Today, Microsoft announced that Direct Edge, the fourth-largest U.S. stock exchange, has selected Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, and Informatica Ultra Messaging for its trading platforms.

The return on investment is already rolling in. Among stock exchanges, low latency is critical to competitive success. Direct Edge wanted to further reduce the already low latency of its system, while supporting vastly larger trading volumes. Employing Microsoft technology accomplished those goals, reducing latency to 340 microseconds, which enabled a 580 percent increase in throughput that ultimately produced a competitive advantage for Direct Edge in the financial services industry.

Since implementation, Direct Edge's market share has increased in part because of a large boost in transaction speeds and volumes and the high reliability of its new trading platform. This milestone represents a rapid rise for the company, which was founded just five years ago as an electronic communications network and converted to a full-fledged stock exchange in the summer of 2010.

Read more on why Direct Edge was looking for a technology solution, including faster trading, more reliable service and reduced operating and technology costs.