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Microsoft Buys Visio

Building on its knowledge worker strategy, Microsoft Corp. agreed to acquire Visio Corp., a supplier of enterprise-wide business diagramming and technical drawing software, to increase productivity for Office applications.

Seattle-based Visio will become the Visio Division operating within Microsoft’s business productivity group, which is charged with delivering business productivity solutions that empower knowledge workers.

"Together, Microsoft and Visio will bring visualization and diagramming software to a way knowledge workers present their ideas," says Bob Muglia, senior vice president of Microsoft’s business productivity group.

Visio will remain a separate but complementary product to the Microsoft Office family of business productivity applications. The Visio division will continue its focus on bringing to market its latest product offering, the Visio 2000 product editions, and on upgrading Visio customers to this latest version.

"As part of Microsoft, we plan to enhance the development and distribution of our innovative software to meet the needs of customers worldwide," says Jeremy Jaech, president and chief executive officer, Visio Corp.

The merger is structured as an exchange of common stock and is valued at approximately $1.3 billion. Each share of Visio common stock will be exchanged for 0.45 shares of Microsoft common stock, and the merger will be accounted for as a pooling of interests. The transaction is subject to regulatory review and requires the approval of Visio shareholders. --Thomas Sullivan

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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