Microsoft Announces Windows Image Acquisition Architecture

Microsoft Working With Imaging Industry to Deliver Enhanced Imaging Functionality

LOS ANGELES - April 7, 1999 - Today at the Windows® Hardware Engineering Conference and Exhibition (WinHEC) 99, Microsoft Corp. announced the Windows Image Acquisition (WIA) architecture, a new infrastructure that will seamlessly integrate digital imaging functionality into the Microsoft® Windows operating system and make it easier for users to capture, view, manipulate and publish still images.

Microsoft worked with leading hardware- and software-imaging manufacturers to develop the WIA architecture, which will be supported in future versions of Windows. WIA provides the Windows platform with a robust and extensive imaging infrastructure, enabling greater ease of use for today's imaging devices including digital still cameras, consumer scanners, production scanners and film scanners, as well as digital-imaging software such as Microsoft Picture It!® consumer photo-editing software and PhotoDraw™ business graphics software. WIA makes use of numerous technologies available in Windows 98 and gives developers the ability to incorporate advanced imaging functionality into hardware and software products.

"Digital imaging is one of the fastest-growing application of Windows-based PCs," said Carl Stork, general manager of Windows hardware strategy and evangelism at Microsoft. "With WIA, Microsoft is making it easy for users to acquire, edit, print and publish images. We are happy to team with the leaders in the imaging industry to develop and deliver."

In addition to working closely with leading companies in the imaging industry, Microsoft has worked with the TWAIN Working Group to ensure that TWAIN's vision continues to be met with the new Microsoft architecture. TWAIN is a working group of leading vendors and is designed to promote imaging standards between applications and devices.

"The Microsoft WIA architecture delivers on the TWAIN Working Group's vision to provide the imaging industry with a universal standard that links applications and image-acquisition devices," said Pamela Doyle, business development manager, Fujitsu Computer Products of America Inc., and chair of the TWAIN Working Group. "While we initiated addressing the needs of the imaging industry, Microsoft WIA takes imaging to the next level by building support in Windows from the ground up. We will continue to work with Microsoft to help ensure that the changing needs of the imaging industry are met through WIA."

About WIA

WIA is both a COM-based application programming interface (API) and a device driver interface (DDI) that addresses the needs of multiple customers, including independent software vendors (ISVs), line of business application developers, independent hardware vendors (IHVs) and end users.

With WIA, ISVs can communicate with image devices, both local and remote, and can query properties of the devices in a standard and extensible manner, enabling them to better integrate their applications with the image acquisition process. In addition, line-of-business application developers will be able to interact with WIA imaging devices using familiar programming languages, such as Microsoft Visual Basic®.

For IHVs, WIA is a robust new driver model, common across all buses, that significantly reduces IHV development efforts. WIA is built on the foundation of the Still Image Architecture (STI), a Windows-based driver model infrastructure introduced in Windows 98; developers can thus capitalize on their existing knowledge of STI by applying it to developing for the WIA architecture. As a result of using the existing foundation of STI, devices based on STI will easily migrate to WIA. In addition, automatic, seamless downloading is enabled for quicker image transferring from digital cameras.

For end users, WIA provides overall greater ease of use for imaging technologies on PCs. Specifically, WIA provides a consistent user experience with the Windows operating system. Application of image properties is simplified at the time of acquisition, enabling users to maximize their investment in peripheral devices such as digital cameras or scanners. In addition, a new feature provided by WIA, Picture Acquisition Manager for cameras and scanners, provides easy organization and access of images at the time of acquisition. Upon acquisition, WIA allows annotation of images, including searchable keywords that will tie into Microsoft Digital Content Management services, a future file system service for Windows that provides search and retrieval capabilities ideal for digital images. WIA also provides easy image retrieval for digital cameras and scanners by providing a common user interface.


A preliminary version of the WIA architecture interface documentation is scheduled to be posted on April 7 at In addition, the WIA device driver model and its development kit are scheduled to be made available in the third quarter of 1999. For more information on the WIA and other Microsoft hardware development offerings, please visit

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.


Microsoft, Windows, PictureIt!, PhotoDraw and Visual Basic are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

For more information regarding Windows Image Acquisition:

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft's corporate information pages.


Quote Sheet

"Kodak is pleased to work with Microsoft on the WIA architecture. It's one more example of how our companies can make using digital pictures easier and more efficient. WIA drivers will make connecting Kodak cameras to the PC easier and faster so that people can use their pictures in e-mail, documents, presentations and Web pages, rather than just making prints."

- Philip Gerskovich
Chief Operating Officer and Vice President
Digital and Applied Imaging
Eastman Kodak Co.


"As the leader in consumer digital imaging software, Adobe understands the importance of image acquisition to our users. We encourage initiatives, such as Microsoft WIA, that help move image acquisition forward for users. We look forward to working with technologies that enhance user experience in Adobe imaging software, such as Adobe PhotoDeluxe."

- Kyle Mashima
Vice President of Business and Imaging Solutions
Adobe Systems Inc.


"The WIA architecture is a step in the right direction in providing an improved interface for the digital imaging community. Intel also sees WIA as a way to make digital images easier to use for consumers."

- Don Whiteside

General Manager

Digital Imaging and Video Division

Intel Corp.


"It's thrilling to see Microsoft bringing new technology and lower costs to all of us in the industry. Fujitsu plans to provide WIA drivers for our production scanner product line in the future, and we are excited by the opportunities this architecture provides our customers."

- Pamela Doyle
Business Development Manager
Imaging Products Group
Fujitsu Computer Products of America Inc.


"Microsoft's WIA addresses the corporate market by accommodating the needs of production scanners with automatic document feeders. RICOH believes that this new technology will bring increased ease of use to our customers and streamline development of new drivers."

- Sunny Mogi
Manager, Product Planning
Imaging Systems Business Group
RICOH Company Ltd.


"WIA represents an important advance in providing a well-defined API for the control of scanners and digital cameras. The COM-based APIs of WIA, together with other architectural features, allow easy extension of WIA to deliver new data types and new processing modes to the user."

- Steve Francis
Vice President and General Manager
Pixel Translations, a division of Input Software Inc.


"WIA is an important step forward for the advancement of digital imaging. We definitely plan to utilize it in our imaging applications because of the obvious benefits it affords MGI PhotoSuite II users, and because it is in keeping with our goal to deliver the most complete and dynamic PC photography experience available to consumers."

- Anthony DeCristofaro
President and CEO
MGI Software Corp.


"EPSON welcomes Microsoft's WIA as the first standard imaging interface for the PC platform. WIA will facilitate the growth of the still-imaging-devices industry by providing a standard imaging interface for the Windows platform."

- Seiichi Hirano
General Manager (Scanner)
Imaging and Information Products Division


"Microsoft is working with the industry to provide an architecturally robust and extensible architecture ideal for the scanning market. Microsoft's WIA meets these needs while significantly reducing software development efforts on the part of independent hardware vendors."

- Bob Chalstrom
R&D Section Manager
Greeley Hardcopy Division
Hewlett-Packard Co.

"WIA provides a single API for a wide range of imaging devices, well suited for our extensive imaging product lines. We are happy to be working with Microsoft to deliver on a vision for imaging in future PCs and support its efforts."

- Mr. Muneo Adachi
Deputy Group Executive of Product Development
Canon Inc.


"Xerox is committed to delivering world-class scanner products that use industry-standard interfaces. We hope to integrate WIA from Microsoft into our future scanner products."

- Barbara Waal
Vice President and General Manager
Scanning and Capture Services
Xerox Corp.


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