New Microsoft Academic Program Gives Colleges and Universities Low-Cost Software Evaluation, Technical Assistance and Training Certification Opportunities

Microsoft Teams With Hewlett Packard And Productivity Point International To Provide Easy, Comprehensive Product DecisionMaking And Support For Information Technology Staff And Faculty —

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 4, 1996 — Information technology professionals, technical support personnel, and higher education faculty members who use technology in the classroom often have minimal technical or training assistance when making new product purchasing decisions. Microsoft Corporation is making difficult product evaluation, support and training decisions easier for college and university technology professionals through its new Academic Technology Advantage (ATA) program. The ATA offer, designed to encourage decision makers to test drive Microsoft software solutions in their real-world settings, easily, completely and very affordably, was announced today in San Francisco at the 25 th Annual CAUSE Conference, which focuses on managing and using information resources in higher education.

Through the ATA offer, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard and Productivity Point International have joined to assist academic technical professionals to make comprehensive product purchasing decisions. Technical higher education customers now can easily and affordably evaluate products in their own campus network settings, with additional economic service options for both support and training to expand their technical expertise.

For an estimated U.S. retail price of only $199, higher education customers can evaluate for 120 days 11 leading Microsoft products, including Microsoft’s award-winning BackOffice
™family, desktop systems and applications, and development tools. The cost also includes two comprehensive phone support incidents. In addition, Microsoft has teamed with Hewlett Packard to offer academic-priced support packages on a per incident and unlimited basis, and with Productivity Point International for academic-priced Microsoft BackOffice certified training. The Academic Technology Advantage offer is available to technical support personnel, IT professionals and faculty members at colleges and universities in the United States and Canada through June 30,1997.

“Colleges and universities have been asking Microsoft for affordable education-based services for quite some time,”
said Liz King, general manager of Microsoft’s Education Customer Unit.
“I’m glad to say we now have something to offer higher education in the area of software evaluation, technical support, and Microsoft certified training.”

The ATA kit provides:

  • Products: Microsoft Windows® 95, Microsoft Windows NT®
    Workstation 4.0, Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0, Microsoft Internet Information Server, Microsoft SQL Server
    ™Microsoft System Management Server, Microsoft SNA Server, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Office Professional and Microsoft Visual Basic®
    Enterprise Edition.

  • Technical Support: Microsoft has teamed with well-respected service provider Hewlett Packard to support Microsoft products used for information technology management.

  • Option One: 10 comprehensive support incidents from Hewlett Packard, covering Windows NT, Local Area Network (LAN), BackOffice applications and client connectivity for $995, a savings of $500 off the average retail price. This offer will be provided at $799 if acquired before March 31, 1997.

  • Option Two: Unlimited support incidents for five servers from Hewlett Packard at $12,000 annually covering both Windows NT, BackOffice applications, the LAN and the Wide Area Network (WAN). Without ATA kit pricing, customers on average would pay $40,000 for premiere support from Microsoft.

  • Training: Three training vouchers for Microsoft BackOffice certified training courses, are included with the ATA kit, and are redeemable from Productivity Point International, the largest network of Microsoft Authorized Technical Education Centers in North America. Productivity Point International provides state-of-the-art classroom facilities in more than 110 training centers covering most major markets. BackOffice family training courses are offered only to education customers at an academic price of $900, including course materials – a $1,100 savings off the average retail price of any five-day Microsoft BackOffice certified training course.

“Hewlett Packard has been a worldwide Microsoft Authorized Support Center for years, and we’re looking forward to extending that relationship with the ATA offer,”
said Mark Solle, general manager of Hewlett Packard’s Software Services and Technology Division.
“Because Microsoft products are very feature-rich, training is fundamental for empowering professionals to become more productive and to fully use capabilities of these tools,”
said Scott Andre, director of business development for Productivity Point International.
“The ATA offer gives education customers extremely affordable access to our comprehensive Microsoft certified training.”

ATA is exclusively available to technical support personnel, IT professionals and faculty members through local Microsoft Solution Providers for Education. For a listing of participating Microsoft Solution Providers for Education and additional program information visit the Microsoft Higher Education ATA Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/education/hed/ata.

The Academic Technology Advantage offer is part of Microsoft’s continuing initiative to help fulfill the promise of technology in the higher education community. Microsoft is committed to providing the tools and training to help colleges and universities make the best use of technology – in the classroom,

in administration, and even beyond the campus, preparing IT professionals and students for success in the workplace and for lifelong learning.

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.

Prices listed in this press release are in United States currency.

This press release is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. Microsoft, BackOffice, Visual Basic, SQL Server, Windows and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Other product names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

NOTE TO EDITORS: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft please check out the Microsoft Web page at http://microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. To receive Microsoft press releases by fax, please call 1-800-859-5915 within the U.S. or 201-333-0314 internationally.

For More Information:

Lisa Collins, Marcy Monyek and Associates, 312-263-2135, lisacollins@MSN.com.

Joelle McGinnis, Marcy Monyek and Associates, 312-263-2135, joellem@MSN.com

©1996 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

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