Microsoft Introduces Home Essentials 97

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 6, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. has extended the ability of families to do more, discover more and play more using their home PC with the release of Microsoft® Home Essentials 97. Home Essentials 97, which has an estimated retail price of $109, is a comprehensive collection of best-selling Microsoft applications that provide the essential tools needed to get the most out of a home PC.

Home Essentials 97, available today, includes Microsoft Word 97, Microsoft Encarta® 97 Encyclopedia, Microsoft Works 4.0, Microsoft Greetings Workshop, Microsoft Internet Explorer, two months free* access to MSN
, The Microsoft Network, Microsoft Arcade and a link to Microsoft Internet Gaming Zone.

“One of our highest priorities is to support home computer users,”
said Robert Bach, vice president of marketing, desktop applications division at Microsoft.
“This collection of applications includes some of the most popular Microsoft titles, with something useful and fun for everyone in the family. There’s no better way for people to get the most out of their home computers.”

“Today’s home computers serve a variety of needs – from an extension of the office, to research and learning tools, to fun and entertainment,”
said Mary Loffredo Wardley, manager, consumer productivity applications program, International Data Corp.
“In addition to the requirement of satisfying these needs, home users want an assurance of quality and the security of purchasing that they associate with a leading vendor. This creates a challenging proposition for software vendors breaking into this environment. The Microsoft Home Essentials software package will be an enticing choice for this market. Users are being offered premier products from a leading vendor at a compelling price.”

Helps Home Users Tackle Projects With Ease

Microsoft Home Essentials 97 gives home computer users the powerful tools they need to tackle household projects. With Microsoft Word 97, Mom and Dad can create a family letter or a flier for the school rummage sale, and their kids can write reports and papers for school. Everyone in the family gets the benefit of the powerful features in Word, such as checking grammar and automatically checking for spelling mistakes. Word, the world’s best-selling word processor for the Windows® operating system, lets users easily share information, whether it’s on the printed page or across the Internet.

Microsoft Works 4.0 offers the ideal home management solution. Families can easily keep track of friends and relatives with its convenient address book, stay on top of the home budget by creating a cash flow statement or mortgage and loan analysis, or record belongings for insurance, investment or maintenance purposes by building a handy home inventory. With its 30 TaskWizards, Works automates 70 of the most common household tasks.

Lets Everyone in the Family Explore and Learn, on CD or on the Internet

Exploration and learning has never been so much fun! With Microsoft Encarta 97 Encyclopedia, family members can click lively, interactive screens and menus to easily look up interesting facts and figures, research topics of interest, explore new ideas through online Web Links, and enjoy the photographs, animations, videos and maps that bring detail, color and texture to a world of information.

Using Microsoft Internet Explorer and MSN, the whole family can access the Internet, one of the most exciting advances of the 1990s. They can browse the World Wide Web to find the most up-to-date information, news and tidbits on a virtually endless variety of subjects, always changing and always new. With Microsoft Internet Explorer – one of the most technically advanced and feature-rich Internet browsers on the market – cyberspace is as easy to navigate as their own neighborhood.

With The Microsoft Network, users can send and receive electronic mail to stay in touch with friends and relatives, plan their next family vacation, and even choose the next movie they want to see. They get e-mail, Essential Services, original interactive entertainment, and lots more.

The Most Versatile Entertainment

Microsoft Home Essentials 97 helps families banish boredom and routine. Rainy days and holidays are a treat when users can go anywhere and do anything!

They can exercise their creativity with Microsoft Greetings Workshop, designing greeting cards, invitations, calendars and banners by personalizing more than 7,000 ready-to-use projects with designs and messages from Hallmark Connections
, or by creating their own. Then they can choose to print them or send them to family and friends who are online, by e-mail.

Microsoft Arcade lets kids play their favorite arcade games, including Asteroids® , Battlezone
™, Centipede® , Missile Command
and Tempest
. The Internet Gaming Zone allows players to join thousands of opponents across the Internet for classics such as bridge, hearts and chess.

Pricing, Availability and System Requirements

Microsoft Home Essentials 97 is available now from resellers nationwide for an estimated retail price of $109. System requirements include a personal or multimedia computer with a 486DX/66 MHz or higher microprocessor; the Microsoft Windows 95 operating system or later; 8 MB of RAM for an individual application (12 MB or more to run multiple applications simultaneously); 99 to 140 MB of available hard disk space (125 MB for typical installation of all applications, depending on configuration); a double-speed CD-ROM drive; a Super VGA, 256-color or higher resolution monitor; and a Microsoft Mouse, IntelliMouse
or compatible pointing device.

To use certain features of the Home Essentials package, the following additional items or services are required: a multimedia computer to access sound and other multimedia effects, a 9600 or higher-baud modem (14,400 baud recommended) and a Windows-compatible color printer for full-color output. Use of the Internet and the Internet Gaming Zone may entail payment of a separate fee to an Internet service provider.

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.

*Available to new MSN members in the United States and Canada only. A credit card is required. MSN Premium charges, access charges (if access is purchased from a provider other than MSN) and long-distance and toll charges may apply. Offer expires Dec. 31, 1997.

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

Hallmark Connection is a trademark of Hallmark Licensing Inc.

Asteroids and Centipede are registered trademarks and Battlezone, Missile Command and Tempest are trademarks of Atari Corp.

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

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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