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Microsoft Announces Immediate Availability Of Microsoft Producer for PowerPoint 2002

Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gatestoday announced the availability of Microsoft Producer forPowerPoint2002 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 tocreate engaging rich-media presentations by synchronizing audio, video,slides and images. These rich-media presentations can be viewed ondemand in a browser across the Internet or an intranet. MicrosoftProducer for PowerPoint 2002 is available for download today athttp://www.microsoft.com/office/powerpoint/producer/.

“Businesses around the world are looking for new, more effectiveways 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 thatFrontPage did for Web authoring: – Make it easier and more ubiquitousin companywide communication.”

Companies and institutions ranging from Harley-Davidson Motor Co.,Marathon Oil Co., Mellon Financial Corp., PPG Industries Inc.,RadioShack Canada Ltd. and Unisys Corp. to the Cornell Theory Centerand the Kern High School District in Bakersfield, Calif., haveevaluated and are adopting Microsoft Producer as a valuable new tool tocost-effectively communicate with, and educate and train employees andcustomers.

“Microsoft Producer is going to change and expand the way we trainand share information throughout the organization,” said FrancoisRivard of the Learning Group at RadioShack Canada. “We are going to beable to generate more training content – using more types of media, ata better quality – and cut down the production time by close to 25percent. It will be a significant help to us as we expand the use ofstreaming media throughout our organization.”

Organizations are embracing the use of digital media because itcombines the immediacy, ease of use and efficiency of the Internet witha dynamic and compelling new way to communicate information andtraining to employees and customers. The use of streaming media inlarge organizations has doubled since 1999, with one in four companiesnow using it for corporate communication, training, and sales andmarketing.

Lawrence Orans, senior analyst at Gartner Inc. of Stamford, Conn.,has predicted that by 2006, 85 percent of enterprises usingvideo-over-IP for corporate training will realize a positive return oninvestment in less than one year.

The Microsoft Producer Software Development Kit , which is alsoavailable today and included with Microsoft Producer, enables networkadministrators, independent software vendors and hosting providers todevelop their own publishing services and integrate them into thePublish Wizard of Microsoft Producer. This makes it easy for businessusers to publish and share their rich-media presentations on a companyintranet or on the Internet.

Availability

The final release of Microsoft Producer for PowerPoint 2002 is anadd-on tool for users of Office XP. It is available for download todayat no additional charge for users of Office XP athttp://www.microsoft.com/office/powerpoint/producer/. MicrosoftProducer is available in English today, and is scheduled to beavailable in December in French, German, Italian, Japanese andSpanish.

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