REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 14, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the immediate availability of an enhanced version of the popular Plus! Digital Media Edition, the ultimate photo, music and movie enhancement pack for Microsoft® Windows®
XP. With enhancements based on customer requests, this new version available for the holidays adds exciting new features, including Plus! Photo Story 2, which enables digital camera owners to create Video CDs of their photo stories for playback in most consumer DVD players, and the addition of 10 new dancers to the already popular Plus! Dancer feature. In addition, Microsoft is releasing Plus! Photo Story LE and Plus! Dancer LE, free trial versions of two of the most popular Plus! Digital Media Edition features that enable customers to experience many of the capabilities for themselves before buying.
“Plus! Digital Media Edition is the perfect companion for digital camera owners who will love how Plus! Photo Story 2 gives them an entirely new way of experiencing, sharing and showing off their photos,” said Dave Fester, general manager of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. “For consumers who want to try before they buy, the free trial versions of Photo Story 2 and Plus! Dancer give a taste of what the excitement of Plus! Digital Media Edition is all about.”
Plus! Photo Story 2: The Perfect Companion for Digital Camera Owners
Plus! Photo Story 2 with Video CD burning enables even greater enjoyment of two of the hottest consumer devices: digital cameras and DVD players. Now digital camera owners can use Plus! Photo Story 2 to easily create a digital slide show complete with their own narration and music using their digital photos and burn it onto a recordable CD (CD-R) that can be played back in most consumer DVD players. In addition, Plus! Photo Story 2 adds to the existing ability to share and enjoy photo stories with friends and family via e-mail, the Web or a Windows Mobile (TM) 2003-based Pocket PC. Plus! Photo Story 2 Video CD burning is powered by technology from Sonic Solutions.
Additional features have been added to Plus! Photo Story 2 in response to enthusiastic customer requests. The new project-level editing feature, for example, allows users to save a photo story work in progress and return at a later date to continue editing. In addition, the new picture browser within Plus! Photo Story 2 offers powerful integration for importing photos by date taken, keyword, event, ratings and more, and also offers resizable thumbnail previews to get exactly the right pictures — every time. Photos also can be imported easily from MSN®
Groups and Digital Image Suite 9.
To give consumers a taste of what Photo Story can create, there are samples of exciting new Plus! Photo Stories available for download, including those by baseball legend Willie Mays (photo story narrated by Bob Costas), Olympic medalist Apolo Ohno, comedian Al Franken and baseball legend Yogi Berra. These photo stories can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/photostory/ .
Ten New Plus! Dancers for the Desktop
Since the launch of Plus! Digital Media Edition, Plus! Dancers have quickly become a phenomenon with more than 2 million downloaded since they were first introduced in January. In response to the strong interest from customers, the updated version of Plus! Digital Media Edition includes 10 new Plus! Dancers, with styles including 1960s retro, country-western, rave, hoofing (combining tap and hip-hop) and cheer. These lifelike animated characters groove to the beats of the music that’s playing on the desktop. Other new dancers include five action heroes from popular Xbox®
and PC games.
More Exciting Features in Plus! Digital Media Edition
Pocket PC users will enjoy Plus! Sync & Go for Pocket PC,* which enables them to automatically bring their favorite content onto their Pocket PC from the Media Library in Windows Media Player 9 Series and from leading Internet-based content providers. Users can enjoy timely content on the go from leading news sources such as CBS MarketWatch, CNBC, MSNBC.com, National Public Radio and USATODAY.com, as well as other great content providers such as GolfSpan.com Inc., Indy Racing League, KenRadio Broadcasting, OverDrive Inc., Warner Music Group, Webtalkguys World Radio Show and Xbox.
Plus! Party Mode turns the PC into the ultimate party jukebox, complete with visual effects, song and artist displays, and an interactive guest book, while restricting access to personal files and information.
Plus! Analog Recorder enables vinyl record enthusiasts to easily create clean, vibrant digital copies of their aging records or cassette tapes using automatic hiss-and-pop reduction and automatic track-splitting.
Plus! Audio Converter is an easy-to-use conversion tool offering fast conversions between audio file formats. Files can be converted from MP3 and WAV to Windows Media®
Audio (WMA) or from WMA to MP3 (if a compatible MP3 encoding plug-in for Windows Media Player 9 Series is installed).
With Plus! CD Label Maker, users can create and print eye-catching CD covers and labels in just four easy steps.
The Plus! Alarm Clock turns the PC into a full-featured alarm clock that can play music from a user’s library of favorite tunes.
The Plus! Sleep Timer allows users to fall asleep to the music they choose by gradually decreasing volume over time.
Plus! Digital Media Edition also contains high-quality skins for Windows Media Player 9 Series , giving users more choices for personalizing their player.
Home movie fans will enjoy 50 stunning effects and transitions , created by Pixelan Software LLC, for Windows Movie Maker 2 for Windows XP , the completely redesigned video-editing feature for Windows XP that takes fast and easy home video creation to a new level.
Free Trial Versions of Plus! Photo Story and Plus! Dancer Available Today
To give consumers a taste of the exciting features of Plus! Digital Media Edition, and enable them to try before they buy, Microsoft today released free trial versions of two of the most popular Plus! features, Plus! Photo Story 2 LE and Plus! Dancer LE.
Plus! Photo Story 2 LE enables digital camera owners to quickly and easily create their own photo stories with up to five photos, and include narration and background music to personalize their own digital slide show.
Plus! Dancer LE offers three sample dancers to try out, including hip-hop and tango dancers, as well as a special animated Halloween character named “Boo Who?” (a special surprise for anyone who has used Microsoft Office).
Plus! Photo Story 2 LE and Plus! Dancer LE can be downloaded today free of charge at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/plus/dme/try.asp .
The updated version of Plus! Digital Media Edition is available today from http://www.microsoft.com/windows/plus/dme/ and has been released to manufacturing for retail store shipment in time for the holidays for an estimated retail price of only $19.95 (U.S.). The new features are also available via download as a free upgrade for existing Plus! Digital Media Edition owners at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/plus/dme_more/moreupdates.asp . Plus! Digital Media Edition is also available at leading software retailers and by many top computer manufacturers worldwide.
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 Windows Mobile 2003-powered Pocket PC, Microsoft Windows Powered Pocket PC with Microsoft Pocket PC 2002 software, or Compaq iPAQ with Microsoft Pocket PC 2000 software
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