, November 9, 1998 — Microsoft has launched a new feature guide at its euro currency Web site that lists all of the company’s products that have euro-related features. The guide, located at www.microsoft.com/euro , will be updated as euro-related features are added to more products. The Web site also includes a white paper outlining the potential impact of the euro on businesses, and provides links to related Microsoft sites.
The Microsoft Euro Currency Resource Center Web site is aimed at helping businesses prepare for Europe’s conversion to a single currency. On Jan. 1, 11 countries in Europe, representing some 300 million consumers and approximately 20 percent of the global economy, start sharing a common currency, the euro. Customers in Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal and Spain will therefore start using a new currency, with a new symbol, a new value and, in some cases, a new format.
The euro will require changes to many business processes, along with the systems and PCs that support them. These changes include being able to input, display, store, process and print the new currency and its new symbol. The new currency will have an impact far beyond the shores of Europe as both customers and suppliers start to request or quote prices in euros. Investors, too, will be affected as the stock exchanges of Frankfurt, Milan and Paris will quote prices in euros beginning Jan. 4, 1999.
To help customers cope with this change, Microsoft has been adding features to key products to enable them to handle the new euro currency symbol and, where relevant, the new currency itself. For example, Microsoft has added the euro symbol to the Times New Roman, Courier New, Arial, Tahoma and MS Sans Serif fonts used in Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows NT 4.0. The new product guide on Microsoft’s euro currency Web site is intended to help customers find these features more easily.