Portuguese Government and Microsoft Partner on Affordable Computing Agreement for Schoolchildren



    
    Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
    support Magellan Initiative to help meet education and technology goals of
    governments and citizens.

    
    PORTO SALVO, Portugal, Oct. 3 /CNW/ -- The government of Portugal and
Microsoft Corp. today signed an agreement to help accelerate technology
adoption in education with the international launch of the Microsoft Magellan
Learning Suite. In support of the Portuguese government's "e-Escolinhas"
program, Microsoft has developed a comprehensive suite of software, training,
content, services and support for the Magellan, an affordable portable
computer for primary and junior high school students made in Portugal.
    
    (Logo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO)
    
    Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
announced significant Microsoft investment in the Magellan Initiative through
the Microsoft Unlimited Potential program, Microsoft's commitment to make
technology more affordable, relevant and accessible for the 5 billion people
around the world who do not yet enjoy its benefits. The launch of the
Microsoft Magellan Learning Suite draws on the involvement and expertise of
the Portuguese government and the technology industry, including Carlos
Zorrinho, coordinator of the Technological Plan in Portugal, a far-reaching
initiative by the government to provide Portuguese citizens with the latest
technology to support their participation in a knowledge-based economy.
    "With the Magellan computer and the massive introduction of ICTs in the
Portuguese education system, for the first time a whole generation will grow
up to have strong English and ICT skills," said Jose Socrates, prime minister
of Portugal. "This new generation will be better prepared and able to
contribute more to the modernization and development of Portugal. Furthermore,
with the Magellan initiative, a PC will be introduced in many homes for the
first time, thus also strongly contributing to overcoming info-exclusion in
general."
    "Providing students with access to technology and educational
opportunities that will enable them to thrive in the knowledge economy is
critical to the future success of every community," Ballmer said. "We are
pleased and honored to join the Portuguese government and others on the
Magellan Initiative as we work together to make technology more relevant,
accessible and affordable for students in Portugal and around the world."
    In addition to efforts to bring cost-effective computing solutions to
students and teachers around the world, Microsoft offers a host of technology-
based education solutions, programs and products through its Partnerships for
Technology Access (PTA) and Partners in Learning initiative. PTA has served
over 1.5 million citizens in similar public-private partnerships worldwide.
Earlier this year, Microsoft renewed its worldwide commitment to Partners in
Learning, through Microsoft Unlimited Potential, with an additional five-year
investment of $235.5 million (U.S.) that aims to triple the impact of the
resources and training that already has touched the lives of more than 680,000
students, teachers and education policy-makers in Portugal since its launch in
2004.
    
    Magellan Initiative
    
    Microsoft's investment in the Magellan Learning Suite is designed to
encourage targeted, international adoption of the Magellan educational
computers by addressing the need for relevant software and content, user
support, digital literacy, and broad scalability:
    -- Investment in training for students, parents and teachers will promote
greater digital inclusion, with particular focus on Internet security.
    -- A tailored desktop for the Magellan portable computer will be
developed. In addition to the Windows XP operating system, Magellan computers
will also feature Microsoft Office 2007 and a suite of educational products,
including Microsoft Student Learning Essentials, Microsoft Maths and Microsoft
Encarta Online.
    -- Learning and education resources for students, parents and teachers
will be provided through the Microsoft Digital Literacy Curriculum and the
iSafe Internet Security Curriculum.
    -- Through Microsoft Live@Edu, these collaborative services will be made
available for students, parents and teachers: Windows Live Mail, Windows Live
Spaces, Windows Live SkyDrive, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Mesh and
Microsoft Office Live Workspace. With this service suite, all Magellan users
will be able to communicate with each other in a security-enhanced and
collaborative environment.
    -- Training and technical support through the National Teacher Training
Program is aimed at fostering a richer and more productive usage of Magellan,
in and outside the classroom. At the training plan level, special focus shall
be given to parents in what concerns a more secure usage of technology, to
empower them to give support and be able to answer their children's queries.
    
    About Unlimited Potential
    
    Microsoft, through its Unlimited Potential vision, is committed to making
technology more affordable, relevant and accessible for the 5 billion people
around the world who do not yet enjoy its benefits. The company aims to do so
by helping to transform education and foster a culture of innovation, and
through these means enable better jobs and opportunities. By working with
governments, intergovernmental organizations, nongovernmental organizations
and industry partners, Microsoft hopes to reach its first major milestone --
to reach the next 1 billion people who are not yet realizing the benefits of
technology -- by 2015.
    
    About Microsoft
    
    Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq:   MSFT) is the worldwide leader in
software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their
full potential.
    
    For more information and pictures:
    

    Microsoft Portugal Press Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/portugal/imprensa
    Virtual Pressroom, Steve Ballmer and Jean-Philippe Courtois visit:
http://www.microsoft.com/portugal/presspass/imprensavirtual/steveballmer.mspx
    More on Microsoft and Portuguese government partnership:
http://www.microsoft.com/portugal/presspass/imprensavirtual/MemorandoPlanoTecn
ologico/default.mspx




For further information:

For further information: pr.mspx./ /CONTACT: Patricia Fernandes of
Microsoft Corp., +351 21 4409223, or +351 96 1624 223,
patricia.fernandes@microsoft.com; or Rapid Response Team of Waggener Edstrom
Worldwide, +1-503-443-7070, rrt@waggeneredstrom.com, for Microsoft Corp.


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