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HP Teams with Microsoft and Best Buy to Launch First Retail Learning and Certification Portal


PALO ALTO, Calif., Sept. 27, 2006, In collaboration with Microsoft and Best Buy, HP today announced the implementation of a portal that allows Best Buy For Business employees to achieve the Microsoft Small Business Specialist certification.

Developed, hosted and managed by HP, the Best Buy For Business Certifications Portal is an effort to provide small business customers with high-quality business solutions.

As the first retailer to earn status as a Microsoft Gold Partner, Best Buy combines brick-and-mortar access through select Best Buy stores and a direct reseller channel to bring selection and knowledgeable advice to small business owners and operators. Serving as a site for educating employees, the HP-hosted portal helps Best Buy For Business bring together skills development and learning components from various sources and locations.

“Microsoft Certifications are well recognized in the marketplace,” said Mary McCoy, general manager, Education Services – Americas, HP. “With one of the largest Microsoft-certified employee bases in the world, HP was able to share its experiences and build a unique and flexible solution that allows for the growth Best Buy For Business is aiming to achieve.”

Working with Microsoft’s e-learning content, non-traditional Microsoft learning products and instructor-led training sessions through HP’s Virtual Rooms technology, employees are guided through automated and accelerated learning paths to achieve required certification goals.

HP’s development and knowledge of the virtual training rooms help deliver a successful education solution, which in turn helps Best Buy For Business optimize its investment in people, processes and technology. HP Education Services provides the scheduling, administration and training needed for seamless operation.

“The integrated Best Buy For Business Certifications Portal has enabled us to work hand-in-hand with Microsoft and HP to prepare our employees in achieving the certifications required for their positions,” said Hillary Metz, manager, Customer Solutions, Best Buy For Business.

Certifications have proven to improve employee effectiveness and retain top talent. With the upcoming Microsoft releases of Vista and Office 2007, small business customers of Best Buy For Business will benefit from a specially trained and certified sales and services staff early in the product lifecycle.

More information about the Best Buy For Business Certifications Portal is available at More information about HP’s education solutions is available at

About HP

HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company’s offerings span IT infrastructure, global services, business and home computing, and imaging and printing. For the four fiscal quarters ended July 31, 2006, HP revenue totaled $90.0 billion. More information about HP (NYSE, Nasdaq: HPQ) is available at

This news advisory contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If such risks or uncertainties materialize or such assumptions prove incorrect, the results of HP and its consolidated subsidiaries could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including but not limited to statements of the plans, strategies and objectives of management for future operations; any statements concerning expected development, performance or market share relating to products and services; anticipated operational and financial results; any statements of expectation or belief; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include the achievement of expected results and other risks that are described from time to time in HP’s Securities and Exchange Commission reports, including but not limited to the risks described in HP’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended April 30, 2006, and other reports filed after HP’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended Oct. 31, 2005. HP assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements.

© 2006 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for HP products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.


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