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Microsoft projects target young and old

Software giant hosts exhibits to educate doctors on answering parents' questions on Net safety as it partners with Miami to provide free computer training in senior centers.

Microsoft is apparently on a bi-generational education campaign.

This weekend at the national conference of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in San Francisco, the software giant hosted an exhibit designed to educate pediatricians on answering parents' questions about children's online safety. More than 750 doctors took Microsoft's 10-question quiz about kids and the Internet to receive a free copy of Vista, according to Adrienne Hall, the company's senior director of Trustworthy Computing.

"Physicians are getting a lot of questions from parents about Net safety, and through this (exercise), their awareness goes up," Hall said.

Of course, the effort also helped Microsoft promote the parental controls embedded in its Vista operating system, which was released earlier this year. About 18 months ago, the company teamed with the AAP to develop an age-related guide to Internet usage for kids, which is linked to its Vista parental controls.


On the other end of the spectrum, Microsoft said Monday that it has partnered with the city of Miami to provide free computer training in senior centers throughout the city. Through the public-private partnership, called eSeniors, the organizations will offer technology training to interested parties on recycled PCs at the centers.

And in partnership with Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft has put together a package of senior-friendly technology--things like a printer, PC notebook, and preinstalled software such as memory-enhancing games--that the company will sell to seniors.

"Miami is providing a model for other cities to follow by making it easy for seniors to get the tools and training they need to gain full membership in today's digital lifestyle," Microsoft spokesman Rob Sinclair said in a statement.