FRAMINGHAM (03/20/2000) - Microsoft Corp. is calling on Interliant Inc. in Purchase, N.Y., to prep its upcoming Exchange 2000 messaging server for the application service provider market. Interliant will help Microsoft develop extensions to Exchange 2000 that will make it easier for third-party software vendors to develop hosted applications that leverage the platform. As a part of the deal, Microsoft will invest $10 million, giving it a minority stake in Interliant.

Oracle Corp. has introduced Oracle Advanced Benefits, a component of its Oracle Applications 11i electronic-business suite. The product lets customers use corporate intranets to reduce benefits administration costs and provide 24-hour customer service. The application will be available with the Oracle 11i suite, which is due at the end of this month.

Internet privacy will be studied by a special congressional commission if a bill to create a 17-member Privacy Protection Commission introduced last week by U.S. Reps. Asa Hutchinson (Republican from Arkansas) and Jim Moran (Democrat from Virginia) wins approval. The committee will review the need for broad-based Internet privacy legislation. Congress is already considering five Internet privacy bills.

A ranking U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) official said last week that if businesses don't protect consumer privacy, the government will step in. "We are going to solve this problem one way or another. It's going to be your way, or it's going to be the government's way - your choice," said FTC Commissioner Orson Swindle. The FTC is now conducting a survey of online privacy practices and has a study committee investigating online access and security issues.

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