As if the software giant's reach doesn't already extend far enough, Microsoft Corp. recently unveiled its plans to takeover the corporate computing environment by mastering greater scalability with its souped-up NT server and enterprise editions for its BackOffice product family.

Microsoft is betting it can manage banks' largest enterprise applications, supporting thousands of users and integrating their front, middle and back offices. The upshot of greater scalability with NT and BackOffice: elimination of mainframes, which would save banks tons of money.

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