Microsoft Launches New Job-Specific Tools for Office 2003

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 21, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. today launched Tools for Your Job for Microsoft® Office 2003, an online resource to help Microsoft Office System users discover how to easily accomplish specific tasks related to their jobs. The content was developed in response to customer feedback and research about personal work-related challenges that can be addressed through a combination of insight and easy-to-learn technology.

Tools for Your Job extends Office Online, the new name for the online resource used by up to 25 million Office users each month. The Microsoft Office System gives one-click access to Office Online.

Tools for Your Job content includes downloadable templates, tips, expert articles and more than 50 animated demonstrations of the Microsoft Office System, including many that describe how specific challenges can be met. The resources debuting today were developed for finance, human resources, operations and sales professionals and represent the first wave of a broader Microsoft effort to go one step further in helping Office meet the needs associated with specific jobs. The Tools for Your Job home page is located at .

“Microsoft Office has always offered great products and features, and now we’re taking the next step, which is to also offer great solutions to specific problems,”
said Peter Rinearson, corporate vice president of the Information Worker Business Unit at Microsoft.
“Lots of people don’t know how to get the most out of Office. With Tools for Your Job, we’ll begin to show them exactly how to accomplish the missions that are important to them in their day-to-day work.”

Solutions offered on the sites include guidance for projecting financial goals, compiling monthly financial data, analyzing sales data, collecting and protecting confidential human resources information, and conducting performance reviews. Microsoft is using its Customer Connection tools, a set of technologies that collect customer feedback, to help analyze the effectiveness of the sites and ultimately improve the sites with refreshed content.

“This is just a small beginning of a large effort to understand the specific needs of customers, and meet them in ways that customers can readily understand,”
Rinearson said.
“We’re making major investments in both research and development, and we expect our Microsoft Office System customers to be the happy beneficiaries.”

Engaging Industry Experts

Microsoft is working with experts from a variety of professional fields to create the content offered on the sites. Companies consulted include FranklinCovey Co.,, Immedient, and Enlightened Concepts LLC.

For example, contributed professional-looking forms that human resources departments can quickly download and apply to common human resources tasks ranging from gathering data about a new employee to presenting benefits information. The intent is to save time that previously might have been spent creating such standard human resources forms from scratch.

“As a company specializing in providing tools to human resources professionals, we are intimately familiar with the challenges these professionals experience daily,”
said Deb McGrath, CEO at
“We enjoy having the opportunity to provide new tools, such as the templates we offer on Microsoft’s Tools for Your Job sites, to help human resources professionals do their jobs more easily.”

FranklinCovey provided templates and articles that apply across function areas and range from premeeting worksheets and sample agendas to budgeting and project management guides that contain step-by-step tips for the user.

“As a company, our mission is to help companies succeed by unleashing the power of their work force to focus and execute on top business priorities,”
said Kent Frogley, vice president of Consumer Marketing and Communications at FranklinCovey.
“The Tools for Your Job sites are exactly the type of opportunity we seek to further extend the reach of our tools to help a broader audience improve their personal productivity.”

The Tools for Your Job content is optimized for Office 2003 customers and is available at . Users of previous versions of Office can access existing solutions that complement their tools and view the new Office 2003 solutions pages, including demos, on the Web at this location as well.

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