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Contoso Ltd. (also known as Contoso and Contoso University) is a fictional company used by Microsoft as an example company and domain.
Contoso and its website,
contoso.com, are used in documentation and help files for many Microsoft products. Contoso's website redirects to
microsoft.com. Examples of its usage include:
- A February 26, 2010 Microsoft whitepaper examined "the potential outcomes of a pilot implementation of Google Apps from the vantage point of a hypothetical company" called Contoso Ltd.
- It is used as an example app in the Windows Phone documentation for Flip Tiles, Iconic Tiles and Cycle Tiles.
- It is used in Microsoft Dynamics AX for demo purpose and training.
- It was used as a demo app in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.
Contoso.comis used as a demo domain in Microsoft Exchange training material.
- "Contoso Toolbar", a fictional toolbar, is used to demonstrate the Add-on Performance Advisor in
Internet Explorer 9.
Contoso.comis used as an example domain in several Microsoft Exams including 70-511, 70-515, 70-640, 70-680 and 70-685.
Contoso.netis used as an example domain in the account configuration wizard from Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Outlook 2007, Microsoft Outlook 2010, Microsoft Outlook 2013, and Microsoft Outlook 2016, while
Contoso.comis used as an example in the help file.
- Contoso Bank's website is used as a demo site for SmartScreen Filter in Internet Explorer, which consists of a demo online banking site.
- Contoso Pharmaceuticals is also sometimes used.
- 'Contoso Hotel & Casino' is used for Microsoft Sharepoint Demo Build examples.
- 'Contoso Hotel' is widely used in Microsoft Office and WebMatrix Examples and Tutorials.
contoso.comis used as an example domain in Windows Workspaces Center.
- A "Contoso University" website is used for demonstrating ASP.NET MVC capabilities in the Getting Started with EF using MVC tutorial, through ASP.NET MVC and the ADO.NET Entity Framework.
- Contoso is used as an example company in many MSDN Blogs blog posts.
- Contoso is used as an example in Project CRM.
- In Microsoft OneNote 2007, the ability to search images and copy text from images is demonstrated using the business card of a Contoso Finance employee.
corp.contoso.comis used as an example FQDN in the "Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard" in Windows Server 2008.
- Contoso is used in IIS 7.0 as an example for site bindings in the Edit Site Binding dialog box.
- Contoso is used in SharePoint 2013 as an example for bindings in the Web Apps.
- Contoso is used as a news agency delivering a collection of news articles, blog posts, white papers, case studies, videos and comments on fictional news in a demo News app in Windows 8.
- Contoso is used as training program (Contoso v2.0) in Windows 8 Speech recognition.
- Contoso is used for all tests in both Sandbox and production for the company SF.
- Contoso is used as the "filler" domain for Skype for Business.
- The Windows 7 Help article 'Automatically get recommended drivers and updates for your hardware' includes an image of a Devices and Printers screen showing 'Contoso 4GB Flash Drive' and 'Contoso Touchkey 300' as installed devices.
- The Contoso Marketing department is used to demonstrate Active Directory Group Synchronization in the Microsoft Project Server 2010 Administrators Guide.
- The installation for Forefront Identity Manager 2010 uses Contoso.com as a reference for all example URLs.
- System Center Configuration Manager uses server1.contoso.com as an example site when connecting to a new site server.
- A packaging example used in Microsoft's Windows 10 logo guide is the packaging for a tablet known as the "Contoso Foo".
- One of the cloud platform solutions shown on the official website of Microsoft Azure: SAP on Azure, which contains a video that shows the Contoso Inc. as an example company.
- Contoso is a dummy retailer used in the Windows 10 Retail Demo when testing new changes.
- Contoso Time and Absence Tracking is shown as a demonstration page for the Internet Explorer compatibility features of the new Chromium based Edge browser.
- Ellen Adams is listed as an example of a Contoso employee in the "Auto Account Setup Wizard" in Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.
- Lisa Andrews is an example used in a short Microsoft Office OneNote 2013 tutorial video titled "OneNote: Search notes instantly"
- Allen Brewer is listed as an accountant in the Windows XP Book "Exam 70-270: Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows XP Professional".
- Percy Bowman is listed as the janitor in the Windows XP Book "Exam 70-270: Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows XP Professional".
- James Calvin Devers is listed as Owner in the Windows XP Book "Exam 70-270: Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows XP Professional".
- Austin Ehrhardt is listed as CEO in the Windows XP Book "Exam 70-270: Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows XP Professional".
- Royce Freeland is listed as an example for using your organizations credentials in the "Welcome - Skype for Business - 7 quick tips most people ask for"
- Misty Shock and Chris Meyer are listed as example users in a TechNet article.
- Walter Harp, Jeff Smith, and Ben Smith are listed as examples in an article from Windows Azure.
- Emma Lowton, Digital Transformation Specialist is helping Contoso embrace new technology
- Tiffany Mach, Contoso Business Manager
- Naina Dhyani, Creative Innovation Director
- Jessica Oxley, Wearable Technology Designer
- Shreya Smith, HR Director, keeping everyone at Contoso happy
- Barbara Sankovic (firstname.lastname@example.org) is used as an example when adding a 'New E-mail Account' using Microsoft Outlook 2007.
- Miranda, the owner of Contoso, is used as an example for setting up Bing Product Ads
- Frank is used as a user when adding validation rules to a Microsoft Access data entry box.
- Rene Valdes, Division Manager of Contoso Finance, has a business card used in the help files in Microsoft OneNote 2007.
- Burton Guido is used as an example account in an MSDN tutorial on working with multiple user accounts in Visual Studio 2015 Preview using Azure Active Directory.
- Holly Kearney, Sr. VP Sales & Marketing
- Trent Baker, Sr. Virtualization specialist
- Albert V. Leems, Chief Information Officer at Contoso, on Google Cloud Blog.
- Clyde Landon, Manager at Contoso, on Microsoft StaffHub demo video
- Cherie Yang is used as an example in the Contoso time tracking IE compatibility demonstration.
In popular culture
On April 1, 2011, an April Fool's Day joke from Google Enterprise said that Contoso abandoned many of Microsoft's technologies in favor of Google Apps. The joke was a response to the 2010 whitepaper listed above. In response to this joke, the Why Microsoft blog responded saying that Contoso was lured back from Google by promises of "proven cost savings".
- "Look Before You Leap into Google Apps" (PDF). Microsoft Download Center. Microsoft Corporation. February 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
- "Project Server 2010 Administrator's Guide". Microsoft TechNet. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
- Story, Laura (2012). Microsoft Office 2010 Certification Prep. Boston, Massachusetts: Course Technology, Cengage Learning. pp. OL-2. ISBN 9781133191070. OCLC 730414856.
- "OneNote: Search notes instantly". Microsoft Office. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- "Exchange Advanced Settings for Mailbox-Enabled Recipients". Microsoft TechNet. 9 July 2007. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
- "How to use the Table Storage Service". Windows Azure. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
- "Contoso has gone Google". Google Cloud Blog. April 1, 2011. Retrieved November 26, 2011.
- Microsoft Office 365 (2017-01-25), Introducing Microsoft StaffHub, a new app to help frontline staff workers manage their work day, retrieved 2019-03-31
- Tai, Tony (30 March 2012). "Contoso Fooled By Google, Returns to Microsoft". TechNet Blogs. Microsoft Corporation. Archived from the original on April 18, 2016. Retrieved February 9, 2019.