Gates Demonstrates at Office XP Launch How Office XP Unlocks Hidden Knowledge and Unleashes Next Wave of Productivity Gains
Ford, Amazon.com, UPS and LexisNexis Show How Office XP Dramatically Improves Personal And Business Productivity
NEW YORK -- May 31, 2001 -- Today at the Office XP product launch, Bill Gates, Microsoft Corp.'s chairman and chief software architect, explained how Office XP delivers the next generation of productivity advancements by enabling people to easily unlock hidden knowledge. Gates showcased Office XP innovations such as smart tags, SharePoint™ Team Services and XML integration that will enable people to capture, locate and harness hidden knowledge and greatly boost productivity. Gates was joined on stage by Amazon.com Inc. founder and CEO Jeff Bezos and Ford Motor Co. CIO Marv Adams. He demonstrated how their companies, along with United Parcel Service of America Inc. (UPS), and LexisNexis are already taking advantage of Office XP to enable their employees and customers to revolutionize how they access and use information. Office XP is broadly available in retail stores today in 15 countries, and will be shown to hundreds of thousands of people attending more than 100 Office XP launch events around the world.
"The power of Office XP to unlock hidden knowledge will transform personal productivity, enabling people to easily access the data they need, capture and share team information and work more efficiently," said Gates. "Office XP is the key to empowering knowledge workers and unleashing the next wave of productivity gains."
Unlocking Hidden Knowledge Key to Transforming Productivity
Gates described hidden knowledge as the enormous wealth of information that knowledge workers need but cannot easily access or take advantage of today. This information exists and is being created at an ever-increasing rate, but is often hidden in places that are not easily accessible or is held by people who have not shared this information with others.
For example, people around the world create some 740,000 terabytes of data each year, including more than 610 billion e-mail messages and other information such as billions of documents, meeting notes and reports. This is roughly equivalent to the information contained in 7 billion copies of Webster's dictionary. During the presentation, Gates revealed a massive wall of paper to highlight the amount of information that is created every second by business workers and said that the key to increasing productivity is turning that information into knowledge quickly and easily.
Office XP removes obstacles to major productivity gains by making it easier to locate and capture hidden knowledge. Organizations can create smart tags and other XML-based solutions to enable people to quickly access information wherever it exists, and then use the familiar interface of Office XP to improve how they work with that information. Teams can easily share information through SharePoint Team Services-based Web sites and enhanced document and workflow collaboration capabilities. People can use smart tags or the new search capabilities in Office XP to locate information in their Office applications, on their hard drive or on the Internet, or use new Task Panes to complete tasks more quickly.
"Office XP enables customers to benefit from Microsoft® .NET technologies, such as smart tags, SharePoint Team Services and XML integration," Gates said. "It is a crucial next step toward delivering on our .NET vision."
Customers Revolutionizing Productivity Through Office XP
Customers such as Ford, Turner Broadcasting System Inc. and Amazon.com are already experiencing productivity gains from the ability of Office XP to link their companies to critical data and employees for information sharing. For example, Ford has designed a supply chain integration solution using Office XP to handle XML at the supplier node. Ford electronically notifies component suppliers of demand variation using the XML support Office XP provides in Excel 2002 and BizTalk™ Server. Using Office XP, suppliers can quickly provide feedback on their ability to respond to change. This real-time collaboration enables more accurate production scheduling and eliminates incremental costs.
"Office XP is a potential enabler to improve our supply chain," said Marv Adams, CIO of Ford. "We can improve the quality of our manufacturing scheduling process because suppliers of any size can participate, analyzing our data using the familiar Excel interface. This solution improves the speed and effectiveness of communication with the suppliers we depend on."
Turner Broadcasting is using Office XP and the SharePoint Team Services solution to link employees so they can easily access and use information that used to be in disparate locations around the world. Turner's employees are using the familiar Office applications to share content over the Web by using the simple templates in SharePoint Team Services and their browser. Employees around the world are empowered to work together and share information such as sales data, customer profiles and marketing plans at any time, regardless of time zone or location.
"SharePoint Team Services will help Turner Broadcasting improve our company's productivity by creating an internal online community that makes collaboration for teams seamless," said Andy Drooker, vice president of Network System Architecture and Research and Development at Turner Broadcasting. "By simply adding content to the site using SharePoint Team Services features such as document libraries, discussions and surveys, employees will be able to quickly share and access information through their Web browser."
Amazon.com is deploying Office XP to increase its employees' efficiency because Office XP is much simpler to use, with features such as Task Panes and smart tags that provide people with intelligent options as they work.
"We are using Office XP at Amazon.com to help our employees work smarter and more efficiently so they can continue to focus on our customers," said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. "Our software customers have been anticipating the Office XP launch for weeks, and we are excited to offer them software that we have made a commitment to"
Industry Partners on Board to Support Office XP
Many industry partners are already offering Office XP solutions that link people to specific data through custom smart tags and enable them to share information more easily through hosting SharePoint Team Services-based Web sites.
More than 100 partners are already committed to delivering custom smart tags that integrate with Office XP, including companies such as UPS, LexisNexis and Avanade Inc. UPS has created a smart tag that enables customers to easily track their package and shipping costs: When customers click on the smart tag, they are automatically linked to the exact information they need. LexisNexis has simplified the research process by creating a smart tag that delivers information from 30,000 sources to customers when they click on the smart tag. Avanade has built a smart tag that integrates with back-end systems from companies such as SAP AG, PeopleSoft Inc. and J.D. Edwards & Co. to help people access information from a variety of sources and integrate that information into Office XP.
"Office XP and our custom UPS smart tags will allow our customers to access critical shipping information online easier and faster because they can do it without leaving their familiar Office applications," said Tim Geiken, vice president of e-commerce for UPS. "This enables them to further leverage UPS technology capabilities to improve customer service and reduce costs."
More than 20 Internet service providers (ISPs) such as the Microsoft bCentral™ small-business service, Advanced Internet Technologies Inc., iNNERHOST, ValueWeb, HostPro and VIA NET.WORKS Inc. are also enabling small-business customers and home users to collaborate more effectively by hosting SharePoint Team Services-based Web sites. HostPro, for example, is already hosting SharePoint Team Services-based Web sites for various customers, from small businesses to law firms.
"We're seeing incredible excitement for SharePoint Team Services and Office XP because they are enabling any type of customer to collaborate and share information in new and interesting ways," said Joel Kocher, CEO at HostPro. "It is a perfect solution for a variety of customers, whether for teams working within a company, across companies or across time zones."
The Microsoft bCentral small business service will make SharePoint Team Services available beginning today and will offer it free of charge for a 60-day trial.
"The team collaboration capabilities of SharePoint Team Services really complement the set of hosted services currently available on bCentral, which enable small businesses to get started on the Web, communicate with customers, manage e-commerce, and manage their finances and accounting," said Erin Hiraoka, director of marketing for bCentral at Microsoft.
Office XP Available Today
Office XP is broadly available in retail stores today in 15 countries, and more than 100 Office XP launch events are being held around the world to mark the most significant version of Office ever. Microsoft executives Steve Ballmer, Jeff Raikes, Orlando Ayala and Steven Sinofsky are launching Office XP at events in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Houston and the United Kingdom, respectively. Also available today are several Office XP-family products, including Microsoft Visio® 2002 drawing and diagramming software, Microsoft MapPoint® 2002 business mapping software, Microsoft Publisher 2002, and the Microsoft FrontPage® 2002 Web-site creation and management tool. More than 100 Web presence providers are also supporting FrontPage 2002-based Web sites. More information is posted at http://www.microsoftwpp.com/wppsearch/.
About Office XP and Microsoft
Office XP provides a much smarter work experience for individuals, teams and organizations. Office XP makes productivity simple for people by helping them get the most out of Office and giving them tools they can rely on. Office XP enables collaboration for everyone by revolutionizing the way people work with others on documents and by introducing SharePoint Team Services to manage projects and activities via the Web. Office XP also provides a flexible way to solve business needs by delivering rich business solutions and improved security and reliability tools that businesses need to deploy and manage Office.
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