Microsoft Office Team and HGTV’s Vern Yip Want to Give Your Home Office a $25,000 Makeover

REDMOND, Wash. — June 14, 2007 — Working from home is no longer just a growing trend, it is a fixture of today’s business environment. According to a 2007 Basex Inc. study, 40 percent of knowledge workers work remotely from one to five days a week, and with rising gas prices contributing substantially to commuting costs, even more people are looking at telecommuting as an option. For telecommuters, the need to create a productive, functional home office space is critical to their success.

The Microsoft Office team and former “Trading Spaces” designer Vern Yip will give one deserving winner a $25,000 home office redesign as part of the Microsoft® Home Office Makeover contest. The winner will receive the latest in technology and home decor to enhance their productivity.

“People agonize over which window treatments or patio furniture to buy, and then relegate their home office to a dark corner of some cluttered room,” said Yip, the designer whose handiwork is now featured on HGTV’s “Design Star” and “Deserving Design” and who will lead the contest design team. “The home office has become the area people bypass when they’re giving guests the grand tour, but is arguably one of the most important rooms of the house. Given how critical being productive is for people working from home, it really needs to be comfortable, aesthetically pleasing and optimized for efficiency.”

Studies show that working from home is better for employees and employers alike:

  • According to a 2005 SonicWALL Inc. survey, 76 percent of employees surveyed believe that working remotely is an aid to productivity.

  • A study done by the Gallup Organization in August 2006 found that 81 percent of American telecommuters felt they were as productive or more productive in their home office compared with their business office.

Also important to working at home is having the right tools to get your job done. This includes the technology needed to have a great telecommuting experience. Software can play a key role here. The makeover Microsoft Office software received with its 2007 release makes it a great option for home workers. The 2007 Microsoft Office system, launched to consumers in January, features a redesigned desktop experience and helps home-based workers save time, get better results faster and produce great-looking documents. “The 2007 version of Microsoft Office is the most significant release of the productivity solution in the last decade,” said Chris Schneider, senior marketing manager for Office at Microsoft Corp., noting that the software is designed to help people be more productive regardless of where they are working. “For the 40 percent of people who work from home and the 15 million home-based businesses in the U.S.,* it seemed only fitting that if Microsoft Office got a makeover, home offices should get one, too.”

Hardware also plays a crucial role in streamlining the process of working from home. To allow telecommuters to focus on business in the home office rather than the technology that runs it, makeover hardware provider HP provides the largest breadth of products for printing and imaging needs, making it easy to achieve professional, competent and reliable results.

People in need of a home office makeover can review all the contest details including the official rules at Entries must be submitted by July 4 at In addition to the design makeover, the winner of the Microsoft Home Office Makeover contest will receive the following technology products:

  • One Microsoft Office Professional 2007

  • One Windows Vista® Ultimate operating system

  • A one-year subscription to Microsoft Office Live Premium

  • One Windows Live™ OneCare™ PC care service

  • One Microsoft Zune™ digital media player

  • One HP Compaq tc4400 Tablet PC (includes three years’ on-site hardware support and docking station)

  • One HP Photosmart C6180 All-in-One (includes three years’ hardware exchange extended warranty)

  • One HP Photosmart R967 digital camera with 1GB memory card (includes three years’ hardware exchange extended warranty)

  • One HP Color LaserJet 2605dtn (includes three years’ hardware exchange extended warranty)

  • One ream of HP Color LaserJet paper

  • One ream of HP ColorLok InkJet paper

  • Sixty sheets of 4-by-6-inch photo paper

Ten semifinalists will be announced on July 17, when public voting begins. Semifinalists will receive Microsoft Office Professional 2007. The entrants selected as finalists will also receive an HP notebook PC with Windows Vista Ultimate. The winner will be announced Sept. 4.

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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