Visio to help Office users chart businesses

Microsoft Corp., which two weeks ago announced it was buying software makerVisio Corp.

Microsoft Corp., which two weeks ago announced it was buying software makerVisio Corp., plans to sell Visio's diagramming software as an adjunct to its Office suite of productivity applications.

Microsoft has no plans to integrate any of Visio's applications into Office, said officials at the Redmond, Wash., software maker. Instead, the com pany will sell the products as separate from but complementary to Office.

Visio, of Seattle, makes technical drawing and business diagramming software, includingVisio 2000 and Visio Profes sional (see listing). The products are compatible with Office, and charts and other graphics created in aVisio application can be easily moved into Excel, Word andPowerPoint. Microsoft will distribute Visio's products through its global sales and support distribution channels.

Visio Corp. will become the Visio Di vision of Microsoft's Business Produc tivity Group, led by Microsoft Senior Vice President Bob Muglia.

Visio CEO Jeremy Jaech and Chief Technology Officer Ted Johnson, a co-founder of Visio, will become Microsoft vice presidents.

Jaech said merger talks between the companies became serious several weeks ago. He said Visio wants to leverage Office customers to grow its business. "Becoming part of the Microsoft line validates our product line," Jaech said. "Visuals are an important part of business communication."

Microsoft is purchasing Visio for $1.3 billion in stock, making the deal one of the software maker's biggest. The deal calls for Microsoft to exchange 0.45 shares of its stock for each share of Visio stock. The deal must first be approved by regulators and shareholders.

Microsoft can be reached at (800) 426-9400 or is at (800) 446-3335 or

What Microsoft gets from Visio

Visio 2000 Standard Edition: Business diagramming tools that let users drag and drop flowcharts, organization charts and time lines into PowerPoint, Excel and Word documents

Visio 2000 Technical Edition: A tool set that creates detailed technical drawings, such as engineering schematics

Visio Professional 5.0: A tool for manually creating network diagrams, reverse engineering Open Database Connectivity-compliant databases, software development architectures and mapping Web sites

Visio Enterprise 5.0: A tool with 14,000 network equipment shapes to automatically diagram LANs and WANs