SOURCE: Blackboard Inc.

October 18, 2005 08:21 ET

Blackboard and Microsoft Cooperate to Integrate Administrative and Academic Collaboration Products

New Development Initiative Provides Enhanced User Experiences That Are More Easily Managed Through Joint Standards-Based Integration Project

ORLANDO, FL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 18, 2005 -- Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB) and Microsoft announced today at the EDUCAUSE 2005 annual conference, a joint development project intended to help academic institutions achieve a higher degree of integration and interoperability between their respective portal and collaboration products. The project will result in tighter integration between The Microsoft Office System and The Blackboard Academic Suite™ via standards-based integration of The Blackboard Community System™ and Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server.

"With this program we plan to bring closer together the administrative power of Microsoft SharePoint with the academic collaboration capabilities of the Blackboard Community System and the Blackboard Content System," said Todd Gibby, Executive Vice President of Operations at Blackboard.

Demonstrations of the planned initiative will be given at the Blackboard booth #413 at the EDUCAUSE Exhibit Hall on Wednesday, October 19th at 11:05 am EST.

Blackboard and Microsoft initiated this project in response to numerous requests from academic institutions currently operating both SharePoint and Blackboard, looking to deliver a range of services offered by both solutions. The project intends to address the needs of campus IT and Portal mangers to optimize the use of the combined solutions for the benefit of faculty, staff, and students.

"Given the broad adoption of both Blackboard and Microsoft technologies in Higher Education, we share many customers that actively use Microsoft and Blackboard solutions on campus. Our customers want these solutions to work together, and we want to provide more choice and the flexibility to easily deploy and manage the combination of Blackboard and Microsoft technologies that best meet the individual needs of each institution," said Rob Curtin, Microsoft's Industry Solution Manager for Higher Education.

About Microsoft Education

Microsoft is committed to helping the higher education community realize their full potential - any time, any place, and on any device. With the powerful capabilities of Microsoft® .NET - connected solutions, the Microsoft Public Sector Organization empowers administrators, faculty, and students by providing them the information they need, when and where they need it.

About Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB) is a leading provider of enterprise software applications and related services to the education industry. Founded in 1997, Blackboard enables educational innovations everywhere by connecting people and technology. With two product suites, the Blackboard Academic Suite ™ and the Blackboard Commerce Suite ™, Blackboard is used by millions of people at academic institutions around the globe, including colleges, universities, K-12 schools and other education providers, as well as textbook publishers and student-focused merchants that serve education providers and their students. Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe and Asia.


Educate. Innovate. Everywhere.

Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard and other statements containing the words "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "will," and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including the factors discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed on May 13, 2005 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of October 18, 2005. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company's views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to October 18, 2005.

This press release may contain information reflecting our current development plan. This is intended to outline our general product direction and it should not be relied on in making a purchasing decision, and may not be incorporated into any contract. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for our products remains at our sole discretion and we reserve the right to modify or terminate all discussed development efforts without prior notice.

Contact Information

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