Schools Make Microsoft Windows the No. 1 Platform for Education – Microsoft Expands Education Group, Announces New Learning Product

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 11, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today announced gains in both market and mind share for schools and universities across the country. The company’s continued commitment to providing innovative solutions for educators has resulted in the appointment of a new worldwide general manager to drive the development of education solutions, the expansion of its education sales force and senior management nationwide, and a new curriculum platform designed for schools.

Microsoft Windows Gains Momentum in Education Sector

Recent reports have cited growing momentum for the Microsoft Windows operating system in the education sector, notably the Quality Education Data Inc. (QED) Technology Report 2000-2001, the IDC K-12 District Technology Surveys and the Market Data Retrieval (MDR) College Technology Review: 2000-2001 Academic Year Reports. According to QED, educators report that 75 percent of the computers schools plan to purchase during the current school year will be PCs running the Windows operating system. In addition, IDC reported that more than 60 percent of all computers in K-12 school districts today are PCs running the Windows operating system.

In higher education, 75 percent of all colleges and universities use Windows as their network operating system, according to MDR’s report. MDR’s research also found that nearly 97 percent of colleges and universities which prefer a single computer brand have chosen a Windows-based PC, such as a Dell, Gateway, IBM or Compaq.

“The Windows platform is the learning foundation for our four campuses,” said Ralph H. Caruso Jr., vice president of information technology at the University of Missouri System. “It’s the standard we rely on to provide easy and integrated access to educational resources and to prepare our students for success in a technology-rich world.”

Harnessing the Momentum With New General Manager Mark East

Mark East joins the Redmond-based Education Solutions Group at Microsoft as its worldwide general manager, responsible for sales and marketing programs globally. Before being appointed to this position, East served as director for Microsoft’s Education, Small Business and Home and Retail Division in the United Kingdom.

“I consider myself the chief advocate of Microsoft’s Connected Learning Community vision for the use of technology in education,” East said. “I am passionate about how technology can provide students, educators and parents with access to learning any time, from any place and on any device. My team will work with educators and industry partners to help schools and higher-education institutions build and support Connected Learning Communities and increase professional development opportunities for faculty.”

East was responsible for making the United Kingdom Education business the third largest Microsoft education subsidiary in the world. In 1990, Microsoft honored East with its President’s Award for his work in making Microsoft the No. 1 software supplier to education in Europe. He successfully launched the Anytime Anywhere Learning laptop program in the United Kingdom, consulted with the national government to develop a National Grid for Learning initiative to connect all schools and homes to a learning IT infrastructure, and launched a national training program for teachers and librarians. He and his team also established the e-Learning Foundation to provide financial support to help build Connected Learning Communities.

Expanding Sales Force, Increasing Presence

Microsoft has expanded its sales force in an effort to better serve education customers across the United States and to keep pace with customer demand. For example, senior territory managers were hired to direct the growing sales team and to offer additional specialized and personalized solutions, market by market.

“By adding seasoned personnel to both ends of the spectrum, we are increasing our capacity to respond to customer needs and better support the education community,” East said. “Through products, programs and special discounted pricing for education, we are able to keenly focus on customer satisfaction and a high-quality learning experience for both educator and student.”

Two examples of such programs are TechNet for Education, which offers support and resources for IT professionals in education, and Microsoft Classroom Teacher Network, a free online professional development community for teachers in K-12 schools.

Encarta Class Server: A Solution Specifically Designed for K-12 Educators

Microsoft’s latest solution designed for K-12 educators is the Encarta Class Server, a new teaching platform for K-12 schools that combines high-quality educational content from leading publishers with anytime, anyplace access for teachers, students and parents. Unlike any other product available to date, Encarta Class Server is the first platform that allows teachers to electronically manage the five major areas of teaching: curriculum standards, lesson plans, content, assignment and assessment, and makes them all available wherever there is Internet access.

With Encarta Class Server, students can complete assignments and receive teacher comments at home, at the library or through an after-school program – wherever they have access to the Internet. At the same time, parents with Internet access can stay up-to-date and informed about their child’s education.

Microsoft has worked with leading technology vendors and education content providers to create this curriculum management framework, based on Windows 2000 Server, that can correspond with state and school curriculum standards. Compaq Computer Corp. is also working with Microsoft to support Encarta Class Server and has developed a complete software, hardware and services solution. The product is scheduled to be available for purchase in April 2001 in the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies 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 and Encarta 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.

For more information, press only:

Jennifer Salerno, BSMG Worldwide, (212) 445-8265, jsalerno@bsmg.com

Katy Gray, BSMG Worldwide, (212) 445-8176, kgray@bsmg.com

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