Microsoft Introduces Liquid Motion 1.0 for Web Animation; Beta Version Now Available for Free Download

Microsoft Introduces Liquid Motion 1.0 for Web Animation; Beta Version Now Available for Free Download

REDMOND, Wash., May 4, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the immediate availability of a beta release of Microsoft® Liquid Motion
™
Web multimedia and animation version 1.0, the new tool that lets users easily create and publish Web animations for viewing everywhere on the World Wide Web. A free trial copy of the Liquid Motion 1.0 beta is now available at http://www.microsoft.com/liquidmotion/ (connect-time charges may apply).

Animation enhances Web sites with interactive visuals that go far beyond text and images. With Liquid Motion, users of all skill levels can use animation to communicate their ideas more effectively and improve their viewers’ experience. The ease of use of Liquid Motion enables novice users and Web professionals alike to add compelling animations to their sites by simply pointing and clicking. Furthermore, users will benefit from the familiar user interface of Liquid Motion and integration with Microsoft FrontPage® , the world’s best-selling Web site creation and management tool.

Liquid Motion empowers users to create animations that will be seen, regardless of the browser used. In fact, Liquid Motion is the first tool to publish Web animations that run on all popular browsers, without requiring users to download and install separate plug-ins.

“Our goal with Liquid Motion is to bring the power and excitement of animation to the broadest possible set of users,”
said Karl Jacob, product unit manager of multimedia authoring at Microsoft.
“Customers told us they wanted to create animated Web sites that would better sell their products or communicate their ideas, but they found the existing multimedia tools to be too cumbersome. We designed Liquid Motion to be accessible for everyone, so new users will find the product easy to use and more experienced users will find that its powerful features save them time and money.”

“Liquid Motion offered me a unique opportunity to create a dynamic Web site designed to get my students excited about learning criminology,”
said James Unnever, a sociology professor at Radford University in Virginia.
“Students instantly realize when they see the Liquid Motion animations that my course is using the latest technology and that it will expose them to a new and unique learning experience. Getting students excited about learning is essential, and Liquid Motion is now an integral part of my courses. Best of all, with Liquid Motion I didn’t have to spend a lot of time learning about animations – I just started creating.”

Liquid Motion Improves Web-Based Communication

While animation enhances the overall visual appeal of Web sites, Liquid Motion animations are most valuable because they provide an effective way to communicate complex ideas on a single Web page that would otherwise require lengthy text.

“As the proliferation of Web sites continues, users need new ways to communicate, to attract people to their sites and to keep them coming back,”
said Amy Wohl at Wohl Associates Inc.
“Animations will be an important part of creating compelling Web sites in the future. And Liquid Motion is a great product to vastly expand the use of animation because it sets new standards in ease of use for both the creators of Web animations and for those who view those animations.”

Easy to Use, Easy to Learn, Easy to View

Key features and benefits in Liquid Motion include the following:

Easy to Use

  • Point-and-click animation. Liquid Motion makes it possible for users to create animations quickly. The WYSIWYG environment ensures that animations will look the same on a Web page as they do in Liquid Motion.

  • Instant animation effects. Liquid Motion ships with a library of Web-ready content. Built-in AutoEffects let users add smoke, bubbles, twirlers and more to their Web pages with the click of a button. AutoMotions quickly add movement to objects (e.g., grow and shrink).

  • One-button publishing. When users finish creating animations, they simply click Publish and let the wizard walk them through the steps of publishing their work to the Web. Liquid Motion optimizes the animation for different browsers and outputs an HTML file that can be used on any Web server.

  • Publish directly to Microsoft FrontPage. Liquid Motion integration with the FrontPage Web site creation and management tool means customers can use the Publishing Wizard to publish animations directly into a FrontPage-based Web.

  • Flexible levels of animations. Liquid Motion offers a range of features so that all users can incorporate powerful animations. Novices can use prepackaged Web effects such as spin and sparkles. Power users can experiment with advanced multimedia features like time effects and inner scenes.

  • Automated support for the latest Web technologies. Liquid Motion offers the latest cutting-edge Web technologies including built-in support for 3-D graphics, MPEG audio, DirectAnimation
    ™
    and DirectMusic
    ™
    APIs, Dynamic HTML, and vectors.

Easy to Learn

  • Familiar interface. Anyone who’s used Microsoft Office or FrontPage will feel right at home with the familiar interface of Liquid Motion, including common toolbars and buttons, similar menu items and shortcuts.

  • Building-block feature set. All Liquid Motion features act like building blocks, enabling users to build on what they have already learned to quickly create more complex animations.

  • Learn as you go. Users can choose from built-in support including tutorials and sample animations, online user guides, and special
    “how do I”
    help files designed especially for novice users.

Easy to View

  • No plug-ins required. Liquid Motion animations don’t require users to visit another site to download a viewer or plug-in. This helps ensure the best animation experience possible.

  • Browser-independent animations. Liquid Motion animations can be viewed from any browser including Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0, 3.0, 2.0; Netscape Navigator 4.0, 3.0, 2.0; America Online and UNIX browsers; or any browser that runs Java.

Availability and Pricing

The beta version of Microsoft Liquid Motion 1.0 is available without charge (connect-time charges may apply) from the Microsoft Liquid Motion Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/liquidmotion/ . The beta software expires June 30, 1998.

Liquid Motion will be available for a recommended retail price of $149. Users of Microsoft Office and Microsoft FrontPage can take advantage of a special introductory estimated retail price of $54.95 for Liquid Motion 1.0. It will be available through online resellers only in North America (reseller prices may vary).

Computer users worldwide can obtain information about Microsoft Liquid Motion at http://www.microsoft.com/liquidmotion/ and about other Microsoft products at the company’s World Wide Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/ .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, Liquid Motion, FrontPage, DirectAnimation and DirectMusic are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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

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