Microsoft entered content management Monday when it acquired privately held software vendor NCompass Labs Inc. for $36 million in cash. Microsoft plans to close the acquisition by May 31 and will ship a rebranded version of Resolution 4, NCompass' new product for creating, editing, and publishing documents and graphics to Web sites, this fall.
NCompass says customers such as Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Marriott International, Texaco, and Verizon Communications are using its software, which also lets users control Web-site content attributes such as publication dates, archival procedures, and editing rights. The package is priced at about $50,000 per server.
Microsoft plans to market Resolution 4, which NCompass released in March, under the name Microsoft Content Management Server 2001. Microsoft group manager Barry Goffe says the vendor will market the tool to business customers running Microsoft products, such as SQL Server, Exchange, and Commerce Server, that underpin E-business-capable Web sites.
NCompass, founded in 1996, employs more than 160 people. Microsoft says it plans to retain most of them. One notable exception is CEO Gerri Sinclair, who says she'll only stay on for "short-term" transitional work. But Sinclair says her co-founders--Kristof Roomp, NCompass' chief programmer, and Kerem Karatal, director of technology--have accepted jobs with Microsoft.
Shares of Microsoft were up 63 cents Monday to $67.75.