Microsoft Helps to Bring the Internet to North Carolina Libraries, Colleges & Universities
Bill Gates Announces More Than $5.4 million in Software, Training & Technical Support

REDMOND, Wash, April 11, 1996-Addressing business, government and community leaders in Raleigh and Charlotte today, Microsoft Chairman and CEO Bill Gates announced three North Carolina educational initiatives totaling more than $5.4 million. Microsoft announced it is providing a combination of financial and technical support, software and training to the following educational organizations:

"Independent College Fund of North Carolina. Microsoft will provide $3.1 million in software through the national Foundation for Independent Higher Education (FIHE) to benefit its 28 Fund colleges and universities in North Carolina. The colleges will receive the Windows® 95, Microsoft® Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Office Standard for Windows 95 and Windows NT® Server operating system. The software and support will expand technological capabilities, including Internet access, for students at 28 of North Carolina's most prestigious liberal arts colleges and universities. "United Negro College Fund (UNCF). Six historically black colleges and universities in North Carolina, all members of UNCF, will receive more than $2 million in software, including Windows 95 and Office for Windows 95. The North Carolina schools are part of a more than $16 million national partnership between Microsoft and UNCF in which Microsoft is providing software, support, training, internship opportunities, computer science department curriculum and support in developing a site for UNCF on the Internet's World Wide Web. "Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County. As part of its more than $3 million national Libraries Online! partnership with the American Library Association, Microsoft will provide more than $385,000 in financial support, software, training and technical support to the Charlotte & Mecklenburg Country Library. The goal of Libraries Online! is to research and evaluate innovative approaches for providing Internet and multimedia PC access for the public, particularly in economically disadvantage communities. Microsoft will provide Internet software, high-speed telecommunications, multimedia PCs and CD-ROM titles to the following libraries: West Boulevard Branch; Hickory Grove Branch; Scaleybark Branch; City View Branch; the Anita Stroud Center; Charlotte Emergency Housing; Wilmore Community Center and Highland Community Haven.

"North Carolina is home to many important businesses, colleges and universities," said Gates. "Our hope is that the software and technical support we provide can help to build a 'connected learning community' in North Carolina, one in which everyone participates and collaborates on lifelong learning for students of all ages and walks of life."

"Microsoft's gift will have an impact like that of the first telephones on these small college and university campuses," said John Allison, chairman of the Independent College Fund of North Carolina. "The students who attend Independent College Fund institutions will have the stimulating opportunity of using the most advanced and sophisticated software available in the world. Bill Gates' leadership and the vision of Microsoft indicate that they are committed to education in a big way."

"Microsoft's contribution to UNCF helps our member colleges take an essential step toward closing America's technology gap," said William H. Gray, president and CEO of The College Fund/UNCF. "By opening a new world of opportunity for our students, this gift will help prepare today's students for tomorrow's jobs, and help America compete successfully in the global marketplace."

"Because of this marvelous gift from Microsoft, we will continue to be the leading provider of new communications technologies for the community and region," said Peter Keber, Chairman of the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County Board of Trustees. "Libraries Online! is an exciting, innovative approach. We are extremely grateful to be a part of it."

Microsoft employs more than 600 workers in the Charlotte area, the largest Microsoft employee base outside of the Puget Sound area in Washington state. The majority of Microsoft employees in North Carolina work within Product Service and Support (PSS). Gates visited the North Carolina PSS site and spoke to both the Raleigh-Durham and the Charlotte Chambers of Commerce today to outline Microsoft's Internet strategy.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

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