Women- and Minority-Owned Businesses Name Microsoft One of America’s Top Corporations for Promoting Multicultural Business Opportunities

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 19, 2001 — In a recent Internet poll, more than 50,000 of America’s leading women-owned and minority businesses voted Microsoft one of the nation’s leading corporations in providing and promoting multicultural business opportunities.

DIV2000.com, a business Web portal that provides links between women – and minority-owned businesses, Fortune 1000 companies, government agencies, colleges and universities, conducted the online poll.

“It’s an honor for Microsoft to receive this recognition from businesses that work with us and use our products,” said Microsoft President and CEO Steve Ballmer. “Women- and minority-owned businesses are among our nation’s fastest growing and most vibrant companies. They’re doing exciting work in all sectors of our economy, and Microsoft is proud to be playing an active role in supporting their efforts and contributing to their success.”

Microsoft ranked third behind American Express and IBM in the poll, which asked women- and minority-owned businesses to evaluate Fortune 500 companies according to how well they provide and promote multicultural business opportunities. The U.S. Small Business Administration led the poll’s list of top government agencies. A complete list of all winners is available at www.DIV2000.com/survey.html .

The Div2000 Top Fifty Award was presented yesterday to Microsoft, and other companies that were being recognized for their contributions to minority — and women-owned businesses, in an awards ceremony at Fairfield University in Connecticut.

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