Reprinted from a Microsoft / Weber Shandwick press release:

Microsoft Unveiled Microsoft Producer June 20, a comprehensive
tool that enables media professionals and everyday business users
to create, edit and publish rich media presentations. Combining the power of Windows Media audio and video, HTML
and PowerPoint slide presentations, Microsoft said that Producer will allow users to take the communication of ideas and
information to a new level.


Producer, a companion tool for Office XP
users, takes a step in enabling broader use of digital media to rapidly
deliver information throughout large organizations right to the PC
desktop.

Corporate use of streaming media has doubled in the past 18 months. But one
of the key obstacles in advancing broader adoption of digital media in
organizations has been the lack of easy tools for creating content, Microsoft said. This is
in part because creating content has required specialized
knowledge and the ability to juggle tools to author and
combine varied elements such as digital audio and video, PowerPoint slides,
images and HTML. Microsoft Producer attemps to allow any media professional
or business user to create, edit, preview and publish rich digital media
presentations anywhere.


With Producer, media professionals, training specialists, sales and marketing
professionals, and business users can create digital media marketing communications, online
training, on-demand companywide executive broadcasts, and published archives
of live presentations. Then all of these can be published with the
click of a button to intranet sites, the Internet or a CD.


Microsoft Producer is a companion tool for Office XP and is available for
download today (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/) as a
technology preview for technical evaluators. The final release of Microsoft
Producer is scheduled to be available for all Office XP users by the end of
this year. Final pricing has not been determined.

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