Microsoft’s New Web Site Focuses on Small Business

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 5, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today unveiled a new World Wide Web site, Microsoft®
Small Business Resource (http://www.microsoft.com/smallbiz), devoted to helping small businesses learn more about accessing and creating information on the Internet. The Web site is the newest addition to Microsoft’s Small Business Resource program, which provides technology information, tools and services to help small businesses easily plan for, implement and benefit from today’s computer technology.

The initial focus of the Small Business Resource Web site is on how small businesses can access and use Microsoft products to take advantage of the Internet. According to GIGA Information Group, a recent MCI-Gallup survey of small businesses found that 21 percent of small businesses currently have access to the Internet and 57 percent believe it offers them a business advantage. GIGA estimates that of the 40 percent of small businesses connected to the Internet by the end of 1996, more than half will have a home page on the World Wide Web.

During the first month, the site will feature Internet-related information from industry experts and examples of how small businesses are using the Internet. The Web site will provide small businesses with how-to information on creating and publishing a Web site, along with information on downloading Microsoft’s new no-cost Internet add-ins for Microsoft Office, which allow Microsoft Office users to create Web pages using familiar tools. One of the unique tools available on the site is the Small Business Barometer, which leads visitors through a series of financial questions about their businesses and then lets them see how they compare to a representative cross section of similarly sized businesses in the same industry.

Kickoff Includes Most Innovative Web Site Design Contest

Scott DeGarmo, editor in chief of Success magazine, will be the first industry expert to provide site visitors with answers to questions about a broad range of topics, including using and making the Internet work for a small business. Visitors are also invited to enter the Most Innovative Web Site design contest, sponsored by Microsoft and Success magazine. Contestants who have used Microsoft products to design their Web sites are eligible for the grand prize, a computer system provided by hardware sponsor Hewlett-Packard Co., and software from Microsoft. The winner will be selected from a group of finalists by visitors to the site.

The creation of the Small Business Resource Web site coincides with the release of Internet Assistant 2.0 for Microsoft Word for the Windows®
95 operating system, the latest version of Microsoft Word’s hypertext markup language (HTML) authoring tool, which allows users to create and edit Word documents and HTML documents for both the Internet and Intranets from within Microsoft Word. Internet Assistant makes it easy for Microsoft Word users to create Web pages since they are able to create Internet documents without having to learn either a new program or to write code in HTML.

Web Site Addresses Growing Needs of Small Businesses for Products, Information

The new Small Business Resource Web site will feature not only information on Microsoft products, but also information on how to maximize technology, advice for small-business owners, and examples of ways that other small businesses are using technology to be more productive and profitable.

“With the Microsoft Small Business Resource Web site, we not only hope to show Microsoft’s continued commitment to small business but to provide some very useful and informative content not otherwise accessible on the World Wide Web,”
said John Neilson, vice president of the organization customer unit at Microsoft.
“We want this site to be informative and engaging to visit.”

Web Site Part of Larger Microsoft Program for Small Businesses

Microsoft’s Small Business Resource Web site is only one part of the Microsoft Small Business Resource program. This program provides a wide range of information, tools and services designed to help small businesses incorporate technology into their organizations. Other components of the program include seminars on topics that range from the Internet to desktop applications; referrals to Solution Providers who specialize in helping small businesses plan for and implement technology solutions; and a Microsoft television series,
“America at Work,”
which is scheduled to begin in March and will profile small businesses using technology successfully.

For more information on Microsoft Small Business Resource or Internet Assistant for Word for Windows 95, call (800) 60SOURCE (607-6872), or visit the Microsoft Small Business Resource World Wide Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/smallbiz.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
“MSFT”
) 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 and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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