Leading PC Manufacturers Choose Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 15, 1997 — Gearing up for the Sept. 30 launch of Microsoft® Internet Explorer 4.0, Microsoft Corp. today announced that top desktop and portable PC manufacturers worldwide have chosen Internet Explorer 4.0 as the Internet client for their new PC customers. These PC manufacturers supporting Internet Explorer 4.0 sold over 40 million personal computers in 1996.

Top industry PC manufacturers, including Compaq Computer Corp., Dell Computer Corp., Digital Equipment Corp., Gateway 2000 Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), Packard Bell NEC Inc., Sony Corp. and Toshiba America Inc. are announcing today that they will include Internet Explorer 4.0 with new PCs shipping approximately one month after the Sept. 30 launch of Internet Explorer 4.0. New PCs with the latest version of the browser will be in stores in time for the upcoming holiday season.

The PC manufacturers said they selected Internet Explorer 4.0 because it offers a number of powerful ways to provide greater value to their customers and enhance their products. Internet Explorer 4.0 innovations, including Active Channel
™
technologies and the Active Desktop
™
interface, allow PC manufacturers to offer their customers new features including improved technical support, up-to-the-minute delivery of specialized entertainment or education information, product updates and seamless customized features that are easily accessible directly from the user’s desktop.

“The overwhelmingly positive response from users and industry reviews has confirmed that Internet Explorer 4.0 provides the best Internet experience for users on the Web today,”
said Brad Chase, vice president, application and Internet client group at Microsoft.
“By providing a more personalized computing experience and the best browser capabilities for their customers, we expect the industry’s top PC manufacturers will bring millions of new users onto the Internet.”

Active Channel Content to Provide the Latest in Support, Software, Entertainment

Each of these PC manufacturers has taken advantage of the support for Active Channel content in Internet Explorer 4.0 to build
“push”
content, offering customers personalized, interactive content delivered directly to users’ desktops. Active Channel content can offer improved customer service capabilities, such as real-time technical support and automatic software distribution, to ensure users have easy access to assistance and the latest product information and updates.

For example, Dell is taking advantage of the Active Channel technology to deliver customized service and product information unique to each user’s computer. Using the information associated with the unique serial numbers Dell provides individual computers, Dell can customize the Active Channel content to deliver to users only the information that applies to their specific hardware or preinstalled software. This service also allows Dell to offer better technical support by providing Dell support technicians with solutions that are customized for each user’s specific configurations.

PC manufacturers also are offering Active Channel entertainment content, giving users a complete resource to an array of the best content on the Web. Packard Bell NEC is providing access to its popular Planet Oasis Web site, a one-stop source for arts, entertainment and business information and more for Packard Bell NEC owners, via an Active Channel preconfigured for new Packard Bell NEC customers. By taking advantage of new Active Channel features in Internet Explorer 4.0, including Dynamic HTML and channel definition format (CDF), Packard Bell NEC will deliver a more interactive experience to its customers. With Internet Explorer 4.0’s optional automatic update features, Packard Bell NEC customers can also receive the most current Planet Oasis content delivered directly to their systems.

Internet Explorer Active Desktop Offers More Personalized Customer Interaction

The Active Desktop technologies in Internet Explorer 4.0 allow PC manufacturers to complement their stream of Active Channel
“push”
content by offering customers a closer vendor connection directly from the desktop. With the ability to host continually updated content on the Active Desktop, services such as state-of-the-art trouble-shooting tools are just a click away for users. These preinstalled desktop utilities can include direct connections to customer support, online documentation or information anywhere on the Web.

PC manufacturers are taking advantage of the Active Desktop in a variety of creative ways to offer more customized solutions. For example, Digital is offering an AltaVista Search Service window for any Internet Explorer 4.0 Active Desktop. This desktop component of Digital’s search engine allows users to access the information they need from the Internet right from their desktop, without opening a separate browser window. The AltaVista component will be included with Digital’s mobile, desktop and personal workstation computers, or can be downloaded from Digital’s Web site.

Compaq is also adding value for its Presario PC customers by placing a weather component on the Active Desktop. With one click, Presario users will have immediate access to current weather conditions anywhere in the United States. By simply entering a ZIP code, users will receive one of the 28 weather condition animations, from warm and hazy skies to severe thunderstorms, right on their desktops.

Personalized User Interface and Favorites Offer Seamless Customer Experience

With the Internet Explorer Administration Kit 4.0, PC manufacturers have unmatched flexibility to customize Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 with their logo, links to related Web sites and other features that create a strong brand identity for the PC manufacturer. The Internet Explorer Administration Kit also makes it easy for PC manufacturers to preconfigure virtually all the features of Internet Explorer 4.0, including the Active Desktop and Active Channel content, allowing them to tailor the browser to their different customer markets.

Hewlett-Packard is using the kit to customize its PCs for a variety of customers, including home, small-business and corporate users. For example, the PCs Hewlett-Packard provides to corporate users will include the Hewlett-Packard corporate Active Channel content, providing information to IT professionals to help them reduce their total cost of ownership. Hewlett-Packard’s Pavilion PCs will have consumer-focused Active Channel content, offering new Internet user navigation information and entertainment content that benefits the home user.

More than 50 of the world’s leading PC manufacturers plan to provide Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 to their customers, including 3D Microcomputers, Abacus Equipment Electronique, Akia Corp., Applied Computer Technology Inc., Arsys Innotech Corp., Canon Sales Company Ltd., Compaq Computer Corp., Compaq-Europe, Comstor Inc., CTX International Inc., CyberMax Inc., Dell Computer Corp., Dell-Europe, Digital Equipment Corp., Duracom Computer Systems, Elonex PLC, Epson Hanbai Co., Fujitsu ICL, Future Computer Corp., Gateway 2000 Inc., Gateway 2000-Europe, Hewlett-Packard Co., Hitachi Ltd., ID Computer, Infotel, International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), Legend Group, Lucky Computer Corp., Matsushita Electronic Industry – Panasonic, Merit Distributing Inc., Micron Electronics Inc., Midwest Micro, Mitsubishi Electric PC Division/Apricot Computers, Monorail Inc., NEC Computer Systems Division, NEC Corp.,

NeTpower Inc., OKI Electric Industrial Company Ltd, Olivetti Personal Computers, OmniTech Corp., Optimus S.A., Packard Bell NEC Inc., Pionex Technologies Inc., Quantex Microsystems, Research Machines, Sanyo Electric Company Ltd., Seanix Technology Inc., Sharp Electronics, Siemens Nixdorf Information Systems AG, Sony Corp., Sotec Company Ltd., Tech Ware Computer, Tontru Company Ltd., Toshiba America Inc., Tulip Computers, Unisys Corp., Viglen Technology PLC and Vobis Microcomputers AG.

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, Active Channel and Active Desktop are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

For more information, press only:

Erin Cox, Waggener Edstrom, (503) 443-7000, erinc@wagged.com

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

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