Industry Support Grows for Intel and Microsoft Easy PC Initiative

LOS ANGELES, April 7, 1999 — Today at the Windows® Hardware Engineering Conference and Exhibition (WinHEC) 99, Microsoft Corp. President Steve Ballmer outlined the Easy PC Initiative, a multiyear vision co-developed with Intel Corp. in continuation of work on PC ease of use and targeted at improving the overall experience for PC users. Leading PC manufacturers, including Compaq Computer Corp., Dell Computer Corp., Fujitsu Microelectronics Inc., Gateway 2000 Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp., Micron Electronics Inc., NEC Inc. and Toshiba Corp., announced their support for the initiative, and will work to develop new PC prototypes by the end of this year and advocate the initiative’s goals within the industry.

Microsoft and Intel have worked closely in developing the multiyear initiative, first introduced at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in September of last year, which is focused on making the PC easier to set up, expand and use, by reducing legacy hardware and incorporating new hardware and operating system enhancements. Intel and Microsoft continue to work with industry partners on enhancements to the PC platform such as USB and Instantly Available/OnNow via the System Design Guides. The Microsoft® Windows 98 Second Edition operating system, which will improve the initial out-of-box experience for users, represents the first step in delivering on this vision; a planned consumer version of Windows due in 2000 will further realize the vision of the Easy PC Initiative. Intel’s Hardware Implementation Guides and the FlexATX motherboard specification, in addition to concept PC designs shown at IDF and WinHEC, are further examples of Intel’s efforts to enable the creation of legacy-reduced, simpler PCs.

“We are pleased to be working with Microsoft on the Easy PC Initiative, which will further advance opportunities to bring the benefits of Intel Architecture technology to more consumers,”
said Patrick Gelsinger, vice president and general manager of the Desktop Products Group at Intel.
“Our work with this effort continues to expand the PC as the Internet access device of choice.”

“The PC industry has made great strides in making the PC easier and more accessible, and the fact that nearly 50 percent of American households have PCs is indicative of our progress,”
said Steve Ballmer, president of Microsoft.
“Today’s announcement of the Easy PC Initiative underscores Microsoft’s commitment to working with the industry to deliver on this vision of making PCs easier to set up, expand and use.”

The multiyear initiative is focused on developments in four key areas in which Microsoft, Intel and industry partners will target their efforts:

  • Easy to set-up – Preconfigured for connectivity or automatically configured with a single phone call; easy transfer of data and settings from older PCs and simplified cable hook-ups.

  • Easy to expand – Externally expandable using USB technology with no need to open the box to expand the system. Other interfaces such as IEEE 1394 and Device Bay use the same simple plug and play features for external expansion.

  • Easy to use – Instantly Available/OnNow for quick resume time; faster operation with improved, task-based user interface. Greater robustness and reliability through reduction in legacy hardware and self-repairing features.

  • New form factors – PCs with smaller footprints and new, exciting industrial designs enabled by specifications such as the FlexATX motherboard and Hardware Implementation Guides.

Leading PC manufacturers have also advocated the Easy PC Initiative, noting their plans on delivering support for this initiative as it rolls out. Manufacturers include Compaq, Dell, Fujitsu, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Micron, NEC and Toshiba.

More information on the Easy PC Initiative, as well as Microsoft and Intel’s continued efforts in hardware development, is available at or .

About the Companies

Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available 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.

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