Microsoft Readies Channel on Home Networking

REDMOND, Wash., March 2, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced it is readying a broad swath of traditional and untraditional channel members for the burgeoning home networking industry. As an initial step in these channel efforts, Microsoft has created a training curriculum for custom home automation, security installers and home entertainment systems integrators, which it will kick off at the Electronic House Expo 2000 on March 3. Over the next several months, Microsoft plans to offer six training sessions on the essentials of home networking, to be held in the following locations: Orlando, Fla.; Portland, Ore.; St. Paul, Minn.; Stamford, Conn.; Chicago; and Indianapolis. By initiating this program, Microsoft will help make it easier than ever for homeowners and consumers to gain access to the connected home of the future.

“To bring the power of simple connectivity to customers, Microsoft and the home networking industry must first build a strong underlying foundation,” said Shawn Sanford, group product manager of the Windows® Division at Microsoft.
“We are pleased to offer this channel training, which will help our untraditional channel partners take advantage of growing opportunities in home networking and home automation.”

Training Offerings

The first phase of training will provide attendees with a hands-on introduction to home networking, complete with demonstrations, market statistics and how-to guidance on wiring, cabling and supporting a home network, and networking multiple Microsoft® Windows operating system-based PCs and devices. Microsoft plans to implement additional training curricula this year that will provide a wide variety of channel members – from traditional computer channel partners to untraditional channel partners such as home construction companies, home remodelers, home and electronics retailers, wire installation companies, telephone companies, and cable television and broadband providers – with the tools and knowledge they need to take advantage of the home networking industry. The ultimate goal is to make it simple and accessible for all kinds of channel companies to install and maintain the physical networking infrastructure of a home.

With the kickoff of this program, Microsoft will help make it easier than ever for businesses and home owners to experience the benefits of a connected home of the future and get ready for Universal Plug and Play-enabled home networks.

About Universal Plug and Play

Microsoft is leading the Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) initiative, which ultimately will make connecting multiple devices easier by building on existing standards and technologies. UPnP is based on existing Internet standards and is network-media-independent. In addition, UPnP encompasses all types of networked and traditional peripheral devices, including PCs, home entertainment systems, new smart appliances, home automation systems, networked peripherals and Web-based services, without the need for a centralized server to manage the devices.

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.

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