Microsoft Announces First Microsoft Technology Award for Seniors

REDMOND, Wash., March 11, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. will announce the winner of the first Microsoft® Technology Award for older Americans at this year’s Green Thumb Prime Time Awards on Wednesday, March 24, in Washington, D.C. Microsoft will grant the award to an older American worker whose life has been most impacted by technology, enhancing their employability, independent living and family life.

The Microsoft Technology Award will be given to one of 52 recipients of Green Thumb’s Prime Time Awards, which recognize and celebrate America’s outstanding older workers. In the winner’s honor, Microsoft will create a computer center for seniors that will be equipped with state-of-the-art, NEC-Ready, multimedia computers and a Microsoft product library. The center, which will be open to older Americans in the winner’s state, will provide seniors with the opportunity to acquire technology skills to prepare them for the 21st-century work force as well as share their knowledge and experiences with their family and community.

“The Microsoft Technology Award demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment to older Americans, recognizing how technology can make a real difference in their lives,” said Craig Spiezle, director of the Microsoft Senior Initiative. “Microsoft is pleased to work with Green Thumb to recognize the accomplishments and achievements of older Americans.”

“All Green Thumb initiatives focus on encouraging older Americans to secure the training and employment they need to enhance the quality of their lives,” said Andrea Wooten, president of Green Thumb. “We’re excited by the addition of the Microsoft Technology Award to our Prime Time Awards celebrating America’s outstanding older workers. This award will make it possible for more seniors to gain access to the tools and training necessary to be competitive in today’s workplace.”

“Approximately half of today’s jobs require the use or knowledge of technology, and that number is expanding. Simultaneously, people are living longer,” said Spiezle. “By providing a training center and curriculum specifically for seniors, the Microsoft Technology Award will allow seniors to acquire this knowledge so they can let technology enhance their lives in the spirit of the award winner.”

Microsoft and Green Thumb formed a strategic alliance in 1997 to deliver information technology training to older workers to enhance their employability. Green Thumb is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to strengthen families, communities and our nation by providing older and disadvantaged adults with opportunities to learn, work and serve others. Green Thumb bestows its Prime Time Awards on outstanding older workers chosen by each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The Microsoft Technology Award selection is given to one of these 52 outstanding older American workers.

The Microsoft Technology Award includes 11 NEC-Ready computers with 17-inch monitors and a library of Microsoft publications. Each computer will also include a Microsoft product library of the Windows® 98 operating system, Microsoft Plus 98, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Encarta® Africana encyclopedia, Microsoft Flight Simulator 98, Microsoft Natural® Keyboard Elite, the Microsoft IntelliMouse® Pro pointing device and Microsoft Works Suite 99.

The Microsoft Senior Initiative is a program aimed at bridging the “digital divide” and helping ensure that seniors are not left on the side of the information highway. By providing access to information technology and PC literacy training, the Microsoft Senior Initiative is

introducing the exciting possibilities of technology to senior citizens. The Seniors and Technology Web site is a resource for seniors, their families and communities about the exciting possibilities that can be realized through the use of technology.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) 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, Windows, Encarta, Natural and IntelliMouse 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 about the Microsoft Senior Initiative, please visit the Microsoft Senior Initiative Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/seniors/. For additional information about Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. For additional information about Green Thumb, please visit the Green Thumb Web site at http://www.greenthumb.org/ .

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