The attempt to install raspbian via the windows installationg guide (https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/installation/installing-images/windows.md) was unsuccessful. I figured it the roadblock had more to do with Win32diskimager utility. Although I have full admin rights on my laptop, I was not able to write the raspbian image as described within the install guide.
That being said, the easiest approach was using Noob. Download noob, unzip the file, drag and drop all the files into the SD card. Insert the SD card in the Pi3 start up and ka-bam - it boots, ask which os you want and you are good to go.
Now....setting the static IP has been a challenge, see article in setting static ip for more information.