Microsoft Office System Survey Says Solving Tough Problems Beats Promotions and Pay Raises as America’s “Greatest Moments at Work”

NEW YORK, Oct. 21, 2003 — To mark today’s launch of the Microsoft® Office System, Microsoft Corp. announced the top five greatest moments at work taken from a Harris Interactive survey of 1,000 information workers across America. The results show that from the top of an organization down through the ranks, information workers share the same triumphs.

Information workers’ top five responses to the question “What has been your greatest moment at work?” were solving tough problems; getting a pay raise or a promotion; praise for a job well done; leading or being part of a winning team; and completing a big project, task or business milestone.

“Like most information workers, the most exciting part of my job is solving tough problems,” said Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman and chief software architect. “The new Office System makes that process more satisfying than ever, enabling information workers to work faster, collaborate better, and gain up to two hours a week through improved productivity.”

The survey, commissioned by Microsoft, also found that workers say e-mail is their favorite technology to use at work, followed by cell phone, laptop computer, phone, word processing software and spreadsheets.

Similarly, those surveyed named the two most critical things they expect of their technology at work to provide them with access to the data they need to be successful and connect them to the people they work with. This was followed by simplifying business processes and making the work as painless as possible.

How do these information workers celebrate their great moments at work? Going out to dinner with family and friends ranked first, followed by celebrating with the team, working harder, vocalizing excitement and being taken to lunch or dinner by the boss.

New Office Enables “Great Moments at Work”

Gates today addressed hundreds of customers and partners at the worldwide launch of the latest version of Microsoft Office in New York City, which includes the core office productivity suite along with other applications, servers, services and solutions that help people and their organizations make greater use of information, collaborate more effectively, and easily integrate business processes to increase individual, team and organizational productivity.

The launch keynote speech highlighted newly released outside research that shows the average information worker using the new Office System solutions gained two hours of additional productivity every week. The study, conducted by Navigant Consulting Inc. (NYSE: NCI), looked at 14 individual organizations. Companies included in the Navigant research, such as HP, Guidant Corp., Nordea AB and Accenture, told Navigant researchers the Microsoft Office System solutions they tested have, among other things, cut the time to create sales guides and financial reports, developed better access to data that had been locked on user desktops, and significantly cut error rates in data processing. The Navigant research also found that companies using an Office System solution saw median payback in as little as eight months. More information on this research is available at .

Supporting the release of the new Office System is an advertising campaign whose “Great Moments at Work” theme line highlights the role that Office System plays in enabling information workers to achieve success at work. The worldwide advertising campaign, which begins with print advertisements today, also includes online and broadcast components, including major television spots for Office that will begin Oct. 27 in the United States.

More information on the Microsoft Office survey, and how information workers are utilizing the power of the new Office System to achieve success in the workplace and elsewhere, can be found at .

About the Microsoft Office System

The Microsoft Office System is an easy way to help more people use information to positively impact their business. Through a system of familiar and easy-to-use programs, servers, services and solutions, users can connect people and organizations to information, business processes and each other helping ensure that they derive the most value out of information. The Microsoft Office System consists of the 2003 editions of Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003, Microsoft Office Project and Project Server 2003, Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2003, Microsoft Office Live Meeting, Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003, Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003, Microsoft Office OneNote 2003, Microsoft Office Publisher 2003, Microsoft Office Visio 2003 and the Microsoft Office Solution Accelerators. Enabling technologies, such as Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services and Microsoft Windows Server™ 2003, enhance the features and functionality of products in the Microsoft Office System.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) 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, Windows Server System, Windows and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Microsoft, SharePoint, FrontPage, InfoPath, OneNote, Visio, Windows and Windows Server are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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