Windows 2000 Achieves Scalable Color Solution for All Users

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 31, 1999 — At Seybold Seminars today, Microsoft Corp. will unveil a Microsoft® Windows® 2000 color management solution that improves the integrity of on-screen and printed color, regardless of the application being used. For the first time, users of Windows will benefit from improved color images by simply running a new operating system. Because color management is built into the printing system, the new solution requires no software application updating to achieve better quality images.

Microsoft worked with printer manufacturers to tune the system for the best possible match from display to output. For users of applications like Adobe Photoshop, the industry-standard International Color Consortium (ICC) color management system has also been incorporated, meeting the needs of the professional publishing industry. With these two color solutions, the Windows 2000 operating system is geared for a broad range of users, from the novice to the professional.

Since the release of Windows 95, Microsoft has been incorporating color management software into Windows at the request of hardware vendors, application developers and professional publishing users, even though third-party color solutions have been available. Microsoft has responded to the requests to build color management into Windows and has been investing in the technology required to make color management work for all users, not just professionals. The color management system in Windows 2000 enables the professional to use ICC color management and the consumer to use sRGB color management, with both getting consistent color across devices and systems. In Windows 2000, Microsoft updated the color management system for professionals with ICC color management software from Heidelberg/Linotype-Hell. ICC color management works with the Microsoft Office business productivity applications, as well as current versions of applications from Adobe Systems Inc., Quark Inc., Macromedia Inc. and Corel Corp. Windows 2000 achieves consistent color by integrating color management support into image input, display and print drivers.

For the professional publisher, Microsoft demonstrated ICC color management software running on Windows 2000 from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, X-Rite Inc., Sonnetech Ltd., Imaging Technologies Corp., Monaco Systems Inc., Color Partnership and Color Savvy Systems Ltd. To complete the professional publishing solution, Microsoft demonstrated native support for PostScript Type 1 and OpenType® font technology, and Windows 2000 support for the Adobe PostScript 3 page description language, which was developed in conjunction with Adobe Systems.

“Professional publishers, whether designing for print or the Web, need predictable color and exceptional typographic output,”
said Bryan Lamkin, senior vice president of marketing, Adobe Professional Publishing.
“With native ICC color management, in addition to support for PostScript Type 1 fonts, OpenType fonts and Adobe Postscript 3, Windows 2000 will empower professional publishers, like those using Adobe InDesign, with the color management and typographic tools they require.”

64-Bit RGB Color Space – Scaling Color to a New Quality Level

Continuing to invest in color innovation, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard Co. submitted sRGB64, a new 64-bit color space proposal, to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to be developed into an open standard. Recognizing a gap between ICC and sRGB solutions, this new color space fills the gap by extending color gamut, precision and tonal range, accommodating a wider range of input and output devices.

“Pantone is excited to see Microsoft and HP proposing the sRGB64 standard,”
said Richard Herbert, executive vice president and CTO of Pantone Inc.
“This approach will serve to enhance the color gamut for representation of PANTONE Colors and will help provide consistency for the PANTONE Color Systems across a wide range of applications and markets.”

The sRGB64 color proposal has been specifically targeted for computer graphic developers, game developers, image archivers, video editors and digital photographers who have reached the limits of existing standards. Game developers pushing the edge in video performance require more than 32 bits to create the ultimate gaming experience.

“I am pleased to see that Microsoft and HP are taking the lead on moving the standard PC color space beyond 8 bits per channel,”
said Alvy Ray Smith, graphics fellow at Microsoft.
“A 64-bit RGB space with a linear encoding will provide a powerful solution for PC developers pushing the edge on graphics design, video and gaming performance.”
More information on the sRGB64 initiative can be found at .

Microsoft and Industry Partners Deliver Next Color Innovations

Microsoft plans to integrate the sRGB64 standard proposal into the future GDI+ Windows graphic system. Hewlett-Packard will support the sRGB64 standard in future products. Continuing its innovation with other hardware partners, Microsoft will work to bring the benefits of sRGB64 to a broad range of devices, enabling color solutions unachievable with current standards.

Windows Color-Quality Specifications Released

Microsoft is helping establish the first industry benchmark for color quality in imaging devices. Customers have consistently complained about the lack of guidelines to evaluate color quality. In collaboration with Hewlett-Packard and with technical input from other printing partners, Microsoft has released today the Windows Color Quality Specification for Printers. This specification will be incorporated next year into the Designed for Windows Logo Program. These tests will enable PC vendors and end users to have confidence in choosing color devices with the Designed for Windows logo. Microsoft will release future specifications for digital cameras, scanners and displays, setting clear guidelines to benchmark devices.

“Dell is committed to providing tools that enhance our customers’ experience in professional publishing,”
said Peter Karnazes, general manager, Dell Precision WorkStations.
“Dell Precision WorkStation customers will have the ability to quickly and easily configure systems compatible with Windows color management and leading software packages for Windows.”

About Microsoft

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.

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