 new ATMs during the second quarter, a 41% increase from the 1,379 units shipped in the same quarter of 1998. The unit sales reflect the best quarter ever surpassing by 28% the previous shipment record set in March 1999 of 1,511 ATMs. For the first-half of calendar 1999, the company shipped a record 3,450 ATMs, an increase of 38% from the 2,510 units shipped in the first-half of calendar 1998. In comparison, Tidel shipped 4,324 ATMs for all of calendar 1998.


3GI Founder Gets Award

3-G International, Inc. announced this week that Thomas L. Gregg won the 1999 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Greater Washington, DC area for his achievements in founding and building the leading U.S. smart card solutions company.

The awards were co-sponsored by USA Today, CNN, and the NASDAQ-Amex Market Group.

Previous Entrepreneur of the Year award winners have included a “Who’s Who” of business leaders, such as Michael Dell of Dell Computer Corporation, Steve Case of America Online, and Howard Schultz of Starbucks Coffee.

3-G International, Inc. is the leading U.S. smart card solutions company and has provided multiple application smart card solutions to industry and government since 1991. 3GI offers a wide range of smart card applications and solutions including financial, internet and computer security, electronic payments, and card system management. 3GI is based in Springfield, Virginia and has branch offices in Williamsburg, Honolulu, San Francisco, Raleigh, Edinburgh, and Shenzhen, China. 3GI was recently recognized as one of the fastest growing privately-held U.S. companies in the Inc. 500 survey. 3GI can be found on the World Wide Web at .


Partners First Selects CampaignOne

Nestor, Inc. announced Thursday that Partners First, a leading credit card services company with more than two million customers and $2.2 billion in receivables under management, has chosen CampaignOne as a key tool for managing the execution of its customer relationship management initiatives. By centralizing the operational aspects of marketing efforts with CampaignOne, Partners First will create a more comprehensive view of its customer base, and then use that information to more closely understand the individual needs of its customers and identify opportunities to serve them better.

Partners First, in conjunction with Nestor, will develop custom neural-network models to evaluate and predict customer behavior patterns. CampaignOne’s closed-loop system reports, assesses and evaluates each model implementation. “Nestor’s solution will serve as a key tool for Customer Relationship Management operations as we look to improve our customer management process,” said Sathya Rajavelu, manager of database administration at Partners First. “We aim to leverage the Nestor solution’s unique combination of campaign management capabilities and neural network modeling techniques.”

“In light of an increasingly competitive environment, banks and credit card issuers are looking more closely at the technologies that can help them understand and target their customers more effectively,” said Sushmito Ghosh, executive vice president of Nestor. “CampaignOne offers a powerful combination of software and modeling techniques to help marketing executives identify new opportunities, measure the effectiveness of each campaign, and then help refine subsequent communications with their card holder base. Our 15 years in financial services will be invaluable as we help Partners First enhance their customer relationships.”

About Partners First

Partners First is a top 25 credit card company headquartered in Linthicum, Maryland with additional offices in Boston, Massachusetts. For more information, call 410-865-8700 or visit

About Nestor

Founded in 1983 and headquartered in Providence, RI, Nestor, Inc. is a leading provider of intelligent decision-support solutions for the financial services industry. Nestor’s client/server products incorporate innovative pattern-recognition technologies ideally suited for data-intensive, mission-critical decision applications in real-time environments. The company’s products for financial institutions support fraud detection and case management for credit, debit, retail and commercial card fraud, as well as Internet and merchant fraud; bankruptcy prediction; and customer relationship management. Nestor products are sold direct and by selected partners worldwide. Through its subsidiary, Nestor Traffic Systems, Inc., the company also applies its technologies to a suite of video-based intelligent transportation systems that promote enhanced traffic management and improved safety. For more information, call 401-331-9640 or visit [][1].



Checkwriting Up

TeleCheck reported Thursday that June same-store retail sales rose 3.4% over the same period last year. The Midwest and Southwest regions led the nation with 4.0% gains, followed by the Mid-Atlantic, the Northeast, the West and the Southeast. The TeleCheck Retail Index is based on a year-over-year, same-store comparison of the dollar volume of checks written by consumers at more than 27,000 of TeleCheck’s 210,000 subscribing locations.


ATS Signs Weis

ATS Money Systems signed a contract with PA-based Weis Markets, Inc. yesterday to provide its grocery stores with the ‘ATS-601’ electronic coin & currency counter and an interfaced audit trail printer. ATS says the rollout of the ‘ATS-601’ is currently underway. Weis has annual revenues of approximately $1.8 billion and operates about 160 grocery stores, most of which are located in Pennsylvania. During 1999, ATS has installed its electronic counting scale in Weis Markets, Inc., Top’s Markets, The Kroger Company, Nash Finch & Co., and other retailers.


Intell-A-Check Signs Con-Ed

Intell-A-Check Corporation, a leader in electronic payment solutions, announced that Consolidated Edison Company of New York Inc. (Con Edison), the largest provider of electric, gas, and steam services throughout the New York area, has integrated Intell-A-Check!, an electronic check-writing application, to launch its new direct payment plan this month. Con Edison currently uses the Intell-A-Check! software to enable customers to directly pay their utility bills online and over the phone using their checking accounts.

Intell-A-Check! is a Microsoft Windows-based, BackOffice certified electronic check-writing application, which enables companies to accept check payments directly over the phone, fax, VRU (voice response unit), direct debit programs, and the Internet. Con Edison’s new Direct Payment Plan utilizes the Intell-A-Check! software to support monthly automatic payment deductions from customers’ personal or business checking accounts. Information is simply entered into the Intell-A-Check! interface, and payment is automatically transferred from customers’ checking accounts and credited to their Con Edison accounts each month.

“For years, Con Edison has relied on the Intell-A-Check! software to offer our customers a wide variety of easy, direct methods of electronic payment,” said George Roach, Customer Service Manager at Consolidated Edison of New York. “With the addition of our new Direct Payment Plan, Intell-A-Check! remains an essential tool as Con Edison continues to provide new, even more convenient ways for our customers to pay their bills.”

Con Edison initially integrated the Intell-A-Check! software to support the company’s Pay-By-Phone program. Customers can dial in to the company’s toll-free number, and enter their ABA and checking account information into the Intell-A-Check! system using Con Edison’s automated VRU interface, or speak directly to a customer service representative for additional assistance. Intell-A-Check! can instantly create authorized checks from customers’ accounts, which can then be sent directly to a laser printer, or formatted as ACH files for immediate electronic deposit.

To further expand customer payment options, Con Edison used Intell-A-Check! to add an online payment feature to its Web site. Using the Pay-By-Internet option, customers can securely log on to their accounts at, enter their checking information directly into the encrypted Intell-A-Check! interface, and make fast, easy payments online.

“By supporting direct check payments through virtually any medium, Intell-A-Check! offers a powerful, cost-effective tool,” said Kevin Fahey, National Sales Director of Intell-A-Check Corporation. “By integrating the Intell-A-Check! software to continuously expand customer payment options, Con Edison is rapidly differentiating itself in the increasingly competitive marketplace.”

Pricing & Availability

Intell-A-Check! software is available today, and is priced based on transactional costs and volume. Contact Intell-A-Check Corporation today for additional pricing and product details.

About Consolidated Edison Company of New York Inc. (Con Edison)

Con Edison of New York is one of the nation’s largest utility companies, with more than $7 billion in annual revenues and $14 billion in assets. The company, a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison Inc., provides electric, gas and steam service to more than three million customers in New York City and Westchester County, New York.

About Intell-A-Check Corporation

Founded in 1994, Intell-A-Check Corporation is a leader in payment technologies, providing a range of electronic payment solutions to Fortune 1000 organizations, including MCI WorldCom, Comcast Cablevision, Bank of America, Consolidated Edison of New York, and GE Capital. Located in Belleville, NJ, the company is a Microsoft Commerce Partner. Its flagship product, Intell-A-Check!, is a Microsoft BackOffice certified solution that supports a broad range of technology platforms. For additional information, contact Intell-A-Check Corporation at 800-946-8355, or via the Web at


Tango Deal

Savera Systems Incorporated announced Thursday that Tango, the leading GSM provider in Luxembourg, is incorporating the Savera RealTime Prepaid Billing system, into their Pronto prepaid wireless service offering. The solution will be deployed at Tango in the third quarter of 1999.

The Savera RealTime Prepaid Billing system is a client/server-based prepaid billing platform with real-time rating and discounting. The system uses Call Data Records (CDRs), to process and rate call information over wireless and wireline networks and the Internet. With support for multiple applications on the same server, the product’s unique Web-based customer-care module provides an easy interface for communication with network-based solutions like service provisioning, credit card processing using cyber-cash, Short Message Services (SMS), and inventory management, via a suite of open APIs. Customers and customer service representatives, gain access to this information securely over the Internet. A unique feature of the RealTime Prepaid Billing system is its flexibility to support multiple tariff structures — making it possible to easily implement sophisticated price plans for consumers and businesses alike. The system makes the introduction of new features easy, allowing providers to quickly respond to changing business conditions while decreasing time to market. In addition, the resulting growth in subscribers and associated transaction numbers can be managed efficiently.

“The Savera Prepaid Billing System is another step that will allow us to establish ourselves as the leading GSM provider in Luxembourg. We are convinced this system will give us the flexibility needed to handle prepaid services to the entire satisfaction of our customers. Prepaid services will be one of the most important elements of mobile telecommunications in the future, and we are confident of being well prepared for the next wave in this fast growing business,” says Jean Claude Bintz, Managing Director of Tango.

“The information provided by the transactions, allows cellular and Internet providers to quickly capture rating and pricing information for telephone calls and Internet transactions in real-time,” says Inderpal Singh Mumick, Savera’s President and Chief Technology Officer. “Since the customer profile is in the same database, financial, marketing, and executive systems gain a whole new level of flexibility,” he adds.

Rakesh Kushwaha, System Architect and Director at Savera, further adds, “The rule-based business logic, flexible tariff structure, and open APIs makes the system suitable for any prepaid business in the Telecom and Internet market.”

About Savera

Founded in 1997 by billing experts from Bell Laboratories, Savera Systems is a research and technology-driven global company that focuses on building world-class billing solutions. Savera markets real-time, scalable, and flexible billing and information management solutions for the rapidly growing Internet and telecommunications markets. For more information about Savera products and technologies, visit the company Web site at, or call 1-908-898-0080.

About Tango

Tango, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Societe Europeenne de Communication S.A (Nasdaq: SECAY, SECBY), is the leading GSM provider in Luxembourg. Since launching its services in May 1998, Tango has gained one-third market share, and is far ahead of its competitors today. Customer focus, superior network coverage and services, as well as streamlined distribution based on aggressive and powerful marketing are the main contributors to Tango’s success.


IntelliData Signs BancWest

InteliData Technologies Corp. , a leader in Internet banking and bill payment technology, Thursday announced that First Hawaiian Bank and Bank of the West, subsidiaries of BancWest Corp., have selected InteliData’s Interpose(TM) Internet banking and bill payment system. The unique arrangement includes provisions that InteliData will initially host the entire system, allowing BancWest the flexibility to bring the system in-house over a three-year period as customer volume increases.

![][1] BancWest Corporation, with assets of $16.3 billion, is headquartered in Honolulu, with an administrative headquarters in San Francisco. At both BancWest subsidiaries, First Hawaiian Bank and Bank of the West, InteliData will host the Interpose(TM) Transaction Engine and the Interpose(TM) Bill Payment Warehouse to process banking and bill payment transactions.

Customers will be able to access account information, transfer funds and pay bills electronically using standard HTML browsers via Internet financial portal Web sites at and at These financial portals will be designed and implemented by Home Financial Network (HFN).

This integrated, end-to-end solution represents a joint venture between InteliData and HFN and is marketed jointly as InterposeConnect. Customers will also be able to access bank account information and pay bills via popular personal financial management software such as Microsoft Money(R) and Intuit’s Quicken(R).

As part of the service, BancWest banks will have the benefit of the Interpose(TM) Bill Payment Warehouse to capture consumer bill payment information. Through this software application, the bank will receive “on-us” payments directly and have the remainder of payments routed to the least-cost third-party bill payment processors.

BancWest Chairman and CEO Walter A. Dods Jr. said, “Internet banking is evolving quickly to sophisticated new levels. By partnering with InteliData, a national leader in the field, we can make a quick leap forward, offering a state of the art system to our customers in Hawaii and throughout the West Coast. In addition, the ability to bring the system in-house at a later date allows us to stay with the same proven technology partner as this growing channel evolves.” He said the new product will be rolled out early next year at both BancWest banks.

“We are pleased that BancWest has selected Interpose as the flexible foundation for their Internet delivery strategy at First Hawaiian Bank and Bank of the West,” said InteliData President and CEO Al Dominick. “Our outsourced Interpose system will provide BancWest with the flexibility it requires to eventually bring the system in-house. This solution, the first of its kind in the industry, allows BancWest to operate Internet banking and bill payment on a pay-as-you-go basis, with a per customer, per month fee schedule. As customer volume increases, BancWest has the option of bringing the software in-house and customizing it for future needs.”

Dominick added, “Our ability to outsource Internet banking and bill payment processing opens a new market for us for banks that want to begin offering these services to customers, but want the flexibility to bring the solution in-house as customer volumes increase.”

About BancWest (

BancWest Corporation is headquartered in Honolulu, with an administrative headquarters in San Francisco. BancWest has assets of $16.3 billion. First Hawaiian Bank has 59 branches in Hawaii, Guam, and Saipan. Bank of the West has 166 branches in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Nevada.

About InteliData (

InteliData, with headquarters in Reston, Va., is a leading supplier of Internet banking and bill payment technology to over 20 of the top 100 U.S. financial institutions and financial service providers. The Company’s products provide financial institutions with highly scalable and reliable Internet transaction and payment processing solutions that give them total control of customer information and payment processing. These services allow consumers to securely and reliably check account balances in “real-time,” view account transaction history, transfer funds between accounts, and do online bill payment to any of the consumers’ billers. The Company’s products include the Interpose(TM) Transaction Engine, Interpose(TM) OFX Gateway, and the Interpose(TM) Payment Warehouse.

“Safe Harbor” statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This release contains forward looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, the parties executing definitive agreements beyond the initial interim contract, the impact of competitive products, pricing pressure, product demand and market acceptance risks, bank year 2000 compliance issues, reliance on resellers, pace of consumer acceptance of home banking, bank mergers and acquisitions, risk of integration of the Company’s technology by large software companies, the ability of financial institution customers to implement applications in the anticipated time frames or with the anticipated features, functionality or benefits, reliance on key strategic alliances and newly emerging technologies, the on-going viability of the mainframe marketplace and demand for traditional mainframe products, the ability to attract and retain key employees, the availability of cash for growth, product obsolescence, ability to reduce product costs, fluctuations in operating results, ability to continue funding operating losses, delays in development of highly complex products and other risks detailed from time to time in InteliData filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These risks could cause the Company’s actual results for 1999 and beyond to differ materially from those expressed in any forward looking statements made by, or on behalf of, InteliData.

[1]: /graphic/bancwest/bancwest.gif


TSYS Up 58%

Total System Services reported Thursday that net income for the quarter increased 58.2% to $18.4 million, up from $11.7 million, for the same period last year. TSYS says that during the quarter the company converted the third and final phase of the Sears private-label card accounts to ‘TS2’. TSYS also completed the conversions for a large Canadian bank and Canadian Tire Acceptance Limited. The card processor also signed, during the second quarter, a multiyear agreement with Nordstrom National Credit Bank to process its Nordstrom private-label credit card portfolio and renewed a long-term processing agreement with First North American National Bank to provide retail card processing for its ‘Circuit City Credit Card’. At the end of the second quarter 1999, TSYS was processing approximately 133.6 million of its 192.0 million accounts on ‘TS2’. By the end of the year, TSYS expects to have approximately 195 million accounts on file.


MSN MoneyCentral Expands

Microsoft Corp. announced Wednesday agreements with four of the nation’s leading financial institutions — American Express Co., Bank of America, Charles Schwab & Company Inc. and Citigroup Inc. — to provide customized financial content on the leading personal finance Web site, MSN MoneyCentral ( ). Consumers will have the ability to personalize the front pages of MSN MoneyCentral and MSN.COM with content tailored to their individual financial interests from these five Premier Financial Providers.

Last fall, Merrill Lynch, the largest full-service brokerage firm in the United States, became the first Premier Financial Provider to announce an alliance with MSN MoneyCentral. With the addition of these new agreements, MSN MoneyCentral provides consumers with extensive choice in the type and source of financial information they receive.

“Merrill Lynch has delivered a vast array of world-class financial advice, guidance and knowledge to a broad audience on the Internet, and we are pleased to extend even more choices for financial information with Microsoft,” said Randal Langdon, first vice president and senior director of the Digital Business Development and New Media group at Merrill Lynch. “This important alliance supports Merrill Lynch’s strategy of creating a premier online offering and building interactive Web communities.”

New Premier Financial Providers on MoneyCentral

The Premier Financial Provider program makes MoneyCentral one of the most customizable personal finance portal sites, combining innovative services from leading financial institutions with the award-winning tools and content of MoneyCentral to help consumers make smart, informed decisions about their financial futures.

“This is another step for American Express Financial Advisors in bringing our financial planning expertise to the ‘’ world through a leading personal finance Web site on MSN,” said Nancy Jones, vice president, Business Development, AEFA. “We’ll pair our high-quality advice with MSN technology to help consumers who want independence, but still need guidance when it comes to complicated financial issues.”

“Schwab is pleased to bring MoneyCentral customers access to Schwab’s library of essential resources so that they are better educated and more equipped to make intelligent investment decisions,” said Gideon Sasson, president of Schwab’s Electronic Brokerage enterprise. “This alliance gives Schwab a unique opportunity to showcase and distribute its full array of services to both customers and noncustomers, complementing its multichannel offering, both online and offline.”

“The broad distribution of MSN in the United States and worldwide will extend Citigroup’s reach online and help us acquire new customers across the spectrum of consumer financial services,” said Josh Grotstein, division executive of Internet Programs and e-commerce at e-Citi. “This is an important new online growth channel for Citigroup worldwide.”

Consumers can elect to receive content from any one or all five financial institutions, depending on their interests. New Premier Financial Providers will offer the following:

American Express Financial Advisors (AEFA)

Through its content clip on MoneyCentral, American Express Financial Advisors (AEFA), the nation’s premier financial planning company, provides advice on various subjects including retirement, saving for education, taxes, small-business ownership and year 2000 issues. In addition, commentary from AEFA’s chief economist, Dan Laufenberg, as well as other AEFA financial experts, appears on a broad range of economic topics. AEFA also offers access to its suite of interactive planning tools that help consumers create their own financial profile. In addition, AEFA will provide advertising and links to its home page and online brokerage site.

Bank of America

Bank of America’s content module on MSN MoneyCentral will provide consumers nationwide with direct and easy access to interactive decision-making tools and a wide variety of innovative financial products and services. Consumers who select Bank of America’s module when personalizing MoneyCentral will find that they are only one click away from the nation’s largest online banking provider, with more than 1.4 million online customers. In addition, Bank of America content module headlines will allow the bank’s more than 30 million customers and others to be among the first informed about and linked to new financial and e-commerce services.

Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab & Co. Inc., the nation’s largest online brokerage firm and one of the largest e-commerce businesses in the world ( ), introduces a new site accessible only from MSN that offers timely, relevant and objective investment information designed specifically for the MSN MoneyCentral user. From this new Schwab On Investing site, users can participate in live, interactive discussions with renowned investment professionals during Schwab’s online investment forums; request an analysis on any of more than 9,000 publicly traded companies; and access timely market news. And with a breadth of articles from the Schwab Center for Investment Research, users can gain insights on topics ranging from trading strategies and industry trends to goal planning and mutual fund selection.


As a leading global financial services provider, Citigroup will provide content that will give MSN MoneyCentral users access to a broad range of innovative products and services spanning banking, brokerage and insurance. For consumers visiting MSN MoneyCentral, the online portfolio will include secure Internet banking with online bill payment, credit cards, online brokerage, automobile and home insurance, mortgages and more.

Citigroup also will provide consumers with timely research reports on subjects such as companies and stocks, together with useful information and advice on topics ranging from foreign exchange to college loans on MSN MoneyCentral. Citigroup’s services feature some of the world’s best financial brands: Citibank, Travelers, Salomon Smith Barney, Primerica, Commercial Credit and Diners Club.

Merrill Lynch, the First Premier Financial Provider at MSN MoneyCentral Today, Merrill Lynch debuts the first of many expanded services for users of MSN MoneyCentral that will enable them to better customize their access to Merrill Lynch in their local markets. Now, in addition to one-click access to the firm’s award-winning equity research, market commentary and analysis, and timely financial management tips for individuals and business owners, users of MSN MoneyCentral can enter their ZIP codes to receive relevant local branch information and notification of events and seminars. Once the Merrill Lynch content clip is customized, headlines featuring local information will appear each time the clip is loaded.

Merrill Lynch’s Web offerings currently include, which showcases the firm’s global research capabilities, a financial resource site for clients and the investing public at , and the Merrill Lynch home page at .

The Premier Financial Provider Program

Announced in November 1998, the Premier Financial Provider program offers financial institutions a forum for delivering relevant, targeted personal finance information directly to consumers via the MoneyCentral and MSN.COM Web sites.

All Premier Financial Providers have complete control over the information they provide through integrated content clips, enabling them to reach financially minded consumers with specific information, special offers, services and promotions. In addition, the Premier Financial Providers complement award-winning MSN MoneyCentral tools and resources to help consumers manage frequent financial tasks online — such as tracking portfolios, finding new investment ideas, banking online and planning retirement — all in one place.

“The Premier Financial Provider program is unlike any distribution opportunity on the Web today. MSN MoneyCentral empowers customers to access and personalize the highest-quality financial information from leading institutions, all in one place, said Rich Bray, general manager of the Financial Products Division at Microsoft. “By offering consumers a choice in how, when and where they obtain financial know-how, we’re also opening up tremendous marketing opportunities for our participating financial institutions. MSN gives these institutions an extended ability to reach the right customers at the right time — while they are thinking about their finances.”

About MSN MoneyCentral

MSN MoneyCentral is a complete personal finance resource that delivers easy-to-use tools, advice from dedicated financial professionals, financial data from leading content providers and seamless integration with the award- winning network of MSN services to help consumers make smarter financial decisions. The online companion to Microsoft(R) Money 99 Financial Suite, MSN MoneyCentral is also integrated into the MSN network of Internet services, making it easier for consumers to keep in touch, stay informed and get more done online.

MSN MoneyCentral is consistently recognized as the premier personal finance Web service by industry leaders, recently earning the PC Magazine Editor’s Choice Award for Stock Screening and Portfolio Management. MoneyCentral has earned the Best Investment Web site award from Barron’s for two consecutive years, received Best of the Web 1999 distinction from Brill’s Content, and was named a 1999 Best Investment Tool by Macworld. In addition, consumers spend an average of 40 minutes each month managing their finances at MoneyCentral, demonstrating the value of the site’s resources.

About MSN and Microsoft

MSN is the network of Internet services from Microsoft that helps people better organize the Web around what’s important to them. The network of MSN services, located on the Web at MSN.COM ( ), helps people easily stay in touch with friends and colleagues, make smart and secure purchasing decisions, and get more done. MSN offers award-winning e-mail functionality; personal communications services; customizable access to news; popular sites for travel, investing, automotive services, shopping and more; an online community; a Web search engine and directories; and top-rated Internet access.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

* The editorial goal of MoneyCentral is to provide a forum for investment ideas. Investor’s articles and columns of MSN MoneyCentral should not be construed as investment advice, nor does their appearance imply an endorsement by Microsoft Corp. of any specific security or trading strategy. An investor’s best course of action must be based on individual circumstances.