Microsoft Announces Plans to Support the Euro Currency Symbol

PARIS, April 29, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today announced its strategy to integrate support for the euro currency symbol in the Microsoft® Windows® operating systems family, including Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT® 4.0, Windows NT 5.0 and Windows CE 2.1. Microsoft said it plans to make product updates available that will enable Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 to support the new currency symbol. The company also said Windows 98 and Windows NT 5.0 will support the euro from their market availability dates.

In addition, Microsoft’s Office products will offer euro character support. Users with an operating system that supports the euro currency symbol, updated printer fonts, a printer that supports the euro symbol through downloadable fonts, and an updated version of Office should be able to work using the symbol for the single European currency.

“Europe stands on the eve of a historic step toward fuller economic integration, a process that offers ample opportunities for European business,”
said Michel Lacombe, president of Microsoft Europe, Middle East and Africa (Microsoft EMEA).
“As a provider of mission-critical software systems for business, Microsoft is serious about providing its customers with the tools they need for their systems to function smoothly with the new single currency.”

Microsoft’s Operating Systems and the Euro Currency Symbol

Given the widespread use of Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0, Microsoft expects to provide Beta 1 of the Windows 95 euro product update and the final Windows NT 4.0 euro product update free on its Web site in the next few weeks (connect-time charges may apply).

The Windows CE operating system, designed as a platform for a broad range of intelligent digital devices, will support the euro currency symbol for version 2.1 and beyond. Third-party solutions are available today that support the euro symbol on earlier versions of handheld PCs running on the Windows CE operating system.

Microsoft Windows 98, scheduled for release on June 25, and Windows NT 5.0 have both been developed from the outset to support the euro currency symbol. Both systems will have all the necessary fonts and built-in drivers to utilize the common currency, provided that the user’s peripherals (e.g., printers) were designed to work with the euro. Printer fonts that will support the euro symbol include Times New Roman, Arial and Courier New. Microsoft’s natural-language support tables also will be updated to utilize the euro.

Microsoft plans no product updates for any Windows versions before Windows 95 (Windows 3.x, Windows for Workgroups 3.x and prior versions) or for any versions of the MS-DOS® operating system. Third-party solutions are now available to support the euro symbol on previous versions of Windows 3.x.

Microsoft’s Strategy for Conducting Business in the New Currency

Also today, Microsoft unveiled details of the company’s plans to conduct its business with the euro. The plans essentially adhere to the official European Union calendar for adoption of the single currency.

  • On Jan. 2, 1999, Microsoft will adopt dual accounting and accept billing from vendors in euros. Price lists will be available in euros at this time as well.

  • On July 1, 1999, at the start of its fiscal year, Microsoft will begin invoicing in euros to distributors and customers in the 11 countries using the currency. However, it will continue invoicing in local currencies in other countries. Microsoft will offer euro billing even for non-Eurozone countries.

  • On July 1, 2001, Microsoft EMEA expects to move all internal accounting to euros. Microsoft is waiting for the participating governments to clarify their statutory reporting and payment requirements, which will determine the company’s final switchover to the euro for internal accounting, including general ledger.

“Microsoft, like any other European company, has much to do to get ready for the euro,”
Lacombe said.
“We plan to have everything in place to make a smooth transition to the single currency. We recognize the need to help our customers and partners, not only through our products, but also by increasing general awareness of the impact of the euro.”

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT and MS-DOS are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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