Microsoft Launches Initiative and Web Site Geared to Seniors

REDMOND, Wash, Oct. 1, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the creation of the Microsoft® Senior Initiative and the launch of a new Web site, Seniors and Technology, at . The launch coincides with today’s kickoff of the United Nations International Year of Older Persons, 1999, an event dedicated to increasing awareness of the individual and social needs of senior citizens, the contributions of seniors to society, the challenge of aging societies and the need for a change in attitude toward older people.

“Microsoft has long recognized the contributions of valuable experience, knowledge and insight that seniors make to all of society. The Microsoft Senior Initiative is committed to bridging the ‘digital divide’ by bringing communities and generations together through the use of technology,”
said Craig Spiezle, director of the Microsoft Senior Initiative.
“Microsoft looks forward to working with the United Nations as it embarks on the International Year of Older Persons and on the Microsoft Senior Initiative goal to help train more than 250,000 seniors by the year 2000 and impact as many as 1 million people around the world. Through our programs, services and alliances, we are confident we can reach and impact this great number of seniors, family members, care providers and communities throughout the United States.”

The Seniors and Technology Web site was created as a resource for seniors, their families and their communities. It includes features such as tips for seniors on how to surf the Internet, profiles of people who have realized dreams through the use of technology, information on
PC literacy training, tips for simplifying computer use and links to other resources.

“In just a few years my computer has become indispensable in my work. … Now I not only do things faster and more efficiently, but I can also do what I simply could not do before … like work on drafting a resolution overnight with colleagues all over the world,”
said Julia Alvarez, 72, U.N. ambassador for the Dominican Republic, whose profile is featured on the Web site.
“The computer, like the International Year of Older Persons, has the potential of bringing everyone together … allowing us to communicate, learn and work as if we were all in one place.”

The Microsoft Senior Initiative is committed to working with organizations such as the United Nations to help provide technology to people of all ages, a commitment that coincides with the International Year of Older Persons theme,
“A Society for All Ages.”
Technology can help bring people together by enabling them to communicate with families and friends around the world and to telecommute, and technology can empower people to research information about topics of interest, create Web sites or bank online.

“Providing access to computer and Internet technologies can really make a difference in helping people around the world – particularly in underserved communities and Third World countries – become more employable, more creative and more involved in their communities, while sharing their wisdom with younger generations,”
Spiezle said.
“That’s what the Microsoft Senior Initiative is all about.”

As technology continues to transform the way we communicate, learn and do business, it is important that people not be left behind on the information highway. Microsoft recognizes that seniors, in particular, are in danger of being left behind. Only 21 percent of seniors own PCs and

only 8.8 percent are connected to the Internet, according to a Department of Commerce study by the National Telecommunications Information Administration released in July 1998.

The Microsoft Senior Initiative is a program aimed at bridging the
“digital divide”
between those who are computer literate and those who are not by providing access to PC literacy training technology and tools for individuals worldwide. The initiative’s Web site, Seniors and Technology is a resource for seniors, their families and communities about the exciting possibilities that can be realized through the use of technology.

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.

Microsoft is either a registered trademark or a trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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