Microsoft Transforms Everyday Photos Into the Extraordinary

REDMOND, Wash., July 29, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. today launched Microsoft®
Digital Image Suite 9, the first digital imaging software package on the market to combine all the tools consumers want and need to organize, archive, edit and share the soaring number of digital photos accumulating on their PCs.

Digital cameras captured roughly 25 billion photos worldwide in 2002. That number is expected to jump to 56 billion in 2005. 1 A projected 28.1 million digital cameras will be sold worldwide in 2003, 2 and many consumers will find themselves juggling thousands of images without an easy way to manage them. In response, Microsoft combined the power of two digital imaging software titles, Microsoft Digital Image Library 9 and Microsoft Digital Image Pro 9, into one comprehensive and flexible photo solution. The result is the new Microsoft Digital Image Suite 9, the only product available today that gives consumers everything they need in digital imaging software, including advanced organizational and photo-editing tools, new levels of creativity with professional-quality photo projects, and unparalleled ease of use.

“Beyond simply taking digital photos, customers are becoming more sophisticated in how they want to edit, store and share their images,”
said Michelle Richardson, product manager for home imaging at Microsoft.
“They want advanced yet easy-to-use photo software that can do it all, and that’s exactly what they’re going to get with Digital Image Suite.”

Digital Image Suite 9 incorporates the following new organizational and advanced photo-editing tools:

Organization With Digital Image Library 9

  • New!
    Import Pictures Wizard. This feature automatically detects import devices and renames and deletes photos on acquisition. Users can access photos from digital cameras as well as on CD-ROM or removable media.

  • New!
    Advanced organizational system. Users can locate and organize their photos with intuitive tools such as the 5 Star Rating System, Find Similar Photos and Keyword Painter.

  • New!
    Virtual Views. Quickly find and sort images by View, Date and Keyword, and then subsort by image size, file size, year, month, keyword, event, file type, folder and rating.

  • New!
    Photo Story Lite.
    3 Users can combine edited images, motion, text and even their own voice into a unique and personal photo story or video that can be burned onto CD-ROM and viewed in most consumer DVD players or sent via e-mail.

  • New!
    Archive. Protect and preserve precious photos and hard drive space with Digital Image Library’s new state-of-the-art archival technology. Users can customize automatic backup reminders, choose among archiving options, burn CDs of favorite photos, archive to multiple devices and find archived images easily.

Advanced Photo-Editing With Digital Image Pro 9

  • New!
    Smart Erase. Cutting-edge technology helps automatically remove unwanted objects with a click of the mouse.

  • New!
    Blending Brush. Users can smooth away photo blemishes by copying the texture of part of an image and pasting it elsewhere.

  • New!
    Straighten Picture. Users can align crooked pictures by shifting their image to a desired angle. They simply select the horizon line, and then use Straighten Picture to rotate and crop the area to a perfect line.

  • New!
    Multiple selection tools. Users can choose from multiple selection tools, such as Marquee, Freehand, Edge Finder and Magic Wand, to select a specific photo area for editing.

  • New!
    Gaussian Blur. This feature provides a sophisticated way to blur pictures to achieve a special effect or reduce emphasis on selected photo areas.

  • New!
    Unsharp Mask. Users can sharpen a pictureGeneral term refers to a single photo or a composite project on the canvas. that is slightly out of focus. The Unsharp Mask uses noise-reduction threshold, contrast and edge width to determine which pixels to sharpen and by what degree.

  • New!
    Rule of Thirds. Users can enhance objects by applying visually pleasing proportions and get a well-balanced photo that is appealing to the eye.

  • New!
    Save for a Mobile Device. Users can instantly resize digital photos to the correct display size for a mobile device. Photos can be resized to fit on most popular mobile phones, Pocket PC or Palm devices.

Unmatched Help and Startup Tools

Digital Image Suite 9 continues Microsoft’s tradition of powerful yet easy-to-use digital imaging products by including an enhanced startup window, new instructional videos and an improved user interface, making photo capture and enhancement easier than ever.

New Levels of Creativity and More Ways to Share

Digital Image Suite 9 offers new levels of creativity, with more than 5,000 images, 3,000 designer project templates, 200 filters (50 of which are new in Digital Image Suite 9) and a variety of mats, frames and templates for creating professional photo projects such as scrapbooks, photo albums, calendars and postcards. Filters with effects such as Antique, Impressionism and Watercolor add instant style to photos. Users can find professionally designed photo project templates for a variety of occasions, seasons and needs, including kids’ crafts and business, community and home projects.

In addition, with MSN®
Photos, 4 users can seamlessly order photo reprints and gifts directly from within Digital Image Suite 9.

Availability

Microsoft Digital Image Suite 9 is available for an estimated retail price of $129 (U.S.). 5 Microsoft offers $60 in rebates — a $30 version upgrade and competitive upgrade mail-in rebate, as well as an additional $30 digital camera mail-in rebate (if consumers purchase any digital camera within 30 days of acquiring the application). In addition, the product ships with $80 worth of coupons for Fuji products, Avery paper samples and Alien Skin plug-ins. Digital Image Suite 9 also is available at academic pricing and for business licensing. (Certain offer restrictions apply to each offer.)

In addition to the high-end features and functionality offered by Digital Image Suite 9, Microsoft provides product options for all levels of digital photography users. Picture It!® Photo Premium 9 offers a popular collection of midlevel photo-editing, drawing and painting options. Microsoft also is shipping Plus! Digital Media Edition, which includes a full version of Plus! Photo Story, Plus! Party Mode, Plus! Effects & Transitions for Windows®
Movie Maker 2, and Plus! Sync & Go for Pocket PC, all for $19.95 (U.S.).5

About Microsoft Home Retail Division

Microsoft Home Retail Division (HRD) is a leading publisher of home software for the PC. Celebrating Microsoft’s 20 years of delivering products that help consumers accomplish and enjoy everyday tasks, HRD brings consumers the Microsoft Encarta®
encyclopedia, the industry’s best-selling 6 encyclopedia brand; Microsoft Digital Image products, which combine advanced photo-editing features and unmatched organizational tools with unparalleled ease of use; Microsoft Money, easy-to-use personal finance management software; Streets & Trips, Microsoft’s all-in-one mapping solution with points of interest, routes, driving directions and Pocket PC compatibility in one value-priced software package; and Microsoft Works Suite, the best-selling 7 integrated home productivity software that offers six of the latest essential home software titles in one package for tremendous value. Used with the MSN network of Internet services, these products have a unique depth and mobility that allow users to take their PC experience even further.

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.

1 Source: Lyra Research Inc. and Photofinishing News Inc.

2 Source: In-Stat/MDR

3 Requires Microsoft Windows XP operating system

4 Internet connection required

5 Actual retail price may vary.

6 Source: NPDTechworldSM, March 1993–March 2003, based on total U.S. retail sales

7 Source: NPDTechworld, March 1993–March 2002, based on total U.S. retail sales

Microsoft, MSN, Picture It!, Windows and Encarta are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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