iUniverse.com and Microsoft Press To Offer New Custom Books Program for Customers

CAMPBELL, Calif., and REDMOND, Wash., May 14, 2001 — iUniverse.com, the leading provider of digital content technology and services, and Microsoft Corp. today announced the availability of Custom Books from Microsoft Press. Using iUniverse’s digital content technology platform, customers on the Microsoft Press® site ( http://www.mspress.microsoft.com/ ) can browse and compile individual chapters from selected titles as a single Custom Book, which can be delivered as a printed book or in electronic form.

“For technology professionals, it’s not uncommon to seek a book with a specific issue in mind, only to find key information spread among several published titles,”
said James Mastan, director of the Professional Product Group at Microsoft Press.
“As a publisher of technical materials, the promise of custom publishing offers interesting prospects for our customers. By taking advantage of iUniverse’s digital content technology platform, we can now offer customized packages of content and provide customers with the information they need in the format most convenient for them.”

“The traditional book-publishing cycle is relatively time- and resource-intensive,”
said Bill Jordan, senior vice president of Business Development for iUniverse.
“Using XML-based technologies and an advanced delivery architecture, iUniverse enables Microsoft Press to quickly leverage its existing content in new ways. The Custom Book program will open up new channels for distributing more titles about Microsoft® products, giving customers greater choices and a greater opportunity to obtain the knowledge they need to exploit the breadth of capabilities available in Microsoft technology.”

How the Custom Book Service Works

To create a Custom Book, customers go to http://mspress.microsoft.com/ and click on Order Custom Books from the left-hand navigation menu. From the Custom Books home page, they can view available titles organized by topic or utilize the built-in search capabilities to identify the most relevant material. Once the desired chapters have been selected, users can organize the contents of their Custom Book and create their own title. Customers can then order their book as a printed and bound hard-copy book, as an eBook in Microsoft Reader LIT format, or as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file.

Initially, customers will be able to select chapters from 35 titles in the categories of Windows® 2000, Exchange 2000 Server, Microsoft SQL Server™
2000, Office 2000 and XML. Microsoft Press will make additional titles available based on customer feedback and preferences.

Microsoft Press will provide the content while working in concert with iUniverse to enhance the presentation and delivery of Custom Books. Moving forward, iUniverse will convert additional Microsoft content, manage it in its format-neutral repository, and offer technology and applications for customized delivery to Microsoft customers.

Custom Books Will Be Important Trend

Customers’ early impressions of Custom Books have been consistently positive, according to Mastan.
“People we talk to are excited about this program. The promise of being able to create a custom solution for their particular technology need is very compelling to our customers. The ultimate goal here, from the Microsoft perspective, is to enhance the customers’ experience with both the information and the software products we ship. We want to provide our customers with more content options.”

Microsoft Press previewed Custom Books at a recent meeting of the BackOffice® Professionals Association, a Seattle-based user group, and two members shared their thoughts.

“I was really impressed,”
said Alan Carter, a consultant and author of technical books for professional certification.
“If I was preparing for a certification exam, I wouldn’t typically need the whole book because I have some areas of expertise. So I could pull content on my weak areas from two or three books to help me prepare, and spend a lot less than buying two or three books.”

Steve Proudlock, an enterprise software salesman and Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer for Windows 2000, sees the benefit of creating a compilation of information in one document, even though he may already own some of the sourcebooks.
“A huge benefit I see is the ability to gather information from different sources into one easy-to-hang-onto, easy-to-find resource that relates to a single topic,”
he said.
“I certainly plan to use it.”

About iUniverse.com

iUniverse.com is dedicated to offering authors, publishers and other content owners solutions to deliver and customize content on demand, in any format. As a leader in digital content technology and services, iUniverse has created a unique and advanced content infrastructure designed to facilitate the conversion, storage, management, promotion and delivery of intellectual capital and digital content. Earlier this year, iUniverse acquired Corporate University Xchange. This union offers providers of corporate education and training new capabilities for packaging and marketing their intellectual content – courseware, documents, workbooks and more — to customers worldwide.

iUniverse has a wide range of customer and partner relationships with industry leaders including Adobe, Barnes & Noble, Hungry Minds (formerly IDG Books), PricewaterhouseCoopers and Publishers Group West. With more than 300 employees worldwide, iUniverse is headquartered in Silicon Valley, Calif., and maintains operations in Lincoln, Nebraska; New York; Seattle; and Shanghai, China.

For more company news and information, visit http://www.iuniverse.com/ .

About Microsoft Press and Microsoft

Microsoft Press is a product unit within Microsoft and a leading source of comprehensive self-paced learning, training, evaluation and support resources that help everyone from developers and IT professionals to end users get the most from Microsoft technology. Users can choose from more than 250 current titles in print, multimedia and network-ready formats – learning solutions made by Microsoft. More information can be found at http://mspress.microsoft.com/ .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) 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, Microsoft Press, Windows, BackOffice and ClearType 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 about Microsoft Press and Microsoft Reader:

Microsoft Press Online: http://mspress.microsoft.com/

Microsoft Reader Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/reader/

“Microsoft Reader Uses ClearType® Technology and Traditional Typography to Enhance On-Screen Reading”
: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/1999/08-30seybold.asp

“Association of American Publishers, Microsoft to Join on New E-Book Anti-Piracy Initiative”
: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2000/aug00/epublishingpiracypr.asp

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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