Microsoft Unveils New Academic Software at Mason

Posted: March 25, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Michelle Nery

Microsoft unveiled their next-generation academic development tool, VisualStudio®.NET Academic, at an event last week sponsored by the School of Management (SOM) in the Johnson Center Dewberry Hall. The software allows faculty and students to easily build Windows and web applications for all levels of management information systems and computer science. More than 800 students, faculty, and staff from George Mason and other universities attended the event featuring a rock band, food, and software giveaways in addition to a technical demonstration of the software.

Microsoft decided to bring their product to George Mason and donate a free one-year subscription of the Microsoft’s MSDN® Academic Alliance software package to SOM faculty, staff, and students after meeting with Minder Chen, associate professor in SOM, at a conference in New Orleans. Everyone who registered for the event was given a copy of the Microsoft Windows XP Professional Edition and VisualStudio®.NET Academic.

George Mason was the only university in Virginia selected as a site for the product launch. “I think Microsoft selecting George Mason to launch their product is an endorsement of the university’s IT strength in the region,” says Chen.

Microsoft spent four years and nearly $25 million creating the software. “Usually the only difference between the commercial and academic software is the price,” says Chen, who has been working with the software since January, “but Microsoft actually incorporated a few things in the academic edition that will make it much easier for students to submit assignments and for professors to post information.”

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