Microsoft Picture It! 2.0 Leads Consumer Photo-Editing Software Category; Outsells Competition by 2-to-1 Margin

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 24, 1997 — With the September release of Picture It!
, Microsoft Corp. has established itself as a leading provider of consumer photo-editing software, according to independent sales figures from PC Data. In addition to its winning position at retail, Picture It! Personal imaging software dominated its category at last week’s COMDEX/Fall trade show in Las Vegas, taking home top awards from the leading trade publications including PC Magazine and PC Computing.

“The phenomenal growth in consumer photo-editing software continues, exceeding virtually all other consumer software categories in the past 12 months,” according to Ann Stephens, president of PC Data. Introduced in September 1996, Microsoft Picture It! led the category as the No. 1 product in revenue for the consumer photo-editing category.* With Picture It! version 2.0, Microsoft has extended that lead dramatically. In the first three weeks of October 1997, Picture It! 2.0 outsold its closest competition by a margin of 2-to-1.**

“Imaging is a hot growth category, and we have been pleased to see sales of Picture It! 2.0 exceed our expectations,” said Erick Vincent, senior buyer at Best Buy. “Picture It! 2.0 continues to offer what Best Buy consumers want: powerful photo-editing software that’s fun and easy to use.”

Picture It! 2.0 is comprehensive software for image capturing, photo editing and creativity, cataloging, printing and sharing photos over the Internet. It serves as a darkroom, shoe box, photo-finishing counter and slide projector – all on the PC. It leads the industry with the latest imaging technologies to help PC users quickly and easily turn good pictures into
great ones.

Picture It! 2.0 Beats the Competition With Industry Awards and Reviews

In the first 60 days of its release, Picture It! 2.0 has garnered an impressive list of industry awards as well as praise from independent industry reviewers, including the highest ratings possible from leading computer trade and photo trade publications. In addition, Picture It! swept the consumer digital imaging category awards at COMDEX, earning both the 1997 PC Magazine Editor’s Choice Award and the 1997 MVP Award from PC Computing. A sample of honors follows:

  • Picture It! wins the 1997 PC Magazine Editor’s Choice Award for Image Editing.

  • PC Computing honors Picture It! with the 1997 MVP Award, the highest rating of five stars, and placement on its A-List as best personal photo editor in the graphics software category.

  • Windows Sources Magazine bestows Stellar Award on Picture It! 2.0.

  • ComputerLife gives Picture It! 2.0 its top rating of five stars in the November 1997 issue. Reviewer Peter Scisco wrote, “Picture It! is my choice for compositions that rival those of any professional studio.”

  • FamilyPC recommends Picture It! 2.0 in its October issue. Reviewer Jon Pepper wrote, “Picture It! has leapfrogged [the competition]…This new version of Picture It! is easy to use but is loaded with sophisticated tools powerful enough to grow with your family.”

  • Digital Focus gives Picture It! four stars and hails it as “a real winner in the market.”

  • Picture It! is nominated for the 1998 Software Publishers Association Codie Award.

  • PC Photo raves that Picture It! is “one of the best programs at any price for cropping.”

  • Picture It! is named among “The 10 Best Software Packages” in the November 1997 issue of Peterson’s Photographic.

  • PC Magazine Online hails Picture It! as having “more creative tools and greater functionality while remaining easy to use.”

  • Los Angeles Times calls Picture It! “easier to use [than competitive product] because the steps needed are obvious, and there are relatively few of them.”

Picture It! 2.0 is the exclusive software choice for Hewlett-Packard’s state-of-the-art PhotoSmart photo printer, photo scanner and digital camera, and is available with HP Pavilion PCs, which, used together, enable consumers to print real photos at home. It is also the only consumer photo-editing application to receive the Kodak Recommended logo. Picture It! includes exclusive, high-quality content from Kodak and online links to the Kodak
Image Magic
print service and the Kodak Picture Network. Late last month, Microsoft released a trial version of Picture It!, available free for 30 days from the time of download and initial use at (connect-time charges may apply), to enable even more consumers and small-business users to create professional-looking pictures using their own photos.

Picture It! 2.0 Continues Tradition of Pioneering Product Leadership

Picture It! was built from the ground up to be easy to use for consumers and small-business users, and pioneered key technologies now emulated by competitors. The new version of Picture It! includes new editing tools, is more intuitive to use, and integrates better with digital cameras and scanners. Key new features include the following:

  • Getting started

  • Visual previews help users discover the tools they want, when they want them.

  • Smart capture from digital cameras makes it even easier to load pictures.

  • Powerful editing

  • Photos can be restored easily, with automated removal of dust and scratches.

  • Cataloging lets users easily and quickly organize and search for photos.

  • Paint tools let users paint freehand with a variety of brushes, including chalk and stamps.

  • The Distort tool lets users bulge, smear and twist photos, creating outrageous effects.

  • Artistic effects allow users to transform their photos or text instantly.

  • Wide array of professional-quality projects

  • Integration with Microsoft Greetings Workshop lets users easily combine any photo with Hallmark content and verse.

  • Projects for home and small-business include cards, calendars, flyers and photo business cards.

  • Online capabilities

  • E-mail postcards with sound let users send photos with sound instantly over the Internet (a MAPI-enabled e-mail client is required). Using their Web browser, recipients can view postcards on any PC compatible with the Windows® operating system version 3.1or higher.

  • Users can link to new Kodak Picture Network for online image sharing and archiving.

  • Users can open photos from Photonet online photo center, edit them in Picture It! and, for a fee, save them back to Photonet to share with friends on the Internet.

Microsoft Picture It! version 2.0 is available now for the estimated retail price of $54.95 (U.S.). Microsoft offers an upgrade price of $44.95 for existing users of Picture It!. Customers can call (800) 426-9400 for more information on a reseller in their area. They can also learn more about Picture It! 2.0 and obtain free Picture It! trial software from the Microsoft Web site at .

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.

* Source: PC Data Monthly Retail Report. Trailing 12 months ending September 1997, ranked on revenue.

** Source: PC Data Weekly Retail Report. First three weeks of published PC Data weekly reporting (Oct. 5-25, 1997), with over 30 percent of the retail market covered.

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

Kodak and Image Magic are trademarks of Eastman Kodak Co.

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

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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