New Microsoft Office XP Enhances the Learning Experience Through Increased Productivity and Collaboration, According to Students, Teachers and Administrators

REDMOND, Wash., May 31, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Microsoft ® Office XP is now available for purchase among the education community, following the Experience Learning tour that reached numerous educators across the country. Microsoft Office is the most popular software used in classrooms today, and Office XP is one of several technologies developed by Microsoft that assists teachers and administrators in creating a collaborative learning environment. The next generation of Microsoft Office, named XP for experience, delivers intuitive tools for learning that help educators and students work smarter, share their work with others easily, and integrate seamlessly with resources on the Internet or internal data sources.

A number of leading K-12 schools and higher-education institutions have begun using Office XP, and the reviews have been positive.
“One of the key features of Office XP that benefits our Business School faculty and students is its integration with the Web, which allows them to take greater advantage of the available resources on a more consistent basis,”
said Greg Scott, information services manager at Oregon State University.
“Ultimately it will give our students an edge beyond school and into the workplace.”

“The Microsoft Office Suite has become the most valuable technology resource in today’s learning environment. Nearly 75 percent of K-12 schools and 96 percent of K-12 districts currently use Microsoft Office* because it is a tool that helps teachers enhance their curriculum,”
said Mark East, worldwide general manager of the Education Solutions Group at Microsoft.
“Office XP makes sharing knowledge effortless by putting technology in the background, and allowing reasoning and the creative process to flow. This is an integral part of the Microsoft Connected Learning Community vision to help schools build collaborative, content-rich and student-focused learning environments.”

Students, Educators and Administrators Experience a Smarter Way to Work

Through conveniently placed smart tags in Word, the PowerPoint® presentation graphics program and Excel, Office XP makes individual work more focused on the task at hand. A smart tag — small in size, but great in benefit — will appear where information or actions could be useful to the student or teacher. For instance, a smart tag may allow the student to control an AutoCorrect feature, such as capitalization after the period of a frequently abbreviated word. A smart tag may also give the administrator a menu of options when typing a name in the Outlook® messaging and collaboration client, such as viewing parental contact information or a calendar to arrange a meeting, without having to switch out of the e-mail message, letter or current task. Educational software companies such as Chancery Software Ltd. and XanEdu are making the smart tag feature even more useful to teachers and administrators with customized data, including student information from Chancery, or primary-source research materials from periodicals, journals and newspapers from XanEdu.

Other new features of Office XP include the following:

  • PowerPoint animation. PowerPoint now includes animation tools to help students and teachers convey ideas that are difficult to explain with words alone.

  • Document recovery. In the event of an error, Office XP keeps a backup of work, allowing students or teachers to save and recover their work without losing valuable time or data.

Groups Experience Effective Ways to Collaborate

Teachers and students today are working more frequently on teams and in groups, so Microsoft Office XP has been designed to make the collaboration process more streamlined and efficient. A new feature called Send for Review allows users to distribute a document to multiple department or class members and easily collect and incorporate edits and comments. The option automatically turns on the Track Changes feature for recipients and allows the sender to combine the comments back into the original document with a single click. Color-coding lets the original author see all, some or none of the returned comments separately in the master document. This process allows teachers to focus on their lesson plans, or students on their reports, without spending additional time and energy on the clerical aspect of combining different comments and edits into a final document.

“Teaching and learning is inherently an organizational task, and Microsoft keeps driving that connection in even more powerful and compelling ways,”
said Rick Bauer, chief information officer at The Hill School in Pottstown, Pa.
“Using Office XP, I recently finished an 80-page report and evaluation about our laptop program; it was a document generated by Outlook-based feedback from 40 members of our community containing PowerPoint slides, Visio® drawing and diagramming software charts, and Excel spreadsheet data, and the integration of the various sources was flawless.”

Teachers and Students Extend Their Learning Experience Beyond the Classroom

Using Office XP, teachers and students can now easily retrieve information directly from the Internet or other sources without having to exit the application they are working in to open up a browser and collect the information. Through an option called Refreshable Web Query, students and teachers can focus on critical thinking and analysis of the data instead of using the majority of their time to simply collect it. Office XP can more easily navigate to a Web site or internal data source; select pieces of information such as weather, currency or research data; block the information into visible chunks of HTML; and import the selected information into Excel spreadsheets. In line with new Microsoft .NET technologies, the imported information will be automatically updated as the data changes.

“We’re using Office XP as a platform on which to build rich, custom instructional applications based on the standard data analysis tools in Excel,”
said Deirdre Woods, senior director of Wharton Computing and Information Technology at the Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania.
“The power of Office XP lets us use Excel as the engine for analyzing and displaying dynamic content that significantly improves Wharton’s educational experience.”

Office XP Is Available Today

Office XP is available today in retail stores in 15 countries. Education-specific events, called Experience Learning: The 21st-Century Classroom, took place in May in more than 30 cities around the United States. The events, which drew nearly 1,500 faculty members and administrators, demonstrated the benefits of Office XP through hands-on interaction with the new software.

In addition, educators were introduced to the Microsoft Windows® XP operating system (the latest version of Windows) and Encarta® Class Server, Microsoft’s new Web-based curriculum management solution. Teachers, administrators and faculty also learned about

academic purchasing options and other programs to help educational institutions transform learning for the 21st century.

By clicking on , educators can quickly link to a variety of Office XP resources such as tips and tricks to using Office XP in the classroom, and case studies. Additional resources will be added throughout the summer.

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.

* Source: Quality Education Data Inc. (QED), Technology Purchasing Forecast, 2000-2001

Microsoft, PowerPoint, Outlook, Visio, Windows and Encarta are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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