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Microsoft and HIMSS Launch Health Users Group Across EMEA

November 5, 2008

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Nov. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — From the World of Health IT Conference and Exhibition in Copenhagen, Microsoft Corp. and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) announced the availability of the Microsoft Health Users Group (Microsoft HUG) across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), providing healthcare organizations and partners with an online venue to facilitate the development of healthcare solutions and demonstrate how technology can help solve healthcare challenges.

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Microsoft HUG’s innovative forum is designed as a venue for partners and developers of healthcare technology solutions to collaborate on aspects of solutions built on Microsoft platforms; to discover new uses for existing technology, development support, collaboration and networking with peers; and to discuss needs and desires arising from the current use of healthcare IT. After several successful years of collaboration on the current forum, Microsoft HUG’s diverse membership currently comprises more than 5,000 members and 31 corporate supporters across North America, and is unified by a shared interest in implementing vendor- and user-developed software based on Microsoft technology to improve healthcare quality and efficiency, while reducing complexity and cost.

“Extending Microsoft HUG to the EMEA healthcare community provides an expanded forum for sharing best practices and learnings from our own experience as well as those of our customers and partners,” said Tim Smokoff, general manager of worldwide health at Microsoft. “This collaboration enables the ecosystem to strengthen itself. Partners can further support their businesses, customers can improve their services, and both achieve a stronger return on their investments by learning from others facing similar challenges — all while working toward the goal of improving health costs, quality and access for citizens.”

“Managing Microsoft HUG enables us to further promote our mission to lead change in the healthcare information and management systems field through knowledge sharing, advocacy, collaboration, innovation and community affiliation. Ultimately our goal is to drive better patient care, and this is another step in that direction,” said H. Stephen Lieber, CAE, president and chief executive officer, HIMSS.

The Microsoft HUG EMEA community, hosted within the existing Microsoft HUG site (http://www.mshug.org/), will give members access to a resource that connects solutions, experts and peers to a wider sphere of influence and education. Members receive the following benefits:

   --  Access to the latest solutions and technology from leading minds at       Microsoft and independent industry experts    --  A forum for voicing opinions, learning from peers and helping shape       the future of healthcare IT    --  Opportunities to network with professionals who can enhance careers    --  Online interaction to help professionals connect with others    

With the launch of the EMEA community, Microsoft and HIMSS believe they will be able to strengthen their commitment to better serve the industry through a shared strategic vision — to provide industry leadership, drive appropriate standards and develop associated requirements in support of healthcare solutions.

Those interested in signing up for Microsoft HUG EMEA should visit http://www.mshug.org/ for further information.

About HIMSS

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is the healthcare industry’s membership organization exclusively focused on providing global leadership for the optimal use of healthcare information technology (IT) and management systems for the betterment of healthcare. Founded in 1961 with offices in Chicago, Washington D.C., Brussels, Singapore and other locations across the United States and the globe, HIMSS represents more than 20,000 individual members and over 350 corporate members that collectively represent organizations employing millions of people. HIMSS frames and leads healthcare public policy and industry practices through its advocacy, educational and professional development initiatives designed to promote information and management systems’ contributions to ensuring quality patient care.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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Microsoft Corp.

CONTACT: Simmi Singh, +1-503-443-7000, ssingh@waggeneredstrom.com, orRapid Response Team, +1-503-443-7070, rrt@waggeneredstrom.com, both ofWaggener Edstrom Worldwide, for Microsoft Corp.; or Christina Roosen of Worldof Health IT, +32 (0) 487 445 121(m), Christina.Roosen@WorldofHealthIT.org

Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/http://www.mshug.org/




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