Microsoft and Hallmark Connections Announce New Version of Greetings Workshop Featuring New Technology for Creating Multimedia Greetings for the Internet

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 16, 1997 — Wouldn’t it be great if you could send your friends and family personalized Hallmark-quality greetings that sing and dance? Well, now you can! Imagine a holiday greeting with reindeer dancing, snow falling and
“Jingle Bells” playing in the background. Create this interactive masterpiece and much more with Microsoft® Greetings Workshop Deluxe version 2.0. Greetings Workshop Deluxe, announced today, gives you what you need to create everything from multimedia greetings for the Internet to personalized cards and invitations to other home publishing projects such as banners, calendars, posters, labels, stationery and much more, all in one box.

Greetings Workshop is now available in two versions, making it easy for everyone from novice to expert to create great-looking projects. Greetings Workshop Deluxe features new multimedia greetings that can be sent over the Internet, as well as more than 12,000 ready-to-personalize projects that can be printed. But it doesn’t stop there. The two CDs of content enable you to explore your own creativity by choosing from more than 15,000 graphics, 4,500 Hallmark Connections
messages, 1,000 photos, 1,000 animated graphics, 500 sound clips, 100 music clips, 125 fonts, backgrounds, borders and more. Also announced today, Greetings Workshop version 2.0 includes new projects and more content than last year’s edition. This version is designed for those who want to focus on printed projects.

“Greetings Workshop gives people an entirely new way to take advantage of the Internet to communicate with friends and family,”
said Richard Fade, vice president of the desktop applications division at Microsoft.
“In a single application, we’ve given people the ability to bring their Internet communication to life with multimedia greetings. We present powerful technology tools in a fun, easy way so people can feel confident that their personal publishing projects will look great, every time – whether on the Internet or in print.”

“We are proud to continue to lead the greeting card industry with new products that help consumers express themselves more clearly, creatively and personally,”
said Mary McClure, vice president of consumer product technology at Hallmark.
“With Hallmark’s creative talents and Microsoft technology, we have created another compelling software program that meets consumers’ personal expression needs.”

Multimedia Greetings for the Internet – More Than Just Cards

Building on the earlier version’s success as one of the top-selling consumer software titles, Greetings Workshop Deluxe goes well beyond other Internet-based greeting options by giving you the ability to customize all of the Hallmark Connections designs and messages to bring your greetings to life. Imagine being the director of your own multimedia greeting with animated characters; text that shakes, shimmers and sparkles; and dramatic sound effects or familiar music. You have the choice of selecting from hundreds of predesigned multimedia greetings or creating one yourself by adding a background, animated graphics, sound and your own personal message. Send your multimedia greeting easily via e-mail, post it to the Greetings Workshop Web Post Office for free*, or save it on a diskette. No matter how you choose to share your personalized multimedia greeting, everyone online will be able to enjoy it. An additional option for those with Internet access is to send electronic greetings with sound and animation from the Hallmark Connections Web Store for a nominal fee ( ).

“I really enjoyed Greetings Workshop version 1.0, and I am excited about the new content, projects and multimedia greetings in version 2.0. It is an easy and fun way for me to keep in touch with friends and family,”
said Sue Englert, a Greetings Workshop user.

In addition to multimedia greetings, the same application lets you create other new home publishing projects including posters, stationery with matching labels, stickers, vertical banners and crafts such as masks and trading cards. Other projects include personalized cards, invitations, calendars, awards, signs, flyers, announcements, labels and more.

Work the Way You Want

Even if you have little experience with computers, software or graphic design, you will find Greetings Workshop quick and easy to use. Rocky, the friendly guide, walks you through the project from start to finish. If you’re more advanced, you can choose to work without Rocky. A new spell-checking function even helps check for spelling errors in text.

  • Creative flexibility. You have the creative flexibility to make your work stand out. You can rotate, crop or flip graphics and text, or even add a shadow or outline to your messages. Browse a variety of designs and messages and choose the right combination that is perfect for the occasion. Feeling really creative? Start on your own and use the wealth of designs and graphics with your own personal message.

  • Event Reminders. Greetings Workshop helps you keep track of important dates. Just set a reminder for a special occasion. When you start your computer, a reminder will pop up automatically in advance of the occasion. You can specify how far ahead of the event you’d like to be reminded – no more missed anniversaries or belated birthday wishes! These special occasions can be added automatically to calendars you create and can be deleted or updated quickly and easily.

That Extra-Special Touch

  • Photo projects. With the new Microsoft Picture It!
    2.0 personal imaging software application, you can edit a favorite photo and add it to any Greetings Workshop project with a click of the mouse. In fact, Greetings Workshop allows you to import graphics files in any major file format.

  • Card stock and envelopes. Included in the Greetings Workshop box are sample card stock and matching envelopes from Hallmark Connections, so even your first project can have an extra-special finished look.

  • Creative ideas. To help spark creative ideas, Greetings Workshop offers Ideas from Hallmark , which suggests great ways to celebrate various occasions. You will find everything from suggestions for enhancing greeting cards – such as unique papers, lace, ribbons or confetti – to tips for surprising that special someone with a personalized creation.

  • More online. For more great ideas, people with Internet access can go online using a direct link to the Greetings Workshop Web site ( ). There, you can update your designs, find the very latest in design and project ideas, and read the latest news from Microsoft and Hallmark Connections.

Pricing, Availability and System Requirements

Microsoft Greetings Workshop Deluxe version 2.0 is available now for an estimated retail price of $49.95 (U.S.). Microsoft Greetings Workshop version 2.0 is available now for an estimated retail price of $29.95 (U.S.). Customers can call (800) 426-9400 for more information on a reseller in their area.

To use Microsoft Greetings Workshop Deluxe, consumers need a multimedia personal computer with a Pentium 90MHz or higher processor, the Microsoft Windows® 95 operating system or Windows NT® Workstation operating system version 4.0 or later. In addition, they need 16 MB of RAM or more, 40 MB of available hard disk space, a quad-speed CD-ROM drive, a Super VGA 256-color monitor, and a Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device. An audio board and headphones or speakers are required for sound. A color printer is required for full-color output, and a Hayes-compatible modem is required for Internet access.

Founded in 1910, Hallmark Cards Inc. is the world’s leading creator and marketer of greeting cards and personal expression products, including gift wrap, albums, calendars, party goods, stationery and software. Hallmark has a creative group of more than 740 artists and writers, the best and largest creative staff in the world, who generate roughly 11,000 new and 8,000 redesigned greeting cards per year. In addition, Hallmark owns and operates thriving businesses in family and entertainment and personal development.

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.

* Access charges and local phone and/or long-distance toll charges may apply.

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

Hallmark Connections is a trademark of Hallmark Licensing Inc.

Note to editors : If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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