Custom Application Developers Invited to Submit Entries For the Seventh Annual Windows World Open

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 24, 1997 — Windows World Open, an international competition that recognizes innovative custom applications for the Microsoft® Windows® operating system, today began accepting entries for the seventh annual contest sponsored by Computerworld magazine, Microsoft Corp. and SOFTBANK COMDEX. Windows World Open, founded in 1991, honors developers who write leading-edge custom applications that take advantage of the full spectrum of the Windows operating system to improve efficiency and solve real-world business problems. For the first time, this includes custom applications written for Windows CE-based handheld devices, as well as applications for the Windows 3.x, Windows 95 and Windows NT® operating systems.

Windows World Open is meant to showcase the versatility, openness and power of the Microsoft Windows operating system. Last year’s finalists used more than 100 different third-party tools to create applications for Windows, demonstrating the wide range of tools available for developers on the Windows platform. These applications, in turn, were used by more than 130,000 people, allowing them to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively. Six of the finalists used the Internet as a component of their solutions, reflecting the growing interest of custom application developers in the Internet.

Last year’s Windows World in Atlanta featured custom application developers from a wide range of companies and organizations, including Merrill Lynch, Hewlett-Packard Co. and the U.S Air Force Reserves. Merrill Lynch, the winner under the core business category, developed the Private Client Shell, a software utility that provides consistent access and a uniform view to market data, office automation and other client information. The Private Client Shell allows the user to browse intuitively through local, client-server, mainframe legacy and Web-based applications because the system appears as a single application with a large number of easily accessible functions.

Another winner in the 1997 contest was Cerveceria Polar, a division of Empresas Polar, the largest diversified and solid industrial conglomerate in Venezuela. Cerveceria Polar’s Iceberg application manages the entire operation of a beer sales agency and provides managers with smart tools to assist in the decision-making process, including competitive comparisons.

In the customer service/support category, the 1997 winner was the CSAA Online Guide and Online Guide Author, developed for the California State Automobile Association. The Online Guide is a just-in-time online help and knowledge management system that puts the corporate knowledge base on customer service representatives’ desktops. Another customer service/support category winner was Lawson Products Inc., a 45-year-old company whose product line consists of 33,000 expendable maintenance, repair and replacement supplies for all types of capital equipment, machinery and vehicles. The company’s application, Lawson Agent Works, features dynamic database-driven CD-ROM and Internet catalogs and provides secure ordering capabilities for Lawson Products’ agents and major accounts in Mexico and South America.

The winner in the employee information access category was Stepan Co., a leading manufacturer of surfactant products used in the production of laundry detergents and personal care soaps. The Stepan Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) System is an interface application that allows the operator to control and monitor five areas of the manufacturing facility from a central control room. And finally, in the workflow/collaboration category, Athans & Taylor Chartered Accountants won an award for Synergy-CPA, an enterprisewide solution for managing electronic documents, contacts, jobs and workflow, electronic mail, mail registers and marketing information.

Eligibility for the 1998 Windows World Open is limited to custom applications only. The custom applications must have been developed to meet a specific challenge for a particular business or organization, and may not be available for resale. The application can incorporate legacy systems or off-the-shelf applications to create a completely new custom application. Other criteria stipulate that the application must have been developed for Microsoft Windows 3.1, Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.11, Microsoft Windows 95, Microsoft Windows NT or Microsoft Windows CE. The application must be deployed and in use in the organization for which it was created prior to the entry deadline of Jan. 23, 1998. Custom applications developers are encouraged to obtain a Windows World Open entry kit by visiting ( or by calling (800) 829-4143.

The 1998 contest categories are organized by market applications, including communications, electronic commerce, energy/utilities, financial services, government/justice, health care, manufacturing and retail service/distributions; and by internal applications, including business administration and customer management.

Bill Gates, CEO and chairman at Microsoft, will present the winners with a trophy during his keynote speech on April 21. The finalists will also demonstrate their applications in the special Windows World Open pavilion on the show floor. The Windows World Open is held in conjunction with Windows World, which runs from April 20 to 23 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

SOFTBANK COMDEX provides its customers with access to the world’s most vibrant information technology growth markets. Since the introduction of the first event in 1979, COMDEX has been the premier showcase and most comprehensive education platform for new and emerging computer and communications technologies. During the past two years, COMDEX has grown from seven events in four countries to 40 events in 16 countries, serving more than 6,500 IT exhibitor and 1.5 million IT professional attendees worldwide. Known as the place where the global information technology industry defines itself, entry into a region by COMDEX brings international visibility to the local information technology market.

For the past 30 years, Computerworld has built an organization that is dedicated to the premise of being the leading source of information for IT professionals all over the world. As part of the International Data Group, Computerworld provides IT companies the best editorial environment, products and services to reach senior management in the IT marketplace.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDQ
) 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.

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