The First Bank Of Redmond

Of all the product arenas Microsoft is stomping into these days, none looks more enticing than financial services, a $1 trillion-plus industry built on just the sort of slick software at which Bill Gates & Co., um, excel. Led by its financial-management title, Microsoft Money and its brilliantly realized investment Website, Microsoft Investor the company has more than made its mark in home-financial software. But consumer-side successes are just the tip of the Microsoft iceberg, and industry watchers wonder whether giants like Chase and Citi might yet turn into Titanics.

Microsoft's initial revenues come from software licensing; the...

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