Spectrum Logo
A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

Microsoft Corp. software supports thesis project

By Susan Trulove

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 19 - February 6, 1997

Microsoft Research of the Microsoft Corporation has donated $107,820 in software to Virginia Tech for the National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations project. With sponsorship from the federal government, the university is designing a system that will allow graduate students' thesis and dissertations to be available on the Internet. The final system will be shared with universities nationally and will allow the results of 400,000 new research projects each year to be accessible world-wide.

Microsoft is donating 200 licenses to SGML Author, software for use on Windows 95 that converts Microsoft Word documents to standard generalized markup language. SGML is the programming code for Internet documents. Internet users do not need special software to read documents that have been prepared with SGML codes.

"I am excited that the hard work that goes into these dissertations will be rewarded with a much larger audience as a result of this project," said John Messerly of Microsoft Research.

Virginia Tech will own the software licenses. Licenses govern the number of simultaneous users, so it is acceptable to have copies of the software on more machines than the installation has licenses for. SGML Author for Word sells for $599.

Ed Fox, principle investigator on the electronic theses and dissertation project, said the software will be installed on a server so that anyone with access to that server can use the software, up to the limit of simultaneous users, and will be provided to the first 20 universities that join the effort. At Virginia Tech, SGML Author will be installed in four labs that each have multiple machines running Windows 95.