Microsoft Office 2000 Gains Major Support in First Weeks of Release

REDMOND, Wash., July 19, 1999 — Customers of all types — from major corporations to small businesses and consumers — have made Microsoft Office 2000 a success just weeks after its June 10 launch, according to data released earlier today by Microsoft.

Driven by strong demand from consumers and small businesses, retail sales for Office 2000 during its first 15 days in release were 31 percent higher than those for Office 97 during a comparable period, Microsoft said today. The new figures confirm reports from PC Data, which show Office 2000 accounting for more than 16 percent of total retail software revenue during its first week of release and turning in the best first-week performance of any software since the introduction of Microsoft Windows 98 one year ago.

“Microsoft Office 2000 has really resonated with our customers; initial sales of Office 2000 are two-and-a-half times our sales for the Office 97 launch,” said Tom Stemberg, Chairman and CEO of Staples. “Staples caters to small businesses and our customers are always looking for ways to be more productive and competitive at lower cost. Office 2000 is loaded with innovative small business tools that our customers are really excited about.”

Consumers Citing Greater Productivity, Web Integration and Security

Office 2000 has generated excitement among consumers of all types — including those in the country’s largest PC user group, the Houston Area League of PC Users (HAL).

“Our members are enthusiastic about Office 2000 because, for the first time, all of the applications are seamlessly integrated, making it easy to go from one to the next without learning a new set of tools,” said Al Massey, reviews editor of HAL, which has more than 14,000 members and plans to use Office 2000 to help prepare materials for the group. “Office 2000 integrates the desktop with the Web, making it easy for us to collaborate on product reviews and to publish our reports to the Web for easy access by the members,” said Massey.

For his next project, Massey is planning to bring together HAL’s global membership by using PowerPoint 2000’s Presentation Broadcast feature, making it possible to broadcast PowerPoint slides, video and audio to members located in some 30 countries around the world. Massey said that with Office 2000, setting up these “virtual meetings” are as easy as creating a PowerPoint slide deck and members only need a Web browser and an Internet connection to participate.

In addition to the Web integration and productivity features, consumers are also attracted to Office 2000 because of its security enhancements, including protection from macro viruses such as the recent Melissa virus. Office 2000 uses a technology called digital signatures, meaning that users can be sure that by default, only macros that are digitally signed by a trusted source will be allowed to run automatically. In addition, Office 2000 makes it possible for anti-virus companies such as Trend Micro Inc. to offer integrated virus-scanning solutions for Office 2000-based documents.

“The new anti-virus capabilities in Office 2000 allow us to better integrate virus-scanning solutions into Office documents so that users are protected when sharing those documents with others,” said Dan Schraeder, director of product marketing at Trend Micro. “Because the ever-evolving nature of viruses requires rapid improvements in anti-virus software, the ability to integrate new anti-virus solutions with Microsoft Office 2000 is critical to protecting users from new viruses.”

Small Businesses Benefiting from Office 2000 Tools Designed Specifically for Them

Many small businesses say they are attracted to the product because of a range of new features that enable them to be more efficient and productive. In addition to new productivity enhancements, Office 2000 includes new small business tools including the Small Business Customer Manager, Microsoft Business Planner, Small Business Financial Manager and Small Business Direct Mail Manager.

“Office 2000’s small business tools give us the ability to manage our business effectively and to compete head-on with the big players in our industry,” confirmed Lyle Bowlins, owner of online bookseller Positively-You. “With Office 2000, one person can process all our orders and invoice all our customers — while larger competitors have entire departments doing the same thing.”

Bowlins also takes advantage of Excel 2000’s improved data analysis capabilities to track customer orders from the company Web site, sort details and pass orders along to company wholesalers. And FrontPage 2000 allows Positively-You to respond rapidly to competition — for example, updating its Web site within minutes with the latest product promotions.

Troop, Steuber, Pasich, Reddick & Tobey, a legal firm in Los Angeles, has benefited by upgrading to the new Premium edition of Office 2000, which includes FrontPage and PhotoDraw.

“One of the reasons we chose Office 2000 was that it was a simple solution to our firm’s desire to provide everyone with integrated software to help increase productivity,” said James Shourt, CIO at the firm. “We use Outlook as the communication portal for our 140 legal professionals to track documents, effectively manage client matters as well as manage client relationships. In addition, PhotoDraw will allow us to develop our own computer-based training programs so that staff and attorneys can learn new applications directly at their desks — significantly increasing the productivity of our people without taking them away from their own spaces.”

Corporations Beginning Office 2000 Deployments

Many major corporations also have chosen Office 2000, citing the needs to reduce costs and end-user down time as well as to increase productivity. To date, corporate customers have purchased the right to deploy more than 15 million licenses through enterprise agreements and volume license programs. Many corporate customers have already begun their roll out as a part of the Office 2000 Rapid Deployment Program, which represents more than one million desktops worldwide. These customers include:

  • Credit Suisse — which is deploying to 14,000 desktops in U.K., U.S. and Asian distribution centers in more than 50 offices across some 30 countries.

  • J.D. Edwards — which has deployed to 2,500 desktops, including offices in Europe, Asia, and branch offices and home-office-based sales representatives.

  • Lockheed Martin Missiles and Electronics — which is currently deploying to more than 5,000 desktops.

  • University of Texas — which has deployed to 10,000 desktops for all business school students and faculty.

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