Microsoft TechNet Launches New Beta Evaluation Software Program For IT Professionals

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 10, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today announced a new level to the popular TechNet CD-ROM subscription, TechNet Plus, which allows IT professionals to test and evaluate Microsoft® beta products.

TechNet Plus provides another option for new users and the more than 284,000 users worldwide currently subscribed to the existing TechNet CD-ROM. Both offerings provide monthly CDs packed with technical how-to content, resource kits, service packs, Knowledge Base articles and other information. TechNet Plus also includes monthly shipments of Microsoft beta products, allowing IT professionals who are responsible for deploying, managing and supporting Microsoft products in their companies to better evaluate future deployments.

To further disseminate key technical content to IT professionals, Microsoft has expanded its Web site, located at , to include the award-winning TechNet CD-ROM content and is rolling out additional free technical briefings worldwide.

“We are offering TechNet Plus so IT professionals can test future Microsoft products and determine how a new product will affect their current system, what deployment issues may arise and how much end-user support will be needed,”
said Paul Bazley, general manager of technical community development at Microsoft.
“The TechNet CD subscriptions, revamped Web site and technical briefings are the cornerstones of our efforts to help IT professionals be more successful with Microsoft products.”

TechNet Plus is scheduled to launch in the United States on April 1, when the first beta evaluation CDs will be sent out along with the regular monthly TechNet issue. The TechNet Plus subscription price is $449 (U.S.) for a single user license and $849 for a server license* version. The regular TechNet CD subscription price of $299 (U.S.) remains unchanged. From Feb. 15 through April 30, customers in the United States can take advantage of a special 10 percent discount on a TechNet subscription renewal updated to TechNet Plus. All prices quoted are for the United States only. Customers can place their orders for TechNet Plus in the United States by calling (800) 344-2121 or by accessing the TechNet Web site ( ). For international prices and availability, please contact the TechNet representatives in that country or access the information at .

As is the case with all beta evaluations, availability, license terms and timing are dependent on upcoming product releases. For example, 1998 beta evaluations included the Microsoft Windows® 98 operating system, Windows 2000, Systems Management Server 2.0, SQL Server
™7.0, Windows NT® operating system Services for Unix 1.0, Microsoft Office 2000 Developer, File and Print Services for NetWare 5.0, and the Visual Studio® development system 6.0.

Launch of TechNet CD Online Leads to Surge in Hits

The redesigned TechNet Web site ( ) is now easier to navigate and includes content previously available only through the standard TechNet CD-ROM subscription. So far, the TechNet CD Online site has proved popular with IT professionals, with a 232 percent increase in registrations to access the CD Online site in the first two weeks alone.

“IT professionals told us they wanted technical information available not only via CD but also online, which enables them to have online access to the white papers, deployment guides, utilities, trouble-shooters, service packs and other resources they need in their day-to-day jobs,”
Bazley said.

Another new feature aimed at meeting the needs of IT professionals is the Your Product Review section, which allows IT professionals to review and discuss Microsoft products with each other. In addition, user feedback will go straight to the Microsoft teams working on the next version of the products.

For fun, Microsoft has added the Puzzler, a weekly contest of skill and luck that will run through April 5. In addition, The Mole: Inside Microsoft is a biweekly column that offers tips and trends from Microsoft technical professionals.

“I am really pleased that Microsoft is making the full TechNet CD content available on the Web,”
said Don Mason, chief technology officer of Answermart/American Beeper.
“I have always enjoyed the efficiency and flexibility of the CD, but the Web lets me access the information I need anywhere, whether or not I have the CD on hand. Having the information available in both formats is really the best of all worlds.”

“The Microsoft TechNet Web site and CDs are excellent research tools,”
said Michael Hritz, account manager for IKON Technology Services.
“Resources such as these are incredibly important to the success of our firm. TechNet drastically reduces the time spent to perform tasks for our clients, which means their bill is lower, making them happier with us.”

TechNet Briefings Reach Hundreds of Thousands of IT Professionals

Since their launch in late August last year, more than 450,000 IT professionals worldwide have attended one of the 3,300 TechNet Briefings. In the United States alone, 1,726 TechNet Briefings have drawn more than 193,000 IT professionals.

“I attend the Microsoft TechNet Briefings whenever they are in town,”
Hritz said.
“They present the perfect opportunity to speak directly to Microsoft sales and technology personnel about specific questions on Microsoft solutions and products. In the IT business, where technology is advancing so fast, briefings about new products and methods of deployment are crucial. Microsoft is doing an outstanding job by making this vital information free and widely available.”

TechNet Briefings allow IT professionals to learn from and interact with local Microsoft technical staff and their peers. IT professionals can register for TechNet Briefings at the TechNet Web site, . Current briefings being offered in cities throughout the United States include these how-to technical topics:

  • Learn How to Use the Fixes and Enhancements in Service Pack 4 for Windows NT Server 4

  • Addressing Year 2000 Issues and Euro Future Updates

  • Windows 2000 Architectural Overview and Update

  • How to Design and Deploy Business Systems for Corporate Purchasing

  • Deploying Business Systems for Branch Offices Using BackOffice Server 4.5

  • How to Provide Publishing, Collaboration and Data Access Using Office 2000 in Your Enterprise

  • Building Windows Distributed interNet Applications (Windows DNA) With Visual Studio 6.0

  • Distributed Programming With DCOM and MTS

  • SQL Server 7.0 and Microsoft’s Strategy for Data Warehousing

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.

*The server license version allows licensees to post the TechNet CD-ROMs to a LAN server so multiple users can view technical information, utilities and other content.

Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT, Visual Studio and BackOffice 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.

For year 2000 information regarding Microsoft products, see
or contact your local Microsoft subsidiary.

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