Microsoft and Partners Demonstrate Commitment to Evolving Technology, Enabling Better Education Outcomes Worldwide

January 12, 2009

LONDON, Jan. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Microsoft Corp. today kicked off
a weeklong round of high-level briefings, strategic announcements and
technology demonstrations surrounding the British Education and Training
Technology Show (BETT), showcasing the breadth of its efforts to empower
people to realize their social and economic potential by enabling access to
high-quality education experiences for everyone through technology.

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“Education represents the catalyst for unlocking human potential in
today’s knowledge economy,” said L. Michael Golden, corporate vice president
for the Education Products Group at Microsoft. “We believe that with the right
partnerships, processes and technologies in place, we can help educators and
students develop and implement better ways to ensure they are prepared for the
21st century.”

Microsoft’s holistic approach to positively impacting the future of
education looks beyond classroom technology applications and, through the
facilitation of public-private partnerships and working hand in hand with
governments and other business stakeholders, attempts to transform education
for the benefit of students and communities worldwide. Throughout this week of
events, Microsoft will announce numerous investments to inspire innovation
across three strategic initiatives that represent a long-term commitment to
enabling opportunities through learning.

Enabling Local Innovation

Under the Partners in Learning program, a number of events will discuss
the success of the global Innovative Schools pilot program with various
audiences and apply the learnings toward future endeavors. Under the current
initiative, Microsoft has been working with educators on the ground across a
diverse cross-section of 12 local schools in 12 countries to pilot cutting-
edge applications of technology and pioneer instructional innovations enabled
by information and communication technology. More information on the
Innovative Schools program can be found at

    -- The Innovative Schools Briefing (Jan. 11) corralled leading global
       policy-makers, administrators and school principals, who will gather to
       discuss the latest findings from Microsoft's Innovative Schools. They
       will identify replicable, cost-effective models of educational
       excellence that can be scaled up, providing a blueprint for the
       transformation of school systems worldwide.
    -- At the Innovative Schools European Workshop (Jan. 12), Microsoft will
       convene local and regional educational leaders from across Europe to
       hear how the Innovative Schools program is applying the learnings
       discussed at the overall briefing, and how they can be applied to the
       new opportunities opening up for schools around the world to
       participate in this groundbreaking initiative. More on this component
       will be announced later this week.
    -- The Innovative Schools Conference (Jan. 14-15) will gather officials
       from the 12 schools currently participating in the pilot program to
       swap notes, share best practices and map out their future vision for
       technology-enhanced learning.
    -- BETT (Jan. 14-17). Annually at BETT, the world's largest educational
       technology event, participants showcase the latest ways to use
       technology for teaching and learning.
       - Microsoft will also be giving visitors to BETT an exclusive sneak
         peek at Microsoft Surface. Surface is a leap forward in computing
         technology - forget the mouse and keyboard, this is the first
         interactive computing platform from Microsoft. Surface has the
         potential to make a transformational leap in the way teachers educate
         students because it provides a mix of physical and virtual worlds for
         a rich interactive experience. There will be demonstrations of how
         teachers can use Surface in a range of lessons across the curriculum,
         and this will mark the first appearance of the technology at a public
         event in the U.K.
       - Here also, a number of Microsoft Innovative Schools from across the
         U.K. will be available at the stand to discuss their learnings and
         experiences of implementing new technology within their schools.
       - Additional news will be shared on the opening day of the BETT show.

    Transforming Education
    -- Providing high-quality education is a worldwide concern. To further
       bring education into the 21st century, enabling countries to remain
       competitive and allowing underserved communities to develop, Microsoft
       executives will take their place alongside international education
       ministers, senior officials and policy advisors at the Learning and
       Technology World Forum (Jan. 12-14). The event is hosted by the British
       Educational Communications and Technology Agency, the U.K. government's
       lead agency on supporting technology in education, on behalf of the
       Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and the Department
       for Children, Schools and Families.
       - Additional news will be announced during the week as it relates to
         the show.

    Fostering Jobs and Opportunities
    -- At the Education Leaders Briefing (Jan. 14), Microsoft will host
       education ministers, senior officials and policy-makers for plenary
       presentations and panel discussions to extend the opportunity for joint
       dialogue and sharing about the challenges and success strategies needed
       to achieve real and lasting change in education through delivering 21st
       century learning for all students. In an event closed to press, this
       will be done by exploring national projects that are transforming
       education, supporting local innovation and creating new opportunities
       from the U.K., Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America.
    -- Additionally at BETT (Jan. 14-17), Microsoft U.K. will be announcing a
       world first in collaborative learning networks with a major new
       implementation of education services. It will also be launching its
       Digital Literacy Curriculum for under 16-year-olds, a new qualification
       accredited by the awarding body Oxford Cambridge and Royal Society of
       Arts Examinations (OCR) to help improve digital skills for children and
       to equip them for greater success in the workplace.

For More Information

Additional background on the events occurring this week, including case
studies, executive biographies and other materials supporting Microsoft’s goal
of enabling access to high-quality educational experiences, is available at

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

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.

Source: newswire

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