Microsoft Announces Free Web Trial Version of PhotoDraw 2000

The New Graphics Companion to Office, PhotoDraw 2000 Now Available in Stores Nationwide

REDMOND, Wash. - Nov. 11, 1998 - - To mark the immediate availability of Microsoft PhotoDraw™ 2000 business graphics software, Microsoft Corp. today announced a Web trial version available to users worldwide at http://www.microsoft.com/office/photodraw/ (connect-time charges may apply). A CD version is also available to U.S. and Canadian users and can be ordered from Microsoft for a nominal shipping and handling charge. Microsoft has received more than 50,000 preorders for the CD trial version since Oct. 1, 1998. PhotoDraw 2000, the new business graphics companion to Microsoft Office, combines photo-editing and illustration functionality in one easy-to-use application, providing Microsoft Office and small-business users with a solution for creating and incorporating custom graphics into both print and Web documents quickly and easily.

Graphics are becoming a necessary tool in business as more and more companies communicate internally with intranets and externally with Web sites. PhotoDraw enables small-business and Microsoft Office users to easily create graphics for these communication vehicles, without having to learn graphic design or graphics terminology. "Microsoft PhotoDraw allows business professionals to readily incorporate and enhance graphic images of any type into presentations, Web sites and documents, without the need to become a graphics expert," said Amy Wohl, president of the analyst firm Wohl and Associates. "Users will be pleased with its automation and ease of use, its integration with the Microsoft Office Suite and its broad set of tools."

Quantitative research among users of Microsoft Office who regularly incorporate graphics into their documents indicates that graphics activities today require a median number of four separate programs. With PhotoDraw, users now have an application that combines capabilities typically found in several graphics programs in one easy-to-use program.

"Microsoft's goal with PhotoDraw 2000 was to create a graphics program from the ground up to meet the needs of business professionals," said Microsoft Fellow Dr. Alvy Ray Smith, pioneering developer in the field of graphics software. "With PhotoDraw 2000, business users can now quickly and easily create compelling graphics without having to switch between multiple applications or understand, for example, the difference between bitmap and vector file formats. People prefer to receive visual information with text whenever possible. PhotoDraw now enables them to incorporate graphics into daily communication quickly and easily."

PhotoDraw enables users to edit and combine photos, clip art, shapes and text to create professional-looking graphics to use in other programs and on the Web. "I found that PhotoDraw made creating graphics and retouching photos simple," said Glenn Austin, senior technical officer with Path (Program for Appropriate Technology in Health). "For example, in just a few minutes I was able to download a photograph, adjust the color and red-eye, add a copyright mark to it, crop it, change graphics file formats, put it in a PowerPoint presentation, and print it. It was much easier and more straightforward than my old method of using several different programs."

PhotoDraw includes more than 20,000 pieces of clip art, 300 templates, 400 cutouts, 375 textures, 75 edges and 200 fonts. It shares features familiar to users of Microsoft Office, such as Help, and tools such as Office Art to get business users up and running quickly.

PhotoDraw 2000 will be included with Office 2000 Premium, a new suite designed for organizations and software enthusiasts who demand the most comprehensive set of Web-enabled desktop productivity software, scheduled for release early next year.

PhotoDraw 2000 is available now in stores for a suggested retail price of $149 and can be found within the new Microsoft Graphics Studio line. A $40 rebate is offered until Nov. 1, 1999, to current users of Microsoft Office 97 or later, FrontPage 97 or later, and CorelDRAW 6.0 or later. The Microsoft Graphics Studio line offers a wide range of desktop publishing, imaging and graphics software products. All the products in the line deliver professional-quality results, great projects, templates, clip art and powerful functionality developed for specific customer needs. For home and business users alike, the Microsoft Graphics Studio line is the premier line of graphics products. It includes Greetings 99, Home Publishing 99, Home Publishing Suite 99, Picture It! 99 consumer photo-editing software, Publisher 98, Publisher 98 Deluxe and PhotoDraw 2000.

The 30-day trial version of PhotoDraw 2000 is available for download at http://www.microsoft.com/office/photodraw/. In the United States and Canada, CD versions of the trial version ($5.95 U.S. for shipping and handling) can be ordered from the Web site or by calling (800) 426-9400.

 

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