Educators Choose Microsoft Windows 2000 As the Most Complete, Powerful Platform for Learning

REDMOND, Wash., March 8, 2000 — Educators nationwide are continuing their widespread support for Microsoft® Windows® as the
“platform of choice”
in both K-12 and higher education by upgrading or switching to Windows 2000 less than a month after the new software became available worldwide. Today, more than 3,000 K-12 educators will participate in The Connected Learning Community Powered by Windows 2000, a free interactive satellite broadcast featuring Blue Springs School District in Missouri, just one district that already has harnessed the power of the Windows 2000 platform.

For years, education institutions have recognized the value of the Windows platform as the ideal foundation for enriching learning and maximizing organizational efficiency. In fact, according to a recent report by International Data Corp. (IDC), the Framingham, Mass., marketing research firm,
“State of Technology Usage in Higher Education Institutions, 1999,” Microsoft Windows NT® is the leading operating system in higher education, with 48 percent of the schools surveyed selecting Windows NT as their network operating system. Windows is also the desktop operating system of choice for primary and secondary schools. More than 65 percent of all computers in schools are now Windows-based PCs. During the current school year, 70 percent of the computers that schools plan to purchase will be Windows-based PCs, according to Quality Education Data of Denver.

“With Windows 2000, educators are discovering the enormous potential that technology has to transform schools and campuses,”
said Bryan Watson, general manager of the Microsoft Education Group.
“Our early adopters are seeing that the new platform addresses mission-critical issues, such as increasing access to important information or efficiently managing desktops in remote locations. Windows 2000 is empowering educators to use PCs, software and the explosion in Web-based services to build the next generation of schools.”

Windows 2000 Helps Schools Manage Today, Plan for Tomorrow

K-12 school districts, as well as colleges and universities, are quickly realizing that Windows 2000 is a complete and highly powerful platform for teaching and learning today. With Windows 2000 Professional on the desktop and Windows 2000 Server on the network, schools are building networks that are easy to manage, work with their existing technology, adapt as needs change and grow, offer safe Internet access, enhance instruction, and streamline administration.

For the Blue Springs School District, featured in today’s satellite briefing, Windows 2000 was the ideal choice. With more than 5,000 computers, 12,000 students and 20 schools, Blue Springs, located on the eastern edge of the Kansas City metro area, needed a network that could handle the ever-increasing demands on its computer system.

“I have a total of five technicians responsible for all 5,000-plus workstations that we have here, and the server management feature in Windows 2000 is already proving to be an invaluable tool for quick and easy administration of our network,”
said Don Keeler, director of technology for the Blue Springs School District.
“With Windows 2000, I can already offer more network services than I could ever imagine, and I still have room to grow.”

Other
“early adopter”
K-12 school districts are also reaping the benefits of this powerful technology:

  • A year ago, the Orange County (Fla.) Public School District, the 16th largest public school district in the country, realized that its mission-critical software applications, such as e-mail and data entry, were growing unstable on their old platforms and could no longer manage increasing traffic. Today, the district is piloting Windows 2000, and already applications are running more smoothly with increased stability. Future plans included services like
    “smart”
    photo ID cards that allow students to view grades or pay library fines online using the Windows 2000 Active Directory TM service as the backbone.

  • Alief Independent School District, in Houston, Texas, was hosting 40 Windows NT domains serving a total of nearly 10,000 computers when Charles Woods, executive director for technology, decided to upgrade to Windows 2000. Windows 2000 Professional recently helped Woods roll out more than 1,000 new PCs safely and securely. The district is already using the security features of Windows 2000 that prevent users from deleting files or installing third-party software and Woods is now finding that he can manage a very busy network with far fewer lockups, restarts and reboots than in the past.

Higher Education Reaps Benefits of Windows 2000

Colleges and universities are also at the leading edge of organizations adopting Windows 2000. At the University of Colorado at Boulder, an institution serving more than 30,000 students, faculty and staff, IT director Dennis Maloney readily admitted that the campus network had grown unmanageable, supporting a heterogeneous environment of UNIX, Novell, Windows NT 4.0 and AppleTalk networks. Skyrocketing costs of managing multiple systems was another problem the university faced.

“We see Windows 2000 as an opportunity to proactively build an infrastructure for the campus that everyone can use,”
said Maloney.
“With everyone working on the same system, we can do things we never could have imagined before, like allowing students to get their own, personalized desktops and bookmarks from wherever they log on to the network, or allowing our IT managers to work on machines from remote locations.”

Other colleges and universities are choosing Windows 2000 to help increase student and faculty member collaboration and increase network management efficiency:

  • At Oregon State University’s College of Business, nestled in the rural community of Corvallis, systems engineer Michael Johnson purposely tested Windows 2000 by installing it on servers that were set in racks that were hard to access. With Windows 2000 Terminal Services, he can now work on both servers simultaneously from his desk. Terminal Services is one of the favorite features of Windows 2000 for Johnson and his colleagues.
    “It gives me all the information and functionality I need,”
    said Johnson.
    “I can see who’s on the network, for how long, and what processes they are running.”

  • The University of Leicester, United Kingdom, was facing some key challenges common to colleges and universities worldwide: how to provide the up-to-date, campuswide computing facilities that students and faculty need, while also providing the security and ease of management for desktop machines that IT managers require. The IT staff decided that migrating to Windows 2000 was the answer. The university has already seen immediate benefits and believes that when its graduates are seeking employment, their experience with Windows-based networking products will be a real advantage.

Educators Nationwide Get Face to Face With Windows 2000

At The Connected Learning Community Powered by Windows 2000, today’s live, interactive learning session broadcast at nearly 60 locations across the United States, educators are meeting with school technology leaders and Microsoft education managers via satellite. Participants are discovering ways to use technology to provide students, educators and parents with improved any time, any place access to learning; to make learning increasingly relevant, individualized and personalized; to build and expand school information systems to support accountability and efficient management; and to provide a dynamic, collaborative learning environment that includes schools, communities and other global resources. To view the briefing, scheduled from 11 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. EST, interested parties should visit http://webevents.broadcast.com/steeplechasemedia/webcast030800/ . More information and case studies of other schools and campuses that are adopting Windows 2000 are available on the Microsoft Education Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/education/ .

Helping educators realize the potential of Windows 2000 to build modern learning infrastructure is part of Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to help every school and campus build a Connected Learning Community where all students and teachers have access to learning any time, any place.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) 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.

Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT and Active Directory are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.


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