Northwest Minority Business Council Names Microsoft Its 2007 Corporation of the Year

REDMOND, Wash. — March 20, 2007 — The Northwest Minority Business Council (NMBC) presented Microsoft Corp. with its prestigious Corporation of the Year award on Feb. 9 at its Summit Awards Gala, in recognition of the company’s exemplary achievements in the area of minority-owned business development and supplier diversity efforts.

The award is regarded as the most significant honor to a major corporation for the support and development of minority suppliers.

“This is one of our industry’s most prestigious and competitive awards, given to corporations that have demonstrated their commitment to minority-owned suppliers and consistently contributing to the growth and development of minority business enterprises,” said Joyce Zhou, acting president of NMBC.

The NMBC is a regional affiliate of the National Minority Supplier Development Council Inc. (NMSDC), which matches more than 15,000 minority business enterprises with corporate members. Since the NMSDC was founded in 1972, corporations such as Microsoft have launched initiatives to increase their business relationships with minority business enterprises.

“We’ve more than doubled our spending with minority and women business enterprises in the past three years,” said Tim McBride, chief procurement officer at Microsoft. “Today we purchase over $685 million annually in goods and services from minority- and women-owned business enterprises. While we are proud of these accomplishments and honored to be awarded Corporation of the Year, we know the journey continues and that we need to continue to engage women- and minority-owned firms.”

Microsoft has several initiatives in place to develop suppliers, including financial assistance, business assessments and mentoring, educational fellowships, and technical training. “Strong executive leadership and accountability, total company involvement, and focused outreach to suppliers characterize Microsoft’s approach to supplier diversity,” said Fernando Hernandez, supplier diversity director at Microsoft.

In addition, Microsoft has excelled in its involvement with local and national organizations designed to support the development of minority- and women-owned business enterprises. The company participates in the NMSDC, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

“Microsoft is committed to diversity and recognizes diversity as a core value and a business imperative,” McBride said. More information about the Microsoft supplier diversity program is available at http://www.microsoft.com/procurement/supplierdiversity.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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