Stock Watch: Microsoft Contract Buoys E-Stamp

E-Stamp Corp. (Nasdaq: ESTM) rose 2 3/8 to 11 3/16 Tuesday after the Internet postage company said it will be the exclusive Internet postage provider for Microsoft Corp.’s campaign to get small and medium-sized businesses to use the Internet more. Small-business customers who purchase Microsoft’s Office 2000 software will get free E-Stamp starter kits and $25 in free postage.

E-Stamp is already the main e-postage provider for Microsoft’s Office Update Web site, and is designed to work with such popular Microsoft products as Word and Outlook.

E-Stamp has also recently formed small-business alliances with Intuit, Inc. and eBay as part of its strategy to dominate the market. E-Stamp rival Stamps.com also rose yesterday, gaining 6 1/8 to close at 29 11/16.

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