Microsoft Introduces New Free Support Program For Internet Service Providers
REDMOND, Wash., March 5, 1998 — Furthering its commitment to Internet service providers, Microsoft Corp. today announced broad initiatives aimed at helping the thousands of ISPs that have licensed Microsoft® Internet Explorer to distribute the browser software, reduce their support costs and differentiate their services more easily. These new tools and services include a cross-platform version of the Internet Explorer Administration Kit, an ISP deployment guide and instructional video training, as well as the launch of a new online support Web site (https://ieak.microsoft.com/release2/faqs.asp) specifically designed to support the ISP community.
Microsoft today also announced that over 3,600 ISPs throughout the United States have licensed Internet Explorer for distribution to their customers, joining America Online Inc. and the top 12 ISPs that have chosen to offer the browser software to their nearly 20 million users. This unmatched ISP support, along with the new programs, demonstrates that ISPs now have all the tools and support they need to license Internet Explorer, customize it for their services, and distribute it to their customers.
MindSpring Enterprises Inc. ( http://www.mindspring.com/ ) has been using the Internet Explorer Administration Kit to customize Internet Explorer for its customers since November 1996. It cites customization capabilities and unique branding opportunities as reasons for its satisfaction.
“The usability quotient and the customization options included in the Internet Explorer Administration Kit have offered MindSpring an easy tool that allows for branding and customization,” said Ed Douglas, director of product management at MindSpring. “This complements our strategy to provide customers with a unique branded environment from which to connect and use the Internet.”
“Helping ensure that ISPs can provide the best products and services to their customers has always been a top priority for Microsoft, and Internet Explorer along with the Internet Explorer Administration Kit has provided superior business value for ISPs over the past two years,” said Yusuf Mehdi, director of marketing in the applications and Internet client group at Microsoft. “We recognize the importance of great software and support tools to the success of an ISP, and we are pleased to roll out these new programs to further help them reduce support costs and deploy their software in a timely manner.”
Microsoft Launches Intensive Support Program for ISPs
To ensure that ISPs have the tools and support they need to succeed, Microsoft is introducing new, free Web-based support to help ISPs resolve common deployment questions (connect-time charges may apply). The new Web site allows ISPs to check frequently asked questions, post their own support issues, and receive online support and resolution. In addition, Microsoft recently has released a new, cross-platform Internet Explorer Administration Kit that enables ISPs to deploy the browser on the Windows® 95, Windows NT® and Windows 3.1 operating systems, as well as Macintosh and UNIX platforms. Any of the following tools can be ordered from the Microsoft Web site at https://ieak.microsoft.com/release2/ispprogram.asp:
The Internet Explorer Administration Kit 4.01. This cross-platform CD-ROM allows ISPs to customize and distribute the latest version of Internet Explorer 4.0 across multiple platforms from one CD. ISPs can use the kit to customize Internet Explorer 4.0 to the specific needs of their users. The Internet Explorer Administration Kit gives ISPs unmatched flexibility to implement custom features, including branding Internet Explorer 4.0 and Outlook
Express with their name in the title bar, prepopulating favorites, and preconfiguring the software to connect to their service easily.
ISP deployment guide. ISPs receive 300 pages of technical information, based on the experience of multiple Internet Explorer Administration Kit releases and thousands of customer interactions over the last two years. This guide walks ISPs through the customization and deployment options of the Internet Explorer Administration Kit, enabling them to deliver client software quickly and easily.
ISP deployment video. ISPs also receive a two-hour instructional video that covers the Internet Explorer 4.0 deployment process specific to ISPs. For new customers, the video provides a quick way for ISPs to learn about the customization and deployment features available in Internet Explorer through the Internet Explorer Administration Kit.
“The free Internet Explorer Administration Kit Web-based support program helped me find the answers I needed in a timely manner,” said Barry Smoke, webmaster at Up-Link.net. “Being able to post a question and have it answered in most cases by the end of the day was invaluable in allowing me to complete our goal. It was like having my own personal support engineer helping me finish my task. I look forward to Microsoft providing this as an official support solution for ISPs.”
Thousands of ISPs Distribute Internet Explorer and Reduce Support Costs
ISPs continue to offer Internet Explorer as the browser software of choice for their customers. Based on data from Telecommunications Research Group (TRG), an independent marketing research firm, 83 percent of the ISPs in the United States that provide client software have chosen to provide Internet Explorer to their new customers in the past six months. In addition, approximately 50 percent are using the Internet Explorer Administration Kit to customize and brand the browser, and over 70 percent express satisfaction with the Internet Explorer Administration Kit.
In addition, these ISPs are able to use the customization features of the Internet Explorer Administration Kit to customize the browser using the Internet Explorer Administration Kit, and reduce support calls and costs. Long Island Internet HeadQuarters ( http://www.lihq.net/ ), an Internet and intranet service provider in New York, has dramatically reduced support costs by offering Internet Explorer to its customers.
“The Microsoft Internet Explorer Administration Kit has allowed us to provide better service to our customers by customizing Internet Explorer for our specific infrastructure and services,” said Kathi Livornese, president of LI Internet HQ. “This has helped us achieve a 40 percent reduction in support costs. Microsoft has proven supportive in assisting our growth as a company through the implementation of its existing products, as well as the integration of new Microsoft technology as it becomes available.”
Pricing and Availability
Internet Explorer 4.01 can be downloaded free of charge from the Microsoft Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/ie/ (connect-time charges may apply). The Internet Explorer Administration Kit 4.01a is also available from the Microsoft Web site at http://ieak.microsoft.com/ . Internet Explorer 4.0 cross-platform distribution tools can be ordered from the Microsoft Web site at https://ieak.microsoft.com/release2/ispprogram.asp.
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