Microsoft Donates Developer Software to the National Society of Black Engineers

REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 19, 2007 — Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft Corp., on Friday announced that Microsoft will donate developer software to all National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) educational chapters in the United States. The announcement was made during Gates’ keynote speech at the NSBE Region VI Fall Regional Conference, sponsored by Microsoft.

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates presents a copy of Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition software to National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) National Chairperson and CEO Darryl Dickerson as part of a national software donation Microsoft made to all NSBE educational chapters nationwide.

The software grant provides NSBE educational chapters with a three-year membership subscription to the Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance. Through the memberships, faculty and student NSBE chapter members will have access to more than 100 Microsoft software products. Key software includes development and design tools such as Microsoft Visual Studio; client and server operating system platforms such as Microsoft Windows Server and Windows Vista; and platform servers such as Microsoft SQL Server.

“Microsoft and the National Society of Black Engineers have many common goals, including a passion to attract more African-American students to enter science, technology, engineering and math fields,” said Carl Mack, executive director of the NSBE. “We are thrilled that Microsoft will help our students reach their goals by providing them with the latest developer software.”

Also during his keynote address, Gates spoke about the opportunities for African-American students entering U.S. engineering careers and the importance of diversity in the technology field. This grant, he said, is part of Microsoft’s overall efforts to provide minorities with the tools necessary to be the IT leaders of tomorrow.

“At Microsoft, we recognize that a work force made up of smart people from different backgrounds and with different perspectives is what drives innovation,” Gates said. “That is why Microsoft is deeply committed to working with the NSBE to foster diversity in the IT field by supporting programs that create educational opportunities and encourage African-American students to explore careers in science and technology.”

NSBE and its members have long recognized the company’s diversity efforts. Microsoft was recently named NSBE’s Most Preferred Employer. NSBE praised Microsoft for its career advancement opportunities, job security, work-life balance, interesting work and availability of internships.

“Microsoft has worked hard to be a diversity leader in our industry,” said Claudette Whiting, general manager of diversity and inclusion at Microsoft. “We are proud that NSBE has recognized us for our efforts.”

Microsoft is working on many fronts to change the face of IT, and has worked with various multicultural organizations to create initiatives and provide funding for programs to further diversify the IT field. Included among these organizations are NSBE, the National Urban League, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers, the Boys and Girls Club and the National Center for Women and Information Technology.

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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