PMA 2004: Signaling its commitment to the digital imaging industry, Microsoft Corp. today will make its first appearance at PMA 2004, the annual convention and trade show of the Photo Marketing Association International, being held in Las Vegas Feb. 12-15. At the show, Microsoft is demonstrating its breadth of digital imaging products and technologies for hardware and software developers, retailers, professional photographers and consumers.

Press Release:

Microsoft Brings Digital Imaging Software Into Focus at PMA 2004

Leading Vendors, Award-Winning Photographers and Acclaimed Experts Demonstrate Imaging Scenarios and Industry Opportunities Using Windows XP

LAS VEGAS, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Signaling its commitment to the digital imaging industry, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) today will make its first appearance at PMA 2004, the annual convention and trade show of the Photo Marketing Association International, being held in Las Vegas Feb. 12-15. At the show, Microsoft is demonstrating its breadth of digital imaging products and technologies for hardware and software developers, retailers, professional photographers and consumers.

At booth P111, Microsoft is showcasing the Windows(R) XP operating system as a key platform for digital imaging and high-quality digital media creation and playback via a series of demonstrations using products from leading imaging software, hardware and service vendors including Adobe Systems Inc., Canon USA Inc., EPSON America Inc., Fuji Photo Film U.S.A. Inc., HP, Eastman Kodak Co., Nikon USA and Sony Electronics e-Solutions Company LLC.
"We're excited to showcase how Windows XP supports new digital photography scenarios for consumers and professionals, and enables the industry to further capitalize on the PC as an important component of the digital imaging value chain," said Amir Majidimehr, vice president for the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. "Our goal is to work cooperatively with industry participants to make it easier for everyone to get the most out of digital photography."

New Opportunities for Retailers in Photofinishing Services

Microsoft is working with industry leaders at PMA to show how its software is providing retailers with new opportunities to deliver photofinishing services. The demonstrations include these:

  • Fuji and Microsoft will show how the Online Print Ordering Wizard enables consumers to order retail prints of their digital photographs from the Windows XP desktop.
  • The Photo E-Mail feature in MSN(R) Premium enables consumers to easily share their photos with family and friends. Customers can view a slide show, download high-resolution photos, which they receive by e-mail, or print the photos through an online service from Fuji and have them mailed directly to wherever they wish.
  • The Microsoft(R) Windows XP Media Center Edition and its convenient remote control enable users to access and view their digital images and then share and print the photos using Kodak's Ofoto online digital photo service.

"We are pleased to continue to offer consumers the same great digital prints in a new way. By ordering pictures through local retailers via Windows XP, getting the picture is more convenient than ever," said Paul D'Andrea, group vice president of the Photo Imaging Division at Fuji.
"Kodak has always created new and easy ways for consumers to enjoy and share their pictures," said Lisa Gansky, general manager of Digital Imaging Services at Eastman Kodak Co. "By offering access, print-ordering and sharing capabilities through Windows XP Media Center Edition, we are providing yet another way we can help people share their special moments with friends and family so they can do more with their pictures."

Supporting the Professional Photographic Community

Professional photographers are embracing the Windows platform as a key component of their digital workflow. At PMA 2004, several of the world's top digital photographers and industry experts will speak in the Microsoft booth about key digital imaging trends and how best to use technology for professional-level output:

  • Denis Reggie of Denis Reggie Co., the acclaimed celebrity wedding photographer and pioneer of digital wedding photojournalism
  • George Lepp of Lepp & Associates, one of the world's leading outdoor and nature photographers, author, lecturer, and founder of the Lepp Institute of Digital Imaging
  • Reed Hoffmann of Blue Pixel LLC, an instructor for the Nikon School and award-winning digital photojournalist and corporate photographer
  • Scott Kelby, editor-in-chief of Photoshop User magazine, president of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals, and author of best-selling digital imaging books

"Photographers -- both amateur and professional -- are learning to use the PC as a core component of their digital imaging workflow," Reggie said. "Microsoft Windows XP gives us highest performance output and great color fidelity, which has helped us take our photography business to the next level -- transforming fleeting moments in time into lasting digital memories for our clients."
According to a recent study by the Rob Galbraith Digital Photography Insights Web site comparing the processing performance for professional digital photography workflow, the Windows XP-based systems were faster than the G5 Macintosh in 58 of 77 benchmarks. The tests were conducted on the latest Apple Macintosh G5 systems and Windows XP-based PCs from Dell. Complete results of the study are available online at http://www.robgalbraith.com/. Microsoft also is featuring in its booth some of the latest Windows-based professional hardware and software solutions from leading industry providers such as Adobe, Camera Bits Inc., Canon, GretagMacbeth LLC, Victor Hasselblad AB, Imacon Corp., NEC Corp., nik multimedia Inc., Nikon and Phase One. Microsoft product developers and digital photography experts will be on hand to speak directly with customers about their requirements for using computers in advanced digital photography.

Innovative Products and Services for Consumers to Drive Category Growth At the show Microsoft is demonstrating many of its products, technologies and services designed to enable complete digital imaging -- from acquiring, editing and organizing photos to sharing photos in new ways, viewing images on a TV screen or mobile device, and more. These include the following:

  • Microsoft Digital Image Suite 9 is a complete photo software system that combines two powerful digital imaging applications: Digital Image Library 9 for organizing, sharing and archiving photos, and Digital Image Pro 9 for advanced image-editing and creative content. Using this seamlessly integrated suite of easy-to-use tools, consumers can organize their entire photo collection, edit photos with professional-quality results, create thousands of one-of-a-kind projects, print and share their memories, and archive photos for safekeeping.
  • Plus! Photo Story 2, part of Microsoft Plus! Digital Media Edition, enables users to share and enjoy their photos in a whole new way. Users can build unique slide shows complete with narration and music -- even automatically add panning and zooming effects -- for a spectacular viewing experience that can be easily shared via e-mail, the Web, a Pocket PC, or on home DVD players via Video CD.
  • Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 was created to deliver the best of both computing and entertainment on a home computer. Consumers can play slide shows of their summer vacation while sitting comfortably on their couch, by accessing the show from the computer's hard disk or by simply inserting a smart media or CompactFlash card or CD to access photos. Users can rotate, zoom and print photos and even remove red-eye with the touch of one button.
  • MSN Photos, a feature of MSN Premium, lets consumer have more fun with their photos. In addition to enabling consumers to open, save, edit or print photos, MSN Photos makes sharing images with friends and family easier than ever via e-mail or MSN Messenger. In addition, MSN Photos offers professional editorial content, tips and hints for taking better photos.
  • Xbox Music Mixer's Photo Album Viewer allows amateur photojournalists to snap the life back into slide shows by letting them set their images to customized soundtracks, creating the ultimate in slide shows. They can simply transfer Windows Media(R) Audio (WMA), MP3 or JPEG files to their Xbox(R) system to create the ultimate music and photo library.
  • Windows Mobile software for Pocket PC and Smartphone devices enable new media and imaging functionality including Windows Media Player, which provides higher-quality audio and video, improved performance and content-streaming capabilities. Above all, Windows Mobile(TM)-based Smartphones include small, stylish form factors designed for one-handed operation and all the features mobile customers expect in a world-class phone. Windows Mobile extends the mobile voice experience to include Outlook data as well as messaging features such as e-mail, IM and SMS and the ability to browse the Web on a bright-color screen.

In addition, Microsoft is showcasing the role of High-Performance Media Access Technology (HighMAT(TM)) for the digital imaging industry. HighMAT, which Microsoft and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (Panasonic) jointly developed and introduced to the market last year, is designed to significantly improve interoperability for photos, music and video between PCs and popular consumer electronic devices using storage media such as CDs and DVDs. More information about HighMAT is available at http://www.highmat.com/.

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