How the Windows XP Experience, and New Companion Products, Have Changed Home Computing

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 23, 2002 — The world has moved into a new year, and it is more apparent than ever how technology has changed the way we work and live. Microsoft has always been at the forefront of bringing technological innovation into the home, and Windows XP is no exception. Since hitting the shelves October 2001, Windows XP has delivered exciting new capabilities that have allowed users to have more fun with their personal computers. Additionally, other software companies are now offering exciting companion products that make the home-computing experience more enjoyable, more relevant and more secure for the whole family. Together with Windows XP, these new products are enabling computer users to do more with their home computers than most ever thought possible.

The New Windows Experience

“Windows XP makes the whole computing experience more reliable and a lot easier for the everyday user,” says Charmaine Gravning, Microsoft product manager for Windows XP. “It makes the PC itself more accessible through a streamlined interface and a more intuitive, intelligent and engaging operating environment. The bottom line is, no matter how familiar you are with a computer, Windows XP makes the computing experience easier and more fun for the user.”

Through Windows XP, the PC detects when you plug in a digital camera, a scanner, a printer or even a DVD player. It responds with options relevant to the functions of those devices, and makes it easier for you to manage and organize what you want from your PC.

Windows XP also makes it easy to communicate with friends and family in real time through Windows Messenger. You can see who is online and communicate through standard text messaging, or even chat across video. Windows Messenger provides the added ability to attach pictures, documents, audio and video clips, and also to use your PC as a whiteboard.

“Windows XP makes videoconferencing as easy as sending an instant text message,” Gravning says. “What better way to have a conversation with someone across the miles than to see and hear them as well? All you need is a video camera, and Windows Messenger will guide you through the whole process. Windows XP provides an easy and fun way to keep in touch with relatives or friends.”

Must-Have Windows XP Accessories

Windows XP was built with multimedia, home networking and the Internet in mind, and gives users a multitude of ways to get the most of the latest technologies — play DVDs; organize music; burn CDs through Windows Media Player for Windows XP; capture, edit, organize and share home movies with the Windows Movie Maker; and organize, preview and even order prints of your pictures through My Pictures.

Recognizing how Windows XP is the platform to extend the capabilities of the home computer, software and hardware providers around the world have created new offerings that take advantage of the capabilities of the new operating system. The following products from other software makers work with Windows XP to help people do even more with their pictures, music, videos, and even their television programming.

CorelDraw Essentials, Corel Corp.

“CorelDraw Essentials is designed for consumers who want to get more out of their creative projects,” says Max Edwards, strategic relations manager for Corel. “It’s an easy-to-use, yet powerful photo-editing and layout tool for hobbyists or those working out of a home office.”

CorelDraw Essentials gives users the tools to create brochures, banners, newsletters, reports and more. It features two main applications, Photo-Paint and Draw.

“With Photo-Paint, users can import, alter and edit their photos,” Edwards says. “It’s a very robust editing tool. Once they’ve gotten the effects they want in Photo-Paint, users can place those pictures in the Draw part of the application, which is a powerful document layout program. So you can create the design for your newsletter, calendar, invitations, Christmas cards, all kinds of stuff.”

According to Edwards, CorelDraw Essentials nicely complements Windows XP’s ability to handle different file formats and deal with such devices as digital cameras, scanners and memory cards.

“It’s a nice workflow, because Draw Essentials isn’t focused on cataloging, organizing, cropping or rotating,” he says. “You can do that with Windows XP, and once you’ve got them organized, you’re set to go. That’s where Draw Essentials takes over. Draw Essentials plays in nicely because it provides a step up in functionality, so customers can use their creativity and make something with their photographs.”

Norton Internet Security, Symantec Corp.

The latest editions of Symantec’s popular Norton Systemworks and Norton Internet Security product suites help users to further protect their Windows XP experience. The Norton product suites provide powerful capabilities for the maintenance and security of Windows XP-based PCs.

“Systemworks is essentially about helping you manage your system to run more smoothly and to optimize its performance,” says Terry Sullivan, North American director of consumer marketing for Symantec. “Internet Security offers a different view. Both products feature the Norton Antivirus application, but Norton Internet Security offers more essential protection from viruses, hackers and also privacy threats, building on the basic firewall capabilities that come with Windows XP.”

Norton Internet Security also builds on a central theme for Windows XP: that accessing the Internet is a key aspect of today’s — and tomorrow’s — computing experience.

“Pretty much anyone who acquires Windows XP is going to be on the Internet,” Sullivan says. “So straight away there’s a concern about security and privacy. I know Microsoft takes these issues very seriously, and I think consumers are much more aware of them than they were a year or two ago. Our products provide the protection that allows consumers and business users to feel secure in today’s networked world, as they’re taking advantage of all the enhancements and connections that Windows XP brings.”

SnapStream PVS, SnapStream Media LLC

Another new product for Windows XP is the SnapStream PVS video-recording application. Bundled with a video-capture card that plugs into antenna, cable or satellite television systems, SnapStream allows users to view and record their favorite television programming and then take their shows with them for viewing anytime, anywhere — via handheld devices, laptops or home PCs.

“When we say anytime, anywhere, what we mean is that you can record your favorite program, put it on your Pocket PC, take it with you and watch it while you’re traveling,” says Rakesh Agrawal, CEO and co-founder of SnapStream. “Or you can watch a football game on a wireless laptop in your back yard. Or you might have the kids watching cartoons upstairs while the parents watch news on a PC downstairs. The scenarios are endless.”

According to Agrawal, the solution works with previous Microsoft operating systems, but is best used with Windows XP.

“The biggest thing that Windows XP provides for SnapStream is its stability,” he says. “With Windows XP, you can rely on getting every single minute of your favorite shows. With some of the newer, more powerful PCs running Windows XP, SnapStream will sit in the background and record the shows without interruption to your regular computing activities.”

Other features of Windows XP appeal to users of SnapStream.

“We take advantage of the multi-user environment offered by Windows XP,” he says. “SnapStream uses the multi-user feature to allow parents to record shows that their kids can’t see, or to restrict their children’s access to certain channels.”

According to Agrawal, SnapStream also takes advantage of Windows XP’s powerful ability to facilitate home networking.

“Let’s say you have a home network with two computers on it,” he says. “You can record shows on one of those computers, and from the other computer you can watch those shows without installing any software. All you need is a media player and a Web browser.”

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