ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, April 29 /PRNewswire/ --

- Major players gather to explore Microsoft's tailored technology solutions that enable the industry to seize opportunities, improve predictability and compete under dynamic market conditions.

Today the first Microsoft Middle East and Africa Global Energy Forum brings more than 300 decision-makers from oil and gas companies across the region to the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi. With a keynote address from Gerald Doucet, secretary general of the World Energy Council, the Global Energy Forum explores how Microsoft Corp and partners' technology solutions can empower the industry as well as address global and regional aspirations.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO )

Hosting the Global Energy Forum in the Middle East and Africa region derives from Microsoft's recognition of the region's continuing importance to the global reserves and supply. The Global Energy Forum combines the experience of global and regional partners, including Accenture, Schlumberger Information Solutions (SIS), The Information Store, OSlsoft, GE Fanuc and WellPoint Systems Inc, to showcase Microsoft technologies that integrate with partner expertise, encompassing solutions for exploration, logistics, marketing and more.

"With today's global reach for energy security, sustainability and efficiency, IT plays an ever-mounting role in empowering the industry," said Omar Saleh, oil and gas sales manager for Middle East and Africa at Microsoft. "With our partners, through our Peak Performance Initiative, Microsoft is specifically addressing priorities in the oil and gas industry -- including digital oilfield, integrated supply chain, health and safety performance, upstream integration, and capital projects intelligence -- delivering solutions that are fully integrated across people, processes and technology."

"Microsoft's proven technologies and Accenture's expertise deliver industry-leading information connectivity -- the key to maximising output in today's tough production environment," said Alexandre Oliveira, global upstream lead at Accenture. "Accenture, in using Microsoft's integrated software solutions, delivers high-performance asset management programs focused on managing and optimising the performance of existing reservoirs, wells and surface facilities."

Microsoft and SIS are collaborating to integrate business and technical work flows to reduce uncertainty, improve decision-making and accelerate technology adoption. SIS leverages Microsoft technologies to provide an open innovation framework, allowing oil and gas companies to incorporate proprietary applications into integrated SIS work flows, providing customisation for competitive advantage in complex reservoirs.

"Meeting the challenges of global energy supply and demand depends on integrated business processes, breakthrough innovations and rock-solid business relationships," said Ali Faramawy, vice president, Microsoft International. "Oil and gas companies succeed when individuals and teams make better decisions faster, accelerating time to insight. The Microsoft Global Energy Forum is an important vehicle for oil and gas companies to explore the optimal solutions open to them, and look at what is in the innovation pipeline to stay ahead."

"Microsoft has a dedicated work force committed to working with partners to deliver impactful solutions to decision-makers in the oil and gas industry," said Manal Ezzat, regional marketing manager for Middle East and Africa at Microsoft. "We aim to nurture existing relationships and develop new ones through a series of ongoing business initiatives and recurring engagements to showcase our latest innovations and cutting-edge technologies."

About Microsoft in Oil and Gas

Meeting the challenges of global energy supply and demand depends on integrated business processes, breakthrough innovations and solid business relationships. Together with its partners, Microsoft delivers technology solutions that help people in the oil and gas industry make better decisions faster. More information about Microsoft in the oil and gas industry can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/oilandgas.

About the Middle and Africa Global Energy Forum http://microsoft.crgevents.com/GEFMEA2008/microsoft_gef

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.

About Microsoft EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa)

Microsoft has operated in EMEA since 1982. In the region Microsoft employs more than 16,000 people in over 64 subsidiaries, delivering products and services in more than 139 countries and territories.

This material is for informational purposes only. Microsoft Corp disclaims all warranties and conditions with regard to use of the material for other purposes. Microsoft Corp shall not, at any time, be liable for any special, direct, indirect or consequential damages, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other action arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of the material. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting any kind of warranty.

Web site: http://www.microsoft.com

Microsoft EMEA Response Centre, emearesponse@waggeneredstrom.com, or Tomas Jensen of Microsoft EMEA, +49-175-5844-799 (through 30 April), +49-89-3176-5396, tomas.jensen@microsoft.com, or Rym Romdhani of Microsoft, +97150-774-8892 (through 30 April), +9714-3917-433, i-ryomd@microsoft.com; or Ayesha Karumbaya of Asda'a, +97150-948-8264 (through 30 April), +9714-3344-550, a.karumbaya@asdaa.com; or Paul Arrowsmith of Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, +44-20-7632-3902, parrowsmith@waggeneredstrom.com, both for Microsoft; NOTE TO EDITORS: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft in EMEA, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/emea or the EMEA Press Centre at http://www.microsoft.com/emea/presscentre. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at the time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact the appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/emea/presscentre/contactus.mspx. If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft Corp, please visit the Microsoft web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass on Microsoft's corporate information pages. Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO, AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org, PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com