LAS VEGAS, Nov. 11, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates today announced the availability of Microsoft® Producer for PowerPoint®
2002 in his keynote address at COMDEX Fall 2001. Microsoft Producer, an add-on for PowerPoint 2002 in Office XP, makes it easy for everyday business users and media professionals to create engaging rich-media presentations by synchronizing audio, video, slides and images. These rich-media presentations can be viewed on demand in a browser across the Internet or an intranet. Microsoft Producer for PowerPoint 2002 is available for download today at http://www.microsoft.com/office/powerpoint/producer/ .
“Businesses around the world are looking for new, more effective ways to communicate both internally and externally,” said Jeff Raikes, group vice president of the Business Productivity Group at Microsoft. “Microsoft Producer will do the same thing for digital media that FrontPage did for Web authoring: — Make it easier and more ubiquitous in companywide communication.”
Companies Using Microsoft Producer Today
Companies and institutions ranging from Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Marathon Oil Co., Mellon Financial Corporation, PPG Industries Inc., RadioShack Canada Ltd. and Unisys Corp. to the Cornell Theory Center and the Kern High School District in Bakersfield, Calif., have evaluated and are adopting Microsoft Producer as a valuable new tool to cost-effectively communicate with, educate and train employees and customers.
For more than a year RadioShack Canada has been building and delivering rich-media training content to employees at its 550 corporate stores on a fully bilingual intranet. The company will soon extend this to 350 dealer locations across Canada. Until now the process for creating rich-media content was tedious, and required multiple tools and complex HTML scripts. Microsoft Producer makes the process easier and more efficient.
“Microsoft Producer is going to change and expand the way we train and share information throughout the organization,” said Francois Rivard of the Learning Group at RadioShack Canada. “We are going to be able to generate more training content — using more types of media, at a better quality — and cut down the production time by close to 25 percent. It will be a significant help to us as we expand the use of streaming media throughout our organization.”
Marathon Oil is a global company with more than 12,000 employees worldwide in places as diverse as Gabon and equatorial Guinea in Africa, offshore Netherlands and Russian Siberia.
“For us, global communication is critical to our success as a business, and yet is one of our most daunting challenges,” said Robert Calmus, senior media producer at Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC. “Microsoft Producer and rich-media communication help us answer this challenge by enabling us to do in hours what it once took days and weeks to develop and deliver to our key constituents around the world.”
Organizations are embracing the use of digital media because it combines the immediacy, ease of use and efficiency of the Internet with a dynamic and compelling new way to communicate information and training to employees and customers. The use of streaming media in large organizations has doubled since 1999, with one in four companies now using it for corporate communication, training, and sales and marketing. Lawrence Orans, senior analyst at Gartner Inc. of Stamford, Conn., has predicted that by 2006, 85 percent of enterprises using video-over-IP for corporate training will realize a positive return on investment in less than one year.
Creating New Opportunities for the Industry
The Microsoft Producer Software Development Kit , which is also available today and included with Microsoft Producer, enables network administrators, independent software vendors and hosting providers to develop their own publishing services and integrate them into the Publish Wizard of Microsoft Producer. This makes it easy for business users to publish and share their rich-media presentations on a company intranet or on the Internet. Companies are also using this new SDK to develop custom solutions or services including systems integrators such as Approach Inc. and Quilogy Inc.; developers such as CyberLink Corp., Eloquent Inc., InfoLibria Inc. and Inktomi Corp.; and Windows Media Service Providers such as e-Media, Full Screen Multimedia LTD, Loral CyberStar, MicroVideo Learning Systems, Streaming Eye Media, Streaming Media Corp., StreamOS, Unified Web Media and UVision Inc.
Microsoft Producer Brings Business Communication to Life
Microsoft Producer helps media and marketing professionals, training specialists and business users of all kinds to create engaging external and internal digital media marketing communication, online training, on-demand executive broadcasts, and published archives of live presentations. These can be quickly published with the click of a button to intranet sites, the Internet or onto CD. Microsoft Producer offers the following capabilities:
Capture, import and organize audio, video, graphics and PowerPoint slides in one place with one tool
Easily synchronize and format media
Publish rich-media presentations virtually anywhere
More information about the features of Microsoft Producer can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/office/powerpoint/producer/ .
The final release of Microsoft Producer for PowerPoint 2002 is an add-on tool for users of Office XP. It is available for download today at no additional charge for users of Office XP at http://www.microsoft.com/office/powerpoint/producer/ . Microsoft Producer is available in English today, and is scheduled to be available in December in French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.
About Windows Media
Windows Media (TM) is the leading digital media platform, providing unmatched audio and video quality to consumers, content providers, solution providers and software developers as well as business, education and government users. Windows Media offers the industry’s only integrated rights-management solution and the most scalable and reliable streaming technology tested by independent labs. Windows Media Technologies includes Windows Media Player for consumers, Windows Media Services for servers, Windows Media Tools for content creation, and the Windows Media Software Development Kit for software developers. Windows Media Player, available in 26 languages, is the fastest-growing media player. More information about Windows Media can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmedia/ .
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) 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, PowerPoint, Windows Media and SharePoint 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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Quote Sheet of Customers and Solutions Developers Using Microsoft Producer
“The beauty of using Microsoft Producer is that it is now simple to combine any set of audio, video, slides and HTML into a production-quality Web show, complete with an indexed table of contents. A task that was time-consuming and error-prone is now fast and trouble-free. Microsoft Producer will enable us to turn lectures into rich Web material quickly and easily.”
Senior Technical Consultant
Cornell Theory Center
“Microsoft Producer will help our students, no matter where they attend classes, gain access to the district’s best teachers. We plan to capture our faculty in action on video, combine that with their PowerPoint presentations, and deliver it all online through our Kern Learn Web site. Microsoft Producer will help us effectively provide supplemental learning content to our students and in turn will help them master the California Content Standards in English, language arts, mathematics, science and social studies.”
Manager, Information Systems and Technology
Kern High School District, Bakersfield, Calif.
“Mellon Financial Corporation’s Strategic Technology and Corporate Marketing groups have evaluated Microsoft Producer. We’re impressed with the straightforward workflow and ease of use — even people unfamiliar with a timeline and working with rich media face almost no learning curve. The browser-based playback scenario is also a real plus — everyone has access to the Web, but we aren’t all working with the same desktop. And for those of us more experienced with content production, we see Microsoft Producer as a potential cost saver that allows our content-creation gurus to make those late-night edits without delay.”
First Vice President, Strategic Technology
Mellon Financial Corp.
“PPG has 16 business units operating worldwide and we provide Web site development services to all of them. Microsoft Producer is really going to boost our capabilities, making it easy to provide the Web sites with rich, multimedia product introductions and on-line training programs. PPG customers will be able to get a much more in-depth look at our company and products through these Microsoft Producer presentations.”
Manager, Solutions Services
PPG Industries Inc.
“Microsoft Producer for PowerPoint 2002 gives us a quick way to integrate a PowerPoint slide show and a video into a rich-media Web presentation. We were planning on using multiple software applications to create Web presentations, but with Microsoft Producer, we can accomplish the same task with a single tool. Because of its speed and ease of use, we can prepare presentations in just about the time it takes to watch them. The video screen capture feature is especially useful for technical training and support. It gives us a quick way to virtually walk through a software setup process, then take the annotated video and deliver it to the end user through a Web page.”
Support specialist, Communications Products Group
“Our enterprise clients are looking for streamlined methods to create, manage and distribute rich content. The combination of Microsoft Producer and Microsoft SharePoint (TM) enables Approach to deliver solutions that address the life cycle of rich-media content for enterprise business communications.”
Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing
“Microsoft Producer allows business professionals to easily create rich-media presentations that synchronize with slides and translate into HTML and other formats and can be viewed on demand in the Web browser. Microsoft Producer provides maximum flexibility when publishing and managing training content materials into our Cyberline Training Content Management System (TCMS). Our goal is to provide a simple and cost-effective Web-based platform to help companies deliver knowledge resources and measure results. We expect Microsoft Producer to be an integral part of that process.”
Alice H. Chang
“Eloquent and Microsoft share a common goal of helping enterprises use rich media to increase revenue and reduce costs. Microsoft Producer will accelerate enterprise adoption of rich-media technology by opening up content creation to a whole new community of knowledge workers and subject matter experts. We’re excited about supporting Microsoft Producer in Eloquent LaunchForce, the premier product for companies that want to improve their product launch effectiveness and get their products to market faster.”
Chief Technology Officer
“Microsoft Producer is a milestone product that will help drive a cultural shift among business users, democratizing the use of audio and video for multimedia presentations and providing a compelling new way to regularly communicate, collaborate and educate.”
Vice President of Enterprise Solutions
“Microsoft Producer takes rich-media application development out of the hands of programmers and puts it into the hands of average users. InfoLibria technologies enhance Microsoft Producer-generated presentations by simplifying their publishing, distribution, delivery and management throughout an enterprise network or across the Internet with the highest possible quality.”
Vice President of Marketing Info
“Our goal is to help clients quickly harness the firepower that Microsoft Producer brings to integrating multimedia into total communications experiences. It’s an ideal tool for our e-learning, public Web and portal solutions, and we use it ourselves for executive briefings, sales seminars and knowledge transfers on myQ, our media-rich intranet site.”
President and CEO