The Electronic Age Hits the Holiday Season Head-On As Holiday Greetings Move Online

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 14, 2000 — An old family recipe for delicious eggnog; a surprise winter wedding proposal; a child’s first snowman; a picture of Vice President Al Gore in the cafeteria line after a long day of skiing. What do these memories have in common? They are all part of the winning Web page announced today in the Microsoft Picture It! Holiday Web Page contest. The winning Web page is full of animation sequences, family photos, sounds of holiday cheer and humorous anecdotes about activities from the past year. This Web page tells a story about a family that could not be duplicated in a traditional greeting card, holiday letter or single photo.

The grand-prize winner, Brian Amoroso of El Segundo, Calif., will be awarded a vacation trip for four to UNIVERSAL Orlando theme park. Amoroso’s personal Web page was selected from hundreds of entrants submitted from across the United States. It can be seen at .

The contest was launched by Microsoft Corp. in October as a way of showcasing the growing trend toward using online communications such as e-mail and personal Web pages to keep in touch with family and friends, particularly during the busy holiday season. Microsoft Picture It! Publishing Platinum 2001 consumer photo-editing software (available at retail stores nationwide) was used to help create for TV personality Doris Roberts her personal holiday Web page ( ), which served as a model for contest entrants.

“I was delighted to be able to help judge the finalists of the Best Holiday Web Page Contest,”
said Emmy-winning actress Doris Roberts.
“Some of them were quite good and full of holiday spirit. Since I have my own holiday Web page, I know firsthand how great it is to be able to use a personal family Web page to communicate with friends and loved ones at this busy time of year. Kudos to the winners and to Picture It! for making it such fun.”

Web surfers were able to cast online votes in a separate popularity poll, choosing from 10 finalists’ Web pages, with each vote netting a $1 contribution from Microsoft to the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation.

“Since the contest also netted a $5,000 contribution from Microsoft to one of my favorite charities, the experience has been even more gratifying for me,”
Roberts said.

Among others on the judging panel were Paul McFedries, author of
“The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Creating a Web Page,”
and Carl Goodman, curator of digital media at the American Museum of the Moving Image.

In addition to the grand prize, Microsoft awarded Fujifilm digital cameras and a copy of Microsoft Picture It! Publishing Platinum 2001 to the contest finalists.

Staying in Touch This Holiday Season Is Easy and Fun With Help From the PC

For many Americans, the holiday season represents a time when friends and family reconnect and share the events of the past year. Traditionally, this means shopping for presents, decorating trees, lighting the menorah and – perhaps most complicated and time-consuming of all – writing dozens of holiday greeting cards and trying to get them out to friends and family before the holidays are over.

From ancient scrolls to telegrams, holiday cards and family newsletters, keeping in touch has always been important during the holidays. New technology, including e-mail and the Internet, makes it faster and easier than ever to share moments and memories with others.

Consumers can create their own personal Web pages in minutes, thanks to photo-editing and home publishing software such as Picture It! Publishing 2001.

Although the contest is over, it’s not too late for individuals to create a holiday Web page to share with friends and family. They can start with a favorite photo, add a border, some clip art and animation sequences, a funny anecdote and maybe even some music, and a great-looking Web page is ready in no time. Not only will they save the time of handwriting cards and the cost of stationery, photo reprints and postage when they create a holiday Web page, they can share it with loved ones instantly and know that their holiday greetings won’t get stuck in the slow holiday mail.

About Picture It!

Launched in 1995, the Picture It! line of products provides consumers with leading consumer photo-editing technology and the highest-quality content. Picture It! received several press awards in 2000, including PC Photo’s Editor’s Choice and a top award by ZDNet Smart Business. Additional products in the Picture It! line include Picture It! Publishing Silver, Picture It! Publishing Gold, Picture It! Photo and Picture It! Photo Premium.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies 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 and Picture It! are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the 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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