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March 21, 1996

MICROSOFT REVEALS SPECIFICATIONS THAT ENABLE INTERNET CONNECTIONS FOR MONEY USERS

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft Corp plans to expand the use of the Internet in consumer banking with new technology intended to best rival Intuit Inc, a company which Microsoft tried to take over last May (CI 2669). Microsoft, meeting about 200 bankers and software developers, unveiled specifications that enable direct Internet connections between users of the company’s Money personal-finance software and their financial institutions; the company expects announcements this week from the first banks that will offer the services; Microsoft said the Internet option, known as Open Financial Connectivity, gives it an advantage over Intuit, which dominates the market for personal finance software with Quicken, used by more than 7m people; since a planned merger of Microsoft and Intuit was scuttled by anti-trust concerns, Microsoft has charged ahead and is making inroads with the latest version of Money, which operates only under Windows95; Intuit dismissed the Microsoft announcement as old news and said Quicken users will be able to connect to their banks over the Internet or through America Online Inc by the autumn.

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