Picture It! 2000 Combines Users’ Enthusiasm for Sharing Photos and Their Excitement for the Web

REDMOND, Wash., September 22, 1999 — It used to be that if you wanted to use your PC to edit and enhance photographs for a project, you needed a lot of equipment: a digital camera, scanner and color printer, not to mention digital imaging software and other materials like photographic paper and ink. And with much of the available software, you really had to know your way around to create professional-looking projects. Not anymore.

Today, digital imaging is becoming more accessible for everyone. While lower prices for digital cameras and scanners have made it easier than ever to have equipment on hand for producing professional-quality projects using a PC, they’re no longer a requirement. Local film developers now offer the option of having photos placed on a CD, no matter what kind of camera was used to shoot them. Meanwhile, advances in photo-editing software are making it easier to produce professional-quality projects and email them to friends and family or post them on a Web page, eliminating the need for a color printer and special paper.

Now with Picture It! 2000, Microsoft’s latest version of its photo-editing software, digital imaging is about to get easier than ever before. Picture It! has always been easy to use — one reason that it has won more than a dozen awards and press recommendations — but the latest version, announced today, is even easier and provides more ways for users to share photos with their friends and family.

Picture It! 2000 is a comprehensive solution that helps novice and sophisticated users alike easily create a range of professional-quality print, email, and Web projects such as cards, calendars, photo albums and Web slide shows. The solution provides the photo-editing capabilities and performance expected of professional-imaging software, but with wizards and smart tools to help users without any design or graphics experience achieve top-notch results from their projects.

“The digital imaging market is growing rapidly, at about 30 percent a year, and we expect that trend to continue, if not explode,”
said Michelle Kline, product manager of Picture It! 2000 at Microsoft.
“Picture It! 2000 gives this growing market of consumers what they want–to be able to easily get their photos into their PC, enhance them, and then share them over the Web or via email and print.”

Share Photos With Many People at Once — Over the Internet

Picture It! 2000 allows users to get photos into their PCs from any source, including a scanner, digital camera, CD or hard drive. For example, the new CD service from local film developers allows customers to order a set of reprints for their own use, and saves them the hassle of having to return later to order reprints to share with others. Instead, they can insert the CD into their PC, and use Picture It! 2000 to edit their photos, create special projects, and then print, email or post them on the Web.

Picture It! 2000 can be used for a variety of projects, including greeting cards, flyers, magazine covers, sports trading cards, Web pages, Web photo albums and collages. Two CDs are included with the software, which help users add animation, sound, 3-D text, and artistic effects, such as turning a photo into a watercolor or pen sketch and changing color photos into black and white.

To get photos looking as they should, Picture It! 2000 features Mini Lab, an unrivalled tool that provides users an easy and efficient way to edit and enhance photos. With this tool it’s possible to select multiple photos, and then automatically rotate, crop, adjust brightness and contrast, and correct the tint on all of them at the same time. Users can also remove red-eye, scratches and dust from their pictures and restore old, faded ones.

The popularity of email and the Internet prompted Microsoft to deliver Web capabilities in Picture It! 2000. More than 90 percent of Picture It! customers are connected to the Internet, and research has shown they want to be able to share photos with multiple people over email — just as they would a good joke or news about their family.

Mini Lab allows users to send multiple photos via email in a single file. Because the photos are compressed, they don’t take a lot of space and slow down your system when you try to send them. Normally, a photo might take up to 1MB of memory, but with Picture It! eight photos compressed into one file occupy only about half that amount.

The software walks users through the steps for sending photos via email, and includes easy-to-follow instructions for recipients about how to open the photo file. Recipients don’t need to use Picture It! to view the photos–they can be opened from within any standard browser.

In addition to sending pictures via email, Picture It! 2000 allows users to turn their photo projects into a Web slide show, a Web photo album or a personal Web page. The Web-posting wizard, new in Picture It! 2000, walks users through a simple step-by-step process for posting photos to the Internet.

“No HTML experience is required,”
said Kline.
“It’s so easy to post a Web page–it really is just a click of a button.”

The Web capabilities in Picture It! 2000 also mean that you don’t have to make a trip back to your local developer if you decide you want more reprints and don’t have a color printer to do them yourself. From Picture It! 2000, you can go to the FujiFilm.net or Kodak PhotoNet Web sites and order more.

With Picture It! 2000, not only do you have the option of slimming down the gear needed to easily edit and enhance photos and send them to friends and family, but you’ll save yourself a lot of time as well.

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