Microsoft Visio 2002 Released to Manufacturing With Widespread Industry Support

REDMOND, Wash., April 25, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the release to manufacturing of Microsoft® Visio® 2002 drawing and diagramming software, the first new version of the product developed by Microsoft since the company acquired Visio Corp. last year. Industry partners and early evaluators are calling Visio 2002 a significant step forward in business diagramming and technical drawing software, applauding the product’s Web integration, closer alignment with Microsoft Office and other Microsoft products, and adoption of industry standards.

“Based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback we’ve already received – as well as my own use of the product – I believe this is truly the best version of Visio released in the product’s 10-year history,”
said Ted Johnson, vice president of Microsoft’s Business Tools Division and co-founder of Visio Corp.

Increased Visual Communication

Wells Fargo & Co., a diversified financial services provider with 6,000 locations and the fourth-largest assets among U.S. banks, deployed several of the more than 1 million copies of the Visio 2002 beta that Microsoft began distributing on March 6. The product’s enhanced Web-publishing capabilities allow the company’s headquarters to quickly and easily communicate information visually to employees around the country.

“Visio 2002 really opens up the doors of communication,”
said Dustin Sauter, an enterprise system engineer for Wells Fargo.
“It is easier to use, and there are more graphic elements, making it more accessible to everyone in the company.”

Freightliner Corp., North America’s leading manufacturer of heavy-duty trucks, expects the Save As Web Page feature alone to justify the cost of upgrading to Visio 2002.

“With thousands of employees and a dealer network throughout North America, our employees are always looking for information – and they need it fast,”
said Fred Kimball, director of IT technical support for Freightliner.
“Visio 2002 is a way to easily publish the type of information employees are looking for in a graphical format on our intranet.”

Independent Software Vendors Maximize XML and COM Add-Ins

ISVs and other solution providers are finding it easier and faster to build products and customized solutions on top of the Visio 2002-based development platform, thanks in part to new Extensible Markup Language (XML) capabilities and support for Component Object Model (COM) add-ins.

“It’s like magic,”
said Mark Elder of Simul8, a company that creates software to simulate industrial work processes.
“Industrial engineers can begin diagramming in Visio, pass the work on to the simulation specialists who use Simul8 software, and then pass the revised work back to the engineers again via the Internet. The changes are captured and reflected in the applications without any additional work by the various groups.”

Support for COM add-ins in Visio 2002 allows Automation Associates, an engineering consulting firm that provides custom productivity tools and business-process modeling services, to carry its custom code from project to project.

“We can build a utility to validate connections and structure on virtually any hierarchical diagram,”
said Jeffrey Bloom, director of business development at Automation Associates.
“This is very valuable because our customer solutions span such a wide range of industries.”

Technology Trainers Back Visio 2002

Technology trainers are also lining up to support Visio 2002.
“It has always been easy to teach people to use Visio because it is so intuitive,”
said Joe Puleo, director of products and programs for New Horizons Computer Learning Centers, the world’s largest independent computer training company.
“But Visio 2002’s tighter integration with Office makes it easier for students since many already have experience with Office. The enhanced tools, easier-to-use menus and cleaner appearance are like icing on the cake.”

Puleo also applauds Microsoft’s decision to streamline the Visio product line from four to two primary products: Visio Standard and Visio Professional. Visio Standard is for business professionals who need to easily create flowcharts, organizational charts and timelines. Visio Professional provides IT professionals, engineers and software developers with a more comprehensive drawing and diagramming tool and incorporates and improves upon the shapes and other tools in the Visio 2000 Technical and Professional editions. The advanced network diagramming tools currently found in Visio 2000 Enterprise Edition will be available in Microsoft Visio Enterprise Network Tools, an add-on product for Visio Professional 2002.

Pricing and Availability Information

Microsoft Visio 2002 is scheduled to be available to customers on May 31 through Microsoft resellers, Microsoft licensing programs and at . Estimated retail pricing* for Visio Standard 2002 and Visio Professional 2002 is $199 and $499, respectively. The cost to upgrade from Visio 2000 will be $99 for Standard and $249 for Professional. Visio Enterprise Network Tools will be available shortly after May 31, and pricing will be announced at that time. The tools will come with a one-year subscription to Visio Network Center, a subscription-based Web site that offers online access to new and updated IT-related Visio resources.

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.

* Reseller prices may vary.

Microsoft and Visio 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.

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