REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 11, 1996 — If you, like most Americans, love taking and sharing pictures, picture this: Have you wished you could fix that one flaw on an otherwise perfect picture, or create a special collage of favorite pictures to celebrate your parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, or share pictures of your child’s first day of school with grandparents across the country the very next day? You can, now – easily and conveniently with your home PC. With new Microsoft® Picture It!
personal imaging software, you can do all this and more – and get the same photographic quality you’ve come to expect from your photo developer.
Microsoft Picture It! is the first software application to let consumers enhance, create and share photographic-print quality memories in a fun, easy and affordable way that requires nothing more than a typical home PC.
“Microsoft has teamed with industry leaders Kodak and Hewlett-Packard to deliver photographic results from input to output on the home PC and over the Internet,”
said Bill Gates, chairman and CEO of Microsoft.
“Picture It! was designed by Microsoft for the home PC user from the ground up. Microsoft Picture It! uses an innovative Image Graph architecture, which allows images to maintain their photographic quality regardless of the effects and enhancements a consumer performs on those images. It empowers the consumer to do creative image editing in a highly interactive manner.”
Exclusive Online Printing to Kodak
Microsoft Corp. and Eastman Kodak Co. have integrated an exclusive within
Picture It! – a seamless connection to the Kodak Image Magic Print Service, that for the first time enables consumers to create photographic-quality projects such as 11-by-14-inch collages, a size that to date has not been possible using a home printer. From a pull-down menu, consumers can order photographic prints as well as high-quality photo gifts, such as photo albums, video case covers, custom labels and more.
“Consumers love their photos,”
said George Fisher, chairman, president and CEO of Eastman Kodak.
“This is an exciting and powerful combination of Microsoft software, retailer support and Kodak imaging products and services, and includes the ability to receive actual photographic prints. We are providing a new and easy way for people to do more with the pictures they love most.”
Free Offers From Kodak and MSN
Microsoft, the world’s leading software company, and Kodak, the worldwide leader in consumer imaging, have combined their strengths to provide consumers with the first easy-to-use, complete home imaging solution. Microsoft Picture It! includes an offer for a free high-resolution Kodak Image Magic System FlashPix CD from an undeveloped roll of film or 10 prints. Picture It! also includes an offer for a free photographic gift print from the Kodak Image Magic Print Service. Together, these offers from Kodak provide up to a $40 value! In addition, each user of Picture It! receives up to 735 hours free subscription to MSN
, The Microsoft Network*. Consumers have everything they need to create their own photographic-quality projects, right out of the box.
Fix Common Photo Problems Automatically With Smart Tasks
Picture It! includes a number of Smart Tasks to automatically correct such common problems as red-eye, overexposure and odd color tints. Each step of the way, users see all the changes they wish to make instantly on screen, with no surprises. As they become more experienced, users can bypass Smart Tasks and work on their own.
First Consumer Application to Use FlashPix
A key enabler of Picture It! is a new imaging standard called FlashPix, which was jointly developed by Microsoft, Kodak, HP and Live Picture Inc. Pictures burst on screen and change instantly when edited, making enhancing and creating with pictures easy and fun for consumers. Picture It! is the first consumer application to take full advantage of the new file format and extend its capabilities to add compositing, the ability to combine multiple photographic-quality images and text virtually without limitation, and requiring nothing more than a typical home PC.
High-Quality Projects for the Whole Family
Picture It! offers hundreds of great projects for personalizing and sharing photographic memories, with flexible wizards that walk consumers through creating collages, calendars, cards and more. Picture It! includes more than 500 photographic-quality templates, backgrounds, clip photos and frames, and more than 100 exclusive Kodak Image Magic Custom Creations templates to create custom collages, albums and other gift items. Consumers with online access can also download additional templates from Kodak. The templates are easy to use; pictures are automatically cropped, rotated and snapped into place. In addition, consumers can create and send electronic slide shows directly from within Picture It! or share them over the World Wide Web. Users can also take their pictures from Picture It! and combine them with Hallmark Connections
designs and messages to create personalized cards, invitations and more in Microsoft Greetings Workshop, a new home desktop publishing application from Microsoft and Hallmark Connections also announced today.
Picture It!is supported by most home color printers such as Hewlett-Packard Co.’s DeskJet 600 series printers. HP sees Picture It! as an enabler of completely new uses for the PC.
“Increasingly, customers are using powerful multimedia PCs and color ink-jet printers to create and print documents that include photographic images,”
said Antonio Perez, vice president and general manager of the Inkjet Products Group at HP.
“With Microsoft’s software expertise and HP’s DeskJet printers, it is only natural that the two companies work together. In the future, you’ll see more products from HP that take advantage of unique features of Picture It! This is just the beginning.”
Easy to Use With Power
“Under the Hood”
High-quality photo imaging has previously been reserved for professionals with high-end equipment able to handle the memory and speed requirements necessary for dealing with photographic images. The imaging software available has either been tool-based and too difficult for the average consumer to use, or incapable of producing high-quality output.
Picture It! is the first application to overcome these barriers. It has a friendly, simple-to-use interface that hides a highly sophisticated 32-bit, multiresolution, tiled, compositing-based imaging engine architecture that allows novice users to have fun with their pictures. Images created in Picture It! can be dragged and dropped into any OLE-compatible application, such as Microsoft Word or Publisher. The software automatically captures images at a default resolution of 1536 x 1028 pixels (photographic quality to the eye), so users need not worry about understanding dots per inch to get great-looking results.
Getting pictures into Picture It! is easy. Picture It! supports 21 standard graphics file formats and is TWAIN-compliant. Consumers can opt to have pictures developed to a FlashPix CD or use a digital camera. Picture It! is compatible with most scanners and includes a simple one-touch scanning feature that helps ensure a perfect scan.
Pricing, Availability and Requirements
Microsoft Picture It! is scheduled to release to manufacturing on Sept. 17, 1996, and will be available nationwide in October. It will sell for approximately $79.95 (U.S.). Customers can call (800) 426-9400 for more information on a reseller in their area.
To use Microsoft Picture It!, consumers need to have a multimedia personal computer with a 486/66 or higher processor running the Microsoft Windows® 95 operating system or later. In addition, users need 8 MB of RAM or more, 75 MB of available hard disk space, a double-speed CD-ROM drive, a Super VGA color monitor, a Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device, an audio board and headphones or speakers. A modem is required to use the Kodak Image Magic Print Service and MSN. Microsoft Internet Explorer 2.0 or higher, or a compatible browser, is required to download additional templates from Kodak. Picture It! is compatible with Intel MMX technology.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) 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.
Kodak offers consumers of all interest and skill levels a complete portfolio of imaging products, employing breakthrough traditional and digital imaging technologies. These solutions have established the company as the world leader in imaging – and the Kodak brand as a favorite among consumers.
*Offer includes a one-month unlimited free trial, plus three free hours per month for the next five months. Any additional hours will be charged at a rate of $2.50 per hour. This offer is available to new MSN members in the United States and Canada only, provided they select MSN as their Internet access provider. A credit card is required. MSN Premium charges, long-distance or toll charges may apply. Offer expires Dec. 31, 1997.
Microsoft, Picture It!, MSN and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. All rights reserved.
Hallmark Connections is a trademark of Hallmark Licensing Inc.
The Microsoft Network is operated by Microsoft Corp. on behalf of Microsoft Network LLC.
(Note: Kodak, Image Magic, and FlashPix are trademarks of Eastman Kodak Company. The FlashPix format will be defined in a specification and a test suite, developed and published by Eastman Kodak Co. in collaboration with Hewlett-Packard Co., Live Picture Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Only products that meet the specification and pass the test suite may use the FlashPix file format name.)
For online product information:
http://www.microsoft.com/pictureit/ (this site will go live at the end of the month)
Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft home page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ . To receive Microsoft press releases by fax, please call (800) 859-5915 in the United States or (201) 333-0314 internationally. Video B-roll is available by calling the press contacts listed above.