Microsoft Announces Logo Program for Microsoft Agent

Now More Than 2.5 Million Customers Worldwide Can Identify Solutions That Enhance Human and Computer Communication With Microsoft Agent

LOS ANGELES - April 14, 1999 - At Spring Internet World '99, Microsoft Corp. today announced the logo program for Microsoft Agent, which provides Web site creators and application developers worldwide with an official logo to identify their use of Microsoft Agent software services and interactive animated characters. The logo program, available to developers at http://www.microsoft.com/msagent/, provides the more than 2.5 million Microsoft Agent users around the world with a way to recognize Web sites and solutions that offer the ease of use of a Microsoft Agent-based interface.

Microsoft Agent was designed to enable developers to build solutions that can simplify computing while providing a richer, more interactive experience. It can augment the graphical user interface of traditional applications with a conversational interface, allowing people to interact with their applications more easily and naturally. The new logo program allows developers and vendors to identify that Microsoft Agent technology has been used in their applications and Web sites by displaying the official "Uses Microsoft Agent technology" logo on their Web site, packaging or marketing collateral. The logo will also help customers easily identify software products and Web sites that are enhanced with the innovative conversational interface technology of Microsoft Agent.

"We welcome the introduction of the Microsoft Agent logo program and will be incorporating it in our new packaging," said David Smith, CEO of MediaLive. "Microsoft Agent is used throughout Surf Monkey, our Web browser and online service for children. Our custom-designed animated character for Microsoft Agent is available to assist users, from the initial installation process to surfing the Web. The new logo will help customers visibly recognize the ease of use of our product and service because it utilizes Microsoft Agent."

"The response to Microsoft Agent 2.0 has been unprecedented with over 2.5 million downloads just from the Windows 98 Update Web site since its launch six months ago," said Tandy Trower, senior director of the Advanced User Interface Design Group at Microsoft, which developed the software. "In recognition of this significant installed base, Microsoft has now created a logo program that will help these millions of customers identify applications and Web sites that use Microsoft Agent to provide them with greater ease of use, ease of learning and interactivity."

Agent 2.0 provides developers with software services that enable them to include interactive animated characters as a part of their applications or Web pages, using any language, including HTML scripting languages, that supports ActiveX technologies. Characters can be used to extend and enhance conventional interfaces as assistants, guides, avatars or computer opponents.

Corporate and independent developers are incorporating Microsoft Agent into a variety of internal, commercial, conventional and Web-based applications, including advertising and promotion, education and training, user assistance, and entertainment. Microsoft Office 2000 will incorporate Microsoft Agent when released. The Office Assistant will now utilize Microsoft Agent to reduce the requirement for overall screen real estate and integrate more seamlessly with

the Office environment. Microsoft Agent is also incorporated into the current prerelease of theWindows 2000 operating system and is being used in advanced research projects on intelligent personal agents.

The Microsoft Agent 2.0 software and its development kit are available for free download (connect-time charges may apply) at http://www.microsoft.com/msagent/. Details of the new logo program are also available from this Web site. Microsoft Agent is just one of the ways that Microsoft is working to simplify computing while providing a richer interactive experience.

 

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