Microsoft has succeeded in entrenching itself onto the desktops of Wall Street with its Internet browser, Microsoft Windows and Excel. Meanwhile, key customer relationship and database management powerhouses are left to the devices of Cisco, SunGard, SAS, IBM and others.

Now, however, Microsoft is giving Wall Street another go by providing the buy- and sell-side with the flexible resources to develop proprietary software. Plans are so ambitious it has ramped up the number of employees dedicated to financial services from a mere six in 2002 to 600 today.

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