REDMOND, Wash., March 6, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that the beta version of Microsoft® Visio® 2002 diagramming and drawing software is available for public evaluation. Microsoft Visio 2002, the first Microsoft-developed version of the product since the company’s acquisition of Visio Corp. in January 2000, will be available to customers in May. With this version, Microsoft has advanced the overall visual impact of Visio, streamlined the product line, and aligned it more deeply with Microsoft Office and other Microsoft products and technologies. Visio 2002 also incorporates an array of new features that will prove valuable to individual users and will make the product more accessible to organizations.
“With Visio 2002, we’re continuing to push the envelope, creating even sharper-looking graphics that can help people visualize their business and explain it to others,”
said Ted Johnson, vice president of Microsoft’s Business Tools Division and co-founder of Visio Corp.
“We’re also taking great strides toward making Visio work better with the Microsoft products our customers already use, and generally more available to our customers’ organizations.”
Graphical Enhancements Improve Visual Experience
With Visio 2002, Microsoft dramatically enhanced the product’s graphical quality and visual impact. Lines and text are smoother, colors are more vibrant, diagrams display more clearly when viewed electronically, and images from other sources such as Microsoft Office XP’s Clip Organizer, scanners and digital cameras can now be imported into and manipulated from within Visio. Through Visio’s tighter integration with the Web, customers will be able to more quickly locate and add the shapes they need to their drawings. Further, they can publish Visio diagrams as Web pages and display the nongraphical properties for each shape within their browser.
Tighter Integration With Microsoft Products and Technologies
Although not included in any Microsoft Office suites, Visio incorporates many of the features customers expect of Office family applications, such as personalized menus, as-you-type spell checking, AutoCorrect, keyboard shortcuts, Answer Wizard Help and task panes from the forthcoming Office XP release. The product even incorporates the new Office XP interface. Customers who are new to Visio but familiar with other Office family applications can begin using Visio almost immediately.
When users import Visio diagrams into Office applications, such as Microsoft Word and the PowerPoint® presentation graphics program, they will find more tools to help them edit and revise diagrams from within their documents, so making changes from within other Office applications is easier than ever. Visio also supports and integrates with other Microsoft products, including Microsoft Project, Excel, the Windows® Active Directory™ service, Exchange Server, Microsoft SQL Server™ and the Visual Studio® development system.
“Visual tools, well integrated and easily used, are an important part of a business professional’s communications arsenal,”
said Amy Wohl, president of Wohl Associates Inc.
“Visio makes it possible for business professionals to communicate new concepts, complex ideas and technical material with clear, supporting images, easily produced and revised. These business visuals enhance the value of the communication and help ensure we’re all on the same page.”
A Cleaner, More Comprehensive Product Family
In response to customer feedback, Microsoft has streamlined the Visio product line. It now contains two primary products — Visio Standard and Visio Professional — instead of four, and additional IT resources are available through an add-on. Visio Standard, best known for its ability to easily create flowcharts, organization charts and timelines, is an intuitive diagramming application designed for business professionals. Visio Professional provides comprehensive drawing and diagramming functionality for more technical users such as IT professionals, engineers, facilities managers and software developers.
Visio Professional incorporates and improves upon the shapes and solutions previously available in the Visio 2000 Technical and Professional editions, enabling customers to purchase one solution for all their technical drawing needs. With Visio Professional, users can diagram networks, databases, software applications, Web sites and space plans, and create schematic drawings for process engineering, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering.
The advanced network diagramming tools currently found in Visio 2000 Enterprise Edition will now be available in Microsoft Visio Enterprise Network Tools, an add-on product for Visio Professional 2002. Enterprise Network Tools enable users to perform functions such as automatically diagramming networks and documenting Active Directory, Novell Directory Services (NDS) and Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directory structures.
The add-on is complemented by the Visio Network Center, a subscription-based Web site that offers online access to new and updated Visio solutions, network equipment shapes and network documentation resources to help network professionals more easily diagram network and directory services topologies. The Visio Enterprise Network Tools add-on includes a one-year subscription to the Visio Network Center. The Enterprise Network Tools beta will be available for customer evaluation within the next few months.
The advanced database and software modeling solutions currently available in Visio 2000 Enterprise Edition, which included the ability to forward-engineer database schema and software code, will be available in Microsoft Visual Studio.NET later this year.
Visio 2002: More Available and Maintainable
Microsoft Visio will be easier for IT administrators to implement, regardless of the size or geographical reach of the enterprise. Deployment and maintenance have been eased, not only through the simplification of the product line, but also through added deployment tools. Microsoft has added support for unattended install and Systems Management Server (SMS) deployment, as well as full compatibility with Microsoft Installer (MSI) technology, which facilitates custom or on-demand desktop installation. Support costs will also be reduced through a new self-repair feature that discovers and repairs missing or corrupt files automatically.
Deploying Visio 2002 across geographical borders is easier, too. Thirteen languages are supported in this version: Brazilian Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese and Swedish.
Visio also offers more tools for companies that create customized Visio solutions. With a new alternative XML-based file format, support for Component Object Model (COM) add-ins and event filters, and an extended object model, Visio 2002 provides greater flexibility than ever before for custom Visio application development. The XML file format enables corporate or third-party developers to import or export any aspect of a Visio diagram.
The beta version of Visio 2002 is available for evaluation and deployment planning. Customers can order the beta release at https://microsoft.order-1.com/visiobeta/ at no charge (shipping and handling costs apply). The final release of the product will be available in May 2001; pricing will be announced at that time.
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