Microsoft Announces New Initiative Supporting Computer Science Education

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 23, 2001 — Today at the technical symposium of the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE), Microsoft Corp. announced a new initiative, the MSDN® Academic Alliance, putting state-of-the-art developer tools, servers, platforms and learning resources into the hands of college students and college and university computer labs. Through the MSDN Academic Alliance, colleges and universities offering computer science, engineering and information systems courses can offer their students and faculty unlimited access to development tools and technologies for .NET, Microsoft’s next-generation Web application platform, and resources for integrating these tools into high-demand technology curricula.

For an annual membership fee of just $799, departments offering computer science, engineering and information science courses at not-for-profit, accredited educational institutions can participate in the MSDN Academic Alliance. Starting today more information about the MSDN Academic Alliance is available at and beginning April 2, colleges and universities will be able to sign-up for the program on the site.

An MSDN Academic Alliance subscription includes a license addendum that enables the member department to load the developer tools, Microsoft operating systems, server products and other software included on an unlimited number of departmental lab computers for instructional and research purposes. In addition, students taking credit courses in the department will be able to download software on their PCs for use in their coursework and personal projects at no cost. Other benefits include a Web site where faculty will find tutorials, academically focused articles and white papers, code samples, offers from third-party partners, and a private area for collaborating with their peers nation- and worldwide.

Beginning later spring, four universities, including California Institute of Technology, University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Brown University, will be participating in a beta test of the MSDN Academic Alliance. The MSDN Academic Alliance will provide students and faculty at beta campuses access to tools that meet the evolving needs of the computer science field. For example, since its founding in 1979, Brown University’s Department of Computer Science has been ranked as one of the top in the country. Brown developed pioneering programs in computer science theory and graphics and user interaction. Today, students and faculty also lead cutting-edge, interdisciplinary work in computer engineering and computational biology.

“The MSDN Academic Alliance will offer Brown students and faculty a wide range of essential Microsoft software and facilities, enabling us to have up-to-date systems in use throughout the university,”
said Kathryn T. Spoehr, Provost, Brown University.

The MSDN Academic Alliance subscription includes the MSDN Library of product documentation, technical articles and code samples, and technical support documents for developers building applications; SDKs, DDKs and all Microsoft® operating systems; access to beta versions, new releases and updates; the Visual Studio® 6.0 development system; Visio® 2000 drawing and diagramming software; server test platforms for the Windows® operating system, Microsoft SQL Server™ , Exchange Server, Commerce Server, BizTalk™
server, Host Integration Server and Application Center; development tools for Windows CE; and monthly updates.

“The demand for computer science education is growing at the college and university and high-school levels, and creative educators are developing innovative course offerings,”
said Janie Schwark, manager of academic programs for the Developer Group at Microsoft.
“Through this new academic initiative, Microsoft is demonstrating its commitment to helping ensure that educational institutions and students have access to our most current technologies for use in those courses.”

Microsoft currently offers support for computer science education through two Web sites, the Academic Cooperative ( ), targeted to college and university faculty, and MainFunction ( ), designed for high-school faculty. The Academic Cooperative Web site, which will be combined with the MSDN Academic Alliance site in August, offers college and university computer science, math, engineering, business and science faculty a wealth of easy-to-access instructional resources, including up-to-date course materials, faculty software evaluations and low-cost hardware opportunities. Through a Web site and electronic newsletter, MainFunction offers a curriculum database, downloadable projects, bulletin board forums, quarterly chat sessions and news about information technology trends and issues.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technology 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, MSDN, Visual Studio, Visio, Windows and BizTalk are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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