K-12 Schools Make Microsoft Windows the #1 Choice in Education

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 3, 1997 — New market data confirms that record numbers of K-12 schools are choosing the Microsoft® Windows® operating system for the foundation of their technology. A recent national survey by IDC/LINK, Framingham, Mass., reports that 56 percent of new computer purchases during the 1996-97 school year will be PCs running Windows.

The survey findings support the shift in school preferences first reported last school year and accelerated by the growing popularity of Windows 95 among educators. During a recent six-month promotion, K-12 educators ordered more than 200,000 units of Windows 95. As testament to its importance in education, Windows 95 was voted a top teacher tool in the 1996-97 Software Awards. And to support educators move to Windows, Microsoft donated more than $1 million in Windows 95 software and instructional materials to teacher training programs nationwide.

“All indicators point to Windows as the platform of choice in K-12 schools,”
said Kathryn Yates, director of Microsoft K-12 programs.
“This strong vote of confidence from the K-12 community lets us know we’re on the right track. We’re committed to continuing our work with educators to develop the products, resources and programs they need to make best use of technology for learning.”

To support schools’ growing commitment to the Windows platform, Microsoft is launching a range of new resources for K-12 educators, including free education technology briefings, a free monthly newsletter and a free CD sampler of outstanding educational titles designed for Windows 95.

Schools Choose Windows

While PCs already are the leaders in high schools, IDC/LINK reports that for the first time ever elementary schools plan to purchase more PCs running the Windows operating system than any other brand. IDC/LINK attributes the shift to greater availability of software, lower prices and the influence of parents who are using the Windows operating system at work and at home.

“Parents have a lot of influence over what goes on in the schools, and more and more want their children to learn what they are using in the workplace,”
said IDC/LINK Vice President William Ablondi.
“There’s no question about it; school purchases are shifting to PCs running Windows.”

IDC/LINK also reports that Windows-based PCs are preferred across all schools, regardless of student enrollment size. The Atlanta Public School District, serving 60,000 students, is staking its future on the Windows platform and is implementing a districtwide plan to standardize the technology base of its 97 schools with Windows NT®
Servers and Windows-based PCs. With its move to Windows, Atlanta is making a long-term investment in a seamless, fully integrated system that will be easy-to-use for students and staff, according to Arthur Scott, director of operational technology/telecommunications.

“School districts need to have long-term technology goals and know what the technology they are considering will accomplish,”
said Scott.
“We’re confident our decision to implement Windows NT Server and Windows 95 districtwide is a long-term solution. We know that we can develop a tailor-made system to meet our needs that will work now and in the future.”

Windows technology is making a difference in smaller districts as well. In suburban Oklahoma City, the six-school Western Heights School District now has a network that resembles a small- to medium-sized business with 500 PCs running Windows 95, fiber-optic links between schools and video teleconferencing in most classrooms. All 230 teachers are trained on Windows 95 and Microsoft Office.

“We looked at a lot of systems and decided that Windows 95 offered what we needed – a long-term software solution that could grow with us,”
said Western Heights School District Superintendent Joe Kitchens.

“Some teachers had never used a computer before and were afraid,”
said Western Heights School Board President Lynda Howeth.
“Now they love it. Our teachers have a new sense of pride in the school system and in themselves now that they can integrate leading technology into their classrooms and share ideas with other teachers around the world.”

Windows 95 Donation Helps Train Teachers

More than 650 teacher training centers have received free copies of Windows 95 and training materials to help educators more effectively integrate technology into learning. At one local training center in Auburn, Calif., more than 300 faculty and staff in the Placer Union High School District are being trained on Windows 95 and Windows 95-based applications.

“With Windows 95, we have been able to accelerate the use of technology among both our staff and our students,”
said Rick Murillo, the district’s director of computer and network technology.
“With the training we are able to provide, more and more teachers are developing their curricula around Windows-based programs.”


Free Technology Briefings, Windows 95 CD-Sampler and Desktop Newsletter


To further support schools’ adoption of the Windows platform, Microsoft has launched a series of free briefings for technology decision makers in K-12 schools, a free newsletter to help educators stay current on Windows-based solutions in education, and a new Windows School Connection K-12 CD-Sampler for hands-on experience with outstanding educational titles designed for Windows 95.

More than 1,000 school districts already have participated in a local Microsoft Education Solutions Briefing, a half-day exploration of the technologies that help schools build connected learning communities today and for tomorrow. Designed especially for district technology coordinators, superintendents, principals and other technology decision makers, the briefings showcase leading Internet, networking and productivity tools and how to integrate them into the classroom, administration and the community.

Developed to be delivered directly to subscribers’ desktops, the newsletter provides anyone making decisions about the use of technology in schools with in-depth information on networking, Internet/Intranet and desktop technologies. Special sections give tips on troubleshooting, share classroom practices and provide training materials. More than 10,000 educators already have signed up to receive the newsletter, which is published each month during the school year.

With the Windows School Connection K-12 CD-Sampler, educators can interactively explore 25 outstanding titles from 16 of the top educational software developers. Educators get a broad view of Windows 95-based education applications in subject areas such as math, reading, and social studies as well as Windows 95 training materials and more. Among the applications that educators can explore are
“Bill Nye the Science Guy: Stop the Rock!”
from Pacific Interactive, Tenth Planet’s
“Tenth Planet Explores Math,”
and Microsoft’s
“Encarta® 97 Encyclopedia Deluxe Edition.”

Pacific Interactive and Tenth Planet are two of the newest members of the Windows School Connection (WSC), an alliance of Compaq, Microsoft and more than 140 leading education software publishers that provides easy access to a wide choice of Windows-based hardware, operating systems, and curriculum and administrative solutions.

Educators can register online for an Education Solutions Briefing in their area at http://www.microsoft.com/events/ or call 800-550-4300. To have the newsletter delivered free to their desktops each month, educators can visit the Microsoft K-12 Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/education/k12/news/ Free Windows School Connection K-12 CD-Samplers are available by calling the Compaq/Microsoft Information and Referral Line at 1-800-555-4K12 or visiting the Windows School Connection Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/education/k12/articles/ . Educators also can request a free Education Product Guide with more than 1500 Windows education titles or search the guide online.

The Education Solutions Briefings, and WSC K-12 CD-Sampler are part of Microsoft’s continuing efforts to help create a global
“Connected Learning Community”
in which all students and educators have access to technology and information online to support learning today and for a lifetime. For its ongoing work in the education community, Microsoft received the 1996 EdNet Pioneer Award for its significant contribution to the advancement of educational technology.

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.

This press release is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. Microsoft, Encarta, Windows and Windows NT are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other product or company 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, press only:

Marcia Kuszmaul, Marcy Monyek and Associates, (312) 263-2135, marciaku@MSN.com

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

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