Award Software in the Press

June 16, 1997

Award Software Acquires Leading BIOS Upgrade Provider Unicore Software

Acquisition Leverages Award Software's System Management Software Business into New Products With End-User Channel

Mountain View, Calif. — Award Software International Inc. (Nasdaq:AWRD), the world's No. 1 x86-based desktop and server BIOS provider, today announced the acquisition of Unicore Software, Inc., a leading provider of BIOS upgrades.

The transaction will be accounted for as a pooling of interests. Award Software issued 218,571 shares of new common stock, valued at approximately $3.1 million. With the acquisition, Award Software gains exclusive ownership of several products including MR BIOS®, which is used in BIOS upgrade products and is also sold directly to x86 embedded systems OEMs.

Unicore Software, Inc., now a wholly owned subsidiary of Award Software Software, is based in Andover, Mass. Unicore's upgrade customers include a majority of the Fortune 500 corporations and major universities. The many embedded customers include the Department of Defense, IBM, Boeing, the US Postal Service, Raytheon, and Sony Corporation.

The acquisition reflects Award Software's continued efforts to lower the total cost of PC ownership. Unicore helps solve a major problem facing more than 100 million PC users: How to extend the useful life of their systems by incorporating the latest technologies. Basic Input/Output Software (BIOS) enables an operating system such as Microsoft Windows 95 or Windows NT to access the underlying PC system hardware. The typical solution for users wanting to use technologies developed after their PC was manufactured, such as new types of removable media, larger disk drives, microprocessor upgrades or new connectivity devices, is purchasing an entirely new system. Alternatively, for just 2 to 3 percent of the cost of a new system, users can upgrade the PC's BIOS, extending the useful life of the system by deferring major capital expenditures.

"The acquisition of Unicore marks a significant milestone in Award Software's strategic objectives including gaining an established infrastructure for sales of future products to end-users and acquiring new products and technologies," said George Huang, president and CEO of Award Software. "The constant challenge facing PC users is to balance the need for ever-increasing system performance with containment of total cost of ownership. System capability problems and Year 2000 issues are ongoing and Award Software can provide a needed service to the end-user market while taking advantage of an opportunity to increase revenue. By providing this upgrade service, we enable our OEMs to focus on building next-generation products while minimizing their investment in supporting older generation motherboards. This is a win-win-win situation for the end-user, for the OEM and for Award Software."

"IDC and Dataquest confirm Award Software's status as the BIOS supplier to more than 50 percent of all x86 desktop and server systems worldwide," said Pierre Narath, president of Unicore. "As part of Award Software, we benefit from significant investments in new technologies and from established relationships with leading international motherboard manufacturers. Since we can upgrade just about any motherboard or system, not just those based on the Award Software BIOS, our channel opens up Award Software products to the entire PC end-user community."

Award Software is the leader in worldwide x86-based desktop and server BIOS shipments. EliteBIOS is the cornerstone system management software (SMS) product that Award Software Software designs, develops and markets to the manufacturers of desktop, server, mobile and embedded systems. Additional Award Software Software SMS products include the SMSAccess™ suite of applications for remote streamlined system management, designed to reduce total cost of ownership. The company's PC Card enabling software for DOS, Windows 3.x, and Windows NT is CardWare®. APIAccess™ enables Win32® applications to run on embedded and UNIX® systems. Award Software continues to expand its research and development efforts to create innovative new products for the expanding computer and embedded systems industries. For more product information, email

The company's stock is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol AWRD. More information can be obtained from the company's SEC filing.

The statements in this news release, other than the historical financial information, may contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties including those associated with concentration of Award Software's revenues from desktop BIOS, uncertainty involving new products and the penetration of markets outside the desktop PC market, dependence for demand of the Company's product upon the underlying PC industry, the acceptance of new technology and products, Award Software's ability to respond to technological change and other market conditions that could cause actual results to differ materially. Further information on factors that could affect the company's results are detailed in Award Software Software's Annual Report on Form 10-K and on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 1997, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Toni Goodrich
Manager, Marketing Communications
Award Software International

Jessica Mussallem/Deborah Stapleton
Stapleton Communications Inc.

Corporate Marketing

© 1997 Award Software International Inc. All rights reserved.

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