,October1,1998Microsoftbelievesthattechnologycanempowerpeopleofallagestolivebetterlivesthroughbothworkandplay。

Formorethan20years,thisbeliefhasledthecompanytostrivetohelppeopleofallagesgainaccesstoandreapthebenefitsofdigitalinformation,andtohelpbridgethedigitaldividethewideninggapthatexistsbetweencomputerliterateandnon-computerliteratecitizens。

Tothisend,MicrosoftsSeniorsandTechnologyWebsiteisbringinggenerationsandcommunitiestogetherinanefforttoimpactmorethan1millionpeoplebytheyear2000。

Thesiteisdesignedtoassistseniors,theirfamiliesandcare-givingorganizationsinunderstandingtheprogramsandresourcesavailabletothemontheInternet。

Microsoftalsoannounceda$1milliongrantbenefitingSeniorNet,anorganizationdedicatedtoprovidingolderadultswithcomputerskillsandtechnologyexperience。

Asaresult,seniorswillbeabletorealizeexcitingnewpossibilitiesviatheuseoftechnology,enhancingtheircommunity,creativityandemployability。

Astechnologycontinuestotransformthewaywecommunicate,learnanddobusiness,itisimportantthatpeoplenotbeleftbehindontheinformationhighway。

Microsoftrecognizesthatseniors,inparticular,areindangerofbeingleftbythewayside。

Only21%ofseniorsownPCsandonly9%areconnectedtotheInternet,accordingtoaDepartmentofCommercestudybytheNationalTelecommunicationsInformationAdministration,releasedinJuly1998。

Toaddressthisproblem,MicrosoftcreatedtheMicrosoftSeniorInitiative,whichfocusesonbridgingthe

digitaldivide

,andonbringinggenerationsandcommunitiestogetherthroughtechnology。

TheMicrosoftSeniorInitiativehelpsbuildcommunityandcommunication,facilitateindependentlivingandfinancialindependence,andenhancepersonalproductivityandcreativity。

TheinitiativepromotesPCliteracy,allowingseniorstoenhancetheiremployability,includingseekingalternativeworkoptionssuchasjobsharingandtelecommuting,whilebenefitingbothsocietyandtheirrespectivecommunities。

Byprovidingeducationaboutandaccesstotechnology,Microsoftempowersseniorstocontinuemakingcontributions,toachieveexcitingpossibilitiesandtorealizetheirfullpotential。

Tothisend,theMicrosoftSeniorInitiativeisworkingtoreachourgoalofprovidinginformation-technologyaccessandtrainingtoover250,000seniorsanddirectlyimpactingover1millionpeoplebytheyear2000。

Aspartofitsmission,theMicrosoftSeniorInitiativeengagesnon-profitorganizationssuchasSeniorNet,aswellasindustrypartnersandgovernmentagencies,instrategicalliancestohelpbringtechnologytocommunitiesaroundtheworld。

Today,MicrosoftisannouncingagranttoSeniorNet,worthmorethan$1milliondollars,thatwillenabletheorganizationtocontinueitsvitalworkinprovidingolderadultseducationandaccesstocomputertechnologyandtheInternet。

SeniorNetwillusethegranttoexpanditsnetworkof140computerlearningcentersintounder-servedcommunities。

DuringthecomingyearSeniorNetwilladdatleast50morelearningcenters,halfofwhichwillbelocatedinthesecommunities。

TodaysWebsitelaunchcoincideswiththekickoffoftheUnitedNationsInternationalYearofOlderPersons,1999。

Theyearisdedicatedtoincreasingawarenessoftheindividualandsocialneedsofseniorcitizens,thecontributionsofseniorstosociety,thechallengeofagingsocietiesandtheneedforachangeinattitudetowardolderpeople。