Two years ago, Microsoft had high expectations for the unveiling of its groupware program at Austin's convention center. Its executives wanted multiple PCs in each of the 29 meeting rooms and 70 servers to handle e-mail--230 computers in all, every one of them with a high-speed connection to the Internet. The guys from Redmond would supply the hardware, but they needed a network that could handle hardcore traffic. No one blinked. The convention center in this tech-savvy Texas town had been ...

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