FRAMINGHAM (03/20/2000) - Microsoft is taking an equity stake of about 20% in RealNames, whose software lets Internet users access sites by typing in only the name of a company or brand at the address line on their browsers rather than the full URL. Microsoft also has agreed to bolster its support for the RealNames keyword approach to Internet searching in its Microsoft Network Search and Internet Explorer Web browser offerings. The companies declined to reveal the dollar value of Microsoft's investment in RealNames.
Ariba and American Express will jointly develop and market electronic payment services in a global alliance, while Ariba has entered into a broad business-to-business e-commerce alliance with Dell. Ariba and Amex aim to jointly deliver Internet-based commerce services designed to help buyers, suppliers and market makers automate their processes. The companies' first joint offering will include a new "pay-on-ship" service, which will eliminate the need for manually created invoices and payment requests by triggering automatic electronic payments at shipment time, the companies say.
Over the next few months, Dell plans to build an electronic marketplace based on Ariba offerings that will be aimed at serving the PC vendor's small and midsize business customers.
E.piphany last week announced plans to buy Octane Software in a deal valued at about $3 billion between the two e-commerce software vendors. E.piphany's software enables companies to sort through customer data and base marketing campaigns on that information. Octane's software helps to handle online purchases.