Microsoft Shifts Software Sales Management Responsibility For Bookstore Channel

REDMOND, Wash., April 16, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today announced a realignment of software sales and channel support for retail bookstores, with Microsoft’s national field sales organization assuming all account responsibility for the category. This function had previously been managed by Microsoft Press, the book publishing division of Microsoft, in conjunction with Ingram Book Co., the nation’s largest book distributor.

Microsoft has been selling software products through the retail bookstore channel since May 1994. As a result of the increasing penetration of multimedia-capable PCs in the home, bookstores have become one of the newest channels of distribution for Microsoft® multimedia software. Bookstores have had success selling a variety of Microsoft’s lifestyle, reference and children’s titles. Bestsellers include Microsoft Wine Guide, Julia Child: Home Cooking with Master Chefs, the Microsoft Bookshelf® CD-ROM reference library and Scholastic’s Magic School Bus®

“Microsoft Press pioneered our efforts in opening up the bookstore channel,”
said Ed Belleba, director of retail strategy and services at Microsoft.
“This channel fits well with Microsoft’s strategy of ensuring that customers can buy Microsoft software in whichever retail environment they desire. We offer consumers the industry’s broadest assortment of software for reference, creativity, productivity and entertainment, and multimedia software is a natural product-category extension for booksellers, which already stock a large number of computer-oriented books and magazines.”

“We encouraged this change,”
said Jocelyn Paul, marketing manager at Microsoft Press.
“In working closely with our customers, we’ve demonstrated that bookstores can be successful selling software. This will allow Microsoft to share its vast resources and expertise with its newest type of retailer.”

Since Microsoft employs a two-tiered distribution process using distributors who in turn sell to retailers of all types – the bookseller community will continue to be able to obtain Microsoft products from a wide range of sources, including Ingram Book Co., Ingram Micro, NACSCORP, D & H, Merisel Americas Inc. and Tech Data Corp.

“We’re excited about this announcement,”
said Bill Steinmetz of Borders Inc.
“It allows us to access the full line of Microsoft products, programs and services to better serve our growing base of customers. We’ve really enjoyed and benefited from our close relationship with Microsoft Press, and we see this as a natural progression in our new media software strategy.”

“Microsoft Press was integral to the success Tower has had selling multimedia software,”
said Brad Scott of Tower Books in Bellevue, Wash.
“This change reflects an increase in the level of commitment from Microsoft, and we’re going to increase our commitment, too. We look forward to continued success in selling Microsoft multimedia software.”

The new sales alignment will be effective by June 30. Microsoft is currently notifying all of its existing bookseller accounts of the change, in anticipation of a smooth transition by the end of its current fiscal year. Booksellers interested in carrying Microsoft multimedia software can contact Microsoft at (800) 426-9400 or visit Microsoft on the World Wide Web at

Microsoft Press is the book-publishing division of Microsoft Corp. and the leading publisher of high-quality computer books about Microsoft products. Microsoft Press books, which range from tutorials for first-time computer users to technical references for professional programmers, are distributed to book and software retailers nationwide.

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 and Bookshelf are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Magic School Bus is a registered trademark of Scholastic Inc.

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