Microsoft Announces Plus! Digital Media Edition, The Ultimate Photo, Music and Movie Enhancement Pack for Windows XP

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 17, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. today announced Microsoft® Plus! Digital Media Edition for Windows®
XP, the ultimate photo, music and movie enhancement pack for Windows XP. Breaking new ground in software distribution for Microsoft, Plus! Digital Media Edition will be available via download Jan. 7, 2003, making it the first complete Microsoft product to be offered as a download via online retailers. Drawing on state-of-the-art technology from Microsoft Research and the Windows Digital Media Division, Plus! Digital Media Edition provides a range of new experiences for anyone who enjoys digital photography, digital music and video.

“Pioneering features in Plus! Digital Media Edition like Photo Story offers photo buffs the ability for the first time to tell the story behind their digital pictures with easy-to-create digital photo albums,”
said Dave Fester, general manager of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft.
“Packed with cool new innovations like this, Plus! Digital Media Edition takes the photos, music and home movies in Windows XP to a whole new level.”

Sharing Digital Photos in a Whole New Way

A breakthrough feature for digital photography enthusiasts, Plus! Photo Story creates a whole new way to enjoy and share digital photos, allowing users to build unique video stories with narration and music, and even automatically add motion to the photos via pan and zoom effects that make the photos come to life. In just a few steps, users can convey the stories behind their digital photos and create innovative digital photo albums, including their own narration and music, to share with friends and family. With the ability to import anywhere from one to 150 pictures per photo story, users can create visually stunning stories that cover a single moment in time, an entire vacation or even a whole year in highlights. Based on revolutionary new Windows Media®
Video 9 Image compression technology, high-quality photo stories also are small enough to easily e-mail or post to the Web.

Creating New Experiences With Digital Media on the PC

Plus! Party Mode for Windows Media Player turns the PC into the ultimate party jukebox, complete with visual effects, song and artist displays and an interactive guest book, while ensuring no one has access to any personal files and information. Plus! Dancer turns the desktop into a dance floor with lifelike, high-definition 3-D characters that groove in time to the music that’s playing. Users can choose from more than 10 dancers who dance to a wide variety of styles, including hip-hop, disco and salsa.

Digital music aficionados also will find a wealth of features and tools in Plus! Digital Media Edition that provide them with the ability to digital record their vinyl records and cassette tapes, easily convert music to different formats and bit rates, and enjoy digital media in new ways on their Windows XP-based PCs. These include the following:

  • Users with stacks of aging cassette tapes or vinyl records will find that Plus! Analog Recorder breathes new life into their music collection, as it creates clean, vibrant digital files using automatic hiss and pop reduction and automatic track splitting.

  • The Plus! Audio Converter is a general-purpose conversion tool offering easy interchange between formats and file sizes. Files can be converted from MP3 and WAV to Windows Media Audio (WMA) or from WMA to MP3 (if a compatible MP3 encoding plug-in for Windows Media Player 9 Series is installed). Plus! Audio Converter also supports conversion from the new WMA 9 Lossless codec, for users who want to convert from a bit-for-bit perfect archive of their original CDs.

  • Users also can create and print colorful CD covers and labels in just four easy steps with the new Plus! CD Label Maker .

  • The Plus! Alarm Clock turns the PC into a full-featured alarm clock that can play music from a user’s library of favorite tunes.

  • The Plus! Sleep Timer allows users to fall asleep to the music they choose by gradually decreasing volume over time to provide an enjoyable entry into a good night’s sleep.

  • Plus! Digital Media Edition also adds eight new, high-quality skins for the Windows Media Player 9 Series , enabling users to personalize their player more than ever before.

Enjoying Content on the Go With Plus! Sync & Go

Plus! Sync & Go for Pocket PC* provides a new way for users to get the latest digital content delivered to their Pocket PC. Whether they want to access content from top providers such as CBS MarketWatch, GolfSpan.com Inc., Indy Racing League, KenRadio.com, MSNBC.com, OverDrive Inc. and Warner Music Group or from their media library with their own custom playlists in Windows Media Player, Plus! Sync & Go enables users to automatically sync the content onto their Pocket PC and watch and listen to what they want, where and whenever they want it.

Enhancing Home Movies Like a Pro

The completely redesigned Windows Movie Maker 2 for Windows XP takes fast and easy home video creation to a whole new level. Plus! Digital Media Edition takes the Windows Movie Maker 2 experience even further, adding 50 stunning new effects and transitions from Pixelan Software. For Windows XP users who have upgraded to Windows Movie Maker 2, the new effects and transitions will automatically appear in Windows Movie Maker 2 upon installation of Plus! Digital Media Edition.

Availability

Consumers can reserve their copy of Plus! Digital Media Edition now, through the Sign Up and Save promotion, by visiting http://www.microsoft.com/plus/ and receive a 25 percent discount off the estimated retail price of $19.95 when it is available on Jan. 7, 2003. On that date, Plus! Digital Media Edition will be distributed online by License Technologies Group Inc. (LTG), the first Microsoft-authorized Web retailer for Plus! Digital Media Edition, and will be in stores where Windows XP is available in early 2003. Plus! Digital Media Edition also will be made available in French, German, Japanese, Korean and Spanish. The final release of Windows Movie Maker 2 and Windows Media Player 9 Series also will be available Jan. 7, 2003.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

* Microsoft Windows Powered Pocket PC with Microsoft Pocket PC 2002 software, or Compaq iPAQ with Microsoft Pocket PC 2000 software

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