Santana and Cheech Marin To Perform at Microsoft Windows 2000 Equal Access Concert Benefiting the Hispanic Scholarship Fund

REDMOND, Wash., February 8, 2000 — Today, Microsoft Corporation announced that ten-time Grammy Award nominee, Carlos Santana, and legendary comedian and co-star of CBS’ NASH BRIDGES, Cheech Marin, would cap off the Microsoft® Windows®
2000 launch-day activities in an Equal Access charity concert benefiting the Hispanic Scholarship Fund to help bridge the digital divide in under-represented communities. The Equal Access benefit concert, exclusively for attendees of the IDG Windows 2000 Conference and Expo, will be hosted by the Windows 2000 team and 17 of the largest technology companies in the world. The concert will take place at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on February 17 th in San Francisco, CA at 8:00pm PST in conjunction with the worldwide launch of Microsoft’s next-generation operating system for businesses, Windows 2000.

“Equal Access provides a venue for the technology industry to come together for a worthy cause, and also allows individuals an opportunity to give something back to the next generation of technology professionals,”
explains Deborah Willingham, Vice President, Windows Marketing at Microsoft.
“We are thrilled to cap off the excitement and worldwide visibility of the launch of Windows 2000 to promote technology in education by donating the proceeds to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.”

Celebrity Master of Ceremonies for the event, Cheech Marin, feels a special connection to this philanthropic event. As a long-time supporter of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, and a major figure in humanitarian efforts within the Hispanic community, his perspective on the Equal Access program hits right at the heart of its mission.
“As widespread as technology appears, many children in America have little or no access to computers or the Internet, preventing them from pursing their dreams and the hope of a more prosperous future. Changing this will require direct intervention from the technology community. That’s what Equal Access is all about,”
said Marin.

Finalizing the Windows 2000 launch day activities, this Equal Access concert benefits the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF), headquartered in San Francisco, California. The HSF is the largest Hispanic scholarship-granting organization in the nation. Named the most efficient charity in America by Worth Magazine in 1994, HSF recognizes and rewards outstanding Hispanic students in higher education throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. These students represent every region of the country, hundreds of institutions of higher learning and every segment of the Hispanic community. Founded in 1975, HSF has awarded more than 40,000 scholarships totaling nearly $47 million.

Although the Equal Access program is still in its early stages, it is already having a dramatic effect.
“Equal Access is changing lives on a very personal level,”
said Sara Martinez Tucker, President of HSF.
“The Equal Access program is expanding opportunities for students to learn, grow and compete in the global market and is investing in America’s future by helping young men and women achieve their dreams.”

In 1997, the Windows Division at Microsoft initiated the Equal Access program-designed as a way to bring the technology industry together to help meet this vital need. Equal Access benefit concerts, held at major technology industry events, support this worthy cause with all proceeds from tickets sales going to the selected Equal Access charity. The proceeds provide scholarships, technology and cash donations to non-profit organizations committed to advancing technology in education for students in underrepresented communities. In the last five years, more than $30 million has been given to organizations like the United Negro College Fund, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America in Microsoft’s efforts to help bridge the digital divide.

The Equal Access program was developed in conjunction with Microsoft’s Community Affairs division, as a key initiative to help fulfill the company’s vision of providing access to PC technology and the Internet for everyone. The program was designed to level the technology playing field so all individuals can have the same opportunities to learn and grow in their careers, education and personal lives. Microsoft hopes that one long-term result of the Equal Access program will be increased diversity in the high-tech workplace.

In the last two decades Microsoft Corporation has given more than $173 million in cash and software donations to help thousands of national organizations provide technology access to underserved communities, including public libraries, non profit organizations, colleges and universities.

“Microsoft truly believes in the importance of creating equal technology access, and works to extend technology availability and training to disadvantaged communities through a range of programs,”
said Santiago Rodriguez, Director of Diversity at Microsoft Corporation.
“The next great technology innovators may not even have entered college yet. But today we have a chance to seed their futures, and to help make technology available in communities throughout America where previously there has been little, or none. Grants to organizations like HSF have helped colleges effectively integrate technology into their curricula, a crucial step in enabling all individuals to compete in the global marketplace.”

The February 17th Equal Access benefit concert is sponsored by the Windows 2000 team and co-sponsors Adobe Systems, Andersen Consulting, Cisco Systems, Commerce One, Compaq Computer Corporation, Dell Computer, EMC, Hewlett Packard, IBM, IDG, i2 Technologies, Intel Corporation, KPMG Consulting, SAP, 3Com, Toshiba, and Unisys Corporation.

IDG has also teamed up with Microsoft Windows 2000 on an online ad auction to support Equal Access. IDG publications and websites have donated advertising space, creating the opportunity for the entire IT community to support the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. The auction called
“IT for Equal Access”
went live on February 1 and the website will accept bids until February 15 at 5:00 PM EST. All proceeds from the auction will be donated to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, the designated charitable cause chosen for the Equal Access Windows 2000 launch day event.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.

*Software donations based on estimated retail prices. Reseller prices may vary.

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