Microsoft Introduces Students to New Technologies

By Yalda Sadiq

The Microsoft Across America campaign, sponsored by Microsoft
and Computer Information Systems department, made a stop at Cal
Poly last Thursday by the CLA building.

In efforts to spread the word on the new technologies,
specifically Vista, Microsoft offered to answer questions regarding
any existing or future programs.

“I came in hopes of getting free stuff,” said Angela Bigalbal, a
junior CIS major.

Vista was announced last Wednesday to be the new operating
system to replace Windows XP. By early December they will be
installed in the newly manufactured computers and by the end of
January they will be on sale.

Microsoft chooses the top 12 schools in a region, such as
Southern California, then sets up programs with the CIS department
to promote technology and reward good students.

Cal Poly will receive the Vista for free because they are part
of the academic alliance with CIS, engineering and computer
engineering, who all participate in the program, according to
Stokes.

“It’s a wonderful school. It produces some top students from the
U.S. that go on to become top technicians,” said Sam Stokes,
academic developer evangelist for the 12 schools.

One of the perks of precipitating in the academic alliance is
out of the 12 schools, only seven have the option of nominating
three or more of the top students from technology and marketing who
get a free tablet notebook and a Treo cell phone. Microsoft has a
say in choosing the top two, according to Stokes.

Hardev Singh, a CIS technology student, was one of the lucky two
who received the notebook along with the Treo.

The truck was equipped with three large monitors that the
students can test the Vista on and ask related questions.

High-end cell phones were also on display from Samsung and other
companies. One of the cell phones was a windows mobile-based pocket
PC.

There was advertising for Hewlett Packard, Cisco Systems and
Intel who are partners with Microsoft.

The truck had a Microsoft Technician Rex O’Neel who was in
charge of letting students explore the new programs and their
features and answer questions.

“It’s important that they (the customers) stay up to-date and
their data is secure. Microsoft implements security features and
parental control,” said Joey Mariano, a third year CIS student who
owns E-Geniuses Computers Services.

They were giving away free spiral writing pads, pens, software
and even a card that lets anyone start their own Web site of about
50 mega bytes with one email account.

Students from different various majors, ranging all the way to
landscaping, visited the truck, according to Stokes.

Microsoft’s goal is to get the older generation to use their
products. The Vista comes with voice recognition that is
user-friendly for those that aren’t familiar with new
technology.

“We are constantly worried about audiences that are older,” said
Stokes.

Since the truck stayed on campus past 2 p.m. because of the
number of students that were going in and out of the truck, Stokes
hopes to make these trips regularly in the fall and spring
quarters.

Yalda Sadiq can be reached by e-mail at news@thepolypost.com or
by phone at (909) 869-3747.

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