CHICAGO and REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 4, 1999 — R. R. Donnelley & Sons Co., North America’s leading content manager and printer of books, magazines, catalogs, directories and financial information, and Microsoft Corp. today announced that they will work together to provide consumers equipped with Microsoft Reader software with access to a repository of tens of thousands of eBook titles.
The creation of R. R. Donnelley’s “industrial strength” eBook production and distribution system is built upon its long-standing trusted relationships with publishers and experience in working with their content.
“Throughout our 135-year history, R. R. Donnelley has always been at the cutting edge of printing, publishing and content-management technology,” said William L. Davis, R. R. Donnelley chairman and CEO. “Clearly, the advent of eBooks is one of many new developments for publishing. The combination of our workflow expertise in printing, content conversion and management, coupled with Microsoft software, will prove to be a win-win for the availability, interest and sales of eBooks.”
“We are excited about the prospect of working with R. R. Donnelley to accelerate growth for the eBook industry,” said Steve Ballmer, president of Microsoft. “This agreement helps ensure that consumers will have access to compelling and contemporary eBook titles that will look great on any laptop, PC or device.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Donnelley will continue to work closely with its publishing partners to convert print titles into eBooks that conform to the recently announced Open eBook (OEB) specification. Donnelley will store and manage these titles in electronic form and work with online retailers who will offer the eBook titles to consumers. Donnelley will license key technology tools from Microsoft, including digital rights management technology, for its initial eBook service offerings. Donnelley’s system helps ensure that publishers can work with one partner to convert and manage content as well as protect it, distribute it, and track and receive revenues from it.
Microsoft Reader is a new PC software application designed to deliver an on-screen computer reading experience. Microsoft Reader is the first product to include ClearType TM font technology, a Microsoft innovation that greatly improves resolution on LCD screens for users of desktop or laptop PCs running the Windows® operating system, as well as dedicated reading devices. In addition to incorporating the latest ClearType font technology, Microsoft Reader strictly adheres to the traditions and benefits of fine typography and design: a clean, uncluttered format; fully justified text; ample margins; proper spacing, leading and kerning; and powerful tools for bookmarking, highlighting and annotation. Microsoft Reader is expected to ship next year. Microsoft Reader with ClearType combined with Microsoft’s strong relationship with consumers will greatly encourage a market for readers to receive and enjoy eBooks.
“We recognize that our publishing customers need to reach consumers and businesses through a broad range of media to succeed,” said Mark Bayer, senior vice president and general manager of digital content services for R. R. Donnelley. “We are leading the way with fully-integrated and effective solutions such as eBooks.”
“Donnelley brings industrial-strength electronic publishing capabilities to the emerging eBook business,” said Dick Brass, Microsoft’s vice president for technology development, who leads the firm’s eBook efforts. “The company will provide electronic publishers with the same essential set of services that print publishers have relied on for over a century. Donnelley also makes it easy for publishers to go electronic and provides the scale that will bring tens of thousands of eBooks to market. It makes eBooks real.”
R. R. Donnelley & Sons Co., based in Chicago, offers the broadest range of integrated services to publishers of books, magazines, catalogs, directories and retail inserts. R. R. Donnelley (NYSE “DNY”) also provides comprehensive document and communications management services for the financial, investment company and healthcare industries. In all of these areas, the company applies its superior skill, scale and technology to deliver solutions that efficiently meet customers’ strategic business needs. A profile of the company, along with news releases, executive speeches and other useful information, is available from R. R. Donnelley’s Internet site ( http://www.rrdonnelley.com/ ).
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.
Microsoft, ClearType 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.