Microsoft Takes Next Step in Establishing The Online Classroom for the World

REDMOND, Wash., May 28, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the availability of online training classes on the World Wide Web for individuals and students to become educated on Microsoft®
software and technologies.

In addition, the company announced that the Microsoft Online Institute (MOLI), Microsoft’s online training solution, will be made available to intranet users in the future.

Through the MOLI, students can take classes from instructors online – right from their own computer – selecting interesting courses that are taught on a schedule convenient for the student. Available since August 1995 on MSN
™
, The Microsoft Network, the Microsoft Online Institute is now available in a beta version on the Web. Seven courses on Microsoft products are already being taught, and several more are scheduled to be added this summer. The Microsoft Online Institute Campus Web address is http://moli.microsoft.com/.

Unlike traditional instruction, the MOLI course curriculum is available to students online and enables them to receive real-time online assistance from a Microsoft Learning Advisor, an authorized trainer. Students also communicate with each other online, sharing information and helping each other with course work.

Online learning offers students unique flexibility. In addition to being less expensive than traditional classroom courses, the Microsoft Online Institute allows students access to the classroom at any time and from any PC, making it ideal for professionals who travel or for those who can’t get away for classes during specific hours.

“At Microsoft, we’re committed to education,”
said Nancy Lewis, director of channel programs, education and certification at Microsoft.
“And because people learn in different ways, we need to deliver training and education through a variety of media and methodologies. By bringing the Microsoft Online Institute to the Web, we make online learning available to the growing community of IS professionals and channel partners who use the Internet.”

Microsoft is the first company in the industry to provide the means by which instructor-guided classes can be conducted on the Internet. While many companies have used the Web to promote training courses, recruit students and even download course curricula, Microsoft is leading the way in providing instruction over the Internet.

Initially launched as a service on The Microsoft Network, the Microsoft Online Institute until now has been available only to users of the Windows®
95 operating system. Now, the Microsoft Online Institute is available to anyone with Internet access.

The Microsoft Online Institute Demonstrates Microsoft’s Leading-Edge Internet Strategy

An excellent example of the company’s focus on providing industry-leading Internet products and technologies, MOLI was developed using the latest Microsoft software tools, including Microsoft Internet Information Server, the Windows NT®
operating system, Microsoft SQL Server
™
and Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Microsoft Online Institute students can enroll in a variety of courses covering Microsoft Internet products, including Supporting Microsoft Internet Information Server, Internet Application Development, and Web Design and Authoring with Microsoft Internet Explorer 2.0. Additional Internet-specific courses will be available later this year and as new products are introduced.

To solidly support the certification needs of professionals using the Internet, Microsoft is integrating Internet-specific certification into its existing certification framework. Consistent with the company’s strategy of seamlessly integrating Internet-related features and technologies into its broad product line, Microsoft’s four certification programs will now include appropriate Internet competencies as part of the certification process.

Microsoft Online Institute Creates Business Opportunities

The Microsoft Online Institute represents an expanded business opportunity for training organizations, including Microsoft Authorized Technical Education Centers (ATECs), according to Paul Kautz, instructor for ARIS Corp., which is both an Online Classroom Provider and an ATEC.

“We see online training as a complementary strategy to our classroom training business,”
Kautz said.
“The Microsoft Online Institute offers us a way to cost-effectively reach students who may not be candidates for in-person training courses, and now that it’s on the Web, the market potential is even greater.”

ARIS Corp. began a class called Supporting Windows 95 on April 15. In addition to ARIS, five organizations offer courses: Information Management Group, Infotec Commercial Systems, Peritas Limited, Training Associates and Valinor Inc. Current course offerings from these providers include Supporting Microsoft Internet Information Server, Internet Application Development, Web Design and Authoring with Microsoft Internet Explorer 2.0, Supporting Microsoft Windows NT, Microsoft Visual Basic®
4.0, and Mastering Microsoft Access 95.

The Microsoft Online Institute rounds out a suite of education and certification options for Microsoft products that includes traditional classroom training through ATECs; Microsoft Official Curriculum in CD-ROM, paper and video formats; and step-by-step Microsoft Press books.

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

The Microsoft Network is operated by Microsoft Corp. on behalf of Microsoft Network LLC.

The Microsoft Online Institute can be found on the World Wide Web at http://moli.microsoft.com/ or on MSN by using the GO word
“MOLI.”
Visit the MOLI campus at no charge. Costs are not incurred until a person enrolls in a course, and then charges are collected by the Online Classroom Provider. Online Classroom Providers set their own course pricing. Users of MSN may visit MOLI on MSN or on the World Wide Web free of connect-time fees; those who visit MOLI on the Web through an Internet service provider will incur connect-time charges from that provider as they would for any other Internet activity. Microsoft Online Institute on MSN is accessible only to those with an MSN account. For information on becoming an Online Classroom Provider, send e-mail to moli_help@MSN.com.

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