Microsoft Reveals Development Approach Behind Office 2000

LAS VEGAS, Nov. 18, 1998 — At COMDEX/Fall ’98, Microsoft Corp. last night revealed that it has been taking a new approach to integrating customer input in the development of Microsoft® Office 2000 to make it the most customer-driven release of Office ever. Central to this new approach has been the Office Advisory Council, composed of a diverse group of IT professionals who together represent more than 1 million PC users worldwide. The council has provided valuable customer input from the earliest stages of the design process through the alpha and beta releases of the product. It has helped shape priorities for the product, define features and optimize Office 2000 for deployment through continual interaction with all members of the Office team including developers, testers and product support personnel.

“Members of the Office Advisory Council have helped us decide on our direction for Office,”
said Steven Sinofsky, general manager for Microsoft Office.
“Their input helped us identify needs and validate decisions on everything from the importance of making Office 2000 easy to deploy to how to make Office 2000 a breakthrough Web-collaboration tool.”

“Listening to customers has always been important in the development of Office,”
said Peggy Angevine, product planning lead for Microsoft Office.
“Office 2000 has customer input baked right in, from start to finish, making this the most customer-driven Office suite ever. These customers were an essential part of our team.”

Customers Shaped Office 2000 Through Historic Participation Programs

The Office Advisory Council consists of a group of enterprise customers that were involved with the Office 2000 suite from start to finish. Together members contributed more than 15,000 person-hours to the development of Office 2000 through phone conferences, quarterly forums at Microsoft, surveys, Microsoft on-site visits to their companies, e-mail and Web discussions, as well as reviewing the early alpha version product.

About Office 2000

The new Microsoft Office 2000 line includes five different suite options, offering a set of tools tailored for each type of Office customer. Office 2000 Premium is the most comprehensive of the suites and includes the FrontPage® 2000 Web site creation and management tool, PhotoDraw
2000 business graphics software, Word 2000, Microsoft Excel 2000, the
Outlook® 2000 messaging and collaboration client, PowerPoint® 2000 presentation graphics program, Microsoft Access 2000, Publisher 2000, Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 browser, and Microsoft Office Small Business Tools.

For those interested in an early look at Office 2000, Microsoft is offering a Corporate Preview Program and a Consumer Preview Program. For more information visit the Office Web site at .

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, FrontPage, PhotoDraw, Outlook and PowerPoint are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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