Early Corporate Evaluators Accelerating Adoption of 32-Bit Microsoft Windows Desktop Family

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 23, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today announced accelerating momentum for the Microsoft® Windows® 32-bit operating systems, signaling that organizations are shifting to a 32-bit Windows platform much faster than they moved to the 16-bit Windows environment. Sixty-three percent of those surveyed – organizations with 50 or more employees – began evaluating or deploying the Windows®
95 or Windows NT
Workstation operating system by the end of 1995, according to an independent survey conducted by the research firm MSI International Inc.

“We’ve been tracking corporate use of operating systems in the United States for some time,”
said Paul Strasser, president of MSI International.
“IS use is a prerequisite for companywide deployment, and it took Windows 3.x three and a half years to reach the level of usage among IS professionals that Windows 95 has reached in just five months. In fact, we found that half of medium-sized and large organizations began evaluating or deploying Windows 95 by the end of 1995.”

Windows 95, Windows NT Family Enable Comprehensive Corporate Solutions

Many of the companies now deploying Windows 95 are using the operating system in a networked enterprise environment with Windows NT Server and Windows NT Workstation. The combination allows businesses to deploy a new generation of Win32®
API and OLE applications – with lower support costs and greater productivity – across all their desktops.

“We are standardizing now on a 32-bit Windows desktop in our call centers, deploying a mix of Windows 95 and Windows NT Workstation where each platform is appropriate,”
said Mike Betzer, director at MCI Communications Corp.
“This state-of-the-art desktop environment helps us maintain our leadership in customer service.”

Microsoft also announced today Windows 32-Bit Family Maintenance, a new option to its Select and Open Licensing maintenance programs that enables customers to combine both Windows NT Workstation and Windows 95 under a single upgrade and maintenance license. This option allows customers to deploy the appropriate mix of Windows 95 and Windows NT Workstation for the same per-desktop price.

“We are increasingly seeing corporations moving to the family of 32-bit Windows products,”
said Bob McDowell, vice president of the enterprise customer unit at Microsoft.
“The Windows 32-Bit Family Maintenance program makes it easy for our customers to choose the mix that’s right for them.”

Windows 95 Momentum Strong Among Medium-Sized, Large Organizations

Among corporations in general, medium-sized organizations are moving to the Windows family most quickly. Half of the medium-sized companies that participated in Microsoft’s Windows 95 Preview Program had already begun installing the software for end users by the end of 1995, and most expect to complete their deployment by June. According to MSI International’s Strasser, an additional 35 percent indicate that they will roll out 32-bit Windows products in 1996. These Preview Program participants represent 43 percent of the Windows desktops in medium-sized businesses in North America.

Large organizations are also moving to Windows 95 at an increasing rate. Sixty percent of Microsoft’s largest customers are conducting or have completed deployment pilot projects with their end users. Most of those corporations are planning to deploy Windows 95 over the next year.

“Typically, the testing and purchase cycle in larger organizations is at least six months,”
said Brad Chase, general manager in the personal systems division at Microsoft.
“Their evaluation and deployment of Windows 95 is a clear vote of confidence in the product and the benefits it brings them.”

“Benefits of moving to a standardized Windows 95, Office 95 and Windows NT Server environment in our organization are huge,”
said Richard Gittin, director of information technology at Union Carbide Corp.
“Our previous environment was very complex and unique at every level. Now our support desk has a consistent environment and can actually help.”

Early Adopters Confirm Benefits of the Windows Family

“Windows 95 has cut by 50 percent the amount of time I need to spend resolving system problems and answering ‘how to’ questions,”
said Dean Hancock, network administrator at Pacific Coast Building Products.
“The reliability of Windows 95 has been a big plus for our 56 locations spread across six states.”

Using the extensive set of migration tools from Microsoft, companies are finding that the transition to the 32-bit Windows desktop platform is very manageable. These tools, such as the Windows 95 Migration Planning Kit and the Windows 95 and Windows NT resource kits, are available at no charge on the Microsoft Windows home page.

“Starting early on, a structured migration process was critical to our successful rollout of over 2,400 Windows 95 desktops,”
said Gary Walker, manager of information technology at CINergy Inc.
“Even though we were very aggressive in our rollout and things changed as we deployed, the early planning allowed us to be responsive to the computing needs of our user community.”

Broad Industry Support Structure in Place

Numerous independent Microsoft Solution Provider companies are now assisting corporate customers with their migration to the 32-bit Windows desktop platform. More than 590 specialists have been certified to provide migration and support for Windows 95 and Windows NT.

“We are working with Microsoft to make it easier for medium-sized and large businesses to standardize on the 32-bit Windows desktop,”
said Greg Foudray, vice president of technology services at Stream International.
“Customers are asking for help in making the move to Windows 95 and Windows NT Workstation, and we can add a lot of value through migration, education and support services.”

“We invested early to provide the capability to deliver high-quality migration services for Windows 95,”
said Link Simpson, president of Software Spectrum Technology Services Group.
“Our key accounts are looking to us to support their deployment of a 32-bit Windows desktop throughout the enterprise in 1996, and we’re ready.”

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 and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT and Win32 are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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