Redmond, Wash. (Aug. 1, 2003) -- Microsoft Corp. has bold plans to develop a host of vertical industry software products. Nonprofit and government, healthcare and education will be the first, and a total of 50 industries will be considered in the approach, according to Pat Fitzhenry, Microsoft's director of vertical strategies.

In the vertical thrust, Microsoft will develop applications that meet each industry's very specialized needs, and co-market those applications with its general use applications, such as desktop applications that include its Microsoft Office suite, and accounting solutions from it Microsoft Business Solutions group. Microsoft will develop some of the vertical applications itself and recruit industry specialist independent software vendors for the work.

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