Oct. 21, 2003 Microsoft Corp. today announced the immediate availability of the final release of Microsoft® Producer for Microsoft Office PowerPoint® 2003. A free add-on for PowerPoint 2003, Producer 2003 makes it easy for anyone to communicate effectively by combining PowerPoint presentations with audio and video to create rich-media presentations that can be viewed on demand via a Web browser. With this release, users will enjoy richer integration with PowerPoint 2003 and support for the high-quality audio and video of Windows Media® 9 Series, as well as cross-platform support for Mac and Netscape users, enabling the broadest reach for Producer-authored presentations. More than 30 organizations, including Cap Gemini Ernst & Young LLP and Harley-Davidson Motor Co., as well as the University of Alabama in Huntsville, have committed to support Producer 2003, demonstrating how Producer is adding value to their enterprise communications.
“Producer 2003 is playing a key role in helping us utilize the full power of digital media to better train our consultants and communicate with our customers,” said Deanne Handron, vice president at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young. “Producer 2003 is a perfect tool for us to broadly deliver all the information we need so that others can quickly understand our new products and services.”
“Producer 2003 is meeting a critical business need for companies around the world as they look for new, more effective ways to communicate and boost productivity,” said Jeff Raikes, group vice president of Productivity and Business Services at Microsoft. “By combining the unmatched quality of Windows Media 9 Series with the new productivity enhancements in Office 2003, Producer 2003 is a powerful complement to PowerPoint 2003, enabling users to deliver their PowerPoint slides and related commentary to a broad audience.”
Producer 2003 at a Glance
Microsoft Producer has been downloaded more than 1 million times since the first version was released in November 2001 and is one of the leading downloads for Microsoft Office to date. Building on this success and incorporating top customer requests, Microsoft has added many new or improved features to Producer 2003:
Support for Windows Media 9 Series enables unmatched audio and video quality for all audiences. Additional benefits from support of Windows Media 9 Series include variable speed playback to speed up or slow down a presentation, and Fast Streaming, which can help effectively eliminate buffering delays for presentations that are streamed from Windows Server™
An enhanced New Presentation Wizard makes it easier to automatically create a Producer presentation by walking users through the process from start to finish.
Better integration with PowerPoint 2003 allows users to easily capture and save the timings of slide flips from any PowerPoint presentation and import them directly into Producer 2003, saving valuable time.
Support for playback by Macintosh and Netscape users (using Microsoft Internet Explorer for Mac and Netscape Navigator for the Windows® -based PC) enables content creators to reach even broader audiences with their Producer presentations.
Compliance with the metadata standards prescribed by e-learning specification and standards groups such as the IMS Global Learning Consortium Inc. ( http://www.imsproject.org/ ) and the Department of Defense Sharable Content Object Reference Model ( http://www.adlnet.org/ ) paves the way for deeper use in education and government.
The full list of Producer 2003 features, demos, sample Producer presentations and other resources can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/office/powerpoint/producer/ .
More Than 30 Organizations Commit to Support Producer 2003
According to data from independent research firm Market Decisions Corp., some 40
percent of large organizations in the United States (those with 5,000 or more PCs) are using digital media to enhance daily business activities such as corporate training and communication. Many organizations are turning to Producer because it eliminates the need for specialized knowledge of HTML coding or high-end software applications. It enables anyone who can use PowerPoint to easily create rich-media presentations.
“I like how easily PowerPoint and Producer 2003 work together and enable us to more effectively communicate and market to our targeted audience,” said Al Lounsbury, senior manager of Optical Enterprise Marketing at Nortel Networks. “Producer 2003 is exactly the type of tool I have been looking for.”
Today, more than 30 organizations from a broad range of industries have committed to support Producer 2003, including Anystream, BasisMedia Communication, Blackboard Inc., Cap Gemini Ernst & Young LLP, Clayton Homes Inc., CyberCE Inc., Digital Proceedings, Empire Media Productions Inc., eStreamingMedia, Harley-Davidson Motor Co., HiSoftware Company, HunterStone Inc., Kontiki Inc., Krystal Company Restaurants, LearnKey Inc., MediMultiMedia Inc., MicroVideo Learning Systems Inc., Morrison & Foerster LLP, Multimedia Technology Co. Ltd., National Childrens Advocacy Center, NovoLogic Inc., Quilogy, Seattle Community Colleges, Servecast, Telestream Inc., TriDigital Inc., Unified Web Media, University of Alabama in Huntsville, University of Cincinnati, Uvision Inc., ViewCast Corp., Worldwide Interactive Network and Wylie Independent School District.
Microsoft Producer 2003 is a free add-on for users of PowerPoint 2003 (Office 2003) and PowerPoint 2002 (Office XP) and is available today for immediate download* at http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/editions/producer.asp . Producer 2003 is available in the following 10 languages: English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Spanish and Traditional Chinese.
About Windows Media
Windows Media is the leading digital media platform, used by consumers, content providers, solution providers, software developers and corporations throughout the world. The Windows Media 9 Series platform includes Windows Media Player 9 Series; Windows Media Services 9 Series, the powerful streaming server feature in Windows Server 2003 for distributing content; Windows Media Encoder 9 Series for content creation; Windows Media Audio and Video 9 Series for the best-quality audio and video; Windows Media Digital Rights Management to help protect content; and the Windows Media Software Development Kit for software developers to develop digital media products and services. Windows Media Player, available in 26 languages, is now the leading 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.
* Connect-time fees may apply.
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