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Blackboard Learning System For Microsoft .NET Framework Unveiled

New System Combines Blackboard e-Education Capabilities With Advanced Technologies of Microsoft .NET

WASHINGTON, Oct 20, 2004 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) announced today that it has released the Blackboard Learning System(TM) for the Microsoft .NET Framework. The new product provides a .NET Framework-based e-learning solution for Blackboard's Windows-based clients.

The Blackboard Learning System is a Web-based software platform that offers industry-leading course management, an open architecture for customization and interoperability, and a scalable design that allows for integration with student information systems and authentication protocols.

The Blackboard Learning System for the Microsoft .NET Framework has been built in its entirety using Microsoft .NET technologies in order to function as a native component of an institution's Microsoft .NET infrastructure. The Blackboard Learning System for the Microsoft .NET Framework leverages the improved functionality, performance and security of Windows Server 2003.

The new .NET Framework-based release also integrates easily with other Microsoft applications, such as Exchange, BizTalk, SharePoint and Live Communication Server, and incorporates the advanced reporting capabilities of SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services to allow clients to develop custom reports on Blackboard usage within the institution or enterprise.

"Blackboard's Learning System for the Microsoft .NET Framework is a natural fit for the growing number of academic institutions that plan to develop computing infrastructure on .NET technologies," said Michael Chasen, CEO of Blackboard.

"Academic institutions are asking for solutions that are tailored to their unique needs and supportive of a connected learning community in their environment," said Gail Thomas, General Manager Microsoft U.S. Public Sector Education. "Microsoft is pleased with Blackboard's solution using Microsoft .NET technologies which extend the advanced flexibility, functionality, and scalability of the Blackboard Learning System."

The Blackboard Learning System for the Microsoft .NET Framework provides clients with easier administration, greater system stability, improved performance, and leverages improved Windows Server 2003 features, such as integrated application server functionality, Windows Load Balancing, Active Directory management and a range of new security improvements. It represents an expansion of Blackboard's offerings related to the .NET Framework, following the release of Blackboard Building Blocks(R) for the Microsoft .NET Framework earlier this year.

About Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard is a leading provider of enterprise software and services to the education industry. The Company's product line consists of five software applications bundled in two suites, the Blackboard Academic Suite(TM) and the Blackboard Commerce Suite(TM). Blackboard's clients include colleges, universities, 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 and staff in North America, Europe and Asia.

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 most recent 10-Q filed with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of October 20, 2004. 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 20, 2004.

All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

SOURCE Blackboard Inc.

Investor Corporate Contact
Michael J. Stanton
of Blackboard Inc.
+1-202-463-4860 ext. 2305
Media Contact
Darren Spinck
of DBC Public Relations Experts
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Michael Stanton
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Blackboard Inc.
Ph: 202.463.4860 x.305
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