Microsoft Publisher Gets an “A” in Customer Satisfaction; Publisher 2000 Works to Keep Up the Grade

REDMOND, Wash., March 17, 1999 — Microsoft® Publisher, the world’s most popular business desktop publishing program based on the Windows® operating system, continues to lead its category in high customer satisfaction. A recent study by Griggs-Anderson Research revealed that Publisher 98 has a 92 percent customer satisfaction rating. In fact, Publisher has maintained a rating of 90 percent or higher throughout its past four releases, and Microsoft has worked closely with customers to help ensure continued success in the upcoming release of Publisher 2000.

“We attribute our customers’ high satisfaction with Publisher to the fact that since day one they have helped us design a product that addresses their needs and lets them achieve professional results without requiring them to have design experience,”
said David Thacher, general manager, small business group, desktop applications division, Microsoft.
“As a result of finding improved ways to reach out to our customers and printing partners throughout this development process, we expect Microsoft Publisher 2000 to continue to gain high customer satisfaction.”

The Publisher team took a new approach to integrating customers’ input into the development of Microsoft Publisher 2000. In addition to soliciting input from users and researching product usability in the Microsoft usability labs, the Publisher 2000 team created a Printer Advisory Council (PAC). The council, composed of commercial printers and prepress professionals, helped identify and define the commercial printing features in Publisher 2000. In addition, the PAC members provided valuable input from the earliest stages of the design process through the alpha and beta releases of the product, helping shape the priorities for, define the features of and optimize the product for successful commercial printing by Publisher’s business customers. Publisher 2000 customers will be able to
“print anywhere”
from black and white desktop printers to full color commercial printing presses because of the input and testing provided by members of the PAC.

“Publisher is a product that has been built from the ground up to meet the needs of the business desktop publisher,”
said Craig Cline, vice president, content and editorial design publishing, ZD Comdex and Forums.
“With every version of Publisher, Microsoft has focused on ease of use while adding new functionality like Microsoft Office integration and commercial printing support. It only makes sense that Publisher customers continue to be happy with the product.”

Microsoft Publisher 2000 lets business users create a wide range of marketing materials – whether they are newsletters, brochures or Web sites – that carry a consistent and professional image. Publisher 2000 offers tighter integration with Microsoft Office, which makes the product even easier to learn and use. Publisher 2000 also provides a complete publishing solution with print-to-Web design expertise that makes it a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes.

New publication types in Microsoft Publisher 2000 guide business customers through creating Quick Publications – single one-page designs – and Catalogs, and allow them to achieve professional design results. In addition, 10 new Design Sets help businesses create a consistent look across all their publication types, from newsletters and brochures to business cards and Web sites. Users who want to reuse their printed content for their Web site can easily transform it into attractive Web site designs without re-creating the content.

New features that support easy outside printing include a Pack and Go wizard that bundles all files, fonts and graphics for efficient transfer and successful printing at commercial print shops or copy shops. Microsoft Publisher 2000 now supports four-color process separations and printing as well as the Pantone Matching System. A complete set of tools for commercial printing – including trapping, graphics and font management – are available within the product for use by prepress professionals to successfully output Publisher files.

These additions in printing functionality, which topped users’ (and printers’) wish lists, and a continued commitment to ease of use and Microsoft Office integration will help ensure that Microsoft Publisher continues to receive rave reviews from customers.

Availability and Pricing

Microsoft Publisher 98 is available today for an estimated retail price of $99.95 (U.S.). Microsoft Publisher 2000 is scheduled to be available in the second quarter of this year for the same estimated retail price of $99.95 (U.S.). Current Publisher customers are then eligible for a $20 mail-in rebate. In addition, Publisher 2000 will be available in Office 2000 Premium, Office 2000 Professional and Office 2000 Small Business. For more information about Publisher, please go to http://www.microsoft.com/office/publisher/ .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) 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.

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

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 http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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