NEW YORK, October 5, 1998 — Citing Microsoft’s work to make computer technology accessible to everyone, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Society this week named Microsoft the 1998 recipient of its prestigious Corporate Innovation Recognition Award.
The award, which is the highest award presented by the IEEE, recognizes Microsoft for making computer technology accessible to the home, business and classroom through the company’s innovative software developments. IEEE President Dr. James Bordogna presented the award to Rick Rashid, vice president of Microsoft Research, at a ceremony Monday in New York City.
“We are delighted to present Microsoft with our annual award for corporate innovation,” Bordogna said. “Microsoft has made great strides in making technology accessible not only to the corporate world, but also to small businesses, individuals and students. Its vision should continue to provide solutions to everyday challenges now and in the future.”
IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional society, serving more than 320,000 members in 150 countries. It is considered a leading authority in areas ranging from aerospace, computers and telecommunications to biomedicine, electric power and consumer electronics.
IEEE established the IEEE Corporate Innovation Recognition Award in 1985 to recognize outstanding and exemplary contributions by a corporate body resulting in major advancement of the arts and sciences of electrotechnology. Previous recipients of the award include Ericsson, IBM, Motorola, Philips Electronics and Texas Instruments.
“Since the day Microsoft was founded, we have focused on developing affordable, accessible software that would enable people everywhere to own computers,” said Bill Gates, chairman and CEO of Microsoft. “To meet this challenge, we have spent more than 20 years listening diligently to our customers, continually improving our products and focusing on leading PC users through evolving technology trends. To be honored by a prestigious organization like the IEEE Society for our commitment to innovation is incredibly rewarding.”
IEEE chose Microsoft for the award based on nominations from both members and non-members in the corporate, industry, government and academic sectors. An IEEE selection committee evaluated the nominations to determine the extent to which each company’s products, product lines, systems and concepts have advanced the arts and sciences of electrotechnology. The final nominations were sent to an Awards Board of 30 industry peers and academics, which made a recommendation to the IEEE Board of Directors.
IEEE’s monthly newspaper, The Institute, notes that Microsoft’s products are available in more than 30 languages and are sold in more than 50 countries. As reasons for the award, the newspaper cites Microsoft’s commitment to Internet technologies, basic and applied research, and computer science, and its efforts to make computers accessible to everyone, including the disabled. The newspaper notes that Microsoft provides money, software and volunteer support for hundreds of non-profit organizations throughout the U.S.
“Since its inception in 1975, Microsoft’s mission has been to empower and enrich the lives of people in the workplace, at school and in the home through its software,” the newspaper says.