Microsoft Works With Florida Hospitals to Bring Holiday Cheer

ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 7, 1998 — To bring some cheer to children facing hospital stays over the holidays, Microsoft Corp.’s newly established Florida District office joined Florida Hospital Healthcare to update some of the pediatric ward’s play areas with the most current Microsoft® toys, games and hardware. At a small presentation ceremony today, Microsoft delivered more than $5,000 in software and hardware to Florida Hospital Healthcare, to entertain and comfort the children being treated there.

At the top of the list of donations are the recently released Microsoft ActiMates
and D.W.
interactive toys. ActiMates help children learn at their own pace through play. The potential of the ActiMates dolls is limitless because their interactivity can be cued in three different ways, giving children a host of different play experiences. ActiMates Arthur and his little sister D.W. can function as standalone dolls that respond as the child presses their ears, hands or feet. The dolls also respond to encoded videotapes and ActiMates-compatible broadcasts of the popular
“Arthur” cartoon, which airs on PBS® stations nationwide. Finally, Arthur and his sister can be connected to a computer through Microsoft’s ActiMates PC Pack. (The software can be used without the doll as well.)

“It is really great to be able to work with Florida Hospital Healthcare on this project,”
said Jeff Raikes, group vice president, sales and marketing at Microsoft.

I hope that Arthur, D.W. and the other software games we are donating will help to distract the kids from their illness and let them just have fun.

“One of the great things about computers and technology is that people aren’t required to be able to run, walk or even sit up to have fun using them. They are ideal for situations like this – where kids just want to be kids but their bodies aren’t quite cooperating,”
Raikes said.

Raikes said that Microsoft would be donating all the necessary hardware for ActiMates Arthur and D.W. to run in any of the three modes the children choose. In addition, Microsoft donated a wide variety of software games and educational software, from its ever-popular Flight Simulator program to its award-winning Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus
series. Microsoft hopes kids in the hospital will have lots to keep their minds occupied.

“We thought that products like ‘The Magic School Bus Explores the Human Body,’ which is a fun and educational software game, would be both entertaining and helpful,”
said Sandy McCarthy, general manager of Microsoft’s Florida District.
“I could see doctors and parents using the software to help young children better understand their illnesses and their treatments.”

“It is really exciting to see the way Florida Hospital Healthcare is using technology throughout the hospital,”
Raikes said.
“Beyond the obvious applications of computers in the day-to-day management of the facility, Florida Hospital Healthcare recognizes that in many cases a computer can be a patient’s link to the world and their lives outside the hospital.”

Alex Veletsos, Florida Hospital Healthcare’s MIS director, accepted the technology donation on behalf of the hospital.
“We are thankful for companies like Microsoft that have a strong sense of community and corporate stewardship. It is clear that Microsoft feels the communities in which it works are as important as the work they do.”

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 and ActiMates are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Arthur and D.W. are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Marc Brown.

is a trademark of the Public Broadcasting Service.

is produced for PBS by WGBH Boston and CINAR films.

Scholastic and The Magic School Bus are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Scholastic Inc. 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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