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, a developer of applications management software, signed a three-year licensing agreement with



worth more than $175 million.

Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will license the NetIQ Operations Manager product technology and source code for core operations management of Windows 2000 and Microsoft server applications.

Microsoft will pay NetIQ $175 million in licensing fees and up to $6 million in engineering co-development funds over a three-year period. Furthermore, the software giant agreed to invest $5 million a year in NetIQ, as well as pay the company an additional $5 million a year to market the new software products.

Shares of NetIQ rose sharply on the news, recently trading up $18.75, or 37%, to $68.75.