Microsoft Launches Online Community to Help IT Professionals In Education Build, Manage and Maintain Technology Foundations

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 5, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today launched TechNet for Education, an education-specific extension of the company’s successful TechNet program for IT professionals, to offer schools, colleges and universities the technical support they need to adequately maintain, deploy and support their information technology investments. In 1999 alone, according to Quality Education Data, U.S. K-12 schools will invest more than $6.2 billion in technology, and a recent report from International Data Corp. (IDC) indicates that U.S. higher education institutions spent $3.1 billion on information technology-related products and services in 1998. However, research shows less than 10 percent of that money is devoted to the ongoing maintenance and support of the hardware and software that is increasingly becoming critical to their educational mission.

“Many education IT professionals are already using Microsoft® TechNet resources but also want a program that addresses the unique challenges they face in an educational environment,”
said Bryan Watson, general manager, Microsoft’s Education Group.
“TechNet for Education gives IT managers in educational institutions the tools they need to deal with daily hurdles such as maximizing resources, minimizing costs, maintaining IT staff productivity, upgrading legacy systems and training.”

Ronald Roefaro, technology director for Appalachia Intermediate Unit District 8 in rural Duncansville, Pa., has been a TechNet user for the past two years. Roefaro said that the tools and tips offered by TechNet have provided solutions to a number of the technology challenges faced by the 35 schools and five vocational high schools that his agency serves.

“Our schools don’t have a lot of extra money to spend on technology support, so TechNet has been a great way for us to get specific answers to our IT questions,”
Roefaro said.
“We just go to the Web site, find quick answers, and get back to work. Having this information customized for education will make TechNet an even more efficient resource for us as we help our schools use technology in the best possible ways.”

TechNet for Education offers the following resources:

  • TechNet for Education Web site. Updated monthly, the TechNet for Education home page is designed with answers in mind. Educators can turn to the Web site for the latest advice, case studies and white papers on technology solutions for education, interactive question-and-answer sessions with technology experts, and access to TechNet Flash, a free* bimonthly newsletter announcing the latest Microsoft products and premiums available.

  • TechNet for Education CD-ROM subscription and licenses. Educators can receive 12 monthly issues – more than 50 CDs – including the complete Microsoft Knowledge Base, all the Microsoft Resource Kits, updated service packs, utilities, drivers, patches, Microsoft Seminars Online and training materials for $419 a year. Or educators can purchase TechNet for Education Plus for $849 annually and receive server licenses with access to all of the resources on the CD-ROM version plus Microsoft prerelease beta software prior to public distribution.

  • TechNet for Education events. Technology decision-makers can gain invaluable information about training and networking and meet other educators during local TechNet events.

Often pressed for time and by budget constraints, Rodney Ellison, senior PC support specialist and network administrator for the Florida Instructional Technology Resource Center within the University of Central Florida in Orlando, said he regularly turns to Microsoft’s TechNet resource as a way to try out the latest software solutions and find technical fixes and patches needed to keep campus computers running.

“One of my main jobs is to be on the cutting edge of technology, but unfortunately, I live with budget constraints that require me to be very practical, too. TechNet already helps me keep up to date with what is going on in a fast-changing environment,”
Ellison said.

I envision TechNet for Education offering the education-specific solutions I need, especially ones that take very little time because educators don’t have a lot of time to find solutions to problems. For example, an education-specific application for Windows Media TM Technologies would be invaluable to IT professionals.”

To participate in TechNet for Education, IT professionals can visit the Web site at and register for the free* bimonthly TechNet Flash newsletter, which offers information about technical challenges and solutions specific to education and delivers technical how-to highlights from the standard Microsoft TechNet program.

Each month, TechNet for Education will focus on a new area of technology, offering information and insight into planning, deployment and support. For example, in October TechNet for Education highlights Microsoft Office 2000, offering IT specialists tips and tools for upgrading their users’ systems in the most efficient and cost-effective way. TechNet case studies from the University of Texas at Austin Business School; Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Community School District; and Harlingen, Texas, School District offer these schools’ experiences and advice on deploying the new suite of desktop tools, including security issues, budget needs and support efforts.

TechNet for Education is part of Microsoft’s continuing commitment to helping build a Connected Learning Community in which all students, educators and parents have access to technology and the tools and skills to use information effectively today and for a lifetime. More information about Microsoft’s education programs is available at the Microsoft Education Web site 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.

*Connect-time charges may apply.

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Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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